Ended up somewhere else for almost a year! Wow, need to get my ducks in a row. The post today is about splurging. If you don’t eat out, which we don’t, and eat a lot of the same things we in and out, like we do, then one meal a week is worth splurging on. Seriously, it keeps us happy and happiness is the ultimate goal here, no? Tonight, we had Balsamic London broil with mushrooms and onions, a baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon and roasted broccoli. Going out we would’ve spent upwards of $40 on this meal (with lots of no, no ingredients), however, eating in this meal cost us less then $4 per person. It was delicious and as an added bonus there was no question about whether or not we could eat it. Here are my tips for making your special meal really special.
1) Don’t substitute. This meal is your treat. You want mushrooms even though you don’t normally buy them, as they are on the expensive side, get them. Want to have seafood, then get that. Eat steak if you want. This is meant to be your meal. Cut corners the rest of the week. We eat loss leaders most the week, tonight we had what we really, truly wanted. The reason this works so well is, when you have that special meal to look forward to every week, you don’t want to go out. You don’t feel deprived. We traded our habit of going out once in a while for this nice meal every week, works perfectly. We in on a taco bell sized budget and we eat well.
2) Make it a show. Light candles in the middle of the table. Fold the napkins. Use the fancy plates. Remind each other how nice it is to have this food. Positive energy makes this meal even more special. We had sushi (minus the rice) on sushi plates with chopsticks one night. We even had the little dipping bowls. It felt like we were going out to a restaurant while we were just staying at home. It was fantastic.
3) Add flourishes to your food. This is where adding the splash of vinegar or pinch of cinnamon at the end right before you serve it, pays off. It makes this an elegant occasion. Restaurants make it their business to make your food impossibly attractive. Why shouldn’t you?
4) Enjoy your meal. Even if you cooked it, you should be able to sit, chat and chew. Don’t rush. You have created a masterpiece. Absorb the compliments and do what you would do if you being served.