Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dinner-nomics! Dinner On The Cheap

Dinner on the Cheap
I would have to say that both Little and Big Challenge think they have a certain sense of entitlement which is no fault of my own. Their expectations can run from the newest iPhone apps, skate shoes, rubber band loom bracelets and whatnot. They also expect, or should I say "like", to have a home-cooked meal. I don't blame them. We have names for certain meals I make which they request over and over; mom burgers, Pasta Stephanie, Fettuccine Al-friendo, Leftover Mayhem, and dreaded Taco Night. But tonight, tonight was going to be different. I was going to introduce them to Top Ramen. You know what I am talking about. That packaged noodle soup mix that you probably thrived off of in college (or even while you are in college now). Ramen and macaroni and cheese. No higher education would be perfect without those staples. Usually because it was so cheap and because you needed to save your "beer money" or "going out money" for, well, going out.

When I know that dinner isn't going to be well received, I usually pump them by sending them texts throughout the day reminding them of what is to come. In their minds, they think that could somehow convince me to take them out or make something else. That would be, "Um, no." Tonight it was Ramen Night. Plus, the weather was less than stellar here so a warm, comforting meal like soup would hit the spot.

Here's how I did it:
I took two packages of chicken flavored Top Ramen and boiled 4 1/3 cups of water. I like to go over a little bit on the water so it isn't too salty. After the water boils, I add the noodles, but I do not break them up. The long, stringiness should be fun and appealing to the Challenges. After about a minute in the water, I add about a half pound of thawed shrimp (21-14 from Trader Joe's) and a half of a bag of frozen Asian vegetables. Keep in mind I purchased the Ramen and frozen vegetables from the Dollar Store. So right there it was $1.37 (.19 for each Ramen package and .99 for the frozen vegetables). The shrimp I am estimating at $4.00, maybe. You could probably use chicken as well. After it all cooks for a few minutes, I served it up.

Little Challenge took to it right away. Big Challenge had to have a substitute dinner standing by but he managed to have a few tastes. He said it was good but not really a "dinner". Little Challenge said, "Mom, you need to make this more often." I explained it would be good practice for our upcoming trip to China and showed her how to eat it with a fork(to be replaced by chopsticks) and a spoon.

See, that's using your noodle!

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