Monday, September 9, 2013

WHAT'S FOR DINNER?

One spring many, many years ago, I found myself on the receiving end of a nasty scowl from my accountant as he prepared my taxes (one never wants to see a scowl of any kind on their financial advisers face)!  Sheldon, my lovely tax man, never shows emotion of any kind whatsoever.  Answering questions about my spending often feels like a mild interrogation (when asked about expenses of any kind Sheldon will drop the question..."how much did you spend?" then just stare in complete silence as sweat bubbles roll down my forehead).  So when he turned bright red and said, "you spent HOW MUCH on eating out last year??" I knew it was time to dial down my dining out and start eating in.  I hate cooking, though, and would rather spend time in my dentists chair than walking the aisles of a grocery store.  After meeting the ying to my yang, however, I've learned a heck of a lot from Joe and his love of cooking.  Do I want to make a meal for twenty guests this weekend? Heck no, but I'd sure love to set the table!  Because Joe spends more time commuting into the city each week than he does at home, I like to surprise him with fresh meals every now and then.  We love Cooks Illustrated and the accompanying show on PBS with Chris Kimball, America's Test Kitchen. Cooks Illustrated is unique because each edition is thoughtfully laid out with beautiful illustrations, simple directions and "tests" of everything from the best ketchup to crock pots (find copies in your local grocery store, often on stands near the meat section).  Speaking of crock pots, I have fallen in love with the one I bought Joe a few Christmas's ago.  The great thing about slow cooking is you can plop the ingredients in the crock and walk away from it, returning to a home filled with yummy smells and an incredible meal waiting for you.  The latest in the series, "Slow Cooker Revolution Volume 2" takes us on a journey offering everything from delicious appetizers to soups, pastas, short ribs and bock choy! Before I head out to meet a client today, I'm popping everything in the slow cooker and will tell you how it is tomorrow (if you have curious animals like we do, make sure you place the cooker high enough from wandering paws).  In the fast paced world we live in, it's nice to know we can still have a slow cooked, delicious meal every night.
BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS:
If you have kids I'm sure they are still slowly getting back into the swing of school, but once they've settled in make dinner easier on you and fun for them by involving the little ones.  Jason gets to make Tuesday's meal, Sarah can make Thursdays and we'll all help!  Buy the ingredients on Sunday for the week and let the kids show off their stuff (and learn something at the same time)!  Email me your slow cooker recipes and I'll share them here!
UPDATE: Well, it's Thursday and I have yet another slow cooker meal in the, well, SLOW COOKER.  Tonight I'm making Chicken Pomodoro.  The first night I made a delicious Penne with Chicken, Alfredo sauce, spinach and sun dried tomatoes and the following night I made a yummy dish called Mexican Lasagna (ground beef, corn tortillas, spices, jalapeƱos and fresh mozzarella).  I also discovered a simple, easy salad dressing to add to my portfolio (obviously not made in the slow cooker)...white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, mayo, grey poupon, minced garlic and salt and pepper.  All of the meals I've prepared this week have been met with ooohhhs and ahhhhhs from the snotty cook in our house.  Each took two hours in the slow cooker, cost less than $15 and made more than enough for left overs the following day.  SO, this household highly recommends the Slow Cooker REVOLUTION!