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View Poll Results: How many meals/day do you prepare FROM SCRATCH on average?
0 12 9.09%
1 30 22.73%
2 45 34.09%
3 38 28.79%
4 or more 7 5.30%
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:34 PM   #61
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Uh oh! Your pizza photos remind me that we do eat frozen pizzas once in a while.

My wife has made pizzas a few times, and I have to say it's nothing to brag about.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:51 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by RetireSoon View Post
The one or two times we went to a Red Robin, it was decent. Not Ruth Chris, but not Olive Garden either.
Red Robin is decent. Lucky for us there are two local gourmet burger places at the sane prices, that have better food, service, atmosphere and clientele than RR.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:59 PM   #63
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2 meals because that's all I eat. If I eat lunch I can't eat dinner. Breakfast during work week is oatmeal (not that instant stuff) with pecans and some kind of fruit and on weekends it's eggs or French toast or pancakes. I was laughing about the Bisquick comments, as someone noted it's just flour, fat, salt and baking powder. That's basically my pancake recipe with an egg and some milk added. It's so easy, why don't people make pancakes from scratch. French toast is easy and by adding spices, flavors, liquors, herbs you can change up the flavor. Dinner during the week is seafood, fish or chicken with a cooked veg or salad because all those foods cook up fast. Weekends we go out to dinner or get takeout or we have a spaghetti night with neighbors, we take turns buying fresh pasta and one neighbor makes the sauce, another makes salad and bread. I do have emergency rations in my pantry like canned soup, canned tuna fish, dried pasta, ultra pasteurized milk. I also like to bake yeast bread and do that quite frequently.


Forgot to mention, for the pancakes, my mom will add veggies to the pancakes. She cuts veggies small, puts little piles on the griddle, cooks briefly, then pours pancake batter over the veggies. She uses sweet corn, peppers, carrots, Vidalia onions, asparagus.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:00 PM   #64
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If I had more cajones, I'd open an amazing restaurant in Retirement. National chains wouldn't scare me one iota, as I'd be serving (actually edible) food at a good value..
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Wow! I bet no one else has thought of that idea.
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Ummm..not sure what your point is. OF COURSE many people open restaurants. Duh. The POINT is that National Chains are often horrid, and there's a LOT of money to be made coming up with a better product.
Something like 4 out of 5 new restaurants fail within 3 years, 3 of 5 in the first year. But you can bet 5 out of 5 were certain they were opening "an amazing restaurant." Surely you've been to a few before they failed - those owners thought they were going to "make a KILLING if [they] opened a restaurant" too.

Most people on the outside underestimate what it takes to develop and sustain a successful restaurant, or most other businesses for that matter. It's way tougher sledding than any 40 hour workweek, like double that. And even if you have a successful formula for a restaurant, you'll work ungodly hours to get it to more than five years.

http://www.restaurants.com/blog/why-.../#.Vns2p69OKrV
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:08 PM   #65
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I generally cook from 'scratch', using basic ingredients to build meals. I'm following a restricted sodium diet (less than 1000 mg/day) and that's about the only way to do it. I do buy loaves of sodium free bread and occasionally 'no salt added' packaged marinara and broth. There are a few other items that require specialized equipment or skills to make that I'll buy, such as tofu.

The most interesting thing I've noticed is that this raises my fiber intake substantially over buying prepared goods for the same meals. I find I typically have a 45 g/day fiber intake.


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Old 12-23-2015, 06:29 PM   #66
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After just a few posts, it's clear that everyone has a different idea of what "from scratch" means.
I agree. We had carnita (mexican pork stew like thing) last night (which I cooked) but we had soft corn tortilla with it and I certainly didn't make tortilla from scratch. We had Spaghetti meat sauce for lunch and I made the spaghetti sauce but I used canned diced tomatoes as the base and added veggies/garlic/wine to cook it down with some spices...And oh, pasta was store bought too. Some days it's totally from scratch, like 3 nights ago with - fish and broccoli (I didn't grow the broccoli).

I did vote more than 4 however since I am home cooking all the time (we don't go out to eat much), and when I say cooking, I don't mean popping something in the oven or microwave, or heating ready made food in the sauce pan. I don't use pre-packaged spice / flavor mixes of any kind.

Wait...Did I answer I cook 4 times a day?? I only cook 2 times a day..I already answered the poll...
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:38 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireSoon View Post
If I had more cajones, I'd open an amazing restaurant in Retirement. National chains wouldn't scare me one iota, as I'd be serving (actually edible) food at a good value..
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Wow! I bet no one else has thought of that idea.
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Originally Posted by RetireSoon View Post
Ummm..not sure what your point is. OF COURSE many people open restaurants. Duh. The POINT is that National Chains are often horrid, and there's a LOT of money to be made coming up with a better product.
Something like 4 out of 5 new restaurants fail within 3 years, 3 of 5 in the first year. But you can bet 5 out of 5 were certain they were opening "an amazing restaurant." Surely you've been to a few before they failed - those owners thought they were going to "make a KILLING if [they] opened a restaurant" too.

Most people on the outside underestimate what it takes to develop and sustain a successful restaurant, or most other businesses for that matter. It's way tougher sledding than any 40 hour workweek, like double that. And even if you have a successful formula for a restaurant, you'll work ungodly hours to get it to more than five years.

Why Do Restaurants Fail?
Exactly. I'm surprised the comment was not understood.

That said, I've always been curious about the economics of the restaurant business. If you go to a nice restaurant, there's a wide menu, and they generally serve up anything on it in a reasonable time. And some of those items require some cooking time. So I assume some things are par-baked, and just finished when you order (roast duck for example)? How long do these keep? Are they vacuum sealed?

It just seems waste must really be high, but I never worked in a restaurant, so I don't know how it works.

Many entrees are understandable - in a typical upscale Italian restaurant you have the pasta base, and they can quickly cook up the sausage or chicken or fish to go with it. And scallopinni dishes are thin slices, so they cook fast. But what about the lasagna style, or eggplant parm (DW is allergic to eggplant, so I sometimes order it when I'm out)? Those take some time to cook?

Again, just curious. - ERD50
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:38 PM   #68
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From a RE perspective, learning to cook halfway well can mean ~$240K in your pocket over 10 years. ($50/dinn, 4X / month * 10 years). AND, you'll eat a heck of a lot better in our experience..

I love to cook and am glad we can keep our expenses down in RE.
50*4*12*10=24K. Just saying.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:31 PM   #69
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One of my favorite quotes from Carl Sagan -

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch......



I make most things from scratch, but I do use fresh vegetables already in a steaming bag or frozen vegetables at times. We also use the triple washed, ready to eat spinach and salads. Of course, after reading the e-coli Chipotle thread, I may rethink eating those right out of the bag!
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:51 PM   #70
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+1
Can't define "From scratch" anymore than I can "clean food", "real food", or another 12 cute phrases passed around in food bloggers blogs.

For us we try to buy foods that are like what our Grandparents would have recognized. Ingredients that an average fifth grader would easily pronounce. As I started reading ingredients I discovered all the garbage I didn't know people still eat. Bisquick, good old fashioned bisquick has transfat! That garbage is in all flour type products you don't need to add fat to. Right next to bisquick is a brand that doesn't have transfat, but you have to add oil. If you know that it's a no-brainer to know what to buy.

Actually I checked the product label on Bisquick and Bisquick Heart Smart online. Both say zero trans fat. I'm not sure where your information comes from.

I do virtually all the cooking in the family. Many things are from scratch. Not everything. Perhaps if the cooking were shared in the family, more would be from scratch. But one of DH's faults is that his brain simply doesn't function in the kitchen and doesn't appreciate the "from scratch" element very much so it isn't as fun as it could be. DS is already a better cook than DH.

After 30 years of bringing home the bacon and cooking it too, I want a break.

I'm more creative on the nights when I cook for myself, though. I experiment with herbs and spices and different vegetables.

I don't do too much with bread and baking though because of the carbs.


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Old 12-23-2015, 08:00 PM   #71
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Actually I checked the product label on Bisquick and Bisquick Heart Smart online. Both say zero trans fat. I'm not sure where your information comes from.

I do virtually all the cooking in the family. Many things are from scratch. Not everything. Perhaps if the cooking were shared in the family, more would be from scratch. But one of DH's faults is that his brain simply doesn't function in the kitchen and doesn't appreciate the "from scratch" element very much so it isn't as fun as it could be. DS is already a better cook than DH.

After 30 years of bringing home the bacon and cooking it too, I want a break.

I'm more creative on the nights when I cook for myself, though. I experiment with herbs and spices and different vegetables.

I don't do too much with bread and baking though because of the carbs.


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You're correct the label says 0% trans fat. As I understand the label if there is less than .5 grams it's rounded down to zero. Read the list of ingredients as I recall bisquick has partially hydrogenated soybean oil. That is trans fat as I understand the bizarre labelling system we have.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:11 PM   #72
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You're correct the label says 0% trans fat. As I understand the label if there is less than .5 grams it's rounded down to zero. Read the list of ingredients as I recall bisquick has partially hydrogenated soybean oil. That is trans fat as I understand the bizarre labelling system we have.
But is an occasional fractional amount of trans fat a problem? IIRC, it only takes a very tiny amount of trans fat to keep peanut butter from separating, but all this trans-fat -phobia drives them to not have any on the ingredient label.

I like the 'natural' PB I buy, but I wish the oil would not separate.



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...

After 30 years of bringing home the bacon and cooking it too, I want a break.
...
Off topic, but this reminds me of one my favorite post-feminist 80's satirical comments:

A woman says: " Before the feminist movement, we took care of the family, and cooked and cleaned. After the feminist movement, we held a full time job outside the home, and we took care of the family, and cooked and cleaned. "


-ERD50
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:55 PM   #73
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But is an occasional fractional amount of trans fat a problem? IIRC, it only takes a very tiny amount of trans fat to keep peanut butter from separating, but all this trans-fat -phobia drives them to not have any on the ingredient label.

I like the 'natural' PB I buy, but I wish the oil would not separate.


-ERD50
The FDA is taking action to further reduce trans fat and it adds no value to my food so why not eliminate all I can? It's not a hardship to add a fat of my choosing to any dough I'm making. I know what your saying about PB, Smuckers Natural PB great stuff but it separates.

There's a lot of little things in our diets that add up to large amounts of undesirable(at least for some) additives to our diet. I'm recently off of two different BP meds so I still watch my sodium. A few different choices through the day can make 1000-1500 mg daily difference.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesFor.../ucm079609.htm
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:55 PM   #74
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We eat dinner out 2 nights a week. All the other meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - I make from scratch. I grow my own culinary herbs, that's it.


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Old 12-23-2015, 08:57 PM   #75
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I have been on a strict elimination diet for six months now, with a limited food list and a strict 4 day rotation. So that has required that all meals be made from scratch and no eating out either.

I don't expect to continue the strict regimen past six months, although I will probably maintain a food rotation and make most of my meals from scratch.

I couldn't even eat store brought chicken broth because they all contained caramel coloring (malt), so made stock occasionally. But I admit to the occasional corn tortilla as none of the ingredients flagged as a problem. That is honestly the only prepared food I used these past six months.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:04 PM   #76
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I've been on a low carb plan since last April to lose a few pounds. DW has joined me since she does the cooking.

Dinner has typically been steamed broccoli or cauliflower, salads, grilled chicken, fish, etc. All somewhat cooked from scratch or prepackaged (salad mix). Pretty boring too!

No white stuff (starch) or sugar. No processed wheat products.

Breakfast is easy (eggs and bacon). Lunch a salad or just a plate of veggies. The real problem is eating out, especially this holiday season. Nothing on the restaurant menus works or fits in.

I would guess we will continue the restricted carb plan (our design) as it fits with scratch type cooking. I am near my desired weight (again) and DW, who is naturally thin, has lost a few inches here and there.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:28 PM   #77
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We cook at home almost all the time. Most common "processed" foods for us are tortillas and tortilla chips! During summer lots of stuff from the garden. Less during winter but some home canned items. Venison is common. Not a lot of fish. Some small game. Do much of our own bread. Occasionally grinding the flour. It is very hard to see that eating out, even at fast food places, could ever be cheaper. And very very seldom as good. We may buy a precooked chicken sometimes. Bought a bunch when we found them on sale and stripped the meat, made soup from the bones, and crisped the chicken skins. We got about 6-10 servings out of each chicken depending on what we did with the meat and, of course, how much other food was added to the meal.
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:24 AM   #78
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You're correct the label says 0% trans fat. As I understand the label if there is less than .5 grams it's rounded down to zero. Read the list of ingredients as I recall bisquick has partially hydrogenated soybean oil. That is trans fat as I understand the bizarre labelling system we have.

Yeah, I checked the website again. You're right. However, the only one of their products I've ever used is the Heart Smart mix. Definitely no trans fat. I think I've purchased about 5 boxes over the past 16 years.

I now make my waffle batter from scratch, using a recipe I altered from the Internet. I substitute Greek yogurt for buttermilk and thin it with milk. Also substitute some cornstarch for the flour, which makes them crispier. I make them no more than 3 times a year. DH and I only eat half a Belgian waffle each, so I only make them when DS is home.


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Old 12-24-2015, 06:40 AM   #79
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I now make my waffle batter from scratch, using a recipe I altered from the Internet. I substitute Greek yogurt for buttermilk and thin it with milk. Also substitute some cornstarch for the flour, which makes them crispier. I make them no more than 3 times a year. DH and I only eat half a Belgian waffle each, so I only make them when DS is home.
Since you eat the half waffle so infrequently does it really make a difference making the recipe substitutions or are you on a strict diet? I have a friend that watches what he eats 90% of the time so he can feels he can have full "fat" foods occasionally. We have a common friend that makes donuts once a year and we all eat them. OMG, wish I hadn't mentioned the donuts. There is nothing like fresh made donuts.
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Old 12-24-2015, 06:55 AM   #80
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50*4*12*10=24K. Just saying.
Yep..obviously too much pre-Christmas eggnog!

Thanks for catching that..I realized I was doing 'new math' late last night but didn't get around to editing yet..
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