Friday, November 15, 2013

Foodie Friday: A Progressive Lunch and Fabulous Cheesecake

So I am certain that you've been on pins and needles since yesterday's post about my birthday.

You want to know:

A) Did I open my letter and had I been drinking when I wrote said letter?


B) How did I celebrate my 40th birthday?

Well, I shall get to the part about the letter at a later date...probably. Not to give away too many details but it's not nearly as bad as I thought it might be, and I was apparently sober at the time of writing. This does not imply that I was correct in my assertions, but still was on the horse, nonetheless.

Anyway…as you might have gleaned, you astute readership you, that today’s post is about food. And since I alluded to my birthday, it MAY have something to do with that.

OK, it DOES have to do with that.

So…yesterday morning we got up a little earlier than normal and went to the gym before our Home School Co-op. I wanted to have the afternoon cleared out as much as possible.

For anyone who’s asking, we DID have school today. It was a field trip of sorts, combined with co-op.

Don’t judge.

So I wanted to have the afternoon scheduled cleared for a specific reason: lunch.

And not just ANY lunch, mind you…it’s the lunch which has become something of a tradition for me and the PBA. It is my progressive birthday lunch.

For those of you who may be confused, it is not to be confused with any of the following things which may be considered progressive:

  • Belonging to or associated with a political party that calls itself progressive or advocates social reform
  • A nonorthodox Jewish religious movement, relating to a Jewish religious movement whose members do not believe that the Torah was given literally and directly by God to Moses
  • A disease which becomes more severe or widespread over time
  • Or any other such type of definition taken from my online dictionary

A progressive meal is one in which each course is eaten at a different location…it could involve people’s homes, restaurants, or even just different rooms within one place.

Ergo…with some of the Freebies I got for my birthday, the PBA and I had a progressive lunch.

The first place we went was Steak N Shake; we got a double steak burger with cheese and an order of fries.  We each got 1/3 of the burger and about 1/3 of the fries (the 10yo may have gotten slighted on the fries...I was hungry!).

And lest you think I forced us to be parched...before we left the house this morning, I had packed a cup of water for each of us in the car (you can kind of see a couple of them at the top of the second picture)…no need to fill up on soda (for many reasons, but mostly cost was my issue today...and drinks were not included with any of these Freebies).

Then we went to McAllister’s where we indulged in a Four-Cheese Grilled Sandwich, which came with a side. I chose a Toffee Crunch Cookie. I also had two (count them one-two) coupons for free cookies from McAllister’s so we each had our own cookie, and also 1/3 of the sandwich. I have to say they hesitated for a second when they saw that the sandwich was cut in half instead of three pieces, but they are so astute (just like you lovely readers), that they quickly figured out that they could easily split each half into three pieces. Tah-dah.

I never said that math was their strongest subject...

And yes, BTW, the cookies were almost as large as my 12yo’s head. Lovely.

But it was all quite tasty and well-worth the $2 spent.

I have to confess that I did have to pay $2 here because my coupon was for $5 off…in hindsight, we could have gotten three kids meals for a total of $5.97 (yes their kids meals are only $1.99 each, but don’t come with drinks…which is fine because I have trained the PBA that I am probably only going to get water for them), but I’m trying to let it go…it does burn my biscuits a little bit to know that I could have gotten a better deal, though.

Serenity now, serenity now (insanity later!)....yes a Seinfeld reference.

Then we continued on to Noodles and Company for our free bowl of noodles. Our choice of bowls. Up to $9 value. Isn’t that C.R.A.Z.Y?

This was also the first place in which they seemed a little confused as to why three people were splitting one meal. I explained that we were out getting all my birthday Freebies and the cashier agreed that it was a really good idea. (By the way, my readership may also use this idea, as I don't have it copyrighted or anything...and it IS a really good idea; I'm increasingly modest in my old age.)

Anyway, it is  C.R.A.Z.Y. but oh well...I don't make the rules; I just play by them. I am a rule-follower. So we opted for the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese, with an order of meatballs. Yum-o.

Yes, we have an affinity for the cheese and the meat.

But we did not finish it…our bellies were getting a bit full by this point (remember that we’re drinking water? And a lot of it, because this food is all kind of/really salty).

Here we took a little bit of a break and went to Once Upon a Child, because I signed up for their email list and had received a coupon for two free toys. Since my boys don’t really need any toys, we decided to use the coupon to get a couple toys for the future foster kiddos.

Still waiting on a placement, BTW. I assumed that you all figured that, since i Hadn't brought it up.
Frankly, I can’t even talk about it, I’m so impatient, so please say a prayer for me if you would. I don’t want to be long-suffering, but am trying to be because a sweet friend reminded me that it would bring us closer to Christ, who also suffered, and suffered for US. 

And that I should be joyful about it. It’s the joyful about it part which is giving me the biggest fits.

But I digress.

Next we went to Firehouse Subs. I had never been there and don’t even know for sure how or why I signed up to get their emails but I did.

So we went there next for our free sub…your choice, up to $5.99. Not bad, not bad. And since beggars can't be choosers, let me be clear that I am not complaining.

We chose (ok, here I let the 10yo chose…I let him b/c I had chosen at McAllister’s, and the 12yo had chosen at Noodles) the Smokehouse Beef and Cheddar Brisket. It didn’t sound so great to me, but it was Ah-Mazing. And yes, I did share. In fact, think I only got about 1/5 of it; don’t ask how that happened, because I don’t rightly know. I was thankful to get what I did…it was like a feeding frenzy when the server set it down on the table!

And yeah, I’d go back…especially for another free sub. But I might even pay for one.

And yes, we totally polished that sucker off. In a matter of seconds, actually.

Last on the list for lunch was a free sundae at Culver’s (yes the three of us split it's like we virtually ate no calories at all).

We had Mint Oreo ice cream with hot fudge. We also devoured it in about 30 seconds.

So if that were not enough fat and calories to fill a girl for the day/week, we rolled ourselves home.

And a few hours later, we had pizza for dinner.

And for dessert…drumroll please! We had cheesecake. And not just ANY cheesecake. It was chocolate cheesecake made by the PBA.

Hence the questioning mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I figured something was up, but didn’t think too much about it; apparently they had originally planned to buy cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory…that was until my parents clued them in to the cost.

Then my mom told them they could make one at her house. Which they did. And then my parents delivered it yesterday afternoon.

So...I have no way to wrap this up except to say this: I'm full...and blessed! (And perhaps I don't need to eat anything else until Thanksgiving...)

Have a fabulous day!

Editor's Note: We also received free meals/desserts/snacks/drinks from Arby's, Dairy Queen, Denny's, Benihana, BJ's, Cold Stone Creamery, Panera and Starbucks. As of yet I have not taken advantage of them but I hope to before they all expire!


  1. oh how fun!!!!!!
    only 1 time did we try a free birthday dinner at a fancy~pants restaurant and they did not include anything but the steak,lets just say hubs had to run home for cash to pay our bill… it was slightly HIGHER than we had planned.
    I need to get us signed up for this. It sounds like a great birthday tradition to do!
    Happy Birthday again!!!

    BTW "welcome to firehouse" yummy!!! our local firehouse will actually upgrade your sandwich to a meal on sundays IF you bring in your church bulletin. give yours a question see if they will.

    1. Oh...thanks for the tip! I will have to go in on a Sunday and ask! I'll keep you posted! :)

  2. What a fun idea. Definitely should try this with our daughter. :)

    1. Thanks...and yes you should. It was fun. A memory maker, for sure...and easy on the budget, which is even better!

  3. I absolutely love this idea, going to have to put it into practice for some celebration soon! Even better is that you managed to do it on a budget and yet end up stuffed and with excellent dessert! Win... win... win!!

    1. Yes, you should! My husband and I have also done this for a fun date-night. His birthday is this month also so we have double the coupons when we have a birthday freebie date-night. And yes, free is always best! :)

  4. I am laughing as I picture my family doing this. Don't think it would work quite so well. Imagine dividing any of that into seven pieces. We wouldn't even get a spoonful of sundae! It cracks me up that you even get all these freebies. I had no idea you even could.

    1. Yes, perhaps you should do this as a progressive dinner date with your husband instead...that works too. :)

  5. I love this! What a fantastic idea, with or without coupons, to do a progressive lunch! (types idea into Notes section of iphone)

    Haaaaappy birthday!

    1. Thanks...yes you should do this soon if at all possible. Lots of fun and free is always best!