Waste not, want not Part Dos: La Gringa Cafe

I’m very excited about sharing this one! This is for those of you wary of my first idea below (Dump-Soup) and for my friend who said, “Really? Can I do that with the fish sticks and the ravioli in my fridge?” Although I would try it (with a frozen pizza as back-up, thanks Jill for that one) this might work a bit better if you are like her and have VERY random items in your fridge as proof that you do cook weekly meals at your home.

It’s called “The Cafe” and it’s delightful to do. My girls love love love it and ask for it every night-which is fantastic! We probably have “La Gringa Cafe” about twice a month-which keeps them coming back for more : )

The general idea is this:

1. Do a run down review of all of the items that need to be eaten in your fridge.

2. Create a menu  including the above items (printed from a word doc or use your easel/white/chalk board). I categorize between main dish, side/veggie and dessert. I also offer milk and water-that’s all we ever have. Well, maybe tea, if it’s left in the tea-pot from the morning.

3. Create a restaurant-type ambiance (anything different from the norm-not major-this is supposed to be helping you get rid of stuff-not make your life more difficult! I put a tablecloth on the table and light a candle). I categorize them into either main dishes and veggies and fruit/dessert and type them up in a word doc (you could write them on an easel/white/chalk board, too).

4. Warm the items on the menu first (this will help with serving time).

5. Welcome your guests-I use my best British accent-aren’t all fancy waiters British? I also call them madame (or him sir).

6. I offer them something to drink and then serve chips or a cheese stick or something from the leftover pile that isn’t on the menu as an appetizer.

7. Take their orders (using your tablet or have them circle it on the paper), create each plate in the kitchen and serve them up all at the same time.

It’s seriously so much fun!! Let me know if you try it!

Here’s a sample of our latest menu:


Thank you for choosing LaGringa Café!

Please circle one item from the list below:

  • Sausage Pizza
  • Mac n’ cheese
  • Pork fried Rice
  • Beef Tacos

Please circle two items from the list below:

  • Carrot slices Cucumber slices
  • Broccoli with lemon wedges
  • Corn
  • Salad with your choice of dressing- circle one: ranch, raspberry vinaigrette, Italian

Dessert-please circle one of the items below:

  • Rice Crispy treats
  • Bananas drizzled with chocolate
  • Chocolate chip cookie


Drinks-please circle one of the items below:

  • Milk
  • Water




4 thoughts on “Waste not, want not Part Dos: La Gringa Cafe

  1. Aunt Karen says:

    Lori this is soooo clever! Such a cute idea! Bet Aaron enjoys it also! Just watching the girls (and you) “playing” restaurant would be fun to watch! I can see why the girls love this! I would too!


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