Posted: January 29, 2009 in Food, Pimp

swedishchefI love to cook. Have I mentioned?

However, every now and then I find that we’ve gotten into a culinary rut. I keep making the same round of stuff, week after week. The food is still quite excellent (of course, I made it), but it’s all starting to get a little old.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve made little forays into jazzing up our supper menus. Last night we had Trader Joe’s Mahi-Mahi with a basmati/wild rice medley (also TJ’s brand) and some nice squeaky green beans. Calvin seemed to like it, which is the Number One Requirement of any food that I introduce to the household.

One night last week, after purchasing one of these little beauties, I made a variation of this Steakhouse Steak recipe, courtesy of Ina. It was decent, though I believe it would have been better had I cooked fillets instead of New Yorks. Hey, any steak in a storm, and our grill has been defunct for MONTHS, now.

Now. If you all aren’t clear on my love affair with my crock pot, then surely you haven’t been paying attention. As things stand right now, I use mine about once a week, maybe twice. This lady, on the other hand, had the intestinal fortitude (har) to cook up a different crock pot recipe EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.

I figured if she could do it for a year, I could do it for a week. Of course, I’m cutting down severely on the work involved by using the recipes she’s already tried out, instead of inventing my own. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that. Here’s the menu for next week:

Sunday – Taco Soup. It should go well with the Super Bowl. And all the beer. Alllllll theeeeeee beeeeeeeer.

Monday – Dry Rub Ribs, accompanied by PW’s Crash Hot Potatoes and garlic roasted cauliflower (which recipe I will post on WFN).

Tuesday – Stuffed Peppers. A whole meal contained in a vegetable! How terribly handy.

Wednesday – Bacon and Cheese Chicken. I mean, really. There is no way to go wrong, here. I’m going to pair it with some Garlic Cheese Noodles. Because you can never have too much cheese. NEVAR. Oh, I should probably have some sort of a vegetable, too. Umm… yeah. Celery and carrot sticks dipped in ranch. There ya go.

Thursday – Tilapia in Foil Packets. Served with another of TJ’s rice medley mixes and a green salad.

Friday – Fast food night! It’s tradition.

Saturday – Lasagna so easy that even I can’t screw it up. Accompanied by some garlic bread and a salad. Yes, Virginia, you CAN cook pasta in the crock pot.

In this little project I hope to end up with a half-dozen more recipes to add to our rotation. I kind of like the idea of trying out the recipes of a specific food blogger for an entire week’s worth of menus. I’ll probably do it again.

And you’ll be sure to hear about it.

(This entry cross-posted at World Famous Nosh.)

  1. Shannan says:

    I got a crockpot for my birthday a few months ago so I will be watching your ‘experiments’ with interest. It is summer here though (Sydney Australia) so it isn’t really the right season for soups and casseroles but I have been experimenting with fillings for enchiladas and that kind of thing. Winter will be a different story.

    I am also in a cooking rut and just spent today going through my cookbooks for inspiration. One of my resolutions this year is to menu plan. I find it so hard to do – I think I get overwhelmed and I just end up drooling over my cookbooks rather than picking recipes to try. My plan this time is to choose one book or magazine only and plan a week’s menu from it. We will see!

  2. angelcel says:

    Crockpots never really caught on over here. I had one when they were first sold here in the ’80s but I found the recipes I tried, although delicious, were always slightly watery (which I suppose stands to reason given the many hours of condensation that collects). I actually have a new crockpot which was given to me not so long ago and you’ve made me wonder whether I should give it a go again. They certainly make life easier in many ways.

  3. Kim says:

    I tried PW’s Crash Hot Potatoes a couple of months ago for the first time…and haven’t made them any other way since. Unless we’re talking about a lazy night with instant mashed potatoes which is just shameful. Here’s a tip if you’ve never made them before. Whatever she uses to smoosh the taters? Always stuck to mine and made me very upset. I used the bottom of a heavy glass and it worked much better.
    I’m making a taco type dip for the Super Bowl. Tacos must be the unofficial food of the NFL.

  4. Laura says:

    Shannan – That sounds like a very excellent plan! You’d think with as many cookbooks as I have, I wouldn’t find myself wondering with such alarming frequency what to cook.

    Jayne – Really? How weird! I highly recommend you give it a go – so easy and convenient!

    Kim – I’ve made PW’s potatoes a couple of times, and I LOVE them. I use a grid-style potato masher to “crash” them, which I lightly spray with cooking spray every couple of crashes or so. It helps keep the sticking down, but I think I’ll try your method.

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