{Dinner at mom’s continued, my Save-for-Paris challenge and C&G’s Eggplant Caponata Salad}

The rest of the dinner at mom’s equally delicious and massive in proportion..The reason I didn’t show the rest in the last post was because my camera had died half way through our meal. So here are a couple pics of the leftovers we got to home with.. which pretty much looked exactly like what we had that night.

Sweet and tender slices of jewel-toned beets, crunchy green beans, creamy yukon gold potatoes slathered in a mixture of fresh herbs and olive oil, a giant baseball-sized rib eye steak and some more oyster mushroom barley risotto..as well as an unpictured filet of oven roasted maple salmon.. oh goodness me..

Speaking of giant meals, this upcoming long weekend is Thanksgiving and me and the boy have THREE huge dinners with the parents (one on Sat, Sun and Mon)… oh dear.. so much for slimming down for Paris (to make room for all the food I would eat there)..

In addition to our abundant leftovers, I also went home with a box of these! YUM! thanks mummy 🙂

Paris is fast approaching (12 days and counting!!), so I’ve been challenging myself to save money in little ways here and there to go towards my Paris food/shopping fund the past couple weeks.

A few things I’ve been doing to cut back:

1. Bring lunch to work everyday – since starting my current job in downtown, it seems SO convenient for me to just go pick something up. But $10/day adds up. Plus this makes for healthier meals since I know exactly what is going to my food. (Saving $50/wk). Update: Didn’t stick to this one completely, I did buy the occasional treat after lunch, but I still did well.

2. Starbucks only ONCE per week – I used to have a real bad habit. I used to go refill my Starbucks card $50 at a time a couple times a month.. Yea I had a problem. It started with grande soy chai lattes daily (sometimes 2x/day), then it was soy earl grey tea lattes. I’ve been pretty good lately, but going to try to limit myself to a $5 dollar drink once per week and bringing my own tea from home to work. (Saving about $30/wk) Update: This one was an easy one to do.

3. Budget my groceries – my biggest spending habit is probably spending money on groceries, so for the past month I’ve been trying to come up with meals with from our pantry items and our $50 weekly SPUD box order. I’ve been known to wander into gourmet stores and buy random things I don’t REALLY need (like another bottle of truffle oil..or those extra bars of good quality chocolate at $12/bar). Plus I know I’ll be bringing back loads of kitchen essentials from Paris. Update: I’ve been doing great and have managed to slash our grocery bill by about $150 this past month.

4. Date night spending – going to the movies/renting or having brunch instead of a fancy expensive dinner at a nice restaurant. Update: No pricey dinner, dates have been low key and enjoyed one film fest movie.

Since I haven’t shared a recipe in the past couple days, here is a dish I made earlier on in the week. It started with an eggplant sitting in my vegetable drawer, half a baguette from the freezer..Solution: C&G’s Eggplant Caponata Salad.

Cut your eggplant into a large dice and dress with olive oil, splash of balsamic, s&p and roast in the oven at 400F for about 20 min..Meanwhile, into a saucepan goes, two cloves of minced garlic and one chopped red onion..

Add in a couple chopped roma tomatoes, 1/2 green pepper. Season with salt and pepper and some italian herbs (rosemary, lemon thyme, sage). Add in a few tablespoons of salty plump capers..set aside.

Cook up one roughly chopped zucchini until the edges are nice and golden..

Put all the veggies into a large bowl and tear your baguette into bite-sized pieces and mix together with a bit more good quality olive oil and another splash of balsamic. Top your warm mixture with a few dabs of peppery goat cheese..

Me and the boy loved this easy dish. You can put in any veggies you like too, just use whatever you have in your fridge. Our favourite part of this was the baguette pieces that just soak up all that lovely flavour. Make sure you get a bit of melty goat cheese in every bite..

In other news.. my 3 year old Canon point and shoot has finally died, the lens doesn’t seem to focus like it used to (it had a good run – surviving many falls and even being dropped into the lake).. I decided to change it up and get a Panasonic 10MP Lumix this time.. so far so good. It even has a “food” mode. Nice..

4 Responses to “{Dinner at mom’s continued, my Save-for-Paris challenge and C&G’s Eggplant Caponata Salad}”
  1. Tatiana says:

    Congrats on your money saving measures. Our food budget is also our largest item, easy, so I try to monitor our spending a bit. But it’s quite hard with the farmers markets still bursting with fresh produce. It won’t last, so we indulge as much as we can. And that Panasonic Lumix is what I use too, it’s an excellent point and shoot.

    • eatrundesign says:

      Yes, I agree that making a food budget is hard, especially when you love food as much as I do.. but it’s definitely important to take in all that fresh produce we have since our season is so short!!

      I love my new camera, functions are better than my previous Canon and I find the lighting of my interior food pics are better too 🙂

  2. Rande says:

    Veggies and goat cheese, my favorite!!

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