Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eating in Erie

Penn State Erie's parents' weekend was this past week. So, I loaded my car with winter clothes, snowboard, food and a care package from Midalah to take up to Roo.

First, the care package:

I'm sure I've mentioned a time or three how much I adore Bon Appétit in downtown Lancaster. Roo has been missing the wonderful goodness from there and from Bonbonniere. Midalah decided to rectify that situation and made up a heavenly care package full of all sorts of wonderful treats. From cocoa dusted goat cheese to chocolates of all kinds to lavender syrup with which to make lavender soda, there was quite a bit to take up.

Roo was teary. "Food!" she exclaimed. "REAL food!" She laid it all out lovingly on her bed and took pictures.

Dinner that night was a quick meal at Steak ‘n Shake, since neither of us had been to one before. Not exactly something exciting and different, but it was good. It was getting late, we were tired and hungry and she wanted to get back for a birthday cake for a friend and a rugby party. Besides, there was guacamole on my burger. I was happy!

The next day was spent running all over Erie, taking care of errands and such. Before I dropped Roo off at the theater to meet up with her friends to watch Paranormal Activity 3, we headed for Sushi and Asian Cuisine. My daughter loves sushi and misses it terribly.

Sushi and Asian Cuisine is not a restaurant to go to if you are in a hurry. The atmosphere and the service are both very relaxed. Unfortunately, another table in the restaurant didn’t quite get that and we were treated to the impressive display of an adult male giving his best darn spoiled-rotten-two-year-old impression. The food here seems to be all cooked to order. Do not go here if you have a fast-food, want-it-now mentality. You will be disappointed.

But if you are willing to wait and enjoy the company of those you are with, you’ll enjoy some very tasty dishes. The seared tuna was melt-in-your-mouth perfection. The young coconut soup was different in a good way, and far more filling than I expected it to be. The crunchy roll was just plain fun.

The prices were far more reasonable than a lot of sushi restaurants I have been to. Between the price and the quality of the food, the wait was more than worth it.

Sunday, it was time to head home. So off to The Breakfast Place it was. What a fun place! The food was filling, inexpensive and plentiful. The coffee left something to be desired, but there were many opportunities to have the cup refilled. Roo’s hot chocolate came with a refill, too, something I’ve not heard of in any other restaurants before.

I ordered the chicken fried steak with eggs and hashbrowns. I couldn’t eat more than 1/3 of the dish! Roo’s hash and eggs seemed to go on forever. She, who had spent the weekend happily tucking into dish after dish, admitted defeat after less than half of the plate was gone.

After a quick run to the market for a few more supplies, it was time to say goodbye so I could head home and she could focus on homework and on organizing all that had been brought up to her.

She heads home in November. There will definitely be a stock-up run to Bon Appétit and Central Market before she heads back to school!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More eating in on a budget

Tonight’s dinner features finds from Central Market and from Sharp Shopper.

Chicken from Sharp Shopper: 5 pre-marinated breasts for $ 2.50. - .50 a serving
Broccoflower from Central Market: $ 3.00 a head (6 servings) - .50 a serving
Couscous from the local supermarket: $ 6.00 per canister (we’re nearing the end of this one): .34 a serving
Total per serving: $ 1.34

The leftover broccoflower will be served with tomorrow night’s dinner.

Leftover chicken and couscous will be popped into lunch containers and popped into the freezer.

The biggest splurge is probably the paper plate! And even those are only purchased when on sale. I’m feeling poorly tonight and Midalah is busy sewing and doing homework, so the fewer dishes, the better!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Time to tally

Okay, time to figure out tonight’s dinner on a per person basis:

Turkey sausage: 1.25 per person
Fresh, still on the stalk, Brussels sprouts: 1.00 per person
Bread: harder to figure out, since there will be a LOT left over for snacks and breakfasts: Let’s say .30 per person when you figure out how many slices there are
Pumpkin soup: This was nice. All it cost was the pumpkin and a head of garlic. I don’t figure out spices. And there are at least 6 servings (leftovers – yay!): .55 per person

Total: $ 3.10 per serving

Total purchase price, which covers tonight’s dinner, a couple breakfasts and lunches at work? $ 11.00

That’s $ 7.90 for breakfasts/snacks/lunch. I could easily spend that much in 1 day for breakfast/lunch. I think we did good!

Oh, and the broccoflower? That will be served tomorrow night with wine/herb marinated chicken breasts and couscous.

(I am so not counting dessert, which was a splurge at $ 2.50 a slice!)

Today has been one of those gorgeous autumn days. Couldn’t ask for a better one. Windy and cool, but not cold. The kind of day that makes you want to go and do, and not stay at home.

For those who don’t know, Midalah moved into my house back in July. With Roo leaving for college, and both of us experiencing some serious financial upsets, it made sense.

Unfortunately for Midalah, that means she also has to deal with a housemate who gets hit with the autumn bug. “Let’s go!” is a common echo around the house on days like today.

So we went. There have been serious fall-induced pumpkin cravings, so Lancaster’s Central Market seemed like a logical destination.

Off we went. As we pulled into the parking lot, Midalah asked me if I had remembered a market bag. Oh, yes, I remembered it. I remembered leaving it at home. Oops! And I am not in a position to drop $ 20 on a new bag, so… plastic it was.

We ended up with more sausage from The Turkey Lady. This time, we have Sicilian lemon and orange turkey sausage. We’ll remove those from the casings to make patties. The last time we had turkey sausage, we grilled it. It was very good, but very dry. Hopefully, making patties will keep both flavor and moisture.

There will also be broccoflower and roasted Brussels sprouts, cut right from the stalk. There is also apricot/cranberry bread from Ric's Bread (the woman there today was very nice!). Oh, and roasted pumpkin and garlic soup!

For dessert: pumpkin roll with cream cheese icing. Yay for pumpkins!

Tonight, we feast in full fall fashion!