I just love starting out with a nom nom nommy picture. That up there ^^^ is the BLT Pizza. My first thought upon seeing that recipe was ummm.. lettuce and fresh tomatoes on top of a pizza? Hmmmm. I”ll admit, I almost bought the DiGiorno pepperoni pizza pack instead of the 4 cheese but you know me and those blasted rules ;-). First off there were THREE 4 cheese pizzzs in a pack for $11.88. Do the math, you can’t beat it and the pizza was awesome. No, seriously, even just the plain 4 cheese pizza without toppings was fantastic! I cooked the pizza, added the chopped bacon, lettuce (romaine) and tomatoes (campari) served it with a side of Ranch Dressing for dipping and holy yumza! The pizza was devoured and given a thumbs up from EVERYONE. Three 30+ year old men, a 22 year old man, a 2 year old Monkey and me. Delish.
We’ve had a Sam’s membership for at least 4 years, and yet we hardly use it. I’ve never been terribly comfortable with the big bulk shopping, I just wasn’t sure whether the value was truly there, or if we’d use the stuff we bought, you know.. big store intimidation. Yup, I had it.
However, armed with my Two Week Dinner Planner and my Sam’s Gift Card, I was ready to go. Nathan kept the Monkey and I went by myself, the layout was fairly simple to navigate. Keep in mind that all my opinions are based on MY Sam’s Club, it may not be representative of all Sam’s Clubs. There were a few things that weren’t where I would have imagined them to be and so I had to search for them a bit, but all in all it took me about 45 minutes to do all my shopping and that was with me stopping to talk to people that I knew and browsing their cookbook selection ;-).
Dry goods presented a bit of a challenge as my Sam’s Club didn’t carry the Garlic Salt, Cumin or Taco Seasoning that the Dinner Planner asked for but, as a cook, I have all those spices at home already. My Dinner planner calls for medium sized dry pasta and my Sam’s only had Elbow Pasta and Thin Spaghetti, so I picked up Rotini and Penne elsewhere. Some of the produce wasn’t up to my standards and I couldn’t find frozen mixed veggies so those I picked up at another store along with the pasta.
The idea is for this to be one stop shopping for your two weeks of dinner, I was able to do about 98% of my Dinner Planner shopping easily at Sam’s and some of the other items were very quickly and inexpensively picked up at another store, or were items that I already had in stock at home.
These recipes are simple, delicious and made from items that most people will already have in their freezers, pantry or refrigerators. These are not recipes that call for you to go too far out your comfort zone, which is nice. This is real food for real people, the ingredients are common and comfortable, and that is one of the reasons that I like this challenge so much. The BLT pizza was stretching it a bit for my imagination and yet, it was a HUGE hit.
The Strawberry Lemonade Cooler was delicious and refreshing if a bit iffy to make because it calls for 12 oz of frozen strawberries and the bag I purchased was 80 oz, I don’t have a kitchen scale so I sorta eyed it. The lemonade wasn’t tart enough for us, so I added more lemonade mix and it was delicious! This is a fabulous summer treat (make sure you get the strawberries ALL the way pureed) and could be adjusted to make Raspberry Lemonade (my family’s favorite lemonade of choice) or a lovely adult beverage.
So far the recipes have been delicious and satisfying, the food easy to make and while the shopping wasn’t exactly one stop, it was less expensive than I thought, easier than I thought and while I had a few concerns about the BIG BULK items, there are so many variations of recipes and things that I can do with leftover supplies that this is going to prove to provide far more meals than just the Two Weeks of dinners on the planner.
Don’t forget to find your local Sam’s Club and check out their specials and fun they’ll have going on this 4th of July weekend.
We interrupt this post for the obligatory Disclosure statement:
“Hi, My name is Rachel and I am one of five bloggers selected by Kraft Foods to work on the Kraft Foods and Sam’s Club Two Week Dinner Planner program. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program which includes my trip to Sam’s Club, my interactions/experience with the two week dinner planner and my posts about my experience. I have also been compensated for the food purchased for the two week dinner planner. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”