Pages

Friday, January 27, 2006

99 Cent Challenge ~ The Goods

Here are the goods for my 99 Cent Challenge "entry" (as the sponsor, I, of course, am not eligible to win the prize)



Food items of note: Filets of steak (foreground) tenderized with ficin and bromelain (I don't know what these chemicals are, but after I saw this, I said we will not actually be eating this meal), a bottle of wine (far right) - Carmenet Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (dollar wine - that's cheaper than 2 buck Chuck!), and the strange 50/50 blend of olive oil and canola oil (why?) I was pleased to find organic romaine lettuce and the same brand of bagged lettuce that I usually buy at the grocery store (rear). The Italian squash and refrigerated prepared linguini were also good finds. I did not buy spices and the like to complete the meal. I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere.

The dishes are kinda nice - they look like plates my mom has, though she claims hers are not from the dollar store (just kidding, ma!) In the picture, the plates are sitting on 6 "velvet" placemats (sold in packs of two) that I am planning on making into a table runner. The glass jars in the back are a dollar store score! I may go back and buy more. They will be perfect to hang with candles in the backyard for parties. There are some tealights in the picture, too, hiding behind the linguini. Total cost: $39.42 including tax (8.25%) and the bottle deposit for the wine.

The dinner theme is Tuscan, and the menu comes straight out of InStyle Parties. I'm kind of giddy about how few substitutions I will have to make to the dishes I will be serving. The only bad one is using mozzarella instead of Parmesan "shards" for the steak salad
(it was that or Muenster - the only cheeses the 99 Cents Only store had in stock). And, I'm sure my steak will not be as lovely as the one shown in the book (I'm really kind of scared to see what the steak looks like). I will be making the meal on Sunday. Just wanted to give you a little something to read, as I have not been very creative this week. It's difficult with Brother in the shop, my craft supplies piled precariously and inaccessibly in my unfinished craft closet (to hide them from our party guests last weekend), and, to top it all off, my horoscope said I should not start any new projects today.

Hope your entries are all coming along! I will most likely set up a group in Flickr to post the final pics, and BT thinks he can devise a way to do voting. Good luck!

12 comments:

Pink Rocket said...

I haven't even finished reading yet and all I can say is OMG!

my house is cuter than yours said...

wait. wait. wait..are you telling me you got the wine and the steak from a dollar store?!
If so, I am going to be so glad that you can't compete!

telfair said...

It's possible that the canola / olive oil mix is to prevent smoking...olive oil is good for sauteeing or frying, but it tends to smoke at high temps, and sometimes they recommend that you put a bit of veg. oil in with it.

I'm not sure that the Dollar Store food buyers had that in mind when they decided to stock this, however...

Jennifer said...

Yep - It's all from the dollar store - a 99 Cents Only store, to be exact. I knew they had wine, but I, too, was surprised to find the steaks. I was kind of thinking I was going to have to buy some shrink-wrapped salisbury steaks and scrape off the outer coating. But nope - I got "lucky" and found some ultra-processed meat that the USDA is still willing to classify as steak.

Telfair - This is a good explanation for the blend. For some reason I thought it was just a way to cheap out on providing 100% olive oil.

Pink Rocket said...

Ok, now I've read the whole thing! You have a refrigerated section! That's so not fair! and the wine? not fair either!! and my MIL thought my Dollar Tree was awesome! wait until she hears about this!

Jennifer said...

Yes - the 99 Cents Only stores have a small refrigerated section and a freezer. The veggies are placed in plastic crates anywhere that they will fit throughout the store. The Dollar Trees around here used to get wine, too (I have a cousin that worked there), but wine at the dollar stores goes really fast - people buy whole boxes of it. I'm sorry if that gives me an unfair advantage - at least I won't officially be part of the contest!

Pink Rocket said...

Oh I didn't mean that you had an unfair advantage! I meant that it's unfair that I have a crapy Dollar Tree!!

telfair said...

I'm sure the fine 99 Cent Store purveyors would NEVER cheap out on providing 100% olive oil!!

(tongue firmly in cheek)

telfair said...

I think it's simply hilarious that your Dollar Tree sells wine, too.

elizabeth said...

i'm still in shock that your dollar store sells steak (and wine).

i bought all of my mexicana items today and plan on cooking it tomorrow. you can use stuff that you already have on hand also huh?

Jennifer said...

You can use stuff on hand, just be sure to indicate somehow which items were dollar store finds. The extra items I will be using are mainly spices, and an onion, I think - flavorings. But, though I did have plenty of olive oil on hand (really good olive oil - it might have helped this meal be edible), I bought the 50/50 blend - just cause olive oil was a key ingredient to my Tuscan dinner. Maybe somebody will be able to do everything with dollar store finds, and my hat goes off to them!

petulant said...

All I can say is WINE! Blimey!

I did my shopping on Friday (see http://petulantfeminine.blogspot.com/2006/01/had-raid-on-poundland-for-99-cent.html), came to £13 (about $20).

I'm thinking of a vaguely ice-cream parlour theme (mostly because I'm stuck only making sweet stuff because of Poundland's less ambitious stock - vegetables ha!).