Eating Great On A Budget

June 30, 2014 | Kate Horrell

You might have noticed that I’m in the States, so we have been indulging in all of our favorite foods.  Eating out can be tasty, but expensive!  And what happens when you aren’t near the restaurant that serves your preferred provisions?  This military lifestyle often means moving away from things that you’ve come to love.

The solution is to learn how to make your restaurant favorites at home.  This is so easy now that we have the internet.  An internet search for the name of the restaurant, the name of the food, and the word recipe will usually produce several recipes for you to trip.  Sometimes it may take a few tries to get it right, but the long-term benefits are absolutely worth the effort.

Just two days ago, I had a craving for my favorite potato salad from the restaurant Red, Hot and Blue.  Sure, we could have gone over to RH&B and had dinner, but I didn’t need all that food, the calories, or the cost.

I’ve made RH&B potato salad before, so I knew I could find the recipe online.  A quick search turned up the necessary ingredients, and a ten minute, $5 trip to the store netted me all the things I needed.  The hardest part was making sure that the potatoes were cooked all the way through without getting mushy.

This strategy works for any recipe.  I’ve made General Tso chicken, I make a mean KFC copy-cat cole slaw, and I can even do a reasonable facsimile of the award-winning Cream of Crab soup from my favorite Annapolis restaurant.

Popular copy-cat restaurant recipes include Olive Garden soups, Red Lobster cheesy garlic biscuits, and various restaurant salads.  However, you can find a recipe for almost anything you can imagine.

What are your favorite restaurant-at-home recipes?