Friday, January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014

Whoops!  I missed last week...with this weather we've been having I am going to blame it on hibernation.  I want to snuggle under a blanket on the couch and read for the rest of the winter - no more cooking in my test kitchen!  But after a few days of that I would certainly be pulled back in to the kitchen.  I am happy to report that we did test a few recipes this week, and we have 2 keepers!

The first was a slow cooker pork roast.  Combining all of our school, sports, work, and general life schedules leads to the slow cooker getting quite a bit of use these days.  Add to that sub-zero temperatures (before the wind is even factored in) and this counter-top appliance is definitely calling my name and continuing to earn its spot in my limited cabinet space.  One night this week we had a volleyball game, compounded by soccer practice, a night out with friends, and homework.  Putting a boneless pork shoulder in the slow cooker in the morning and being able to eat when we walked in the door was fabulous.  We shredded it and then offered it with rolls, tortillas, a variety of condiments, and everyone at the table was pleased and satisfied.  Definitely a keeper, and likely to be part of the regular rotation.  It also provided enough leftovers to freeze the rest which will allow us to just thaw and reheat in the future.  Excellent!

The second dish to earn keeper status was Stuffed Ranch chicken.  I clipped this recipe back in the spring of 2006!  I love using these kinds of recipes - it reinforces why I started this project and blog in the first place.  I've been collecting recipes for ages and ages, and they are in recipe boxes, 3 ring binders, and stacked on a shelf in my kitchen.  I love incorporating these into the meal plan and finally deciding their fate; is the recipe good enough to share or shall it hit the recycling?  In any case, this stuffed chicken was a keeper, and I even forgot to add the bacon!  Just imagine how much more we will love it when we add that to the stuffing!

As I mentioned, this week has been super chilly.  We've been having soup and casseroles in addition to the new keeper recipes listed here. One of our favorite soups, un-stuffed pepper soup, makes enough for two dinners! We enjoy it the night we make it and then I freeze the rest to be used in the future.  I love those kinds of meals; one time effort, two times enjoyment!  What have you been feeding your family to keep warm in this bitter cold?  And if it isn't cold by you - have you grilled anything of late?  Let me know and I can live vicariously through you!

Happy Cooking!

New Recipes
Stuffed Ranch Chicken
All Purpose Pork Shoulder

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