Get the family involved in planning the menu, preparing the food, cleaning and decorating the house. Children enjoy making decorations and pretend menus. Break out the good china and put a table cloth and candles on the table or take the meal to the living room and pop in a Netflix movie. Whatever the family likes, just make it special and fun. This could be something to look forward to each week. The money saved will go a long way and the memories made are priceless.
Our family loves Chinese food. That’s are special treat. Over the last few years, I’ve come up with a few unique strategies so that we can enjoy family favorites right from home.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup ice water
- Oil for deep frying
- Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg slightly and mix with the ice water.
- Stir in the dry ingredients. Stir only until mixed; mixture will be slightly lumpy.
The easiest way to give the family their favorite sauce is to buy from the source. Most restaurants will gladly sell a quart of sweet & sour sauce for a few dollars.
Simple Sweet & Sour Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients and heat until hot and the sugar has dissolved. Serve warm or at room temperature. This sauce may be prepared a few days in advance and warmed before serving. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
It’s also easy to make fortune cookies. When making your own, it’s easy to personalize the fortune and add embellishment. Try dipping a one corner of a fortune cookie in white or dark chocolate. It’s fantastic!
One More Idea
Let’s say you’ve got a busy day ahead, but you’re planning on having Sweet & Sour for chicken. I’ll go by our favorite Chinese restaurant at lunch, ( when the prices are cheaper), and I’ll pick up a quart of sweet and sour sauce for $2 and one buffet to go full of nothing but tempura chicken for $7. In fact, the owner even throws in 7 fortune cookies for free. He knows what I’m doing!
So, there you have it. Try it and let me know how it worked out. It’s a lot of fun. In fact, as a busy mom, I prefer Chinese food night at home. Here, I can sit back, relax and enjoy, (the kids wash the dishes.)