Well, it’s been a week since I started the great Kraft and Sam’s Club dinner planner, so it’s time to give you guys an update. First, let’s talk about the shopping. As you all know, I’m a fan of warehouse store shopping- there’s nothing that thrills me more than a giant thingy of toilet paper. I’ve never used warehouse shopping before as a way to replace my grocery shopping, however. I instead use it to supplement my grocery shopping. Even though I have a large family, I cannot use one of those giant thingies of BBQ sauce fast enough to use it all before it goes bad. And I hate waste, so most of the time I pass up those bargains and just get that kind of stuff from the regular grocery store.
This time was not much different- I bought most of the stuff at Sam’s Club, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a few items there- the aforementioned BBQ sauce being one of them, and the produce that was on the list. The produce was not just for spoilage reasons but also because the produce at the Sam’s Club in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was not up to my usual produce standards. This is, I think, a problem of that individual store and not a chain-wide problem. So take a look at your Sam’s produce and if it’s OK and you think you can use it up in time, feel free to use it.
On the “one stop shopping”, I suppose that you could do it that way, but if I were doing this my own way, I’d probably get the vast majority of the recipe ingredients at a regular grocery store. By shopping at Sam’s, you end up with way more ingredients than you really need but not quite enough ingredients to do the entire menu twice. Some of these are fine to get extras on- things that would be in your pantry anyway and don’t spoil over a long period of time. But some of them that I don’t normally use a lot of, I would definitely buy somewhere else for more savings.
Now, let’s talk about the recipes. So far, I have made the creamy chicken pot pie, the south of the border chicken pasta skillet, the cheesy southwest chicken sandwiches, the berry lemonade coolers, the cheesy fiesta pasta bake and the Velveeta tuna noodle casserole. Let’s look at each one individually. I only have pictures of the sandwiches and the berry lemon cooler since 1. Food photography is not my forte and 2. Cooking things and making them look pretty is REALLY not my forte. I will do my best with the other stuff to try and make it look nice, but I’m not promising anything, haha.
Creamy Chicken Pot Pie
I started with this one, as I was concerned about how it would turn out, and Mr. Ivy (the normal chef in my household) was home to either fix things or whip up something else if I had totally messed things up. As it turned out, I didn’t mess things up horribly. All the recipes I’ve tried so far are fairly foolproof.
While it didn’t look as beautiful as the pictures from Kraft (OK, it looked pretty ugly, the one I cooked), it tasted very good. The cream cheese in it gave it a creamy, yummy texture. I really liked it. Mr. Ivy also liked it. It got mixed reviews from the kids- the teenager hated it, the middle child thought it was “just okay” and the youngest loved it and ate seconds.
South Of The Border Chicken Pasta Skillet
Again, this is one that didn’t turn out looking nice enough for pictures. This is pretty much everything I cook- looks like a horrible mess, tastes pretty good. The opinion on flavor on this one was pretty much the same across the board- it was just OK. Nobody loved it, nobody (but the teenager, who, you’ll see this is a definite pattern) hated it. It was just okay. I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to make it again, but it’s a perfectly acceptable dinner item.
Cheesy Southwest Chicken Sandwiches
Finally! Something that looked good enough to take a picture of:
This was quite tasty. I love a good chicken sandwich, and this one was definitely good. Mr. Ivy and my middle child thought the salsa was odd tasting on the sandwiches. My teenager (surprise, surprise!!) actually liked this one. It was a pleasant change from the usual. My youngest loved it, though he thought it needed more tomatoes, haha.
Berry Lemonade Coolers
Another one I took a picture of!
Everyone (except the teenager, who unsurprisingly hates lemonade) really liked this one. My youngest was especially happy with this since he can very rarely drink red beverages since he is allergic to red dye. The frozen strawberries added the color to this drink, no red dye needed. Additionally, this was easy enough for my middle child (8 years old) to make herself.
Cheesy Fiesta Pasta Bake
This one didn’t go over very well with anyone. I feel bad hating on someone’s recipe, but nobody in my house liked it. The general consensus was that it was underseasoned, the texture was kinda mushy and odd, and the whole thing was just kinda blah. :/
Velveeta Tuna Noodle Casserole
This is what we had for dinner last night. I was concerned, after the previous disaster, what this would taste like, but it turned out that it was very good. This was only the second or third time in my life that I’ve had tuna noodle casserole, and I keep forgetting that I really like this kinda stuff. Everyone INCLUDING the teenager liked it as well. Yay! We have something new to add to our recipe repertoire. Thanks, Kraft!
So, let’s sum: Personally, I didn’t find the shopping to be totally “one stop.” But this may be a fault of my own dislike of BBQ sauce and the fault of my local Sam’s and their not-so-fabulous-produce. The recipes were mostly pretty good, everyone that has a normal palate in my house thought most were at least okay. My teenager hates nearly everything, but that’s partly due to his age and partly due to him always being a pretty cranky eater. Everyone at least ate some of everything, so that’s good news.
This weekend, July 3rd and 4th, there will be special in-store dinner planner demonstrations. Go to your local Sam’s Club (click here to find your local Sam’s Club by zip code) to check it out!
I was 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.