Nov 5: Airline meals; Pan seared Duck Breast with pomegranate-ponzu-soy drizzle; Broccoli and Pomegranate slaw; Wild Rice Mix


There’s a big difference in the quality of airline food – on the same airline – depending where the flight originates. The food on the flight from Paris to Los Angeles was significantly better than the reverse. Something about the French and food?

Lunch was a decent Ham and Cheese quiche with a Scandinavian Style Smoke Salmon salad, which was really good. Again, included in the air fare.


Back home and Foodie Greg had planned a celebratory dinner: duck breast on brown rice with a pomegranate slaw and pomegranate, ponzu and soy drizzle.

The duck breasts were scored and fried skin down to render out some delicious duck fat (saved for later use) and crispen the skin. A little sear on the other side, and into the oven to finish, before resting, cutting and serving.

The slaw was a supermarket broccoli slaw to which pomegranate pearls were added.

  • The organic duck breasts were $14.23, or $7.12 per serve (expensive but comparable with our Prather Ranch steaks)
  • The country rice blend was $2.63 for the packet but that will make four serves, so 66c serve.
  • The broccoli slaw was $1.69 or 12 oz, but we used only half or 21c per serve
  • The pomegranate seeds/pearls are $3.99 for the pack, or $2.00 a serve
  • Add 20c for the drizzle ingredients.

Dinner tonight was superb, and cost $10.19 but would be at least three times that in a restaurant.

Nov 4: Pork Roll; Tapas (lots of tapa)


Still in Barcelona and caught in setting up, there was no time to go out for lunch, so lunch was bought to us. Foodie Philip had a quite decent roll filled with pork and cheese.

Lunch was supplied by the Final Cut Pro X Tour organizers.


Many hours later, after the event concluded at 10:00pm, the organizers, workers and presenters went out for dinner. We had an 11pm booking, which is not that unusual in Barcelona.

Food flowed, starting with tomato bread, parma ham and a cheese I didn’t catch.

Parma ham and cheese - after we'd already nibbled!
Parma ham and cheese – after we’d already nibbled!

Followed by two types of croquette: one fish, one mushroom. Both were great, but the mushroom one came out twice and Foodie Philip had three!

Mushroom croquettes
Mushroom croquettes

There was a large shrimp and an interesting combination of chorizo sausage (cooked of course, so it had a crisp shell) and hummus. Unexpected but very good.

Chorizo and hummus (with pita bread)
Chorizo and hummus (with pita bread)

After all this food, several glasses of wine and 1am rolling around, we got to the entree! We’d been asked for our selection of pork or tuna. I chose pork, not knowing the tuna was served as huge steaks just lightly seared.

The pork was delicious, and the padron peppers are a favorite. No hot one this time. The meal concluded with either dessert or cocktail. The cocktail was vodka based, delicious but otherwise unknown.

A delicious meal with great people that I reluctantly had to leave at 1:30am because my 7am alarm to catch the flight home was looming.

Dinner was also covered by the event organizers.

Nov 3: Ham and Cheese Quiche; Tapas


After a breakfast offering on the plane that was the absolute worst airline food I’d experienced and completely inedible, I was set for lunch in Paris – well, at Charles DeGaul Airport! Because the flights had been delayed by the airline they offered an 8 Euro voucher, which was used to purchase a ham and cheese quiche, which was quite good.

No cost to us!


At the recommendation of a friend, Foodie Philip walked the two miles to Bar La Plata where the entire ordering conversations was:

“You want tomato?” “Yes.”

“You want fish?”  “Yes”

“You want beer?”  “Yes”

I wasn’t exactly sure what type of tomato or fish dish I was going to get, but from what was around me, I was pretty sure the fish component was deep fried sardine (or similar small fish) eaten whole.

But first came the tomato, onion, dried olive salad drizzled with olive oil. High quality ingredients simply prepared and utterly delicious. The onion was quite sweet and not at all sulfurous.

A simple tomato 'salad'
A simple tomato ‘salad’

The fish was as expected: deep fried sardine lightly salted. And utterly delicious. It’s today’s featured image.

With a beer the dinner cost 7 Euro or $7.70 approximately

And then the two mile walk back to my accommodations!

Nov 2: Chicken Wrap; Airline Meal


A return to the roast chicken option. Today’s bird was so big we didn’t use the entirety of half a breast.

  • The flatbread is 50c per serve
  • The roast chicken is $9.99 for the bird, but we used .75 of a breast, or 94c per serve
  • Chickpea Balela salad is $2.69 or 68c per serve
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve

Lunch today cost $2.45 per serve.


Foodie Philip, who writes the blog, was heading for Barcelona on business, so his dinner was wheatgerm salad with shiitake mushrooms, and Chicken, Catalonian sauce, rice, mixed grains. The salad was tasty, the chicken dish: not bad for airline food.

Included in the airfare.

Nov 1: Smoked Salmon Roll; Bacon and Black Bean Chili


Since it turned out our onion bagels had gone off while we were away, we used the last two par-baked rolls to support some smoked salmon, cream cheese, cherry tomatoes and capers.

  • Six par baked rustic rolls were $3.29 or 55c per serve.
  • Smoked salmon $5.99 for the 4oz pack or $3.00 a serve
  • Cream cheese is about 60c a serve
  • Add 5c for capers.
  • The two cherry tomatoes have already been accounted for.

Lunch today cost $4.10 for smoked salmon!


Because we were off to a movie premiere Foodie Greg cooked chili ahead of time, so we could simply reheat and eat.

The bacon, black bean and beef chili is great and makes five serves.

  • Bacon ends cost $4.99 for the container, but this recipe used about 1/2 of that, or 50c per serve
  • Onion and garlic – about 5c a serve
  • The beef we used is expensive – pasture raised, dry aged ground beef from our monthly meat delivery – at $9.08 or $1.82 a serve
  • Spices – about 12c a serve
  • Diced fire roasted tomatoes are $2.19 the can, or 44c per serve
  • Tomato paste was 89c or 18c a serve
  • The beans were 99c a can, or 20c a serve
  • Cheese was 55c per serve
  • Sour cream cost $3.99 but we used 1/4 on tonight’s meal, or 50c per serve.

All up dinner cost us $4.36 for a very filling serve.

October Summary and Observations

While we spent most of the month at home, the results are influenced by four days away at the Final Cut Pro X Creative Summit and an pop-up restaurant meal.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.12 ($3.66 in September)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $9.05 ($12.72)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.31 ($5.86)
  • Dinner eaten out: $26.32 ($26.28)

Our most expensive meal was the pop-up restaurant at $64.00 per serve.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $280.55 per person in October. We actually spent $33.95 for lunches at home plus $126.67 for lunches purchased or eaten out: $160.62.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $815.92. We actually spent $116.87 for dinners at home and $157.92 for dinners out: $274.79.

We saved $661 by preparing and eating most meals at home.

Oct 30: Beef Brisket; Bratwurst ‘Hot Dogs’


Back at Armadillo Willies to record a Lunch with Philip and Greg with the esteemed Steve Martin of Ripple Training. Because we had a long trip home and would be eating dinner late, we both opted for the Brisket meal.

We enjoyed the BBQ at Armadillo Willies. I have no idea how authentically Texan it was.

Lunch today cost $17.89


Back home and looking for something simple, we reheated some Trader Joes OctoberFest bratwurst and put them in a finished par-baked roll with sauerkraut and mustard. Two were more than Foodie Greg could eat, but Foodie Philip managed!

  • The bratwurst are $3.49 for the pack, or $1.75 per serve
  • The sauerkraut is $2.99 a pack or 30c per serve
  • Six par baked rustic rolls were $3.29 or 55c per serve
  • Add 10c for mustard.

Dinner tonight cost $2.70 per serve.

Oct 29: Brisket Sandwich; Baked Zitti/Jumbalaya


Because Armadillo Willies is the closes eating place to the conference, we ate there with other conference goers. Both Foodies had a beef brisket sandwich with Caesar Salad on the side

Lunch today cost $11.59 per person.


For dinner a large group of conference goers walked down to BJs. The Foodies shared a Deep Dish Zitti and Jumbalaya, having half each.

The bill was split evenly among those there and our share included two Porters (beer) each.

Dinner tonight cost $31.13 per person.

Oct 28: Wraps; Expo Burritos


Lunch was provided as part of the conference package. There were several options: Foodie Philip had a Buffalo Chicken Wrap, while Foodie Greg had a grilled vegetable sandwich.

Lunch today had no direct cost.


Dinner was served as part of the Conference Expo session and was included in the conference price.

Food consisted of make-it-yourself chicken burritos and had no direct cost.