Sunday, February 13, 2011

Living from Pantry Challenge, Experiment 1: Valentine's Day on the Cheap

When I started looking for something to make for Valentine's Day I had one goal:  Not to spend over 5.00 on materials.  I know that sounds odd for a holiday dinner, but we're tight on money right now and honestly Valentine's Day really has never been big on my list of "must have" holidays.  So, I went to my freezer and found that I had a New York Roast I'd gotten on reduced after Christmas for cheap and was just sitting in the freezer and I also found some bacon.  Figuring that those were definitely a good place to start from I pulled them both from the freezer and asked my husband how he'd like the beef prepared (since I'd be making it for him). 

Well, my husband has been reading my "Good Eats" cookbooks and found a recipe for a standing rib roast cooked inside a flower pot-type oven.  He REALLY wanted to have me try it so he went looking and found that we had a Home Depot giftcard from my brother-in-law from a couple of years back that I'd been saving for something cool and so he went and bought the flower pot and some welding gloves for me to make the roast with on the giftcard.  So, at least the goal of making it a cheap dinner did, sorta work *laugh*.

When my husband went to pick up milk earlier in the week I had him pick up a thing of asparagus that was on sale and figured I'd try my hand at making Bacon Wrapped Asparagus as a side dish.  Since I already had the bacon in the fridge all I had to buy was the asparagus which worked out to be about 1.89 on sale :).  This is by far the tastiest asparagus I've ever eaten and I ate a LOT of it *laugh*.

And then I just pulled a couple of jars of canned potatoes that I had out of the pantry and smashed them up with some leftover baked potatoes and some parmesan cheese to make some pretty kicking mashed potatoes to go with it :).

The roast turned out AWESOME by the way, and with the exception of putting the pot in and pulling it out of the oven, the method is extremely simple.  I will so use this method again in the event that I can afford an actual prime rib roast because it makes the meat turn out perfect.  The picture of the finished meal is above (the beef on the paper plate is actual the ribs that separated from the roast perfectly after being cooked and the doll figure is thanks to my daughter who was playing on the table before dinner :). 

So, all totaled I spent less than 2.00 out of pocket for our entire Valentine's Day (albeit a day early) meal.  I feel pretty good about that and I sure did enjoy eating it! 

Hope your Valentine's Day goes well too!  Enjoy!


BEFFY! said...

A flower pot, eh? Sounds strange, but kinda cool! The recipe looks great-I'll have to try that sometime! Happy Valentine's Day!

Alaskan Bargain Hunter said...

Definitely unorthodox, but definitely effective *laugh*. I'd heard of the ceramic ovens before, but this was a lot cheaper then going out and trying to buy one of those suckers. So, go Alton Brown on that ingenuity ;).

And Happy Valentine's Day to you too. And welcome home :).