Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wait? What Happened?--X-Treme Food Stamp Challenge

I'm not sure what happened with the food yesterday, but I know it didn't cost much.  The day started great on the food acquisition front: a local lady we know, the wife of my son's baseball coach last summer and a reader of this blog, stopped by and generously gave us a turkey, a couple breakfast Hot Pockets, and a few snacky stuff.  I'll admit that the kids and I attacked the snacky stuff.  It is so rare to have something like that in the house, it is a special treat.  The kids were mostly interested in the pretzels and Goldfish crackers, but I went for the granola bars.  Sadly, this was our breakfast.  My husband had a bit more sense and had some cereal.  The kids had juice to drink, I had Diet Coke, and my husband just had tap water.  At some point during the afternoon, the entire bag of Goldfish was devoured, and the remainder of the cake my mother-in-law had sent home with us vanished as well, but I don't know how much was my husband and how much was the kids being "helpful".  The kids also all had chocolate milk (regular milk mixed with homemade chocolate syrup as an afternoon treat).

For dinner, we had the leftover spaghetti sauce my mother-in-law sent home with us with half a box of whole grain spaghetti I cooked up.  The kids also finished off the salad my husband couldn't finish at the hospital the previous day as a side.  I also turned some of the regular, store bought bread I had into garlic bread to serve as a side as well.  To make garlic bread, I melted 4 tbsp butter and mixed it with garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and parsley, wrapped it in foil and baked it at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.  The kids and I had milk to drink with dinner.  I told my husband that meals like that are why I can't stand to go to restaurants like the Olive Garden anymore.  That entire feast (minus the drinks) probably cost us less than $1, but if we went out to eat for something like that, it would probably be at least $8-9 per person.  What a rip off!  Even if I'd had to prepare the sauce and salad from stuff we had at home, it would have cost about the same, since the sauce would likely be from homegrown tomatoes and the salad either grown by me or bought with WIC.

After dinner is where it got a little confusing.  I finally gave in to the major headache that had been plaguing me since I woke up and took a little nap.  When I woke up, I discovered that the kids had gotten into the homemade fruit leathers that were in the fridge and my husband had finished off another bag of tortilla chips.  I found out today that he'd taken what was left of the spaghetti sauce from dinner and used it as a chip dip.  To me, that sounded pretty icky, but he said it was kind of like eating mozzarella sticks without the mozzarella.  I snacked a bit after I got up from my nap too, having a bit of tortilla chips and my homemade apple-tomato salsa with a Diet Coke as I worked on making more felt food for the kids' Christmas presents, and finishing off the night's eating with a couple no-bake cookies from the freezer. 

On the felt food front, I finished up the bread pieces last night and started making a slice of Cheddar for the sandwich set.  As of right now, I've made 4 pieces of bread (2 light, 2 darker to be more toast like), 2 sunnyside up eggs, 4 slices of bacon, and one piece of cheese.  I'm planning on giving 2 of the kids each a "breakfast" set of a piece of toast, 2 strips of bacon, and an egg, and the third child will be getting a "sandwich" of 2 pieces of bread, 2 slices of cheese (one Cheddar and one Swiss), lettuce, tomato, and maybe some bologna.  I figure that will split the food up fairly equally and give them lots of opportunities to mix and match and play together.

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