Chillin'with Chili - Galley Notes: Cooking for $15 a day...on a sailboat! Blog at - 119171

Galley Notes: Cooking for $15 a day...on a sailboat!

Chillin'with Chili 
Aug. 17, 2009 8:30 am 
Updated: Aug. 20, 2009 11:41 am
What does a white sand beach, live rock and roll, and chili have in common?   25th annual Texas Society of the Virgin Islands Chili Cook-Off.
Hello everybody.  This is T (Bab's Hubby), reporting in as a guest blogger.  Barbara thought it would be appropriate for me to write this weeks $15/Day Food Challenge Recap.  Now I don't want it to sound like I kicked Babs out of the kitchen and took over her menu planning.  But that's exactly what I did.  Oh yes, she threw down the gauntlet...I picked it up and went to the market.  I have never been one for high finance.  It can be said that I don't even know how much a nickel costs.  This is true.  Barbara is the money (wo)man.  So we're up for a little role-playing this week.  Keep it clean ladies.  So let's recap the challenge rules:  Breakfast, Dinner, and Drinks for $15 a day ($105/wk).  Sunday morning Babs hands me a hundred and five clams and points me in the direction of the market.  Honestly I have no idea what's on my menu.  My motto "Just Wing It"!  The clerks at the store must have thought I was training for a marathon or something.  Lap after lap after lap around the store.  Up one isle, down the next.  Back and forth, to and fro.  In and out, yin and yang.  I was lost in the wirlwind of groceries.  Then my sights zeroed in on a target.  That little round yellow sticker with the poetic words "Special Today".  If I could find enough of these little gems I can make my budget.  The menu will work itself out, right.  So I start gobling the stickers up like Pac-Man across the video screen.  Cheeses, meats, breads, canned goods; bases covered.  I hoped.  I arrive home from the market with bags of ingredients and $14.95 change for Barbara's hot little hand.   Do I get an "atta -boy" or "good job honey"?   Nope, she spins me around and says"now there's the kitchen T".
The meals for the week are as follows:  Slow cooker Pot Roast with Cola 2 (kinda), Spinach salad with bacon and eggs,  BBQ beef sammys, Veggie Lasagna (enough to make two trays to set Babs up for the next week or whenever), Samosas, Dinner Out, Chile Rellanos, and Enough Chili for a party after the Chili cook-off.
Back to the Chili Cook-Off.  This is one event that we never miss.  Every summer the Virgin Islands Texas Society hosts a Chili Cook-Off.  Usually about 30 chefs are voted on for best chili, vegitarian chili, and showmanship.  I have always wanted to enter, but then I realize that it's a lot of work.  This year I thought that since the Villa we caretake for is close to the event, we could host a cook-off afterparty.  I made two crock pots full of my favorite chili recipe.  Foggy Bottom Chili ('95 chili cook-off Wash DC).  It calls for reconstituted cranberries instead of beans to add a deliciously sweet start to a hot and smokey chili.  I don't remember the excact original recipe.  I go for a flavor profile that I remember instead .  Most of my chilis have this in common.  Starts off sweet, tastes a bit smokey, and finishes hot and spicy.  Everyone in attendance seemed to like it.  If Barbara does most of the work maybe next year we will compete.  I'll call it Smokin Hot Chick Chili.  She is my muse and all.
Thanks for reading.  I had fun this week, but I'll let Babs work her magic from now on.  Happy cooking from the Islands.
Chili Cook-Off
Photo Detail
Photo Detail
Chili Rellanos, step one
Photo Detail
Tostada Nachos
Photo Detail
Chili, Nachos, and Rice
Photo Detail
Aug. 17, 2009 9:10 am
Good morning T....Clearly you need to join the AR group too and blog away. I found myself hanging on every word and am awaiting the next inticing chapter of what you end up preparing. So, not that these aren't lovely pictures to look at, but what do they have to do with you and $15 a day? Did you participate or did Barbara take it all in while you were busy slaving away in your own kitchen? You two sound like a really fun couple.
Aug. 17, 2009 11:34 am
What a nice husband you are!!! Giving your wife a little break from the kitchen. Way to go T!!!
Aug. 17, 2009 1:41 pm
oh this is going to be good - i am so ready to watch this week unfold - btw - she counts on the lobsters and fish you throw in for free from time to time - lol - best of luck to you and this week
Aug. 17, 2009 2:05 pm
Hi, T forgot to mention what he made for the last day of his challenge- that's what the photos are of- but for everything else he made, see my last post!
Aug. 17, 2009 7:58 pm
T...Did you make it the whole week or did you have to delve into the $14.95 change. Barbara, do you see how quick we are....we're addressing T instead of you....can't turn your back for a minute altho I admit, YOU would be really hard for anyone to compete with. Ehhhhh, just as well, one young'un is about all I can handle.
Aug. 18, 2009 6:56 am
Sounds like you two manage to have a lot of fun together. I wish you all the best. Keep up the challenge! I love to see Team Up working out in a marriage (even if you don't share kitchen responsibilities at the same time...)
Aug. 18, 2009 8:22 am
Great job,T! I love her blog and I like her her ideas for cheap dinners! Especially the wines!
Aug. 18, 2009 6:03 pm
Your chille/chill-chill sounds wierd but great if that makes sense.I would love it if you would share. I realize these things are closely yours but any hints?
Aug. 19, 2009 6:39 pm
it always sounds like a good time with you two! T, your chili sounds great!
Aug. 19, 2009 6:59 pm
See that little spot! It's right under that tree up there. Well I'm there right now in my dreams. Just enough shade for my beach towel and a good book! Please don't disturb me... :)
Aug. 20, 2009 6:17 am
I've got a great breakfast recipe. Eggs in a hole is what we call them. Two slices of bread (white, wheat - your choice or favorite) Take a drinking glass press on bread and cut out circle on each slice. Save circles. Next spray skillet with PAM or coat with butter. Butter both sides of bread slices and circles. Put in skillet on medium heat. Take two eggs and crack each egg into one of the holes in the bread slices. Cook until eggs are done to your desired taste. I cook mine so bread is browned and eggs are cooked a little on both sides but runny inside. My son likes me to pop the yokes. Remember to flip the circles too. Take out and serve. They come out really sweet tasting. And the cost is minimal .08cents per egg and about .10cents per slice of bread. Breakfast for .18 cents per person (okay add butter ect. .25cents per person.) And you don't need to serve bacon or anyting with it. On special mornings I serve it with fresh sliced fruits. My husband is a meat and potatoes man but he absolutely loves this one.
Aug. 20, 2009 6:26 am
Here's a cheap lunch or dinner. Burger Cupcakes! Get a 12 whole Muffin or Cupcake pan. The Large size ones are the best. 1 Tin of Flakey Extra large Biscuits(8 in a pack), 1/4 lb ground chuck, Salsa(mild or hot your choice),Shredded Mexican cheese in a bag. (Or shredd some yourself from a block with grater). Fry hamburger in skillet with about 1/4 cup of salsa. When done, drain well. Preheat oven to 375degrees. Spray muffin tin with PAM. Take biscuits one at a time and flatten out with your hands. Make a big flat circle that will fit down in a muffin hole but be big enough to come up over the sides. Put all 8 biscuits in the muffin tin, make sure the biscuits come up over the sides of the tin so they are like little pie crusts. Put a pinch of shredded cheese in each biscuit, fill up with cooked hamburger mixture then top with a pinch of cheese. (adjust cheese to your tastes). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (untilt the biscuits are golden brown). Let cool. Serve with a salad or fruit. They are also great microwaved or cold. I freeze them so my son has after school snacks during the week. To make breakfast Cupcakes I fill them with chopped up ham or chicken and cheese. Less than $5 total cost.
Aug. 20, 2009 11:41 am
Thanks for the suggestions! I make the egg dish but call it Egg in a Hat...will have to try the burger cupcakes- I bet T will love that!!
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Barbara K

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South Bend, Indiana, USA

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Apr. 2007

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About Me
I live on a sailboat in the Virgin Islands with a tiny fridge, so there is no room for leftovers. I love the ingredient search on this site...I never waste anything! It's very expensive to live here, so we do a menu challenge-trying to spend less than $15 a day on food.
My favorite things to cook
I am a jewelry designer and work for myself, so I have the flexibility to make time-consuming or complicated meals, but I usually end up making something quick and easy or using the slow cooker.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Oyster dressing is a must for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I keep Grandma's handwritten recipe and follow it exactly.
My cooking triumphs
My very first turkey for my husband! It's called a Black Turkey, and the best I've ever had!
My cooking tragedies
There was a Key Lime Pie that we do not talk about!
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