Oct 6: Bahn Mi; Baked Past a la Norma

Lunch

Since we were nearby we decided on a Bahn Mi for lunch at $8.75 per serve.

Dinner

For dinner we tried something a little different: Baked past a la Norma, which makes four serves. We substituted lentil and brown rice pasta which had a good toothless and decent flavor.

  • The eggplant was $1.49 or 38c per serve
  • Grape tomatoes are $2.99 for the container and we used half or 38c per serve
  • Eggs are 50c or 25c per serve
  • The pasta was $2.99 and used about ⅔  or $1.00c per serve
  • Parmesan cost $5.75 but we used about 1/2 for this dish, or $1.43 per serve
  • Add 65c for capers, oil and seasoning.

For the amount of effort, and the time it takes, this dish needs to be a whole lot more flavorsome. It was okay, but we won’t be repeating it. The pasta bake cost $4.09 per serve.

Oct 5: The Country Deli; Sussex Smokey

Lunch

A trip to purchase gas containers for a new outdoor tabletop fire feature, end up passing The Country Deli, and you can’t pass The Country Deli.

Foodie Philip had his regular marinated skirt steak, eggs over easy and home fries. All were great as usual but the home fries were especially good. Foodie Greg chose a Pastrami on Rye with steak fries.

The Country Deli averages $21.99 per serve with tax and tip.

Dinner

Every since Foodie Greg ate the Sussex Smokey at The Abergavenny Arms on our recent trip, he’s been looking for an opportunity to try his own version, and a cool night was the right time to try it.

A simple dish largely consisting of leeks, smoked fish (haddock in the recipe, smoked trout in our version), and a roux with some seasoning.

  • The smoked trout was $7.49 or $3.75 per serve
  • Heavy cream is $3.49 but we used ⅛ or 22c per serve
  • The leeks were $2.99 or $1.50 per serve
  • A pint of organic Half and Half is $1.99 and we used ½ or 50c per serve
  • Add 40c for breadcrumbs
  • Add 30c for butter
  • Add 30c for seasoning.

While not quite in the same class as The Abergavenny Arms, but a very enjoyable meal for $6.97 per serve.

Oct 4: Heirloom Tomato and Swiss; Lamb Loin Chops with Bean Pilaf and Tikka Vegetables

Lunch

We had to finish the heirloom tomato before it went off, so we went classic: tomato, Swiss with garlic spread.

  • Two heirloom tomatoes were $4.35 and we shared half of one, or 54c per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • Add 45c for garlic spread and butter.

When the ingredients are good, simple is great for $1.54 per serve.

Dinner

Our expected meat delivery looked like it was going to be delayed so we defrosted some lamb loin chops for the grill. We paired it with the remaining Bean Pilaf and a serve of Tikka vegetables. A little bit of cuisine from all around the world.

  • The lamb loin chops are $13.40 or $6.70 per serve
  • The bean pilaf is $1.53 per serve
  • The tikka vegetables were $1.99 or $1.00 per serve.

While the cuisine seemed eclectic it was a good meal for $9.23 per serve.

Oct 3: Pinto Bean & Andouille Stew on Toast Topped with an Egg; Pork Sirloin Roast with Kabocha Squash and Garlic Butter Mushrooms

Lunch

For lunch we decided to finish the Pinto Bean and Andouille Stew by frying bread in the panini press, covering it with the heated stew, and topping with a fried egg.

  • The Pinto Bean and Adouille Stew of two nights ago was $1.85 per serve and we shared one serve, or 93c per serve
  • The rye bread is 16c per slice
  • A pastured egg is 50c
  • Add 25c for butter.

A pretty good lunch for $1.84 per serve.

Dinner

The very last of our Keller Crafted meat was a pork sirloin roast, which we brined and baked. (More meat is on the way, but we’d taken September off as we were away so much of the month.)

The pork sirloin was sliced and served with baked kabocha squash onto which we piled the garlic butter mushrooms.

  • The roast was around $16.00 or $8.00 per serve
  • The kabocha squash was $3.67 and we used half, or 92c per serve
  • The mushrooms were $2.99 or $1.50 per serve
  • Add 50c for garlic and butter.

The roast came out perfectly cooked and tender. The garlic butter soaked into the kabocha squash to very good effect. In fact we felt that we should have double the amount of butter!  A good meal for $10.92 per serve.

Oct 2: Tomato & Swiss, Pastrami, Sauerkraut & Swiss; Roast Chicken Leg with Brown Rice & Bean Pilaf

Lunch

Back to toasted sandwiches. Today we shared a Heirloom Tomato and Swiss and a pseudo Reuben of Pastrami, Sauerkraut and Swiss.

  • The pastrami was $11.99 for 16 oz and we used 3 oz across two sandwiches, or $1.13 per serve
  • Two heirloom tomatoes were $4.35 and we shared half of one, or 54c per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • The Bubbies (natural) Sauerkraut is expensive at $6.99 or 22c per serve, but it is a very superior sauerkraut without the bad odor of most sauerkraut
  • Add 45c for butter and garlic dip.

A pair of decent sandwiches for $2.99 per serve.

Dinner

Tonight we had the roast chicken legs from our supermarket chicken, and served with a bean and rice pilaf, based on this basic recipe, but with black beans and bone broth. The recipe makes four serves.

  • The chicken leg is $1.75 per serve
  • Brown rice is 33c per serve
  • Canned black beans are 25c per serve
  • The bone broth was $2.99 for one pint, or 75c per serve
  • Add 20c for seasoning & turmeric.

The bone broth infused pilaf was really tasty and overall it was a decent meal for $3.28 per serve.

Oct 1: Double Double; Tostadas with Avocado and Fried Egg

Lunch

Foodie Philip was back in Burbank for lunch and once again at In and Out Burger for a Double Double Animal Style for $4.54.

Dinner

We were looking for a simple, meat-light meal and decided on baked tostadas topped with avocado, a fried egg, salsa and spring onion.

  • Pastured eggs are 50c each  or $1.00 per serve
  • The tostadas are 22 for $2.29 or 21c per serve
  • Avocados were $1.38 for two and we shared one, or 35c per serve
  • Add 40c for salsa
  • Add 5c for spring onion.

It ended up being a quite satisfying meal and surprisingly filling for $2.01 per serve.

September 2018: Summary and Observations

Because of the International Broadcast Convention in Amsterdam each September, the month tends to have the most meals out of the home of any month of the year. This year was no exception.

We had excellent food everywhere we went in England (for a personal side trip) and in Amsterdam during the conference time. Thanks to Trip Advisor, which seems to be a more reliable indicator than Yelp in Europe.

The food highlight was our meal at The Latymer, which was our first experience of a Michelin Starred restaurant. At around US$750 for the seven course tasting menu with wine pairings, for too. Obviously such a blow-out meal would skew our averages, so I’ve kept it out of the calculations.

Other highlights were de Kas in Amsterdam, and – local to where were were staying in Jordaan – Dos (small plates), D&A (Hummus/Mid East), de Curtis (Italian), Shahjahan (Indian) and Eatcafe Koevoet (Italian).  Other highlights were Riva (Modern Scandinavian) and Jun (Indonesian).

The averages for this month are slightly skewed as many meals were paid for by others:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.62 ($2.59 in August)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $12.99 ($9.69)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.08 ($5.27)
  • Dinner eaten out: $22.39 ($20.69), excluding The Latymer.

Our lunches at home average in a fairly narrow band and this month is only 3c up on last month. Lunches prepared outside the home are higher because we ate a lot of meals out while traveling and that tends to average higher.

Our most expensive meal was – obviously – the Latymer, but the most expensive ‘normal’ restaurant was Eatcafe Koevoet at $32.87, largely because we – atypically – had both appetizers and their signature ‘desert’ of lemon sorbet, vodka and prosecco, which is not to be missed.

Our most expensive at home meal was the lamb leg chops with eggplant and feta salad for $9.02 per serve. This month’s meals at home are at the lower end of our averages.

Lunches at home cost 20% of the cost of eating food prepared outside the home , while dinners at home cost 23% the average of dinner out this month.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $389.70 per person in September. We actually spent $31.39 for lunches at home plus $220.84 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $252.23 in total.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $671.70 per person. We actually spent $76.17 for dinners at home and $134.33 (excluding The Latymer) for dinners out: $210.50  in total.

We saved $598.67 by preparing and eating most meals at home, plus we have better control over what we eat. What we saved this month by not eating out all the time more than paid for our one-off blow out meal!

Over the month we prepared 10 different recipes for evening meals.

Sep 30: BBQ Chicken Breast, Heirloom Tomato on Fresh Baguette; Peruvian Meat Sauce in Baguette

Lunch

The Foodies had an ‘adventure’ to Jon’s to buy some of the ingredients not easily sourced at regular supermarkets, but also because Jon’s have the best roast chicken and fresh baguettes.

  • The baguette is $2.79 and we each had ¼ or 70c per serve
  • Two heirloom tomatoes were $4.35 and we shared half of one, or 54c per serve
  • The BBQ chicken is $6.99 and we shared one breast or 88c per serve
  • Add 25c for mayo.

Three simple ingredients, but each one of high quality, can make an excellent meal for $2.37 per serve.

Dinner

Since we still had baguette, and Peruvian meat sauce we made a “sloppy Joe” style sandwich in the baguette.

  • The baguette is $2.79 and we each had ¼ or 70c per serve
  • The meat sauce is $4.10 per serve
  • Add 25c for mayo.

Even broken down with the bread the Peruvian meat sauce is still intense so next time we need mango or cucumber in the sandwich to offset it. Still it was tasty for $5.05 per serve.

Sep 29: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Peruvian Meat Sauce with Quinoa & Garden Salad

Lunch

Foodie Philip picked up some Popeye’s Fried Chicken along with a large Red Beans and Rice for lunch.

  • Two pieces of chicken are $2.72 per serve
  • Red Beans and rice is $2.00 per serve.

Lunch today was $4.72 per serve.

Dinner

A return to a favorite: Peruvian meat sauce. Tonight we served with quinoa and a simple leafy green and cherry tomato salad.

  • Ground beef was $9.08 or $2.27 per serve
  • Limes were $1.56 and about half went into the dish, or 20c per serve
  • The can of coconut milk was $1.99 or 50c per serve
  • The curry paste was $2.29 for the can, or 57c per serve
  • The soy adds 26c per serve
  • Add 30c for the toasted coriander, pink peppercorns, rice wine and cornstarch
  • Half a pound of quinoa is $3.01 but used the half, or 75c per serve
  • Grape tomatoes were $2.49 for the pack, but we used half or 63c per serve
  • Spinach was $2.99 but we only used ¼ or 38c per serve.

We forgot how rich this sauce is, so neither Foodie could finish more than half, making it a four serve recipe for $5.86 per serve.

 

Sep 28: Tuna, Capers & Swiss, Chorizo Salami & Swiss; Smoked Trout Cobb

Lunch

Today we returned to toasted sandwiches: Sweet & Spicy Tuna with capers and Swiss cheese, and a chorizo salami and Swiss. Both were good but we liked the salami and cheese best.

  • The chorizo was $7.99 and we shared ¼ or $1.00 per serve
  • The tuna was $2.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 33c per serve
  • Add 45c for butter and mayo.

Not a bad lunch for $3.10 per serve.

Dinner

A warm night means salad and what better than a smoke trout Cobb?

  • The burrata was $4.99 or $2.50 per serve
  • The Persian cucumber was $1.99 or 50 per serve
  • Grape tomatoes were $2.49 for the pack, but we used half or 63c per serve
  • We used one can of smoked trout per serve at $3.49
  • Add 30c for watercress.

Dinner tonight was a good combination of smoked trout with the freshness of the cucumber and tomato and creaminess of the burrata. We enjoyed it for $7.42 per serve.