The masses have spoken!
Okay, well, two or three people have spoken. And I have heard you, two or three people! Thank you for your feedback!
When I first started blogging for Couponing to Disney, I was asked to do a report of my weekly grocery trip. This was for a few reasons. The first being, the Saving to Disney course places a heavy emphasis on buying your food and cooking more at home than eating out. It’s simply more cost effective. The Kroger trips were designed to show that the money spent on one meal out could reasonably feed a family of four for a week.
The second reason was because of our special dietary needs. So often, people with food limitations think they cannot buy their groceries in a cost effective manner because the coupons released are for foods they don’t eat and their main sources of nutrition are pricey. Couponing to Disney wanted to show that all people, regardless of coupon expertise, or availability, could shop smartly and afford the specific things they needed. Because seriously guys, all we eat are meat and veg. If I can do it, you can do it.
The Kroger trips went on for a little bit, until one day a reader asked to see how the purchases were being put to use. Specifically, she was interested in our meal plan. Wouldn’t you know it, meal plans are discussed in Saving to Disney as a great way to stay on target while shopping, as well as a way to avoid falling into the trap of eating out because you don’t know what to make. I was game. I’ll post a meal plan. The goal with these was so illustrate the next step of my Kroger trip, as well as hopefully give ya’ll some ideas to google when looking for a new recipe.
And now it seems we’ve arrived at the next phase of this series. Recipes. Specifically, several of you have asked for my recipes of meals I’ve mentioned.
First off, let me say how flattered that I am you want my recipes! That you would trust me over the #1 Google search for Enchiladas fills my (freezing cold) little heart.
In the interest of full disclosure, because I always tell you the truth, Internet, my culinary skills have been developed through much trial and error. My strategy is to find six different recipes for the same dish, try them all, and then adapt the parts I like best for my own Frankenstein version. That’s me, the Dr. Frankenstein of Couponing to Disney.
Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my tried and true recipes (read: it’s past the “experimental” stage in my kitchen) in a series I’ll be calling “Kristen B.’s Kitchen.” Unless I come up with something catchier or more clever. Then I’ll call it that. If that recipe makes an appearance in my meal plans, I’ll be sure to link it. The goal is eventually have enough of my recipes on the blog that the meal plan will just be full of links to recipes and you’ll never have to use Google again. For anything. It’s you and me from here on out, Internet.
- Breakfast- Scrambled Eggs with Baked Apples
- Lunch-LO Sausage Pasta
- Dinner- Cereal
*Ok, I’m going to be real. I had every intention of making my family a delicious meal. Every intention! But then we missed the trip to the grocery store because there were weather issues and car issues and kid issues. We had to wait until after gymnastics to hit the store, and then it was so, so late. Much too late to be cooking up fancy meals. We gathered around the table and had cereal. It was delicious. I’ve included the recipe.
Dinner a la Cereal
- Put a bowl on the Counter. Preferably not one of the nice, matching bowls. Yes, that one with the chip off the brim. That is perfect.
- Get cereal out of the pantry. Avoid the leftover Christmas candy that is lodged in the spare nooks and crannies and likely to fall on your head.
- Pour cereal in bowl. Right up to the line where the chip is.
- Pour milk over cereal. To taste.
- Pick a spoon. Any spoon will do.
- Breakfast-Ricotta with Blackberries and Honey
- Lunch- Costco Food Court
- Dinner- Pizza
*We do takeout night every two weeks, without fail, as part of Family Movie night. I’ve found that having a set night to “eat out” and step out on the carefully planned meal plans helps us stay on budget! When you’re tempted to eat out, just remind yourself that you’re eating out in a few days. And would you rather enjoy your meal in a relaxed environment, watching “The Lion King” for the 7,000th time, or eating as quickly as you can in your car as you hustle to gymnastics? Not like I’m speaking from personal experience or anything.
- Breakfast-Homemade Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Lunch- LO Pizza
- Dinner- White Green Chicken Chile Enchiladas
*I’ve got a tried and true enchiladas recipe, but the great thing about having a tried and true is that you can play around and develop new twists on an old favorite. To accentuate the flavor of the chicken, I used a white Monterrey jack cheese inside the enchilada. For the sauce, I used a mild green chile instead of the usual tomato and green chile. I also added some heavy cream to give it a different texture.
- Breakfast- Cereal with bananas
- Lunch- LO White Green Chicken Chile Enchiladas
*Jambalaya may be my favorite thing that I make. You know how sometimes in the making, you kind of lose interest in the food? That has never once happened for me with my jambalaya. I’ve spent a year perfecting it, and it really is more of a blend between a paella and a jambalaya, then just a straight jambalaya. I haven’t make it for a while because of the dearth of sausage and shrimp in our grocery trips, but sunny days are here again. I’ll definitely be sharing this recipe.
- Breakfast- Manchego and Onion Frittata
- Lunch-LO Jambalaya
- Dinner- Stuffed Chicken Primavera and Carrots
*While we’re talking about good intentions, you’ll notice that this was also on last week’s menu. I didn’t end up making it last week. I have no idea why. My brain is going. But I still have everything I need, so round 2 happens tonight! This week’s theme is all about cutting yourself some slack. Cut yourself some slack if you don’t have the time to make the fancy new meal you planned and your family ends up with the same cheesy sausage pasta they’ve had a million times. Cut yourself some slack if you end up eating cereal at 8:30 on a Thursday night with your crazy pre-schooler. Being a mom is hard. Making food is hard. Your job is doubly hard. Cut yourself some slack.
- Breakfast- Blackberry Mango Smoothies
- Lunch- LO Stuffed Primavera
- Dinner- Mango Salsa Salad
*How many different ways are there to do a salad? Asking for a friend. Our tried and true is the Chiptole Chicken, but we’ve recently branched out to Buffalo Chicken. This week I’ll continue to push the envelope with a recipe I am literally going to make up on Tuesday. Say a prayer for me. I’ll be cooking the chicken in a mild Mexican spice mix, a little deeper and more mellow than the Chipotle chicken. The lettuce itself will feature a Blackberry Mango Salsa (so many blackberries, you guys) and the dressing will be a traditional tomato salsa, so we get some sweet and savory. If it’s a success, I’ll make up a recipe. If it a disaster, I’ll pretend this conversation never happened.
- Breakfast- Banana Blueberry Smoothies and the Last of the Trail Mix (Official name)
- Lunch-LO Mango Salsa Salad
- Dinner- Stuffed Peppers
*If you are a person who is trying to avoid gluten and bread type products, trust that your diet will feature proteins, cheeses, and vegetables pretty heavily. Embrace it. I found this recipe this week, and after I’ve given if a test drive, I’ll definitely be reporting back. It looks like all the good parts of a lasagna, safely tucked away in a delicious sweet pepper. Best news for us, completely carb free.
- Breakfast-Cereal and Whatever Fruit is Around
- Lunch- LO Stuffed Peppers
- Dinner- Dealer’s Choice
*Leaving Thursday night dinner open, per usual. Thursday is the first day of the new sale cycle at my store, and meats are often clearanced out that day. I like to leave Thursdays open on the off chance I find some great clearance deals on meat and I can use it right away. Another new meal for 2018!
Any dishes you would like to see featured in Kristen B.’s Kitchen? Got a better name than ‘Kristen B.’s Kitchen’? Tell me all about it in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!