Monday, November 11, 2019

Weekly Eats: Substitution Edition

A weekly round up: eats, watches, and reads.  In this week's edition, a block of cream cheese drove my menu selections.

Monday: homemade Egg McMuffin with chicken sausage

Tuesday and Friday: cereal bar, string cheese, fruit

Wednesday: a little of this and a little of that.  Egg, chicken sausage, toast, and fruit.

Thursday: breakfast burrito, or your way to know that it was my first day back to running since last Sunday's half marathon.

Saturday and Sunday: the "look I'm a runner" breakfast: banana and PB honey toast.

Monday: the quickie thai curry from a few weeks ago, no worse for wear from it's time in the freezer.

Tues - Friday: werk stuff, ate the catered lunches at work to fit in with the cool kids.

Saturday: leftover tofu curry from one of the above said lunches

Sunday: leftover pasta from date night

Monday (family meal): Costco chicken skewers with rice and their cashew crunch salad (the salad is too exotic for the rest of my family so they had broccoli instead).

Tuesday (family meal for everyone except me): potato chips.  Not kidding, we worked really late that night and I did what I had to do, my family was at home eating chicken skewers.

Wednesday (date night): Chicken basil fettucine.  I hadn't made this in forever but it popped into my head.  It's a Blue Apron recipe, restating for the millionth time that I've never gotten BA meals but I've made several of their recipes with my own ingredients and enjoyed them very much. 
Substitutions: I forgot to add basil to my shopping list, so there is none.  And though I can justify spending $6 for mascarpone cheese and only using the two tablespoons called for in the recipe, I wanted to try a thriftier solution.  So I grabbed a $1.50 block of cream cheese and used that instead and I cannot taste the difference so that's a win.  If you're looking for an elegant and easy pasta dinner, this is for you.

Speaking of thrift, tomato paste is one of those ingredients that I only use once in a blue moon, and I was out of my freezer stash so I got a brand new can.  Here's what happens to the leftovers: I portioned them out in tablespoons on saran wrap on a cutting board, then tossed the board into the freezer.  After they were frozen, I scooped the whole caboodle into a ziplock and tossed in deep into the freezer.  Freezer stash is restocked for some time to come.

Thursday and Friday (fend for yourself nights): snacks (big lunches at work).

Saturday (single girl night): The menfolk were off at scout camp, so it was single girl night and some inspiration by what to do with the rest of the cream cheese.  Spinach artichoke pasta.
This recipe calls for a quarter cup of white wine, and I usually keep a small container of boxed white wine in the fridge for cooking but we were out.  However, I did have a mini bottle of champagne, so the problem was solved.  I put a quarter cup into my pasta and the rest into the chef (win-win).

That left me with 3 oz of cream cheese and as if by fate I came across Jen's carrot cake cookie post.  I did the right thing (P.S. I made 1.5x the frosting and she isn't kidding that's very scant to cover the entire batch...will double it next time...and there will be a next time, these are fabulous).

Sunday (family meal): our standard family meal to celebrate the boys coming back from scout camp alive.

It came to my attention that there is a Super Size Me 2 and I was all over that.  Of course it didn't have the magic of the original but it was still a worthy watch.  Watching this movie when I was home alone was almost as intense as that time I watched Evil Dead alone and had to watch it in 5 minute increments to get through it.  In this case I looked away for much of the indepth chicken farming scenes.

Finished Only With A Bargepole by Joyce Porter, now on to The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth


  1. Great week of eats! I just bought twice a much cream cheese as I'll need for my Thanksgiving cheesecake cuz Costco. I make Alfredo with cream cheese so when Thing 1 is in from college I'll have to make it for her. Hooray for date nights!

    1. Ooh I am all over that...alfredo sounds good right now. I don't really like to use heavy cream in pasta dishes and I bet that cream cheese has exactly the right texture for alfredo. lol on Costco

  2. What a good idea to use cream cheese instead of Marscapone! I wouldn't have thought about that but it makes sense, and saves money. Win/win :)

    1. I think Marscapone might be sweeter but they taste similar and it's all cheese, so I thought it was worth a shot. Even with marscapone it's still cheaper than eating out but I wanted to give it a shot.

  3. I see that you eat a lot of eggs! They are a staple in my diet too. Last night I made a frittata for dinner--I used goat cheese, zucchini, and dill. I liked it. My men, not so much. "Give me meat". Like Marcia said ^^^ I make an alfredo with cream cheese too! It's a favorite.

    1. I don't know what I would do for breakfast without eggs. The frittata sounds bomb and yes in my house I'd be the only one eating it. Hey there's no law that we have to eat the same things, I could get the guys a pack of Costco chicken skewers to tide them over while I basked in my frittata.

  4. I'm loving the tomato paste tip! I also use cream cheese for alfredo, and I've layered it with raspberry jam for a sinfully good grilled sandwich ;-)

    1. ooh raspberry and cream cheese toast would be an awesome prerun breakfast...see ya peanut butter toast.