$20 dinner and back to blogging.

This is like my first blog post in forever… I just got burned out in the early going, but I am going to give it another shot.

Here is another one of my $20 dinners I love so much. Before… a flash-back to how we got here.

The “Warden” is a fantastic cook. Anyone who knows Mom, knows that. Though never truly ‘allowed’ in the kitchen. I created more of a ‘mad-scientist’ method of cooking. It started simply by watching, enjoying, thinking… and a lot of food network. Lately, I love all the foodie blogs on the net, but I am not trying to become that. This is not a competition to me, it is a pleasure.

By-the-way…She can claim all she wants, but fact of the matter is, Kiddo is the only one who gets to cook in tandem in the kitchen with Nana.

We start out as we always do. No plans… nothing in the fridge… just another trip to the store. I know most of the time I look odd wandering aimlessly around the Food City, but meh! I did however know I wanted something light.

Luckily… I found some Tilapia for $3.50 in the ‘meat hole.’ Three nice filets from Vietnam. Yea… yea… blah-blah all you want about “organic” this and “local” that, but my system isn’t fancy y’all. It’s all about eating good, cheap. (Side note: the new NuVal system at Food City is awesome.)

Okay… fish, now what?! “White wine… of course,” I thought to myself. I found a California Symphony in the bargain bin for $5.50. The wine wasn’t complete garbage, but with the $20 limit acceptable.

We’ve got the majors now let’s wrap it up. We’re going to Panko ($1.99) bread the fish and do an orange zest-pepper thing. For veggies, I’ll steam some Broccoli. Then, make some whole grain rice. Already in the cupboard. I’ll go to the Dollar Store later for some Fire Roasted Red Peppers and something special you’ll see later to throw in the rice. While I’m at the store I’ll grab some Chives ($.99) and some dried mushrooms ($2.99) for the rice.

Okay, here we are:


The Haul...



Now, let’s get started…



Goodies for the rice. That's right you see Smoked Oysters from the $1 Store.


Those Oysters were in SunFlower oil. Let’s save that to make a broth for the rice.


Every thing's chopped and ready. I'll start the rice and set this aside. While the rice cooks, the mushrooms are being reconstituted by the wine.


Let’s get the fish ready:

While at the Dollar Store, I also found Almonds and Ginger to throw in the batter. Score!


The Almond's need a quick chop. So let's give them a whirl.



Panko, Orange zest, Ginger and Almonds for the breading. Salt & Pepper the fish and give it a quick egg white wash.




Here's the fish on the broiling dish. The oven is pre-heated to 375 and they'll be in there for 20 minutes or more.


And now…

I will not tell you how to cut or steam Broccoli.



Toss every thing we set aside for the rice. Toss that white wine in too. Stir, cover and turn it off. The fish should be ready soon.



Well here we are. Enjoy.




Filed under Foodie Stuff

6 responses to “$20 dinner and back to blogging.

  1. Scooby

    how many did you eat? That looks pretty good!


  2. Wow. A $20 dinner? Which Food City do you shop at? Where’s this $1 store that sells food? Do you mean The Super Dollar Discount food store in Rogersville? How many does this serve?

    Eating good and cheap is the way I like to go, but I have no imagination to coming up with creative dishes like you do. I also like to do easy to cook with a simple recipe.

    Wow. You totally blew me away with this post. This is the kind of cooking I want to do.

    Can you post your recipes with measurements and brand names of the ingredients you use on another page? I want to try this recipe out myself. And I get the feeling I’ll want to try out other dishes you post.

    I love the photos with the great text. I need the step-by-step cooking you show and write about. This is fantastic. I want more.

    I also love how you show the brands and say where to go to get them. I’m definitely a fan.

    Are you on Facebook. I need to figure out how to link you to my travel blog.

    I can’t wait to see what your next foodie post is. This is exactly what I’m looking for.

  3. Scooby,

    Just that one plate (and the bottle of wine.) It will serve three people (but you’ll need more wine.)


    Thanks for the flattery. I appreciate the Kudos. How in the holy net did you find me?

    The one on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol is my favorite haunt.

    Lol… measurements? Yea…well… I’m a guy see, and measurements aren’t really my thing. Dash of that, a little of this. I am kind of like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets. I leave a very messy kitchen behind me.

    I will try in the future to be more precise with that kind of stuff since somebody out there is going to look for that. I will also try and be more brand specific. I am not sure how with the dollar store and cheap factor that will pan out, but it is worth a shot.

    Thanks for tuning in.

  4. That’s okay about the measurements. That means I can fake it and add by taste. I was on twitter and you were a suggestion, so I checked you out.

    I pretty much need the wine for cooking. Not to say I wouldn’t have a glass with the meal, but the main thing we drink around here is real Southern brewed ice tea.

    Okay, where is that $1 store that sells food? I’m near Church Hill, Kingsport and Rogersville. If it’s only in Bristol, I can get my husband to stop by there when he’s in Bristol. Or else he can take me with him on those days and let me loose in the 41 store.

    It doesn’t have to always be cheap… but cheap helps. Your photos help with the brands. But you might want to do a separate page on the brands and where to get them for us locals.

    This is so cool… Chef Savage III. Ha ha, I like the Swedish Chef too. I used to watch Sesame Street with the kids. My kids are now young adults.

    This blog is exactly what I was looking for, especially since I know finding the ingredients and brands won’t be hard or impossible.

    You should also consider doing a book. The way we Northeast Vols like our food, your book would be a hit… especially if you do it the way you blog with photos.

    I write the Tuesday Across the Fence column for the Kingsport Times-News and once you get more posts about the cheap or reasonable eats, I’m going to feature you and your blog in my column.

    I think you’ve hit on something big here.

  5. Well us UGA Dawgs do to. lol… it was the Dollar Tree brand of stores.

    Sounds good. There are plenty more were that came from.


  6. I didn’t realize the Dollar Tree sold food. I think the ones in Kingsport have closed, but I’ll check it out.

    I can’t wait. Before I go to the grocery store, I’m going to have to check the blog out and plan my menus accordingly.

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