This is Eli

A blog about Eli. A blog about survival – and by that, I mean life!

Saving to pay off debt is incredibly fun, said no one ever.

I need a carrot, and that carrot is the Magic Kingdom.

I will increase savings overall, yes, but part of that goal entails getting my kids to Mickey Mouse and the ocean for a vacation this spring. The salt air is very good for CFers lungs.

Speaking of CF, we have a high childcare tab that eats up the majority of one of our take-home incomes. We people of modest means have a nanny to help keep Eli healthy.

This arrangement works because we’ve become cheap as all get up.

Because of my carrot – DISNEY — we’re about to get even cheaper – woo! We might become the cheapest muthas around.

We targeted our grocery budget last night. Food and supplies are a top-3 expense for us, behind nanny and housing, but right up there if we’re not careful.

Last night we slashed.

We were aiming for $200/week for food and supplies. That’s one of the most affordable metro areas in the country, Oklahoma City.

It’s down to $150. Next week, I’m going to see how far one Benjamin goes.

I’ve renewed our effort to spend cash at the grocer. It changes the way I spend.

I put back about six items Sunday while shopping — two deals of Ranch
(cuz I need regular and lite, right? Wrong), a bag of veggie chips, a container and I don’t remember what else, which speaks to the fact I did not actually need those items.

No one is going to starve; this effort entails us planning more for meals, cooking more and freezing more.

This week, I’m turning to soup for help.

It’s hearty and it’s healthy and it’s easy to add calories for Eli– Heavy whipping cream, sour cream, cheese, and chopped bacon for buddy boy. For me, just a little of this or that.

My first effort a 30-minute recipe called rustic potato-leek soup from Cook’s Country Magazine.

I e-mailed the magazine (twice) to see if I could share recipes here. No one e-mailed me back!

Fine, be that way, America’s Test Kitchen!

So here it is, until I get a cease and desist letter:

Rustic potato-leek soup

4 slices of bacon, chopped
3 large leeks, white and light and green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1.5 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

1. Cook bacon (Cook’s Country says Dutch Oven, which I don’t have. I cooked it
in the oven while I prepped the rest of the food). Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Reserve.
1 tbs fat

2. Add leeks, potatoes and butter to empty pot and cook until leeks soften, about five minutes. Add broth, bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until veggies are tender, about 15 msinutes.

3. Discard bay leaf. Using potato masher (which I don’t have, so we used a pastry slicer I for some reason do have), mash potatoes until they just begin to break down and soup is thickened. Stir in bacon. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

I noticed this recipe tells you to reserve bacon fat but not how to use it. I used bacon fat in step 2.

Laila, my pickiest eater, loved this soup. Eli had already eaten last night before I got it done, but I believe it to be right up his alley. This dish has a rich taste but cost little.

I will surely make it again — all I need is three leeks as I have potatoes and bacon left over.

Tell me, what soups are you into? Leave a comment, send a note.

nom get me to Mickey

nom get me to Mickey

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