Halloween Week Dinners

Whew, what a week! Between Girl Scout stuff, getting the house decorated a little for Halloween, Halloween itself, getting some stuff ready for those other holidays just around the corner, I’m whupped! But here is our dinners from the past week:

Catfish Po’ Boys with Cajun Smothered Corn – Catfish was on sale, so I figured would try my hand at frying it up (since the chicken turned out so well last week). There’s not really a recipe for po’ boys. Basically you take whatever meat you have, fry it up (I used a prepackaged fish fry mix to dredge it in that we received as a gift), and put it on a french bread hoagie roll. Mayo, lettuce and tomato are traditional, with a good dash of hot sauce for the adults. Well, I hadn’t gotten any lettuce or tomatoes (tomato season is long gone, and I wasn’t in the mood for salad), so we had ours naked. Well, with a spicy tartar sauce (mayo, pickle relish, and hot sauce). Cost per serving: $0.56. The corn recipe is VERY good, and surprisingly Cajun/Creole tasting, considering it comes from Seattle. It is quite spicy, though – I wouldn’t recommend it as is for young kids. Cost per serving: $0.52
Po’ Boys are definitely a good dinner to plan when you are feeling po’ – total cost per serving: $1.08

I had to wing dinner tonight. I searched my recipe books and nothing sounded really great, so I kinda scrounged from what I had on hand. I bought a 5 pound chub of ground beef this past weekend, and since I only needed 2#, I knew that I would be using ground beef. Hmmm, add a box of pasta for starch (penne rigate). I don’t feel like a tomato sauce, so a cream sauce. I don’t feel like putting together a bechamel, so how about I use up a couple of cans of cream of something soup? Okay, and add some water, so I don’t have to dirty more than one pot. I have mushrooms and frozen broccoli, sounds like a winner. Add some garlic powder, because EVERYTHING is better with garlic powder!

Slapdash Dinner (ONE POT!)
about 30 minutes prep/cook, serves 8

  • 2# ground beef
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of cream of something soup (I used celery and chicken with herbs, but it really doesn’t matter)
  • 3.5 c. water
  • 16 oz. medium shaped pasta (penne, farfalle, shells, fiori, whatever)
  • 6 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 16 oz. frozen broccoli cuts
  • 1-2 t. garlic powder

Brown ground beef in a large pot over medium to medium high heat. Big pot, all your ingredients are going to make it in here at some point, remember? Drain beef. Add mushrooms and saute until they have some color on them (this would also be a good time for onions). Add everything else and bring to a boil. Put a lid on, drop heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.

Halloween Dinner
10.31 Halloween
Dinner in a Pumpkin! Yup, I baked a pumpkin with stuff in it to eat. And it really tasted good. Very cool for Halloween dinner, and since I had both my parents and my husband’s parents coming to watch the kids trick or treat, having something kind of “showy” was nice. 🙂 However, this is a bunch of work, and not the most cost effective with a cost per serving of $1.66 so I will not make this more often. Maybe on Halloween next year.

11.01 SingAlong night with the Girl Scouts
Since I knew that DD and I would be running off before we would normally be done with dinner, I found something that could be made in the crockpot and eaten at different times, and coincided with a strong desire for Mexican food and a BOGOFree sale on pork loins. Pork tacos were the perfect solution for us. I just served these in corn tortillas with a little cheese and a little guacamole (also BOGOF), which put the cost per serving at $1.01, expensive, but so tasty and a nice change from chicken and beef. I could easily get 12 servings from my 5ish pound loin. I also made up a batch of Baked Yellow Squash, a side dish I really love. This recipe is nice and sweet, without being cloyingly so. I add parmesan cheese to the topping, which I really like. A nice cheap veggie dish, at $0.37 per serving.
Total cost per serving: $1.38

yummy pesto chicken
Cooking from the freezer tonight. We LOVE this chicken recipe. I mean love, love, love it! This was a batch that I had made up and frozen. I pulled it from the freezer in the morning and put it in my 9″x13″ baking pan that has a lid (raw chicken in the fridge, can we say cross-contamination? please cover your chicken, ‘k?) so that the topping wouldn’t slide off as it thawed. Unfortunately it was still pretty frozen when I went to cook it, so I baked it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes (knowing it would take extra time), at which point I pulled it, topped it with cheese and stuck my probe thermometer in it. It ended up needing another 10 minutes and a few under the broiler for the cheese to bubble and brown nicely, and it was PERFECT! So this recipe is very freezable, and I think just took over as our “fancy” OAMC chicken recipe. I like it better than the bacon wrapped one in flavor, fat content, calories, appearance. Basically, everything. 🙂
I also whupped up my last batch of Onion Rice, and a new recipe: Simply Elegant Green Beans. Definitely simple, definitely elegant. But not something I would do again. I loved it, but DD hated it. And I am not sure how thrilled the boys were with it. Well, Boogie Boy wasn’t impressed, but I don’t know about the big boys. Cost per serving: $0.69 (pretty expensive for a side dish, too!)
Total cost per serving $2.41 (yup, pretty extravagant here, but this was a trial of “fancy” food)

I think that you will just have to go to my flickr page to check out the bentos from this week. I have too much stuff to do, still . . 🙂


2 thoughts on “Halloween Week Dinners”

  1. Nice photo of the pumpkin but the photo seems unusually large compared to your others. Did you do something different on upload?

  2. rassafracking wordpress didn’t give me thumbnails. . . . .I don’t have time to resize and edit everything, so I was hoping that they would be fine if I just uploaded them and put up thumbnails. Wrong. Okay, all photos go onto flickr now, and I have to save up for a pro membership for myself . . .

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