My smart and thrifty mother raised three teenagers who loved to eat on a single mom's income.
I learned early the lessons in economy which have served me well in the kitchen and developed a preference for making many of the foods that are purchased pre-packaged, which here means overprocessed.
No, I'm not making my own bread each week - though I could and occasionally do. But I'm clever enough to know which tasks to tackle and which tasks to leave to the masters.
So, what to do when faced with a pinched wallet and champagne tastes? Eat in!
While I realize restauranteurs will cringe when I say this, but if your budget needs a reality check, treat yourself to more dinners in. I'm not advocating giving up a weekly meal out (if you can afford it), but I am saying you can have a fantastic meal in for half what you spend at a restaurant.
My Sunday morning posts are dedicated to the Saturday night eat-in. Last night I was in the lazy, one dish mood - the perfect mindset for risotto where you get your vegetables and grains all in one flavor-packed plate.
Last night's menu:
Wild mushroom and carrot risotto
Vanilla ice cream with bittersweet dark chocolate sauce
2007 William Cole Alto Vuelo Pinot Noir
Light ruby red in color with notes of cherries and thyme on the nose. The palate is layered with primary flavors of strawberry and herbs, accompanied by secondary flavors of smoke and subtle oak. A light bodied wine, with silky tannins and a lingering finish. A beautiful example of cool climate Pinot Noir, should cellar well for several years. The wine is aged for 12 months in French barrels (Pop the Cork Wines)
You can have your cake and eat it too.