Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Three times in one week

My crock pot. Well, not my actual crock
pot, which is currently air drying so I
can fill it tomorrow, but the same maker
and model crock I use.
Using the crock pot. What else were you thinking?

Saturday, Italian Country Stew. Enough for a dinner party of eight, with leftovers for three small lunch containers. Last night, a new-to-me Chicken and Mushrooms that sounded good on paper, but was meh in real life. If I had followed the directions and used drumsticks instead of breasts, it would have been better (not much flavor and dry-ish meat). Tomorrow, a small, basic chuck roast.

There are enough leftovers from the chicken dish for lunch tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, at least. As I said, meh. It's edible, just not anywhere as good as the stew. The chuck roast will be perfect, as any cheap (well, relatively cheap, given the astronomical rise in grocery prices over the last nine months), tough, cut is if you braise it over a long period of time at low heat.

A friend is coming for dinner and talk, hence the mid-week roastery. The initial plan was to make a quick pork tenderloin, sauced with a maple syrup reduction. It would need about fifteen minutes of prep to get it in the oven after work, however, and I suddenly have another appointment.

I'm having an estimate (finally) on the indoor painting. While I don't want the work done until the last part of December, I'd like to get things locked in and scheduled now. He's going to be here at four; my guest will be here around five-thirty. No time to mess with the tenderloin, at least if we want to eat before seven.

For those of you counting, including tomorrow, I've had "things" going on six of the last seven afternoon/evenings. The threesome of crock pot recipes got me into the "prep before bed" routine - thawing meat, chopping veggies. I'm rather getting used to falling asleep with the faint scent of onions/garlic on my hands.

Walking into the house to the smell of a ready-to-eat dinner is, well, awesome. So - what are your favorite things to make in a crock? A couple of ground rules - no condensed soup or preseasoned mixes. Canned beans are ok (preferred, in fact; too much advance notice is needed to plump up dry beans, which never works well for me anyway). Recipes to serve no more than six, but which could be halved if a smaller crock were used.

Go at it in the comments. If I try one of yours out, I'll report back.

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