Sunday, August 07, 2016

Cofee and Camera in the Garden

Every year we plant a small garden off the back deck. This year has been a slow starer but we are finally seeing some results. Early morning is a great time for photos so I gathered my coffee and camera and came up with some tomato still life photos. Nothing better than home grown tomatoes!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Meal Inspiration

As I surf the inter-webs sometimes ideas leap into my brain. In a Bon Appetit "Road Trip Week" article, by Rick Matinez,  he remembers tacos his parents brought along for their road journey. My kids'  memories would be of Triscuits and Easy Cheese, our warm weather road trip staples. In our defense we got a lot more creative after our arrival. During our vacations to Disneyland we would rent a hotel with a small fridge and a microwave. It was long before the days of prerequisite free hotel breakfasts, so we  brought our  Black + Decker toaster oven. It was almost like having our own secret kitchen. Breakfasts of toasted bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter were favorites. On a couple of days we bought very inexpensive Pan Dulce and orange juice from the Mexican Market next door. Trying to usher four kids around the market was like herding cats, so i promised them they could split  two packages of Pinguinos if they were good. Dinner items included hot dogs, frozen pizza and macaroni - cheese. For the vegetable-fruit meal components we bought snack packs of carrots, celery and sliced apples. We had the best times and did not bust the bank.

We decided on a small road trip to a local park today so I used Mr. Martinez taco for frugal inspiration. I put together some breakfast tacos and a thermos of coffee for less than three bucks. We drove past the Starbucks and headed to the park. Happy weekend!
Frugal Breakfast Taco

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

The low cost home family meal experience continues. The family style platter below features citrus marinated chicken tenders (Kirkland), harvest grain blend (Trader Joe's) and garlic spinach ( Costco). This was a huge amount of food for the two of us! We used the leftovers for a fritatta breakfast  the next day. The total food cost was under six dollars! Eat good and be frugal.

Citrus Marinated Chicken Tenders

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Budget Realignment

Due to an unforeseen decrease on the income side of our budget, a realignment was required on the spending side. One of the easiest cutbacks on spending is entertainment. I love to travel and eat at restaurants and blog about it. That is on hold for now.  Budget seemed like a obscure profane word!
We budgeted before and still had a wonderful time while the kids grew up. An attitude adjustment was in order. Eat well and have a good time on a frugal budget!  The credit cards  are paid and will stay that way for a while. With a little effort one can self entertain. Food and wine, in good company, tastes just as good on a budget. A three dollar bottle of Charles Shaw is on par with the forty dollar bottle at the hotel bar. What shall I blog about? Our food for sure! Look out for some budget home cooked meals. Lets start with a dinner at my place. Teriyaki marinated pork loin, creamy polenta and grilled green beans with tomatoes. What would you pay at a restaurant? The total food cost for this meal was under six dollars. A bottle of Charles Shaw added three bucks to the tab. Under ten bucks for a huge dinner for two! That is pretty darn cheap way to entertain.
Dinner at my place!

Friday, April 08, 2016

A Work in Progress

Emeryville Public Market

Any long term reader knows we like to take the train when traveling, boarding at the  Emeryville Amtrak Station for all our destinations. Before this train trip to Portland we hung out around the station. We were in hungry mode so we strolled over to the Emeryville Public Market. What a change is happening there! New stores and food shops shine. They have opened up the place in what I would call industrial chic style.  For a food photographer, the skylights provide an abundance of natural light. We wandered a bit and decided on Koja Kitchen, a Korean/Japanese fusion, fast - casual restaurant,  that started as a food truck. Avril chose the chicken Koja, burger style with garlic rice cakes subbing in for buns. I had the beef bowl, a rice bowl with lots of flavorful toppings. Both items were wonderful! In this age of Instagram Koja Kitchen's plating was camera ready, no styling or fluffing necessary. Feast your eyes!
Chicken Koja - Koja Kitchen Emeryville
Beef Bowl - Koja Kitchen Emeryville

Friday, April 01, 2016

Burger Burger!

Been traveling a bit and find that burgers are a go to item on our journeys. Even at some high cost hotel restaurants there is usually a reasonably priced burger on the menu. Portion sizes are always huge and we can normally split an order. In the downtown Portland area there many happy hours menus offering cheap wine and burgers under nine dollars. Wine and burgers! I scrolled through my photos of the last couple years and found lots of burgers. This collage should make you want a burger!
Burgers a plenty!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

I Toast You!

There has been much written about toast lately. Depending on what side you fall, it is the best thing happening or it will lead to the hipster takeover of the world. Blah! Toast has been around forever. It is as healthy or unhealthy as you make it. Toast is simple, inexpensive and in my little world very photogenic. Enjoy!
Toast My Way