Okay, so I've never been much of a cook. I pretty much make the same things all the time. But since we've been here, there are A LOT of things that you either can't find, like Velveeta cheese, or that is SO expensive, like nacho chips and burrito shells, that I don't buy them as much as I used to. (We eat A LOT of Mexican. If we were in Mexico, I'd be set)! So I decided to start looking for some recipes. I found a recipe for tortilla shells, but I haven't made them yet. But I also found a place that has them pretty cheap compared to what I've been paying for them. To give you an idea of the price difference, the place I normally buy them from sells them for about 35 RMB, which is about $5. Needless to say, I don't buy them very often! But I found a place called Metro, which is like the Sam's/Costco, and they sell them for 12 RMB, which is less than $2. BIG DIFFERENCE! So I think I'm going to start buying them from there, rather than trying to make them. I just figure I'll buy about 10 or 12 at a time.
The next thing is nacho chips. They range from $4-$6 A BAG!!!! And they're never on sale. At home, I know they're pretty expensive too, but I just wait for them to go on sale, and then I stock up on them. No such luck here. So instead I found a recipe that shows you how to make them. So I've started making them from the flour tortillas, and I have to tell you, they're actually pretty good. Now I can get a bag a chips for 12 RMB instead of 28-39 RMB. Big difference in savings. If I find some corn tortillas, I'm going to try making them from those as well. I bet those will be even better, but in the meantime, my way works. It's definitely not as easy as just opening a bag, but it will save a lot of money in the long run.
Another thing I haven't been able to find is crescent rolls or puff pastry. I found those at Metro too, so now I know where to find them. I have some in my freezer right now for when I need them.
One thing you definitely can't find here is breakfast sausage. Believe me, I've looked everywhere and asked everyone I know. So I found a recipe online and I made my own. And it's pretty good. The recipe I use has 3 different versions, sage, hot and maple. I made the hot, but it's not as hot as I wanted, so the next time I'll add more of the spices. I also want to make the maple, because I think the kids will like that kind.
Since we've been here, we've tried all kinds of new recipes. It's definitely been an eye opening experience for me, because when we get back home, I don't think I'll go back to making all of the same things I usually make. We've enjoyed the variety, and most things we've liked. There are a few we haven't, and we won't make those again, but some we have really liked, and we would have never tried them if we hadn't been forced to experiment with new things.