Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eating Out While Eating At Home

Eating out is not really an option for most single-income families. It just costs too much and can be more of a hassle than it's worth. But I still like to eat out. It gives me a chance to try new dishes that I would have never thought about or do not have the culinary ability to create.

We've actually found ways to emulate foods that we really like at restaurants. Our kids are addicted to bean burritos right now (which for a very gassy crew by the way). So instead of hitting the Taco Bell drive thru every time they want a burrito, we have started buying Taco Bell refried beans at the grocery store and making them at home. You can also find recipes that mimic your favorite restaurant meal on the Internet (like Panera's Brocoli Cheddar Soup, Papa John's Garlic Sauce or McDonald's Southwest Chicken Salad).

There are even websites dedicated to these "copycat" recipes. Check out CDKitchen and The Recipe Link for some more ideas.

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