Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's cooking at Hot Rob's

Emma is my official sous-chef. Every time I fire up one of the burners on the stove, the sound of her stepping stool being dragged from the bathroom to the kitchen is not far behind. We made pumpkin bread together the other day, and I was shocked to discover that she had already buttered the loaf pan without me asking her to. The girl pays attention. The other day as we made pancakes, we were talking about what it would be like if we opened a restaurant together someday. We both agreed that would be pretty cool and that cousin Olivia would have to be part of the action because I hear she is quite the foodie as well.

So, I asked Emma what the name of our restaurant should be and she said, without skipping a beat, "Hot Rob's." Of course. What else would it be called?

We've decided that Hot Rob's will definitely serve pancakes...and pizza. I'm not sure what else. Maybe pumpkin bread? That sounds like a place I'd like to eat. With a name like "Hot Rob's" I envision lots of beach volleyball being played there. And also it seems like there should be ribs.

Two Weeks/200 Bucks
As the official cook and grocery shopper of the house, I have decided to rise to the challenge over at this mom blog (what up, Phillips family!) and try to feed my family for two weeks on $200. This was quite an undertaking for me. I like to cook what I'm in the mood for and not necessarily what happens to be on sale. So, here's what I came up with:

Monday: Roast chicken, roasted carrots, mashed potatoes (roast two chickens at a time and make stock with leftover bones)

Tuesday: Chicken (use leftover chicken) Caesar salad, fruit salad, bread

Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie Empanadas (use leftover chicken and chicken stock)

Thursday: Fish tacos, guacamole, rice, black beans

Friday: Individual pizzas at home

Saturday: Make your own taco night!!

Sunday: Spaghetti & Meatballs

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: Grilled chicken + "butterflies + trees"

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner (Brinner!)

Thursday: BBQ chicken (chicken breast + BBQ sauce + slow cooker=BBQ chicken) + baked potatoes + some kind of veggie

Friday: Cheese pizza (kids) & BBQ chicken pizza (grownups) (use leftover BBQ chicken), salad

Saturday: Pork tacos & quesadillas (use pork from freezer), guacamole, fruit

I must admit, I'm using pork and fish from the freezer. I'm not sure if that disqualifies me or not, but I came in at $188 and change. The other grocery shopping bargain tip I've come up with is shopping online. If you have this option in your area, take advantage of it! You can look for the best deals on pork butt while surfing the net post-bedtime. Way more cost-effective than buying Paula Deen magazines when the natives get slightly bored in the checkout line. I ordered my groceries online on Sunday night and cruised right up to the front door of the grocery store and had them loaded into the mini van the next day. Pretty awesome.

We have had to go back to the grocery store for things like nighttime pull-ups and dishwashing detergent, but my friend Ramona says those things don't count as groceries and I am totally with her.

So, Hot Rob's is in business. Anyone want to come over for some pancakes? Or BBQ pizza? Or beach volleyball? You're always welcome at Hot Rob's.


Phillips Family said...

Hot Robs sounds delicious..and something out of Top Gun. Perhaps you can get a "Goose" look-alike to sing at a piano?

Yeah for you and the $200 challenge. I pull meat from my freezer as well. I just have had to force myself to stock up on meat when it goes on sale and stock up on other items during the trips I didn't have to purchase meat. Does that make sense? I break my rule on occasion, like last week when my parents were in town and I decided we needed to feast on someone homemade gourmet mexican food.

Deanna said...

I'll eat at Hot Rob's! Maybe my little foodie can come guest-cook sometime ;)

Pam said...

I can't wait to try the BBQ chicken in the slow-cooker...that's my kind of recipe! And I'm very into the grocery-delivery these in DC, delivery means they actually show up in my kitchen, having lugged the bottles of juice (or whatever) from the curb, down the steps to get into our condo building, and up the steps to our unit. Somehow I get enough promotional emails from Giant and/or Safeway that I almost never have to pay for this service...very worth it, even with the occasional missing item. (Of course, we're just aspiring to dinner--not to a dining establishment as fine as Hot Rob's.) : )

Jennifer said...

To my ear, "Hot Rob's" would also have cool car paraphernalia all over the place and all the waiters would have to be good looking guys named "Rob". I'd eat the pancakes there!

Grace said...

To me it sounds like Red Robin.

Gigi said...

Hot Rob's sounds like the perfect place for Gigi and Granddad to eat. Of course, Emma's desire to be an "artist teacher" will help with the decor. I'm hoping for chocolate shakes also.

~Gretchen~ said...

that's our grocery/household product budget for a month. you'll be fine.

it is amazing what you learn you can live without.

Elizabeth said...

That's amazing, Gretchen. It is amazing what you can live without. So true. I'm excited for your family garden project. I was just reading about it yesterday! I am new to gardening, but I love it!

mdm said...

Hot Rob's is IT. I'm thinking 4th Street in Austin. Emma can cook, and I can bus tables, and Brandon can say it was all his idea.