Shopping with a bigger budget

This week was my big check so I stocked up on meat! I also know that I am going to be stupid busy this week so the boys need a simple dinner and we need stuff that can be made quickly so I did get some packaged things but it’s mainly seasoning packets because I just couldn’t bring myself to get packaged sides even knowing how busy I am going to be. Busy for me is 12 hour days and quick dinner is 45 minutes or less. I have a variety of utensils that I could employ to lighten my load and I may end up doing that towards the end of the week but I like the challenge of making a quick meal that tastes like I worked all day without the tools!

With the bigger budget, time constraints and ya’ll in mind I started shopping in the meat department. I started by looking for markdowns, I am not too bothered by close dates on the mark downs because most of it is going to be frozen and a good market doesn’t put out spoiled meat.  I was able to find a couple of steaks, some pre-seasoned chicken kabobs and some pre-seasoned pork carnitas. I also got ground beef and lamb for burgers, round steak pre cut into strips that I am going to turn into chunks for chili and more ground lamb for the chili, lamb chops because it’s  my birthday this week and I might want to cook myself something magical and a whole duck which is something I have never made before but am excited about.  I don’t usually purchase ground beef because it is super easy to grind your own and when you make your own you can use whatever cuts of meat you want and get the fat content to your liking. You can go out and get a burger that has been made from a perfectly lovely rib-eye or a New York strip steak and you will pay for the pleasure of eating that burger or you can go to the market and  get one of each of those steaks and all the toppings your heart desires and make your own burgers and save a ton! I personally don’t use the pretty steaks for my ground meat unless I am going for a super fancy burger, the chuck roast that is already chunked up for stew is my go to. The only reason for this is my personal taste, I would rather have a steak than a burger even if that burger is made from a steak.

Starting your shopping in the meat department makes it easier to go back thru the rest of the store and get what you need to go with. Once I had my meat I was able to decide on burgers for the boys, chili for the leftovers during the week, steak to experiment with for the baby’s birthday dinner, carnitas that can be pressure cooked to make a fast taco kind of meal, not all the ground beef will be used for burgers so I will have some left to make what we call “poor man’s hamburger helper” which is a box of Kraft Mac-N-Cheese with seasoned ground beef stirred in or it can be used in a Shepherd’s pie which is also a quick make and that  I am prepared for because we just had potato soup and I didn’t use the whole bag.

For the cheats, I got a 2 packages of chili seasoning mix but I will not follow the directions on the back, those already seasoned pork carnitas and this new stuff from McCormicks’ Grill Mates line, it’s called Steakhouse Burgers and it is Sweet Mesquite and Caramelized Onion and it’s a liquid that gets mixed in with the meat and I am excited about this as well!! I also got a carton of a roasted red pepper and tomato soup because I might not have time to make the burgers for the boys and I need a back up plan.

As far as fresh stuff goes I got leeks to go with the steak, sweet onions to go with the burgers and chili, dill for the burgers, a cucumber for a sauce for the burgers that I have changed my mind on and shallots that I don’t know exactly what I need for. I also got buns and a loaf of sourdough bread.  I got Mexican creme, queso fresco, broccoli slaw and shredded lettuce for the carnitas tacos and the asian tacos that weren’t otherwise shopped for this trip but will be happening over the weekend, a sliced Havarti for the burgers and an Irish cheddar that is flavored with garlic and herbs for grilled cheese sandwiches. I also got mushrooms just in case I want to go mushroom havarti with the burgers, they would normally be a mushroom swiss but I am not keen on the idea of swiss with lamb. I am also torn between going out on a limb with the burgers or just making a greek burger with an olive and pepper tapenade and tzatziki sauce, either way they will be delicious but I just fed them Greek tacos so I am leaning more towards not Greek and I think that saucy stuff I found will highlight the gameyness of the lamb and if I can come up with the perfect mayo I think it will be a hit.

The baby just turned 19 and she said that she wants dinner at home instead of out which is a huge boost to my ego but she has requested Scallops and Steak and I am way nervous about scallops! The steaks that were on special will be used to test out seasonings that will match with the aforementioned  scallops. I don’t eat sea food so this is going to be a super challenge for me. She also wants asparagus which is something else that I don’t eat but have managed to perfect the cooking of.  I am hoping to get my MIL in on the scallops part of the dish because she is just magic with the seafoods.

I know you are askng “What about the duck??” I am also asking “What about the duck?” I have only ever made duck breast and I remember that it was only OK so I don’t have a clue what will happen with the whole duck . I am not sure I have the skills or tools to do a Peking Duck so I was thinking more along the lines of roasted duck but I just don’t know. I will be talking to everyone I can find who has cooked a duck and I will find recipes from my favorite chefs and I will watch videos and we can learn how to cook a duck together!

Eeeekk! Just in they typing of this an extra 2 mouths have been added to the dinner table so I have to come up with some sides and take meat from the freezer!

Thanks ya’ll!! Happy cooking!


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