Week 23 Budget and Menu

We have had a wonderful spring and early summer so far. The constant rains have tapered off and now we actually have some sun and warm weather. The farmer’s markets are filling up again with all kinds of delicious fruits and vegetables–I just wish I could slow down time a bit so I could really take it all in! Our budget is back in line with our $100 or less goal at $90.20. The pulled pork is actually from last week (Mae Farm in Louisburg sells fabulous frozen, smoked pork barbecue made with their amazing pork!)–we never had a chance to defrost it, so we’re moving it on over to this week! As usual, we are “paying ourselves back” for our canned and frozen foods from last summer.

With Tom and Ellie both playing softball, and me ramping up my running (toward a 1/2 marathon, maybe?) we’ve had a lot to cheer on this spring. We are heading toward home plate now, with the last of this season’s games and tournaments, plus end-of-grade testing (hate.it) and all the special events that the end of school entails. This means dinners need to be quick, portable, nutritious and light. The “quick” and “portable” aspects are the most difficult for me, but it’s a nice challenge to have.

All you soccer/baseball/soccer moms and dads out there–what to you like to serve on game nights?

Budget [$90.20]

  • The Produce Box (organic green beans, double blueberries, sweet onions, yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes, organic beets): $26.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Company (herbed goat cheese and goat cheese spread): $9.75
  • Mae Farm (sausages): $10.00
  • Homestead Harvest Farm (eggs): $5.00
  • Wild Onion Farm (broccoli, sugar snap peas): $3.o0
  • Trader Joes (puff pastry, shredded pepper jack, frozen fruit, soy milk, yogurt, whole wheat flour): $27.45
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (sticky fig jam, blackberry jam, raspberry jam): $9.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Roasted vegetable, fig and goat cheese tart, salad
  • Thursday–Game day! Pulled Mae Farm pork sandwiches, fruit salad
  • Friday–Pulled pork, sweet potato and caramelized onion quesadillas
  • Saturday–Game day! Salads on the run!
  • Sunday–Mae Farm grilled sausages with blackberry ketchup, potato salad, green beans
  • Monday–Game night! Pasta salad with local roasted veggies and goat cheese
  • Tuesday–leftover pasta salad
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Week 22 Budget and Menu

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The farmer’s markets are once again bustling with shoppers and bursting with late spring goodies! We are also getting more fresh tuna and fresh shrimp from the NC coast and that is reflected in our budget this week (it’s too good to pass up!). We are over budget by $22.59, but we have been under budget the last two weeks, so I guess it all works out in the end. My budget was helped slightly by a terrific electronic coupon from Locals Seafood, which saved me $5.00!

This week’s budget also reflects our need to use up some of the wonderful things we canned last year–jam, pickles, salsa–and some vegetables we froze (field peas, roasted tomato sauce). Since we don’t count our “stock up” expenses in our weekly budget, we figure a “per container” rate and pay ourselves back when we use them.

What is on your menu this week? Are you finding new foods at the market? We are so glad to see sugar snap peas again! Have a healthy and happy week ahead!

Budget [$122.59]

  • The Produce Box (blueberries, broccoli, tomato, romaine lettuce, potatoes, kale, bok choi, sourdough bread): $32.25
  • Locals Seafood (yellow fin tuna): $20.00
  • Mae Farm (pulled pork barbecue): $8.00
  • Trader Joes (fresh ginger, organic butter, pasta, frozen fruit, soy milk): $25.34
  • Wild Onion Organic Farm (celery, carrots, yellow squash): $10.00
  • Homestead Harvest Farm (eggs): $5.00
  • HillTop Farm Organics (strawberries, sugar snap peas): $8.00
  • Mitchell family pantry (jam, pickles, salsa, field peas, roasted tomato sauce): $14.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Farmer’s market salad
  • Thursday–Egg salad sandwiches on local sourdough, homemade pickles
  • Friday–Grilled tuna steaks with stir fried vegetables
  • Saturday–Out for our anniversary!
  • Sunday–Mae Farm pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, greens
  • Monday–Pulled pork hoe cakes with homemade salsa, field peas
  • Tuesday–Ellie’s spaghetti tacos with homemade roasted tomato sauce

Week 21 Budget and Menu

We are gearing up for another exciting, busy week. Softball season is keeping us hopping and we are enjoying every second of it! Our menu this week reflects not only our need for quick dinners, but also our celebration of Memorial Day! We haven’t had beef on our menu in a long time and we are going to enjoy every bite of these grilled hamburgers!

Our budget is under budget, even with wine from Trader Joes 🙂 Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Let summer begin!

Budget [$88.58]

  • The Produce Box (asparagus, romaine lettuce, garden peas, cilantro, strawberries, spring onions, kale): $27.50
  • Locals Seafood (crab cakes): $10.20
  • Mae Farm (smoked pork): $6.00
  • Melina’s Pasta (spinach fettucine): $6.00
  • Black Hoof Run Farm (heritage, grass-fed ground beef):$6.32
  • Trader Joes (burger buns, organic onions, organic chicken, frozen fruit, wine): $27.56
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (roasted pepper ketchup, jam): $5.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Scrambled egg tortillas
  • Thursday–Pasta with smoked pork and garden peas
  • Friday–Salad with strawberries, pecans and goat cheese
  • Saturday–NC crab cakes, creamy grits and asparagus
  • Sunday–Grilled beef burgers with bacon-onion marmelade, green salad, fruit parfaits
  • Monday–Barbecued chicken, deviled eggs, broccoli salad
  • Tuesday–Leftover buffet

Week 18 Budget and Menu

This is the craziest spring I can remember. It is May 1 and I still have flannel sheets on the beds because the weather is so chilly. Last year, we had an early spring and most crops came in 2-3 weeks early. Not so this year! We do have plenty of salad greens, onions, asparagus and kale coming in. And the Swiss chard in my garden is STILL going gangbusters!

This week’s menu reflects our need to use up what is left in the deep freeze as well as take advantage of all the spring greatness that is out there. We have some quick meals on tap due to softball schedules and a science fair–gotta love spring! We are under budget just a bit at $97.45!

Budget [$97.45]

  • Locals Seafood (shrimp): $12.00
  • The Produce Box (organic veggies: broccoli, kale, arugula, sweet potatoes, radish; conventional asparagus): $28.75
  • Homestead Farm (eggs, chicken, chorizo): $20.00
  • Trader Joes (sliced turkey, tortillas, pineapple, organic banana, frozen fruit, yogurt, organic mushrooms, organic black beans): $36.70

Menu

  • Wednesday–Turkey, cheese and arugula pesto roll ups, fruit salad
  • Thursday–Swiss chard and kale with eggs
  • Friday–Roasted broccoli and shrimp over organic rice
  • Saturday–grilled chicken, asparagus, sautéed greens
  • Sunday–Sweet potato/black bean/chorizo quesadillas, harvest grains
  • Monday–homemade pizza, salad
  • Tuesday–pasta with homemade tomato sauce

Have  a healthy and tasty week!

Week 16 Budget and Menu

Well, while I was gone last week, spring finally arrived in North Carolina! When I left, the trees just had little leaf buds and nothing was blooming. I came home to green, green, green and beautiful spring flowers everywhere!  What a glorious time of year!

In addition to all the flowers, our farmers markets are showing signs of spring as well. We have asparagus, strawberries, lettuce and onions! Yay!!! And our Produce Box deliveries start this week as well. Double yay! We are a bit over budget at $106.60 and interestingly, we are not eating much meat this week, but we are eating more seafood, which tends to bump our budget up a bit.

This week’s menu is taking advantage of our spring crops as well as the delicious salads we had in Paris last week. Now that we have reworked our menu for spring, I need to find time to rework my closet!

What’s fresh at your farmer’s market this week?

Budget [$106.60]

  • Rare Earth Farms (buttermilk, mozzarella, eggs): $14.28
  • Locals Seafood (shrimp): $10.00
  • The Produce Box (organic kale, organic cucumber, organic hothouse tomato, organic radish, organic pea tendrils): $22.00
  • Various farmers market vendors (asparagus, greenhouse tomato, strawberries, romaine lettuce): $19.00
  • Trader Joes (chicken thighs, mushrooms, salmon, lemon, frozen fruit, yogurt, Ezekiel bread):$41.32

Menu

  • Wednesday–Power Salad (kale, lettuce, tomato, avocado, pine nuts, egg)
  • Thursday–Slow cooker cashew chicken, rice
  • Friday–Pasta with shrimp, asparagus, mushrooms
  • Saturday–Salmon with veggie risotto and citrus beurre blanc
  • Sunday–Egg salad on toast
  • Monday–Tomato and cheese pizza, salad
  • Tuesday–Omelettes, salad

Week 9 Budget and Menu

So my week went like this: I experimented with cooking stinky buckwheat one night and the next day, my daughter wrote an essay extolling many wonderful aspects of our relationship. Except cooking. Her words were “I would like to send my mom to cooking school.” Well, ouch!

I hadn’t realized that in my zeal to try new, healthier recipes and foods, she had gotten lost in the transition. She missed having some of her old favorites–tacos, meatloaf and pasta without a thousand vegetables squished in. For me, our new recipes have been “fun” and “adventurous.” For her, some of them were “weird” and “gross”. Time for reflection.

This week’s menu represents some of our favorites–beef stew with lots of potatoes and carrots and breakfast-for-dinner night. I’m taking a half-step back and working on how we can make our old traditional meals more healthy without taking away the comfort. I can’t promise I won’t squeeze some veggie puree into meatloaf, but I’m trying to do better with slowly working our new foods into our weekly menus! We’re also going to make a more concerted effort to let her do some cooking (this is harder than it sounds with a teen’s busy schedule).

Our budget this week is just a bit under our maximum of $100.00, so yay! And we’re still having lots of locally produced, organic and sustainable foods. Hopefully, they are not “weird.” We’ll see.

Budget [$94.03]

  • Rare Earth Farms (stew beef, Maple View Farm buttermilk): 18.00
  • Mae Farm (pork tenderloin, maple sausage): $16.00
  • Misc. Farmer’s Market (sweet potatoes, white potatoes, broccoli, apples, carrots): $12.50
  • Trader Joes (red curry paste, barley, frozen fruit, organic soy milk, organic bananas): $27.53
  • Mitchell family pantry (fig preserves, strawberry jam, field peas): $9.00

Menu

  • Sunday–Red curry chicken and vegetables with organic rice
  • Monday–Pancake supper (whole wheat buttermilk pancakes, Mae Farm maple sausage, sauteed cinnamon apples)
  • Tuesday–Figgy pork tenderloin with sauteed garden greens and summer field peas
  • Wednesday–Leftover buffet
  • Thursday–Beef stew with root vegetables
  • Friday–out for girls night
  • Saturday–Leftover beef stew

Week 2 Budget and Menu

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Our lovely Swiss chard!

It took a while, but North Carolina is just now feeling some real winter weather. While I don’t love the cold, I appreciate the mosquito-killing effects of winter and in the end, every day of winter is one day closer to spring. I do love winter foods, though, and our menu this week reflects what we have in our garden, stored in our freezer and what is available at the farmer’s market. While this is hardly high season for farmers, North Carolina markets still have a nice variety of produce available. This week, Mae Farm even has fresh chicken available, so roast chicken is definitely on the menu!

Budget

Our budget this week is $75.62, which is pretty good! We are using some of the Swiss chard from our garden as well as some of the food we put up this summer!

Note: Our budget includes paying ourselves back for fruits and vegetables stored over the summer since often those bulk purchases were not included in our weekly budget.

  • Mitchell family pantry (roasted tomato sauce, blueberry jam, green beans, corn): $12.00
  • Mae Farm (roaster chicken, ground beef, pulled pork): $42.00
  • Various farmer’s market (broccoli, carrots, kale): $8.00
  • Trader Joes (pie crust, cheese, canned beans): $13.62

Menu

  • Sunday–Roast chicken, sauteed Swiss chard, summer green beans
  • Monday–Baked pasta with vegetables
  • Tuesday–Chicken pot pie, sauteed chard
  • Wednesday–Leftover pot pie
  • Thursday–Leftover pasta
  • Friday–Mae Farm pulled pork sandwiches, summer corn
  • Saturday–Homemade chili and cornbread
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