Cooking is HARD.

Is anybody with me on this? I’m talking “I go into the kitchen on the days I work from home three to four times and look around for things I could possibly make and then walk out again with no plan” HARD. Last night I pulled out carrots and chicken broth and walked away to go clean something. Two hours later, husband was chopping them and asked why they were warm. I explained using the above sentences.

Meal planning is just not my forte. I accept this. It requires properly chosen recipes, a store list, an hour round trip to the good grocery store, buying the RIGHT stuff, getting it home and putting it all away. WOW. I’m exhausted. Now I have to put it together into a good tasting meal? Have you lost your mind?

I made simple things and bought “healthy” frozen stuff, but then came the food movement. You need to know where your food walked and swam, what it ate and what kind of soil it grows in.
And then I started working out of the house a lot more and my kid got involved in a local theater company that requires lots of rehearsals—especially before the shows open. All these veteran theater moms started posting these crock pot ideas. It was epiphanistic …(I think I made this up)…eureka! I got down on my hands and knees and pulled out this precious, life-saving device. I walked around it slowly and inspected its parts. How miraculous would it be if I could just throw a bunch of uncooked stuff into a ceramic oven of sorts, leave the house, or continue to work, and five to eight hours later dinner would be ready and I could don my red super hero cape! I shouted from the rooftop! (Okay, it was the front porch…) Now, what to make, what to make?! I asked my BFF, Jenn, who also enjoys this invention, if she knew a good crock pot cookbook I could run out and get. She rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah, it’s called Google.“ Duh.
So I googled and googled and googled. We’re a picky herd with sensitivities and taste buds… pot roast and pork barbecue were the first attempts as these showed up on recipe sites the most often, but the people quickly tired of these. And I hate the word pork, thus I don’t like to make it. Chicken chili got a 2 out of 3 votes, as did chicken curry. Sloppy joes were a winner, but I lost the recipe.
It’s almost showtime again, so I’ve got the device back on the counter and am stepping into the laboratory. Today’s trial: Slow-cooker Chicken Parmigiana.

Chik Parm
I only hit a few stumbling blocks: the thawed out chicken smelled like doom and I bought ricotta not mozzarella. I must press on. An hour later (1:20 pm) and the other chicken is now thawed and ready to go into the crockpot. It’s a five-hour cook time and dinner needs to be ready at 4:15, but I have faith in what’s possible.
I’ll report the progress. I’m going in…

Update: I found two cheese sticks which I grated (so MacGyver of me) and mixed it with a little Mexican cheese blend. “It’s a multi-cultural culinary adventure,” I will tell them…

Recipes desperately needed and eagerly anticipated.

Update #2:  This sucka rocked!!!  I mean, IT WAS A FIVE STAR restaurant experience!  Yes, I’m prancing around in my Superhero cape.



    • sincerelyjuli says:

      We are Super Heroes everyday! Because we get out of bed, make food, get in a car, remember where we are going, smile at other people and share our spaces. Life is HARD. Consider yourself SUPER!

  1. Susan @ Sweet Little nest says:

    Oh yeah. I use mine all the time. I even occasionally spend two or three hours making some crock pot meals in advance to freeze (the go right in the crock still frozen). It might seem like more work to spend a bunch of time doing that, but it makes the “WTH am I gonna make for dinner” question easier to answer several times a week.

  2. sharon says:

    So, for valentines day, i bought myself a gift…one of those fun three station crockpots. Not the tiny one, this one has decent size pots and i use it all the time. I cook everything in there.
    I have several crockpot books, aloha chicken is one of the favs in my house….and i wing it once in a while. The internet is good too, but i like having a book where i can write stars and things that are good and bad.
    I also have this book, Beyond Macaroni and Cheese, i use that a lot.
    We need to sit down and share!!

    • Susan @ Sweet Little Nest says:

      Hmmm. Have you ever tried it without slicing? I bet you could just brown the whole tenderloin and put it in the crock for the same effect. I make pulled pork that way – without bothering to slice before browning. That would save some effort (both the cutting and the cooking in batches). You’d probably need to cut in half in order to get it in the skillet, but that’s it.

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