Aug 9, 2012

The blog is which I talk about dinner and planning it.

I am fairly new to the whole slow cooker thing, since I didn't buy my first Crock Pot until last Winter.  Since then, I have found a few favorites and thought I might share them with you. (All from, so look it up if it sounds yummy.)

Sweet and Sour Pork or Chicken (3 out of 4 of us love this!)
Lemon Garlic Chicken put over rice or my personal favorite, angel hair pasta- it is close to chicken francese (Two out of four love this one)
Honey BBQ Chicken
Honey Garlic Chicken (A family favorite!)
Sprite Brown Sugar Chicken(Not a favorite, but a change of pace.)
Pineapple Pork Roast (My family loves plain things, and this is plain tasting.)
BBQ Chicken

Also, I sometimes use frozen chicken, as I actually prep it in advance with the sauce, and then freeze and empty the gallon bag of mixture and chicken into the slow cooker in the morning.  Some times, I will quickly pre-brown pork chops or chicken on the stove top before throwing into the slow cooker.  I prefer the texture of the finished product.  Set it and forget it!  To make clean up easier, I often cook in foil and spray non stick spray.  If it's tough to clean, I put baking soda and water in the stone and let it sit for an hour or more.  Not supposed to put in the dishwasher I think.  I'm not one to go against the rules.  grin.  Actually, when it comes to bake ware cleaning instructions--- LISTEN TO THEM.  Lesson learned on other things.

This is the four month view calendar that is in the closet.  We don't judge.  We love it anyway.  

Kitchen Calendar
I love all the ketchup  slow cooker recipes, but Shay  does not.  Geoff and Charlie will eat most anything I will eat, and I am picky too.  Three out of four is a pretty good number of participants on any night in this house.  Four out of four is usually a pizza or sub night.  And we pretty much do one of those each week.

So, I take about ten minutes each week to comb through a notebook I have been working on the last year.  I first wrote down every single meal idea I could think of.  (The protein part.)  From spaghetti to the various forms of chicken preparations, I have over 100 meal ideas.  Then, I wrote out the directions for the more complex than just mac and cheese meals.  (crock pot, casseroles, etc.) So, I used to write it in a notebook with the days activities for the week, but I didn't want to keep up with the notebook.  So, Now, I have two posted calendars in the house.  The one by the refrigerator is a $2.99 picture frame that I made a dry erase board out of.  I write out each meal for the week, and the activities for that day.  I then have the upstairs, 4 month view calendar hanging in the master closet.  (That also doubles as our office.  We are resourceful in more ways than you know.)  Although, it still makes me giggle when I hear the kids say that Daddy is in the closet.  #nevergoingtogrowup.

I  have a repertoire of casseroles that I really struggle to get my kids to eat, but I LOVE!  (I hope their taste buds change to mine soon, I love to eat casseroles.  What's not to like about things made with sour cream, cream of chicken/celery/mushroom?  Luckily, every post delivery mommy I give them to seems to love them, and I know that they are getting a great meal with veggies.  (I am not one to call anyone out here, but I truly believe my sister-in-law had my nephew because she wanted another chicken pot pie and didn't know how to ask for it.)  As for Rachel- She was smart.  It's like that old proverb... Teach a pregnant woman to make chicken pot pie...

Chicken bundles.  Oof.  I LOVE THEM. They are easy to make.  And anything with cream cheese makes me want to eat until I get sick, and then eat some more.  Takes more than most of my meal preps, like 30 minutes due to the steps involved with boiling chicken to cut and mix into mixture, but soooo worth it for a yummy and really simple meal.

I like that two nights a week are constant.  Friday and Sunday nights are the same each week... mostly. Another 2-3 nights are cheap meal plans like eggs, french toast, even hot dogs some nights.  We generally have junkier meals, like hot dogs, twice a month.  We stay away from red meat most of the time, except for steak night, which is once a week.  We love it, but trying to build life long habits that they won't have to change later due to awareness.  Some nights, there is no starch.. carb.  Just the protein, salad and fruit.  While we eat a ton of fruits, salad is really one of the only veggies they love.  Corn too, but that is really not a super valuable source of anything but something to marvel at after it leaves you.  #nevergoingtogrowup  I think we have gone through about 6 boxes of mac and cheese in the last year.  Nobody is crazy about it, and it's not all that great for us anyway.  I will make grilled ham and cheese some times with a pickle and applesauce, and that night, the pickle becomes the veggie and if you try to tell me pickles and ketchup are not veggies, we will have to have a private talk on a day that I don't have a headache or I am not too busy to fit you in.  Today is not that day.  And tomorrow doesn't look too promising either.

By the over use of the word "love" in this blog, you can see that I am passionate about food.  And it shows.  Say nothing and no one will get hurt.

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