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Old 04-21-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I hit the frozen food aisle and buy mozz sticks, meatballs, wings, bagel bites, etc. Turn on the oven, bake and we sit and snack on all that for dinner, topped off with a German Chocolate Cake or some such...
We call that munchie night at our house. It's fun to have that on a night when Survivor is on TV. Then we call it "Survivor night" and have munchies.

No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best!
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #12
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We like to go out on weekends. I always have something to spelunk day to day from the freezer, and DH loves my cooking, but it's always fun to try something new. And we got a full meal for both of us for $9 last Friday.

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Old 04-21-2013, 08:30 PM   #13
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Actually, most of my eating out happens at work. Shrek rarely goes out anymore, so I go out for lunch when I'm already out of the house.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
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I never really liked going to restaurants, even when I did not cook as much, or as good, but I always knew what the good food has to taste like. Unfortunately even fancy restaurants do not always serve good food. The only exception for me was always Chinese restaurants. I love Chinese food, really, really love, even today when I learn to make some of those dishes I still love to go out to a Chinese place, albeit on extremely rear occasion, because we do not have one in town (the kosher issue).
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #15
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Well, let's see...I've been cooking (not just cookies and cakes) since I was 8-years-old. I was the oldest and because of family issues, the cooking became my responsibility. Having said that, I've been cooking for over 50 years, had 3 husbands and raised 8 children and, as a result, have had a lot of time and opportunity to hone my skills.

Early on my major objective was to prepare "a lot" of food economically that would satisfy my siblings who, thankfully, weren't picky eaters. In this environment, going out to eat was sporadic and a "treat."

My first husband thought himself a gourmet but was an amazingly picky eater. Ugh!! Cooking for him was a challenge and lent itself to some sneaky creativity on my part. He relished dining out but, snobbishly, the eatery had to be multiple-star Michelin rated. We lived in Washington, DC at the time, so there were plenty of dining "targets."

Buck just flat-out loved to eat...didn't really matter what. He was night-to-day different from what I had been used to for 10 years with my former husband. What a breath of fresh air! He also liked to cook and we had many delightful adventures in the kitchen. He nurtured my interest in cooking and was a real enabler when it came to buying and collecting cookbooks and cooking tools. Yee! Haw!

We ate out on a regular basis and had many an adventure ferreting out wonderful hole-in-the-wall places where we could savor the delightful flavors and encourage the, sometimes, newbie chefs/owners. At the same time, we created our own once per week date-like meals at home.

Now I have Glenn and he, too, is a lover of tasty eats. His preferences tend more toward basic meat-and-potatoes fare, which has given me the opportunity to search out and create dishes that fit that niche but, also, fit "outside" the average fare. In the 4 years we've been together, I've yet to hear anything but "this is great" or "this is the best x,y,z I've ever had." So far, I'm batting a thousand.

He also likes to dine out and we do so less often than most, but that's largely because truly good restaurants are few and far between where we live. Plus, the nearest restaurant-rich area is an hour or more away.

Okay, so a long reply so far. But over all my years of cooking, I gained skills I never imagined possible and, as a result, it allowed me to understand and appreciate all that goes into what goes into a stellar restaurant meal. There's so much more to slinging hash than just "slingin'."

As for your "cheap" comment, CG, I truly understand. Buck used to say I could make a penny cry. Glenn laughs and says I'm, "cheap, cheap!" So, I also am careful or try to be when it comes to spending money on a meal out. I just went through a recent lunch experience with an area restaurant that ended up with my returning for another lunch that was on the house. The initial meal wasn't what one would consider costly but the dining experience required revisiting with management.

I love to cook, create with food, play in the kitchen and provide myself and my family with an enjoyable eating experience...and I love to eat out and have someone else do it for me.

For me, what it amounts to is...I prefer both worlds.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:21 PM   #16
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I LOVE all these answers! You guys are great, informative and very entertaining.

Originally Posted by Katie H View Post
...As for your "cheap" comment, CG, I truly understand. Buck used to say I could make a penny cry. Glenn laughs and says I'm, "cheap, cheap!"...
My Mom was accused of squeezing the nickle so hard the poor buffalo would poop dimes. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I don't mind spending the money for a quality meal. But I don't want to waste money on "average" when I can wait and spend it on "amazing". Like Aunt Bea, I like looking for the best of local places. When Himself and I were in Charleston SC last December we did online searches (Poogan's Porch won that one) and also word-of-mouth from the locals (Virginia's On King). It's amazing how informative the workers in quicky foods places are when you ask "if you want great local cooking at prices closer to yours, what restaurant would you eat at?"

PrincessFiona and chopper, we have a ball cruising the aisles at our favorite bargain gourmet store, Trader Joe's and going home with a frozen food and fresh cases fiesta! I love to gourmet cook, but my opinion of my cooking is certainly not above a little good, nuke-able comfort food!

Dawgluver, we have the flexibility to avoid weekends since by us it seems link no one cooks at home from Thursday thru Sunday! When I'm hungry I'm hungry, so get outta my way! grrr....

And Andy, I agree that as the available money goes down the skill level goes up.
"Eating ruins your appetite"~Mom

"If you don't use your head, you gotta use your feet."~~~more Mom
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:45 PM   #17
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Oh yes, our "Whole Foods" clone has a fantastic deli, soup, salad, olive and hot dish bar. $8.99 a pound which is easy to overspend. We get in trouble there a lot.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:29 AM   #18
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I completely agree with you. In addition to being a much better cook than a few years ago, I have a hard time justifying spending so much money on something I can make for a fraction of the cost. I also enjoy the left overs to take to work for lunch (much better than cafeteria food). We use to eat out a couple of times a week, now we eat out once or twice a month. My main motivation for going to restarants is not having to decide what to cook for dinner and not having to do the dishes! The better I cook, the more of a food snob I become and I really dislike fast food anymore. I would rather save up for a really nice meal.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:42 AM   #19
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I started cooking when I was 6 yrs old. Really cooking "not making sandwiches and scrambled eggs!" My mom was away from home for 2 weeks each month so I had to cook for my family from an early age. To be honest, even though my cooking skills have improved a great deal I still love dining out. I've done a lot of cooking in my life, I get fed up sometimes lol! Our restaurant visits are limited by our finances, not my cooking ability. We've got some lovely places around here that make home style meals that I would be proud to serve in my own home and the prices are reasonable. We used to dine out twice a week and I would happily still do it if I can afford too :)
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:11 AM   #20
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I love going out for breakfast the most but my husband doesn't like going out at all so I go with my friend. When I cook breakfast at home I tend to one of two things & I stick with them. Every single day I either have 2 poached or 2 dippy eggs so when I go out I will eat stuff I never make.

I eat a lot healthier on my work nights since so much time is spent at work & getting to work. I don't have the time to go out unless I stop for a sub, which is very rare.

I like going out for dinners more so since I am getting older & the hubby hates it.

We don't have a lot around my area & I am glad about that so when we do go out it is always a mom & pop place since there are no chains in my area except fast food.

I am looking to switch depts at work so if that happens & I go back to a second shift 8 hour a day workweek, I'll end up cooking a lot more here at home.

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