With very young kids, going out to a restaurant is sometimes NOT the easiest or cheapest option so when I get the chance to stay in a place with a full kitchen I looove to do that. My in-laws got us a week at the Wyndham resort (a vacation rental) and it comes with a full kitchen! THRILLED!
We got into Alexandria today at 1 p.m. and as soon as we got into the hotel we unpacked, made a bag of popcorn (complimentary, love it!) and then we went to the grocery store. The Whole Foods in Alexandria is an experience! I loved the free samples. There was a person making samples of corn beef, onions, potatoes and carrots all slow cooked together. My whole family fell on this like ravenous dogs. I think we scared the sample guy. They were also serving samples of Guinness with it! The hubs and I really took a shine to some artisanal cheese sample we tried. It was an Italian cheese sort of like a softer parmesan, lovely nutty flavor. They were cinnamon raisin bread samples to try in the bakery and a "bake your own bagels" sample to try near the registers. I have ever really had much of an opportunity to shop at WF before so it was neat seeing all the locally grown, organic and fair trade options. But since we are only going to be here for a week (with one dinner out at a relative's house) I had to do some serious menu planning.
Today is Saturday March 12th, Got a frozen pizza and a bag of 3 hearts of romaine lettuces, so tonight was pizza and salad with lettuce and baby carrots.
Tomorrow, Sunday March 13th is dinner at our cousin's house!
Monday the 14th (Meatless Monday), a box of vegetarian sloppy joe mix (just add water, tomato sauce, and oil). I plan on using a small can of muir glen organic tomato sauce and olive oil siphoned from the top of the salad dressing bottle and this goes with some homemade baked onion rings (egg whites, dry bread crumbs from the loaf of bread we bought, salt and pepper came with the hotel room) and a box of Annie's Organics Mac and Cheese (whole wheat variety).
Tuesday the 15th Red beans sauteed with onions and garlic in a tomato sauce over homemade polenta. (Bag of dried red beans, bag of onions, 1 small garlic, 1 small can of Muir Glen organic tomato sauce, butter, bag of cornmeal, all flavored with a squirt of Italian dressing, salt and pepper)
Wednesday the 16th (Weird Wednesday) Breakfast for dinner! Everything is backwards! Up is down, black is white, franks are beans! Yeah, I know, "brinner" as I like to call it has been out of the bag for awhile now, but some people are still missing out on the fabulousness. I will not stop until everyone tries pancakes for dinner at least once. We splurged on a small bottle of real maple syrup, which I plan to use to sweeten a batch of homemade oatmeal cookies as well.
Thursday the 17th Got the world's tiniest corned beef (For St. Patrick's Day of course) for $14.28, plus a couple dollars worth of potatoes, a tiny head of cabbage ($0.94) and I can use some more of the baby carrots.
Friday the 18th (Fish Friday) Husband got a small freezer pack containing 2 Swordfish fillets, going to have a box of rice pilaf with that and some steamed broccoli!
Saturday the 19th, we fly home!
We got a dozen eggs, a 1 pound bag of flour, a small bulk bag of oatmeal (for cookies and breakfasts) and a pound of butter. We also got 2 loaves of bread, a small jar of peanut butter, small jar of strawberry jelly, and a gallon of milk, some apple juice and 2 boxes of cereal. Hopefully we can keep "eating out" to a bare minimum.
I will of course have more detailed recipes, impressions of D.C. and Virginia and tips for cooking while traveling all along the way. Do you have any good ideas for me for keeping this an economical vacation? I already told the kids about "free souveniers" e.g. colorful paper maps, brochures, any hand outs. Already they've scored extra peanuts, some Twix bars from first class and some coloring books and crayons from the front desk just for being their awesome selves. Mommy's little freebie-grabbers, (tears up) I am so proud! (sniffle)