This Week’s Menu: Splurges


IMG_3928What do you splurge on?

Every month I make sure to fit a few splurges into our food budget. These are not spur of the moment choices, but treats we don’t buy regularly but like to enjoy once in a while, and that are carefully thought through before we shop. This month’s splurges included a big apple pie from Costco, a case of bottled green tea, and several boxes of fresh peaches.

We love pie, but it’s frankly too hot here to bake one – I can work up a heavy sweat just from rolling out a crust (or even thinking of rolling one out). Costco’s apple pies are not only tasty, but they’re vegan as well (not so with their other pies, sad to say) so that’s the flavor we buy, but just once in a while. A Costco pie is big enough that it lasts us for several days, and one will satisfy our pie cravings for several months.

I also love green tea. I still brew my own black iced tea, but like to take a bottle of green tea with me when we go to the beach or are otherwise out and about. The bottled tea is not cheap, but the tea is good, refreshing and worth splurging on once in a while. The plastic bottles can either be recycled or refilled.

I don’t think I need to explain the peaches. They’re not a bargain here, but we’ll buy them as long as they’re available and then dream of them for another year.

Next month’s splurges? I’m not sure yet, but there will be some. And, whatever they are, they’ll be on the shopping list and in the budget.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week at Chez Aloha. Other than the paella, nothing should heat up the kitchen too much either:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Paella with tomatoes; salami; green salad
  • Wednesday: Spaghetti with marinara; grilled Italian sausage (vegan meatballs for me); grilled zucchini
  • Thursday: Tofu lettuce wraps; chicken potstickers; steamed rice
  • Friday: Beef, pepper & onion stir fry; steamed rice (teriyaki noodles for me)
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Grilled hot dogs (vegan for me); macaroni salad; cucumber pickles
  • Monday: Slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches on torta rolls; coleslaw (some other kind of sandwich for me – not sure yet)

The last few weeks I’ve done very well sticking to the menu, and want to keep that going. It’s made a big difference in getting food used up on time, and decreasing the amount of food waste.

What are you fixing this week?

This Week’s Menu: Mid-Week Getaway

A couple of breakfast options at the Hale Koa's poolside Barefoot Bar
A couple of breakfast options at the Hale Koa’s poolside Barefoot Bar

First, I want to say that both YaYu and WenYu did a fabulous job in the kitchen last week! I was extremely impressed with what they accomplished, both their organization and the results, and I also greatly appreciated the time out of the kitchen. Both girls have said though that they have a new appreciation for what it takes to get in the kitchen every night and get a meal on the table – it was a lot more work, and not as much “fun” as they imagined it would be.

I am hoping YaYu and I can continue splitting up the cooking duties during the week while she’s home for the summer, but this week is not the one to get it started. First of all, we’ll be in Oahu for three days, and we also won’t be going to the farmers’ market this week, and need to use up the produce we have on hand. But, I’m hoping that maybe next week she and I can come up with a joint schedule and menu plan.

Meals are going to be very casual while we’re in Waikiki. We have no plans to go to any restaurants while we’re there, but will use the hotel’s snack and coffee bars, food courts at the nearby malls, and other inexpensive eateries in the area for our dining. We’ve done some research and there are interesting and affordable options at the hotel or near by so we should be able to stay within our budget without a problem.

Meals cooked at home this week will use what we have on hand. The freezer is in great need of a defrost, so I’m on a mission for the next couple of weeks to get it as empty as possible so that chore can be taken care of.

Here’s what’s on our menu for dinner this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Grilled teriyaki chicken thighs; zaru soba; green salad (chilled tofu for me)
  • Wednesday: Waikiki
  • Thursday: Waikiki
  • Friday: Waikiki
  • Saturday: Tofu & broccoli in spicy peanut sauce; steamed rice
  • Sunday: Zucchini frittata; grilled Italian sausages (vegan for me); slow cooker risotto
  • Monday: Slow cooker pork pepper pot; steamed rice (probably vegetable lo mein for me)

What’s cooking at your house this week?