Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cooking for The Sprint

Now that I'm temping during the day and waiting tables at night, I've dubbed Thursday through Sunday "The Sprint."

Those are the days I work 16+ hours a day, four days in a row, and all of Saturday and Sunday is spent on my feet waiting tables.

By the time Monday rolls around, I'm exhausted, and my feet are killing me.

My schedule at the restaurant will change soon--I've asked to not work the Saturday and Sunday brunch shifts anymore, which means I'll be able to see my husband at least a little on the weekends. But in the meantime, it's The Sprint.

And since I'm only home to sleep (and not very much) on those days, all the cooking has to be done ahead of time. That's even more important since the IRS screwed us and we're on a super-tight budget.

So Wednesday night, after I finished my temp day job, I went home and scrounged around in the pantry.

I bought a few things at Sam's Club to hold us over--eggs, milk, cream, Nutella, you know, the essentials--and my plan is to eat out of the pantry all month to keep food costs down.

First I made a big batch of tomato sauce, so that we could have pasta as a ready option. (I also thawed some pesto from the freezer.)

Then I made a loaf of bread.

Then I soaked some black-eyed peas and made hoppin' john.

Next came a batch of potato soup with blue cheese, since the potatoes were getting a little soft. (And the blue cheese needed to be used up.)

After that, a batch of minestrone with frozen spinach.

Finally, I made refried bean enchiladas: two cans of refried beans plus a lot of shredded pepper jack cheese, folded into corn tortillas, baked at 400 until crispy on top, and served with plenty of salsa.

That should all easily last two adults lunch and dinner for four days.

It all actually didn't take that long--maybe an hour of dedicated kitchen time, since the soups could be started and then just pushed to the back of the stove to simmer for a while.

On Monday, when I have a day off again, I'll start the process over again, with a whole bunch of new stuff.

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