Week 13 Budget and Menu


As we cruise on into the Holy Week of Easter and March Madness, we are hoping for spring weather, but all we see is leftover winter. And you know how leftovers are, right? At first, they seem like yummy gifts, then they seem more like an obligation and finally you start to resent their very presence in your refrigerator. I’m like that with the weather right now. In August, I’ll be complaining about the heat, but right now, the cold weather just seems wrong. I want to grill something while I’m watching my bracket helplessly implode, not huddle around a pot of stew. And Miami? It’s all riding on you. No pressure or anything, but mama needs a new cast iron Dutch oven. Let’s get it right, people. Ok? Ok.

Moving on back to food, our farmer’s markets are still offering the usual late winter variety of root vegetables, greens and potatoes. There isn’t a whole lot of excitement right now in regards to veggies, although from the photo above, you can tell that our farmers are trying to maintain enthusiasm!

In a few weeks, I’ll begin my “What’s Fresh at the Market” postings, but at this point, it’s all the same list. Our menu this week is still making the most of what we have in our garden and pantry, but I’m trying to change things up a bit so we don’t get bored. We’ve got some solid standby’s with fish tacos and shrimp pad Thai, as well as some new recipes with the Brussels sprout salad and sweet potato/chipotle pepper soup. It should be a tasty week!

As for our budget, we are definitely over. We’re having another week of seafood from our NC waters, but it did up our budget (plus we added more dried fruit to make energy bars). On the bright side, I found raw cashews at Trader Joes for $6.99 a pound–half of what Whole Foods charges!!! More raw double fudge in our future!

Budget [$111.93]

  • Mae Farm (bacon): $7.00
  • Locals Seafood (fish, shrimp): $18.00
  • Various farmer’s market vendors (onions, new crop pecans, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato): $14.00
  • Rare Earth Farm (buttermilk, eggs): $9.00

  • Trader Joes (blue cheese, chipotle peppers, portabello mushrooms, Asian noodles, scallions, frozen fruit, yogurt, soy milk): $55.93
  • Whole Foods (heirloom beans, dates): $8.00


  • Sunday–Roasted Brussels sprouts salad with bacon, blue cheese and pecans, deviled farm eggs
  • Monday–Fish tacos with sweet potato/chipotle pepper soup
  • Tuesday–Heirloom beans with bacon and caramelized onions
  • Wednesday–Girl Scouts; leftover beans and rice
  • Thursday–Heather’s easy shrimp pad Thai
  • Friday–Pan seared whiting with tomatoes and sauteed greens
  • Saturday–Portabello and seared steak “pizzas” with leftover blue cheese

Week 12 Budget and Menu

This week, we are continuing our “use it up” mode from last week. We are using lots of ingredients from our canned and frozen summer foods as well as what is in our garden (will the greens EVER die????). Our budget is low this week because we are celebrating a very successful grading period for Ellie, who is tracking out this week. So, she gets to pick where we go to eat, which should make things interesting! As a result, we have one less dinner on the menu.

Our budget this week is $73.35, so we are below our goal for the week. Overall, we are doing much better with our budget than at this time last year!

Budget [$73.35]

  • Farmer’s Market (cabbage, potatoes, carrots, apples): $13.00
  • Whole Foods (corned beef roast, salmon): $19.00
  • Trader Joes (Ezekial bread, lemon, frozen fruit, soy milk, yogurt, breakfast burritoes): $43.35
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (fig preserves, strawberry preserves, frozen peas): $8.00
  • Garden (Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard): FREE!


  • Sunday–Happy St. Pats! Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots
  • Monday–Working night–Last of the frozen ribollita soup
  • Tuesday–Leftover corned beef
  • Wednesday–Baked and stuffed sweet potatoes, sauteed Swiss chard
  • Thursday–End of quarter celebration–Ellie picks!
  • Friday–Chili dusted salmon with figs, rice and peas, sauteed Chinese cabbage
  • Saturday–Pasta with sardines and lemon

Week 10–Budget and Menu


All the food we canned and froze is coming in handy now that our market options are limited!

This is not my favorite time of year. Winter weather continues long after I lose patience with it, the lack of variety at the farmer’s markets is wearing thin, and I’m ready for spring. But spring is still a month away, so for now I’m focusing on using what we stored over the summer and planning for spring even though it isn’t here quite yet. This week’s menu uses up some of our canned and frozen summer food as well as what is in our garden. Thankfully, even though our markets are still heavy in root vegetables, we have lots of variety in our canned preserves, salsas and other yummy treats from summer!

Even though we are paying ourselves back for the stock up foods we put up over the summer (these items were not counted in our weekly budget since they were not consumed during those weeks), we are still looking good at $86.58 for the week! Here is how this week’s budget looks:

Budget [$86.58]

  • Farmers market (baking potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, onions): $12.00
  • Mae Farm (pork barbecue): $15.00
  • Mitchell pantry (corn, tomato sauce, field peas, peaches, salsa, jam): $18.00
  • Mitchell garden (collards, Swiss chard): free!
  • Trader Joes (dried cherries, dates, almonds, oatmeal, soy milk, yogurt, frozen fruit, organic coconut milk, pepper jack cheese): $41.58


  • Sunday–Cookie booth (dinner out)
  • Monday–NC pulled pork, collard greens, summer corn, peach cobbler
  • Tuesday–Pasta with roasted tomato sauce
  • Wednesday–Jacket potatoes, green salad
  • Thursday–Pulled pork quesadillas with field peas
  • Friday–Leftover buffet
  • Saturday–Family Pizza Smackdown Competition

Week 6 Budget and Menu

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!!! This is both a happy day and a sad day for me. I love football, so the Super Bowl is both a great celebration and a sad end to the season. We like to plan Super Bowl dinners that honor the teams playing, while also using sustainable, organic, local or ethically sourced foods! I’m excited about the teams this year. Although I grew up in Maryland (in the pre-Falcon years), I have to admit that I needed to Google “Baltimore foods” to find out what in the world is from Baltimore other than crabcakes. The results did not really impress me, so I’m sticking with crabcakes and Berger cookies, which I will make myself (recipe to come). San Francisco, on the other hand, had lots of possibilities and we will be using our garden greens for a great Asian-inspired stir fry.

Our Super Bowl week grocery shopping is always over budget and at $121.06, this year is no different. Another reason our shopping is higher? I’m adding tart cherries and tart cherry juice to my diet as an experiment to see if I can deal better with some early arthritis without medication. It is expensive, but certainly a tasty way to address a medical issue!


  • Locals Seafood (crabcakes): $20.00
  • Mae Farm (Boston butt, bacon): $33.80
  • Other farmers market (kale, apples): $7.00
  • Trader Joes (pot stickers, curry simmer sauce, tart cherry juice, dried tart cherries, pie crust, oatmeal frozen fruit, Ghiradelli chocolate, soy milk):$60.26


  • Sunday–NC crabcakes with stir fried winter greens, pot stickers, Berger cookies
  • Monday–white bean soup with chard and rosemary
  • Tuesday–Curried chicken over organic rice, greens
  • Wednesday–Carrot-ginger soup, salad
  • Thursday–Quiche with bacon and winter greens
  • Friday–Crock pot pork barbeque and collard greens
  • Saturday–Out for my birthday celebration!

Have a healthy and tasty week!

Week 3 Budget and Menu


Our menu this week features summer tomatoes we tucked away in the deep freeze!

Here we are entering our third week of January and can you believe it is going to be in the 70s all week? What the heck happened? My lenten roses are blooming, I have buds coming out of the ground. STOP!!! I want to tell all my plants to please, please go back to sleep, because before we know it the weather will turn cold again and everything will croak. But somehow there is no global warming. Right.

So, in light of this crazy weather, our menu this week focuses on some dishes that are not the survive-the-frigid-cold comfort food we would typically eat in January. I’m adding in some extra seafood this week because we haven’t had enough of it lately and our seafood dishes are always light and fresh. We are also taking advantage of the Swiss chard in our garden, which is loving this balmy weather!


  • Mitchell family pantry (raspberry jam, salsa, frozen tomatoes, tomato sauce): $15.00
  • Locals Seafood (flounder, striped bass):
  • Mae Farm (sausage, chorizo):
  • Rare Earth Farm (buttermilk, eggs):
  • Misc. farmers market vendors (carrots, onion, sweet potato, fennel, kale):
  • Trader Joes (tortillas, capers, olives, frozen fruit, soy milk):


  • Sunday–cornmeal dusted NC flounder, Swiss chard, roasted broccoli
  • Monday–sweet potato/black bean/chorizo quesadillas, kale chips
  • Tuesday–breakfast for dinner; whole wheat buttermilk pancakes, Mae Farm sausage, apples
  • Wednesday–NC striped bass with tomato and fennel compote, chard
  • Thursday–pasta with roasted tomato sauce
  • Friday–baked sweet potatoes and leftovers
  • Saturday–out for dinner; date night!
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