A weekend full of food, financial opportunity

Cooking for 45 a week after after feeding a large group may be a letdown for some cooks, but I find it especially energizing and liberating. The fridge, freezer and pantry are full, but the pressure is lower.

It presents us with these two opportunities:

  • Lots of available ingredients to build the next menu.
  • The potential to do it all for very little money, helping to balance the monthly food budget.

After Julie and I finished the weekend cleanup on Sunday, I took stock of what was left. About 15 pounds in unfinished tri-tip steaks from the Valentine’s dinner. How could we make them appealing to four dozen teenagers? Plenty of bacon — which is perhaps, per person, the most expensive side dish we serve. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables — red bell peppers, redskin potatoes, gorgeous grape tomatoes — that can remain fresh for a week. Ground turkey, tortilla chips and salsa? Sounds like the start of Ultimate Nacho Day, doesn’t it, Sac campers?

The result is a menu that would comfortably feed about 60, done for $59.07 in new food costs at Price Chopper — milk, sour cream, a few more bags of tortilla chips, stuff like that.

It’s going to be a great weekend.

T H E   M E N U

Friday dinner:

  • Barbecue-style sliced steak
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Baked beans
  • Honey-glazed carrots
  • Mixed greens with cucumbers and grape tomatoes
  • Corn muffins with butter and honey
  • Peach-ginger crisp

Saturday breakfast:

  • Waffles
  • Chocolate chip pancakes
  • Bacon and sausage
  • Oven-roasted redskin homefries
  • Yogurt
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cold cereal and milk

Saturday lunch:

  • Ultimate nachos: Spicy ground turkey over tortilla chips
  • Herbed brown rice
  • Black beans
  • Homemade queso sauce
  • Salsa, sour cream, lettuce, shredded cheese and sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Fresh fruit

Photo credit

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