Wednesday, May 4, 2011


One of Lori's favorite blogs is Billy Vasquez's "The 99 Cent Chef". Lori and Pete were discussing his blog and decided that they wanted to see what they could come up with. It really was challenging for Lori because the Central Florida stores don't have the huge selection of foods like they do in the Los Angeles area. It may be hard to choose who won the challenge because both dinners look and tasted great.

If you get a chance, visit his blog and look at the great dishes he has created from the 99 cent stores. You will be amazed!!


After going up and down the 2 little rows of food half a dozen times, I saw that I could make Shrimp with Lemon Pasta. I got a loaf of frozen garlic bread for $1.00 (amazing!). And I even had money left over for dessert! I chose a box of strawberry fruit bars. My dinner for four people totaled $8.00. It was very good. But what really surprised me the most was the garlic bread. It was a wonderful loaf that surprisingly had a lot of garlic butter on the inside.

The shrimp I found at the store was already cooked. Normally, I would prefer raw shrimp. I like to roast the shrimp in the oven by coating it with olive oil, salt and pepper.

I did not make 4 servings since it was just Mom and myself for dinner. So I took the measurements below and halved them without a problem. Since we were allowed to use whatever seasonings we had at home, I did not include them in the ingredient picture.


1 lb. spaghetti pasta
12 oz. shrimp, deveined and peeled
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
3 TBS of butter
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 TBS of garlic powder

Ingredients purchased at the 99 Cent Store.

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Zest and juice 2 lemons.

Drain pasta when cooked to desired texture. Put pasta back into pan and add melted butter, olive oil, lemon juice and zest.

Add shrimp to pasta. Toss pasta to evenly distribute and coat the shrimp and sauce.

Dinner is served with garlic bread.

The strawberry fruit bars were so tasty after a great meal.



As to how or why this dish was put into the pie category, I'll never know.
Regardless of its name, its a great dish and can be made in almost any price
range. Remove excess grease (if any) before cooking. My ingredients cost $8.00 at the 99 cent store.

10-15 beef tamales, individual, canned or frozen, any size
2 cans of chili con carne (with or without beans)
1-2 cups yellow cheese
1 onion (chopped to your liking)
1 jar salsa

Ingredients purchased at the 99 cent store.

Line up individual tamales into an ungreased baking dish or pan. Smother with
chili, then top with onions.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Remove and add cheese.

Bake til cheese is melted. Top with salsa. Serve hot with tortilla
chips. Makes 4 servings.

Who won the challenge for Best 99 Cent Store Dinner?
Her Way
His Way free polls


  1. Both look good. It's hard to decide.

  2. I vote for my Mom's dinner. Uncle Petey's looked good too.

  3. While both dinners sounded good, I liked the different ingredients in Lori's dish.....seafood, garlic, lemon, pasta, bread. It seemed to be a healthier type of meal. I think you both took the challenge and gave it a tremendous try! That is a difficult task when we are all so spoiled to going into a nice supermarket and having so many choices at our fingertips. Lori, by the way, the Victorian baby buggy from 1910 was used for real live babies.....not dolls. It is hard to imagine!

  4. I voted for Lori's dinner because I liked all of the ingredients....shrimp, lemon, pasta, garlic, bread, and fruit bars. Lori's meal seemed a bit healthier, too. However, you both did a great job, giving it your "all"! Lori, the Victorian baby buggy from 1910 was used by real babies. It was the style of buggy during that time period.

  5. Both sounds soooo good! Im a pasta and a mexican food lover. Thats a tough choice!I would have to say the pasta though!

  6. They were both great ideas. I had to go with the lemon shrimp and garlic bread. It looks and sounds delicious. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I am following you now as well. Have a great weekend!

  7. Wow, my son was nagging on me regarding the pasta I made before, but he doesn't know which one. I think I will try this! Thanks for stopping by Self Sagacity

  8. I had to vote for Lori's dinner, because she included dessert. I'm always going to pick the option that comes with dessert. Both dishes look really good, though. Thanks for sharing.

  9. wow, what a fun challenge and yall have better dollar stores than we do for groceries!!!
    I am voting for the first time, and can't wait to see what else is coming!!! I am going to share your blog on my facebook page (North Dakota Kitchen) hope everyone will vote.
    I am voting this time for Lori, although I would eat both of them, I give this one to her for a little more of a home cooked feel, and dessert hey!

  10. So... I was edged out by the dessert. That was low, Lori. Let's see "how low can ya go". Girl, I can go underground when I want... It's on, baby! Still love ya, sis, but you have forced me to pull out the big guns.

  11. My poor baby brother. That's just one of the advantages of being a female. We are more detail oriented.

  12. What an interesting idea. Those dinner look great for being from the dollar store. Have a great weekend!

  13. What a fun idea. Both dishes sounded great. Loving your blog. Now following and off to read some more of your posts.

  14. Hi Lori, Thanks for your visit and sweet comments.
    I for one am NOT going to choose. That's like asking a Mom which child she loves best. I may want to dine with both of you one day. I will just say, I will probably try both recipes.
    Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Ginger

  15. I love this idea you have going with your blog! How fun!

  16. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I love this challenge! It's truly creative. I'm very close with my own brother who is a great cook, too. I keep asking him to be a guest on my blog. What a fun & wonderful way to keep in touch!