I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mom What's for Dinner?!

Hi!  It's only Tuesday but I am thinking about the weekend, planning ahead in case the weather turns bad. I was surprised so many of you have snow and cold, it was warm here. Almost 60* yesterday.
As we all know, weekends can get busy, with differing schedules and always-changing plans, so I am always on the lookout for new easy serve recipes for the Crock Pot. Yes, easy serve...not easy cook. I don't mind cooking complicated meals, my problem is what to prepare and have on hand when One child eats at 5 PM, the other at 11 PM, and I like to eat at 9.

Obviously we only sit around the dinner table on major holidays, aka once a year on Christmas Day. Meals are eaten on the run or more likely on the edge of exhaustion, at the end of a crazy long day. No one wants to sit and wait while mom cooks.
Often I rely on salads and casseroles. The crock pot is a new experience.

And I have to admit crock pot cooking still has me somewhat stumped. I think I am supposed to start it early in the morning [lol], for a 6 PM meal? But, well, see above. My crock pots seem to always be done at, like, 3 AM...but then they're too hot to put in the fridge. So far I'm not thrilled with getting up at 5 AM and scooping the food into Glad boxes and scrubbing yucky crock pots.

5 AM is to me the middle of the night.

Anyway. Last weekend we made Beer Chicken. It is actually a Weight Watchers recipe...and the alcohol supposedly cooks off, and/ or is dispersed through a number or separate servings. [1 beer/ 8 servings]

Trader Joe's was having a sale on single bottles of fancy beers both locally brewed and imported. I don't drink beer so I just grabbed the two cutest kinds.

I admit I really just wanted this bottle though!

The recipe here   calls for 2 pounds of chicken breasts, seasonings of your own choice, and a bottle of beer. I used thyme, oregano, pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder, a few dried onion flakes. (If you are counting calories, keep an eye on the portion sizes on this site/ link. The food is low cal because the portions are very very small, in this cse  1 chicken tender per serving. The writer says she used 8 breasts/ 2 pounds....my 2 pounds of chicken breasts was 4!, so I am thinking she used the small trimmed ''tenders"  [4 oz. each.] not whole boneless breasts.)

Cook on high for 8 hours. Shred when done and store in the juices. Reheat as desired.


I served it with homemade broccoli slaw and a choice of multigrain breads.

Horseradish sauce/ or BBQ sauce. (Sweet Baby Ray's) My kids liked it quite a lot but they did feel it needed the bottled BBQ sauce...in which case it is very much NOT a Weight Watchers recipe, and it becomes pulled chicken. My verdict is: okay but not  a dish in itself, so not a true success. There is no need to buy beer for  pulled chicken, I just boil it in chicken broth then shred.

I guess it's more sensible if you have beer leftover,from say, a football Sunday?

We also made wonderful Key Lime cupcakes. (Yes, my other blog readers, cupcakes! It wasn't my fault, you'll see.)

My daughter received this cute baking kit as a party favor.

Normally she does not eat sweets so I was surprised she wanted to bake the cupcakes...but we did! It was so fun and they were, note "were" (--yes, all gone!) very yummy, so sweet and limey.

The frosting was to die for! A stick of butter, a box of cream cheese and their ''mix'' which I am pretty sure was just powdered sugar and some flavoring. Wow.

We used white chunky decorator sugar on top, my daughter had the idea to grate lime zest on top too. Mmmm....

So fun to bake with a friend, isn't it?



gone to the beach...............



PS I apologize for the small pix, Blogger's photo app is screwy all week and getting worse. I accidentally erased all my pansies for the previous post. Not sure what is wrong, so if anyone has any suggestions or is also having probs, please let me know. Thx!
PPS I found out tonight that I can upload and size pix in the html mode. Of course there's no control over where they go and only 5 at a time, but it's still a little better. Google calls the problem "ongoing"......