If you think eating well means eating out — home delivery, pickup or dining in — you may be feeling the effects of restaurant dining in your wallet, as the cost of restaurant meals is now soaring in ways we’ve not seen before.
Just this week, I was shocked to read the new (disposable) menu at a small local hamburger joint in our town. The same classic hamburger that was $7.95 pre-virus is now $11.95. Will prices decline as this thing settles down? I wouldn’t bet on it.
It’s time for us to change our thinking and start digging in to find realistic ways to save time and money.
If I can make the leap from being a diner in debt to making irresistible meals at home, which often taste even better and cost less than those from a restaurant, you can, too.
For many years (before there was a Food Network), I was uniquely privileged to sit under the personal tutelage of world-famous gourmet cooks — the likes of Julia Child, Christopher Kimball, Martha Stewart, Martin Yan and Jacques Pepin.
Every weekend, I had standing appointments with one or more of them. They came right into my home and demonstrated unique techniques while I assumed a prone position, curled up in my favorite blanket, front and center facing the television. They sparked confidence in me. From that start, my love for making great meals economically has grown.
Today, I want to share my recipes for two versions of homemade Blue Cheese Dressing — fresh, easy and tasty.
Blue Cheese Dressing
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1-1/3 cups mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershiresauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Season with mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in blue cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
Here’s my favorite no-brainer gourmet salad: Cut a head of iceberg lettuce into wedges, and arrange them on one plate or individual salad plates. Drizzle blue cheese dressing over the top, and you’re done. Or, if you want to really go all out, jazz it up with chopped tomatoes, chopped sweet onion and bacon bits.
I know of one restaurant that charges $8 for a single lettuce wedge salad, but not for long. That was pre-virus.
Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 drops Tabasco sauce
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cream or milk
Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mash together with a fork until well combined. Add enough cream or milk to achieve the desired consistency.
Would you be interested in more recipes for homemade salad dressings? I have them ready for you at https://EverydayCheapskate.com/dressings.
Mary Hunt writes this column for Creators Syndicate. She is the founder of www.EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of “Debt-Proof Living. Submit comments or tips or address questions on her website. She will answer questions of general interest via this column, but letters cannot be answered individually.