eating in

in an effort to live a more fulfilling and well-rounded life, and to save money so we can pay off our car so we can save up to build our house at dukes' farm, we have been cooking for ourselves a lot more lately. before judah we at out a LOT and rarely cooked. not that we werent able to; jesse and i both have always been able to cook a very passable plate of food. it was just easier and more fun to go out to eat than to have to plan ahead, buy the groceries, cook, clean, etc.

well our new strategy has worked well, and i think we might be saving money. i know for sure that i have way more yummy lunches to take to work thanks to leftovers so i am not having to get fast food or just snack all day to stay full. unfortunately we have a separate budget for out to eat and groceries, so with our leftover out to eat money we just go to fancier restaurants a few times instead of cheaper ones 4 times a week. alas.

we have always been in love with publix apron's simple meals. they have these cooking demonstrations at about 5 pm at the stores. right when you walk in you see nice lady cooking delicious and tiny plates of food for you to try. all the ingredients are right there for you to grab from a cooler or shelves and the recipe card to take home. no matter if someone is cooking a demonstration or not, there are always about 10 cards available to take (we even bought the special binder with dividers to store our treasured recipes). every time i have ever tasted one of their sample meals, or made one of my own, it has been delicious. they are designed to be made in less than 1 hour, cost just a few bucks per serving and be pretty healthy. their tagline is "Time is short. But you and your family can still sit down to a homemade meal together, thanks to Apron’s Simple Meals. These recipes are easy and delicious, and many take as little as 15 minutes to prepare." we plan to be a "family that eats together stays together" type of family so we figured we'd better get used to cooking when we get home so we'll be ready when its judah plus siblings coming home from school as well as just us coming back from work.

the deal is, on mondays i have dinner ready for jesse and on thursdays he cooks for me while i have my late day at work. wednesdays i have leftovers or a frozen meal while jesse is at church and tuesdays we try to go out with friends or have a date. here are two favorites that we both got to come home to last week:

jesse made Barbecue Baby Back Ribs and Fresh Corn Risotto. we added a fresh caesar salad with our home made dressing.

i clearly hated them

then on monday, i made on one of the first apron's meals we ever had. Salmon Satay With Orange-Jasmine Rice and Chopstick Salad

holy moly this meal is AMAZING. i dont really enjoy cooked salmon at all usually, but the sesame peanut sauce they pair with it is off the hook...unless you have nut allergies (Entschuldigung, Herr Justin). plus the rice and salad are so uniquely tasty. dont worry, the small portion of salmon was just for food styling purposes, i doubled up after the pic. Omega-3's people!

pardon me while i go browse the publix site for tonight's culinary orgasmo.


  1. Cooking at home does save some dough!!! Thanks for the shout out to Justin hehe

  2. I've always seen these meals - but I'm such a bargain shopper I just just ASSUME they are promoting all the stuff that's NOT on sale! I'll have to check it out... Oh and Keight - have you tried couponing? We save about $200 a month now that we have begun to copuon. Try out www.southernsavers.com and www.couponmom.com. It's AMAZING how much you can save! Another way we have been saving a ton of money is by cutting off the cable! I didn't think I could do it but we've been without it for nearly a year now and it's so cool how much I DON'T miss the tv shows I used to be addicted to and it's pretty cool not having the tv on all the time. WE just have to go to friend's houses to watch games that aren't on the major stations we get for FREE. Oh - and weird - I had this totally random dream about you and Judah this past weekend. We were in Spain and I forgot something I needed at home so I was like - "Oh, I'll just fly home and I'll be back tomorrow" and you were like "Hillary, you are nuts! You can't fly home from Spain to get something you forgot..." But it turns out what I forgot was my SON! But then you were like "Well have you looked in your suit case?" And I was like "No" so I checked it and there was Parker! Hilarious! :)

  3. Keight--I love these meals too, and have some serious favs. There's one with steak that you slice and cook, and it seems like it had blue cheese...I thought I could find it, but alas, I didn't buy the binder to save money!!! I'll see if my sister knows--we made it together--fabulous! I remember the steak was pan fired, and I thought there was no way that could be good, but it was delicious! So glad you guys are cooking at home--I love family meals!!!

  4. Awesome food styling!! We cook a lot at home, too and it's such a great way to save $$. Like Hillary, I coupon and cant' believe how much you can save when you combine it with store deals. And, there are lot of mom that blog about grocery store sales and matching coupons so all of the hard work is taken care of.