Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Lunch!

Yep, I still make the occasional Bento.  The kids are 9, and still need some magic in their lives, or at least creepy pizza fingers!
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Recipe for a week of meals for 4 for $100.

As a woman who has had to stretch a paycheck or two on occasion, I have been thinking of sharing a menu for a family who has little to spend on the weekly grocery bill. I used a budget of $100 for the whole family of four for the week.  I tried to make somewhat balanced meals with fruits, veggies, dairy, and meats everyday. Many of the items on the shopping list can be purchased more cheaply, and you can always find ingredients for more.  I used an average price you would find at a California store in 2015 for most of the ingredients.
This menu is assuming you are starting from scratch as if there was no pantry.  If you have some staples like spices and flour, you are really far ahead of the game. Use this as a loose guide and improvise and improve as needed.  Please send comments and any corrections you see that need to be made.

Shopping List:

24 Eggs  $6.00
1.25 lb ground turkey  $3.50
1 lb ground beef $3.50
1 lb of chicken breast  $4.00
2 cups fresh spinach (about 16 oz)  $2.50
1 bag panko crispy bread crumbs  $2.50
1 red onion $0.75
1 bulb garlic  $0.50
Salt  $1.00
2 pears $1.00
Black Pepper  $1.50
ketchup  $1.75
Pack of Burger Buns  $2.00
10 lb Sack of Potatoes  $4.00
Bag of Rice  $2.00
Box of cherry or grape tomatoes  $3.00
4 Apples  $2.00
8 Bananas $1.75
2 cans of soup  $3.00
Spray oil (like Pam) $2.25
1.5 - 2 Gallons of Milk  $5.00
1 lb Butter unsalted $3.50
Old Fashioned Oatmeal canister  $3.00
Brown Sugar  $2.00
White Vinegar  $1.00
2 Tuna Cans  $4.00
Sliced cheap wheat bread  $1.50
Mayo $2.00
Box of Corn Flakes  $2.00
Cheddar Cheese Bar  $3.00
Broccoli Crowns  $1.50
Bag of whole Carrots  $1.00
1/2 lb of sliced turkey $3.50
3 lb chicken thighs $4.00
5 lb Bag of flour $2.50
1 lb bacon or turkey bacon $3.00
Ranch dressing  $2.50
Romaine Lettuce $2.00
Yogurt Cups 2 for a dollar $2.00
Baking powder $1.50
Splurge - 2 liter of soda or bag of chips $1.00

Day 1


2 Apples sliced for all to shareOatmealBrown SugarMilk


Egg Salad Sandwiches (4 eggs)Home made potato chipsCarrot sticks


Meatloaf Cupcakes with Home Made Mashed Potatoes instead of packaged potatoes (use soy sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce).Home Made Mashed potatoes are: about 1-2 pounds of potatoes, 1/4-1/2 cup of milk, 2-3 TBSP of butter and salt as desired.  Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes or until soft.  Drain water and mash up potatoes with other ingredients.Meatloaf recipe makes 6 servings (2 cupcakes a person) - eat 8 cupcakes at dinner and reserve 4 for a brown bag lunch.

Day 2


Toad in the hole (4 eggs cooked over easy in a piece of toast with the center cut out.)


Meatloaf cupcakesHome made potato chips - preheat oven to 450 degrees F, slice 3-4 potatoes very thin. Boil the potato slices in water for 3-5 minutes. Drain the water and sprinkle with salt and pepper (add chopped garlic if desired). Spray oil a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or so until chips are golden brown. (eat half, save half for tomorrow).


Rice and soy sauce1/2 lb Chicken with sauteed spinach and garlic 

After Dinner Snack (dessert) 


1-3/4 cups of flour

4 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 Cup milk

1 egg

4 tsp unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Spray a 24 cup mini-muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray (I use a silicone pan with spray)3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.4. In a small bowl combine egg, milk, and butter. Pour over the flour mixture and stir, just until blended (do not overmix).5. Spoon the batter into the cups, only filling the cups until they are just to the top, not over the sides.6. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Day 3


Corn Flakes (with brown sugar if desired) & Milk


Wheat Bread and Tuna Sandwiches (2 cans of tuna, mayo, 1 hard boiled egg)Carrot sticks with Ranch


Leftover Muffins


Baked potatoes with butter, broccoli and cheese topping.Romaine lettuce salad with a few tomatoes, a little shredded cheddar, and thin sliced carrots.Bananas sauteed in butter for dessert

Day 4


OatmealBrown SugarMilk


Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Wheat bread, buttered, cheddar, and tomatoes)1 can of soup2 Apples sliced for all to share


Any leftover muffins


1/4 lb Burgers made with garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce served on buns with lettuce.Homemade french fries with KetchupCarmelized 1/2 Red Onion.  Try simplifying a gourmet recipe like this: by using what you have on hand, spray oil, white vinegar

Day 5


Jiffy Corn Muffins (need 1 egg +1/2 Cup milk)Yogurt cups


Cherry tomatoesSliced turkey and mayo or ranch with lettuce sandwiches on hamburger buns or sliced bread.2 pears sliced and shared


Splurge items like soda or chips or if you did not have that extra dollar, try a simple rice pudding with rice, milk and brown sugar.


Chicken Adobo - Recipe here - maybe make half if the chicken thighs are not cheap.  Borrow a bay leaf from a friend or skip it.rice 

Day 6


Corn Flakes with sliced bananas & Milk


Rice and Soy Sauce, leftover chicken adobo


Biscuits - Here's a recipe


Quiche - Pie crust + 1/2 lb bacon, 5 eggs, milk, any spinach, broccoli, tomato and onion that is left over

Day 7


Spinach, tomato, and egg scramble (Spray oil into the pan, saute spinach and tomato until spinach is wilted.  Scramble up 4-5 eggs, a little milk, salt, pepper into the pan.  Cook until fluffy.)Toast with butter


Bacon and Cheddar slices of whatever cheese is left on last of the hamburger buns, biscuits, or sliced bread - with mayo or ranch dressing. 1 can of soup


If you have enough butter left you can make shortbread cookies

If not, and you are hungry, have some oatmeal with brown sugar and milk.


Carrots cooked in brown sugar and butter1/2 lb Chicken, sliced, dipped in a little milk and 1 egg, and coated with a mixture of panko crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Spray a lot of oil into a pan and cook or spray a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees F, 10-12 minutes on each side or until cooked through.Mashed potatoes or baked potatoes with butter.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pinning my Food

Oh my gosh it has been forever since I posted.  I have moved on in my digital life, but I come back to family of food for recipes and memories.  Lately I have been collecting food ideas on Pinterest,
That platform is a fabulous idea generator for food and much more.

One great idea I found was for this 4th of July.
Mine was layered a little differently:
It's all about the sugar content,

I used Pina Colada Mixer on the bottom, Cranberry Cocktail in the middle, and Gatorade Cool Blue on the top.  For adult drinks I mixed the Pina Colada with Rum shaken with ice in a bar shaker first and then layered the rest, and the red and white layers flipped due to the changed sugar content.

Here's the original post from the Like Mother Like Daughter Blog:

It was a hit!

I am trying this recipe tonight.

Thanks to all who share their tricks and treats.
Feel free to pin from the Family of Food Blog.
Happy Pinning!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mmmmm Meatloaf Cupcakes!

My Mother saw a meatloaf recipe online and mentioned them to me.  A few hours later, this was born.  Meatloaf cupcakes! Thanks to Betty Crocker who posted the basic recipe here.  I happened to have all ingredients except parsley (which I replaced with spinach) and real mashed potatoes which are hard to cook to the right consistency.  I used an easy to make powdered potatoes package for the "frosting."  As usual, I put my own spin on it.

Here is the recipe as I made it.  Get creative with your own recipe!

Meat Loaf

eggs, lightly beaten
lb ground turkey
cup panko crispy bread crumbs
red onion, finely chopped
cup coarsely chopped spinach
cloves garlic, finely chopped
cup ketchup
teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

For the garnish

Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, Four Cheese

Panko and Parmesan mixture (about 2/3 cup panko and 1/3 cup parmesan)


Spinach cut into thin strips (chiffonade)

Cherry Tomatoes

Shredded Cheddar


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thank You For This Gift

Today an extremely generous neighbor, and fabulous photographer, Diana Lundin,  shared a bounty of fruits and vegetables that she had on hand for a photo shoot.  She kindly shared this gift with me and some other lucky neighbors as she could not use the perishables all herself and she did not want such great food to go to waste.  Here is something special she did with real produce before, check out How to Make a Red Heart.

I hope it is OK to reveal that the wonderful fruits and vegetables came from Melissa's Produce I tell you this because this produce was incredible, both in quality and in variety.  There was honeydew, okra, pixie tangerines, chili peppers, baby bok choy, persian cucumbers, spaghetti squash, swiss chard, habanero peppers, yams, mint, chinese long beans, fresh dill, chives, apples, cumquats, ugli fruit, apricots, cabbage, carrots, rutebega, kale, green onions, rutabaga, and so much more!

I was given a variety of these organic delights for my family of food.
Eager to try the fresh ingredients, I quickly formed a dinner around what was in the selection.

The kids had a small taste of the apricot while I prepared the meal. 

Our entire meal came from this practical cornucopia with the exception of the marinara sauce for the spaghetti squash, not pictured.  That came from a party where we won treats for an Oscar related contest, so it was in fact, another gift. 

Our main dish was spaghetti squash cooked by roasting in the oven for 1 hour after piercing the skin with a fork a few times.  When it is done, you scoop out the seeds and then scoop out the strings of squash.  That's it, that is all you have to do.  Spaghetti squash is the secretly easy - special effects wow moment - of food.  This particular squash was big and delicious. The bowl pictured here is from only half of the squash and we even had a bit left over.
Next came the Ugli Fruit and the cumquats.  None of us had ever had Ugli Fruit before.  It peels easily like a large "Cutie" and tastes like a combination of citrus.  There was a tough fibrous bit that none of us ate, but the juice was incredible.  My daughter said it was her favorite fruit in the world and was greatly disappointed that we only had one.

The cumquats were tart and tangy and all were enjoyed.

These Kale chips were made with the most beautiful Kale I have ever seen.  Usually I get the Trader Joe's Kale in a bag, but this stuff was a whole different creature.  I selected 5 large leaves, washed them, dried them, sprayed them with olive oil, and seasoned them with 21 Season Salute from TJ's and a bit of salt.  I was very happy with the outcome.  It was crunchy, healthy, tasty, and let's face it, soooo LA.
Lastly, we had the honey dew.  Again, I only served half of it like the squash, because it was so big.  This honeydew was heavy on both the honey and the dew.  It was incredibly sweet and so juicy, had I had a glass under it while I opened it, I could have made myself a honeydew cocktail.
Look closer.  Doesn't it look great?
My daughter had to be reminded to try some of the other food as she was so in love with the honeydew.  She was not wrong, it may have been the best honeydew I have ever had.

It turned out to be a vegan feast, chock full of fabulous flavors, satisfying in every way.  I do not believe it could be healthier.  If I were counting Weight Watchers Points this meal may have counted up to zero.  Does marinara sauce have points?  What fortune!

In short, Diana is terrific for thinking of her neighbors and not letting this treasure go to waste,
Melissa's is terrific for hiring Diana and providing amazing excellent quality natural food, and G-d is terrific for putting my family in the position to receive this abundance.  I thank you all for this gift.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bread Machine Cornbread

I experimented with a Yogurt Cornbread in the Breadmaker.  It turned out sweet, more chewy than a non-yogurt cornbread on the sides, but pretty tasty, and pretty much like a sweet cornbread on the inside.  The flour on the edges are due to my breadmaker's quirks.  The reviews were positive, though.  After two helpings, my daughter said to post it!

2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Corn Meal
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
2 TBSP Melted Butter
1/2 Cup warm water
1 tsp Yeast

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Nice Welcome, Crème Caramel LA

Recently my family of food moved to a new place and lucky for me, I ours is not the only new family in the neighborhood.  As of the day I walked into Crème Caramel LA they had only been open 102 days.  This boutique bakeshop specializes in a creamy flan-like crème caramel custards.  The friendly face in the picture is Mike, who upon my entering the shop, evangelized these desserts and converted me from a casual passerby, to a true believer.  It was the tasting that did it.  He let me try flavor after flavor until I couldn't find any one I liked better than the ube pie.  The purple yam vegetable pie was something I had never tried before, but had I let my preconceptions stop me, I would have missed the best dish of all.

Before I checked out, I met the effervescent owner, Kristine, who told me a bit more about her cooking and the Filipino influenced sweets she serves.  I was impressed with her vision and am excited to have this innovative entrepreneur in this part of the San Fernando Valley.  I walked in expecting to pick up a small cookie, and left with an ube upside down pie, a baguette, and a box of "Unicorn Poop", a dolloped meringue rolled in multi-colored sugar, for the kids. 

Custard Dessert Bakery [coffee] [eats] [sweets] 
Hours: Tues.-Sun. 8a.m. – 4p.m. | Closed Mon. 
14849 Burbank Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91411 
(818) 949-8352

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Los Angeles Wine and Pairing Event Sept 18th - LA Tasters!

Friends of the Blog, LA Tasters is having a Wine and Food Pairing event on Sept 18th at Seasons 22.
If you enjoy getting out, meeting new people and love trying food one bite at a time, then
LA TASTERS is for you.

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