Swim team is starting this week for Rose and two days a week her practices hit when I would usually be getting dinner ready. (During her practice, I try to swim with the other kids in the smaller pool to get them exercise as well.) We also have church on Wednesday afternoons, which makes preparing dinner that day tough too. I am turning to my slow cooker on those busy days so dinner will greet us when we get home from our activities.
In the past, I haven’t had a lot of luck with slow cooker recipes. They seem to cook too fast and dry out. I think the slow cooker wasn’t full enough and so it was cooking faster than expected.
We had a super busy week about two weeks ago and out of desperation I tried the slow cooker twice that week. The dishes turned out well, and it was so nice to walk in and smell dinner ready and waiting.
So on Saturday, I went through cookbooks and websites searching for more slow cooker recipes. Some of you asked for me to share my menus when I had them together. So here is my plan for this week: (I posted these recipes and more on my Pinterest page. So check out there for more ideas.)
Sunday – Baked chicken – It may sound plain but there is nothing wrong with a well-baked chicken. The house smells good, the whole family eats without complaint, and I have leftovers to use during the week. (See Monday.)
Monday – Weight Watchers enchiladas with turkey sausage for me and Michael. I don’t think the kids will eat this so I am reserving some baked chicken that they can put on the corn tortillas and make their own soft tacos. (I couldn’t find a link to this recipe. I found it in the 2012 Weight Watchers cookbook.)
Tuesday – Beef Stroganoff in the slow cooker. This is a new one for us so we’ll see how it turns out. Rose like mushrooms so I hope they will eat it and like it.
Wednesday – Slow cooker sweet and sour pork ribs – I think they will like this. I am trying to decide on my sides.
Thursday – Slow cooker chicken tacos I think I made these several years and decided I needed to leave out the adobo for the kids. Too spicy.
Friday – Probably cheese pizza
The ladies on Everyday Food on Martha Stewart radio used to talk about food to take to games a lot. They always recommended hand-held items like beef pies or chicken pies, which I think sound tasty but my kids won’t eat them. (Our former fill-in host Keith has a fantastic pasties recipe from her mom. I will ask her to share it with us.)
What is your approach to dinner on practices nights? Do you like hand-held stuff that you can take along in the car or eat at the park? Do you go for fast food those nights? Do you cook ahead and just reheat?
Do you use your slow cooker? If so, please link us to your favorite recipes and PLEASE give me any tips on using the slow cooker more effectively and with less drying. If it won’t let you post links on the blog (don’t post a bunch in one post, it thinks that is spam) then go to our Facebook page to post or you can link us to your Pinterest page where you could post a bunch you love.)
One more food story to share. This is a follow-up to the pink slime discussion from last week. J.M. Hirsch, the food editor for the Associated Press, did a taste test on ground beef with and without pink slime. See what he found.