My friend Michelle, who is super smart and is teaching people who need to learn to cook, recommended the book An Everlasting Meal. Hannah also recommended this book. So, you know I ran over to Powell’s and grabbed it. (I finished Age of Miracles as quickly as possible. That book wasn’t very good.)

I’m already in love with An Everlasting Meal. Her whole premise is that we don’t really need to throw so much food away. And that we can use all of the odds and ends and wilted bits in our cooking if we’re creative. So, with that (and the fact that we’re about to go on a strict budget because I’ll be working part-time) I approached grocery shopping. She advocates roasting your veggies ahead of time and prepping your greens. I decided I’d get a whole chicken too because that’s good for several meals.

So Sunday I did a big cooking project.

The first thing I did was turn some stale baguette into croutons.

Homemade croutons are my weakness. I also used up a couple of sad looking garlic cloves in the croutons as well. Yum.

I then made the sauce for Spaghetti All’Amatrciana. I love this recipe but it takes 2-plus hours. So I made it to serve later in the week for a quick pasta dish.

Next up, I washed all of our greens for the week. We’re going to eat a lot of salads this week.

I then roasted all of our veggies for the week. These I’ll serve as sides, in a curry sauce and in a frittata.

I also made a curry powder from scratch loosely based on Bittman’s fragrant curry powder recipe. This was so simple.

Then I made April Bloomfield’s Lemon Caper dressing. I’m going to use this on salads for the week, and I think I’ll make some aioli and use a dash of this. Yum. I love this dressing. I hope you’ll try it.

Finally, I roasted that chicken in a skillet, which is what Bittman told me to do. This will be for dinner and for lunches. And for a night of Archie’s bowl’s. This is basically, protein, rice, beans and guacamole in a bowl.

Total grocery bill: $115. This included a six-pack of beer and a bottle of wine. As well as our breakfast and lunch-makings. Not bad for a week’s worth of meals for three people.

Total time spent in the kitchen on Sunday? Seven hours. That’s sort of a lot. But I think I’ll save some time during the week.

Also, does anyone want to be my sous chef?