And the whirl begins! Last week didn't quite go according to plan because I forgot about some events that were happening. Happily, the baseball fell through for Wednesday, so we loved WedSpag, with many thanks to Emily. Her sauce was fantastic and her boys exceedingly kind to my much younger ones. I can only hope mine grow up that well. Friday was my nephew's prom, so we stuck with tradition and had a cookout with burgers and dogs and chips after an embarrassingly large photo corps took pictures of the cute couples. And then Saturday was graduation parties and another prom photo shoot for my niece who is dating someone from a different high school and Sunday was brunch and my head is spinning. And we're not even halfway done. So here are the few things I'm pulling together this week.
Monday: John McCain's rib recipe. (How cool is that?) Baked potatoes (regular way since the crock is busy) and salad from the CSA box with manchego cheese (how did I lose a hunk of that in my fridge? sacrilege!), almonds, and dried cherries. (Yes, the cabinet cleanout theme continues.)
Tuesday: One of the graduations. Food on the run while we're out. I'll pack some Z-Bars and other yummies for the kids.
Wednesday: Wednesday Spaghetti but it might just be for us; my husband will be getting ready for his reunion out of state so not a good night to have people over.
Thursday: Leftovers or freezer meal.
Friday: Another graduation.
Saturday: Graduation party. You begin to see the overwhelm.
(for more actually planned menus, try I'm an Organizing Junkie!)
The big news from my kitchen (and oh, how sad my life has gotten that there could even be "big news from my kitchen," or that the following would be it) is that I am jettisoning the crockpot. I want to love it, I really do. But either I have a different set of tastebuds (possible) or a weird crockpot (almost definitely) or something else goes wrong. There are a few recipes I love (the pork roast, my uber-easy chili) but overall, there aren't too many things I'd make again. I tried the shredded Asian beef that got rave reviews at A Year of Crockpotting but mine turned out dry (in less than five hours, nowhere near the recommended eight), didn't shred, and while it smelled heavenly, maybe it was the dryness but it didn't taste all that good either. Sigh. I should amend: it tasted better after a day in the fridge; it was in large part my fault for getting too excited with the five-spice powder; and my oldest actually did eat a full helping, so it's not like it was a failure. But it wasn't a home run either, and my crockpot just takes up so much space. So I am keeping it, but it's getting rotated to the lower level storage area. Right after I try the McCain ribs.
And, of course, the other key here is: my kids don't eat anything too doctored up anyway. Forget casseroles. Forget fancy much-of-anything. They were far happier with plain old turkey breast. (I wasn't as thrilled; I tried Mark Bittman's recipe with it cooked over shredded fennel--using an impulse purchase--and orange juice, and it was fine but not one of his best efforts. The recipe was a derivative of the turkey breast with cabbage two ways, which I've made and thought was fine, but I couldn't tell with this one whether I was supposed to keep the ginger in or not. I'm going to guess "yes" because I left it out and it was pretty bland. But it was very moist, and very tasty. So that was a semi-success.