Sunday, May 31, 2009

MPM--June Bugs

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.


Anjali said...

I hear you on the crock pot. There are only a handful of recipes that all five of us like, and that are EASY. So many others are either too much work, or make one of us wince.

Kristen said...

I am also getting rid of my crockpot before I move, but I think my crockpot's problem is it cooks too hot and it doesn't have a manual heat/time setting, everything was electronic. I may try another one again someday, as it is the easiest way to cook refried beans I have ever found.

Sherry said...

WHat a great looking menu! :D The ribs sound especially yummy!

Have a great Monday!

Melissa said...

Sorry the crockpot isn't working out for you. One of mine has a lid that doesn't fit tightly; as a result, it rattles annoyingly AND allows moisture to evaporate. Could that be what's happening with yours? (I just throw a dish towel over it to stabilize the lid, and keep an eye on it to add liquid. I wouldn't do this if I wasn't home all day, though.)

brandy101 said...

I use my crockpot at least once a week. Really one of my fave things for it is heating up homemade soup that I froze. I just let it melt and simmer on low all day. Easy!

My other fave thing (that my family loves) is just heating frozen meatballs in sauce in it on low.

And finally, our curried chicken that is my daughters #1 fave meal and so darn easy as its all stuff from TJs.

All of these things are meals I do when I know time will be tight in the late afternoon/evening due to various activities.

Mari said...

Sounds life our taste buds are the same where crock pots are concerned! I have one recipe I like for the crock pot and other than that my cp is really a mashed potato cooker!! For Sunday dinners when I am planning on mashed potatoes I I peel the potatoes, cut them in half and cook them on high while I am at church and the potatoes are ready to be mashed when I get home! I have 4 crock pots, but they are to take things to pitch in dinners at church. Looks like your life is pretty busy this week!