Friday, January 19, 2007

What's for Dinner????

What are YOU having tonight????

Our menu for this evening includes the "Fix-it & Forget-it Recipes for entertaining" recipe for:

No Fuss Sauerkraut

3 lb pork roast (I'm using a bone-in pork tenderloin)
3 (2-lb) pkg sauerkraut (drain juice from 1 pkg)
2 apples, peeled & sliced
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c apple juice

(I also added 1 whole onion, sliced into half-rounds, and 3 celery stalks, sliced into in 1 inch pieces.)

Place Meat in large slow cooker. Place Sauerkraut on top of meat. Add apples & brown sugar. Add juice. Cover. Cook on high 4 to 5 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes.

I'll be serving with boiled baby white potatoes, instead. Oh, and I layered the sauerkraut on the bottom, lay the meat on top of that, then the apples & onions, brown sugar & juice.

So, that's our meal for this evening.


On a similar note, I recently read a book that prompted me to consider menus for dinners in our house. I really didn't like the book much, so I'm not going to say much else positive about it, except for the part where it pointed out that a person wastes a lot of time (and generally money) when dinner is not planned for, ahead of time. While the author of this book was all for rotating about 7 or 8 different dinners over & over.... I need more variety. So, I sat down today (while watching ID4, for the umpteenth time) and wrote down every last dinner I could think of that I've ever made and we've liked. (Well, those that had easily obtainable ingredients, since there's no point in putting shark on my menu plan if it's a rare treat. Same goes for things like ham, turkey, halibut, and moose & caribou at this point.)

I have roughly 60 main dish ideas written down. I'm going to have DH & DD go over it when DH gets home from work, and see if they can't come up with more things to add. Then I'm going to get busy, portioning out the meal ideas into 7 day segments. Each week will have (hopefully) one "fancy" meal. Something that takes me a good deal of planning & cooking to take care of, ya know. And 6 less-time-intensive meals. Mondays will generally need to be something with very little trouble involved, as that is the day, most often, that DH must cook. So, we'll save burgers, bratwursts, mac&cheese&hot-dogs, and grilled-cheese&tomato-soup, and things like that for nights when DH has to cook. Then that leaves me things like spaghetti & garlic bread, SOS (ground beef & gravy over toast/rice/noodles), steaks & stuffing and BLT's for the other 5 nights where I'm likely to be cooking, or DH & I can cook together.

Hopefully, portioning these meal ideas out into 7 day segments will make planning & purchasing easier, and I won't wind up here at home at 6:45, wondering what the hell I'm going to make for dinner. Or worse, at the grocery store spending big bucks for quick-to-prepare dishes that I could do easier on my own, if I'd just planned ahead. And, unfortunately, DH doesn't get home very much earlier than I do, so he can't start things. Or, he doesn't quite have the skill to know where to start, if he does beat me home with enough time.

I hope this makes making dinner a little less tedious for me. And besides, if I've got 60+ recipes, that means I'm not going to be making the same dish, 3 weeks in a row. So hopefully I'll find eatting a little more appetizing if I can look forward to at least a couple dozen different meals before I repeat one. We've all been getting burned out on having the "same-old, same-old" for dinner, over & over again, it seems.

And I really need to start using my slow-cooker more. I've got a rather nice (if rather large) slow-cooker that has pre-set times & temps on it. It's got 4 and 6 hours on High, 8 & 10 hours on low, and warm. Really, it should be very easy to me to plan ahead the night before, to take the ingredients out (or have them from the grocery store, in the case of veggies & dairy) and simply prep & toss them into the slow-cooker before I head out the door for work. It doesn't actually work as well as one would think. I've been told that for being a very predictable & steady type person, I'm rather scatter-brained sometimes. And making dinner is one of those times. LOL


Wanted to say thanks again for all the comments on the last couple of posts. DD got quite a kick out of seeing the kudos on her last game, and everybody telling her to get out there & "kick the brat's butt", so to speak. Of course, she knows that the best way to beat him would be by getting a shut-out against him. And she's trying. Hopefully before the end of the season (mid-march) we'll stomp that team once.

And she was quite embarassed to see that I took a pic of her asleep & posted it. *grin* Ahhh, but isn't it a parent's priviledge to embarass they're youngster?!?!?! LOL

Have a Blessed Day!


sammy_bunny said...

I tend to forget about meals that I like. Then I find them again in a cookbook and am aurpised that I forgot about the. Having a list is a good idea.

Michelle said...

I had Olive Garden last night! (If you could see me, you'd see me doing a happy dance.) I hadn't been in three or four years and wow did it make me happy.

But no worries -- tonight is a bigger dinner for some friends and I. I'm planning to make a leek and potato soup and some sort of quinoa side dish. (BTW -- have you ever tried quinoa? It's really, really good. I mean really good. And it's one of those super grains that are really good for you. Definitely give it a try at least once, if you haven't already. If you want, I can point you to a really good recipe or two that uses quinoa.) I'm still going back and forth about dessert. I have a recipe for a chai cheesecake that sounds so yummy, but I don't want to have leftover cheesecake to eat. I'm also still not sure about a vegetable dish. I'm thinking maybe some roasted asparagus...or maybe just a spinach salad (oooh...with cranberries, walnuts, and blue cheese. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner.)

Give my little love to the little one. And don't think that I have forgotten that your birthday is on Monday! Woohoo! You're gettin' OLD!!! ;-)

Love ya!

Michelle said...

I've decided upon dessert! I'm going to make a Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. Mmmmm... now I gotta go plan my shopping list.

happyowl said...

I am stuck in the same old, same old routine. Do you think when you have time( ha ha), you could post your list? Do you always have meat at dinner or do you also have vegan dishes? Maybe we could start a weekly post a recipe day!

Brightest blessings


Slip said...

Why not throw them taters right in the slow cooker with the kraut, pork, and other veggies? The potatoes take on a lot of flavor and color from the pork, plus you dirty on less pot.

Michelle said...

So the sticky toffee pudding didn't happen. I went to the store and got, I thought, the supplies for it. But it turned out that I bought figs rather than dates. (This was my thought process as I was chopping the first couple of figs: "OK...I have to be sure to get the pits out of these suckers. Hey, wait a minute! they have no pits, only lots of little seeds! Damnit!") Alas. So I went with a german chocolate cake with mom's frosting on top (is it a bit disturbing that I had all the ingredients for that on hand and no trip to the store was needed?). The quinoa recipe that I ended up using was also quite tasty...lemme know if you want it ('cause you really should try it sometime. so good. so healthy.) :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kati,
I remember I did the calendar dinner list for a few months at least, I liked it... if for no other reason than I didn't have to come home and ask "okay, what's for dinner tonight?"
As for me... I had "Round table" pizza that I shared with friends while listening to John Cruz sing, that was nice... (see my blog... and feel free to pass my blog info onto anyone wanting to enjoy regular photos of my beautiful Hawaii!). Tonight I'm going to have a little bit of almond flavored Chocolate chip Ice Cream (and I put some chopped up almonds in it too... BOY is is good!). That's my desert!

Love ya!
- Mom
P.S. give DD a big hug and a kiss for me! (or is that GD for me???)

Anonymous said...

We had spilt pea soup with ham hocks last night.
Tonight we're having beef liver.

Anonymous said...

I had hot dogs. I've had to many hot dogs these past few days.

I might turn into a hot that'd be a post to read.

Anonymous said...

I went out for Mexican food.