It has been an insane week around here! It started with my MIL falling and breaking her hip and ended up with my 3 year old falling off the bed and getting three staples to the head! Look at this poor, sad little face… On top of that, we’ve had relatives in town for almost two weeks. Of course, it’s been awesome spending time with them but needless to say with all that’s been going on, I haven’t had much time to think about dinner, even with the meal plan I made last week. I went over budget, made extra trips to the grocery store and skipped over some of the meals I had as part of my meal plan. Sometimes life just takes over but I did still manage to make two of my planned meals.
First, we had the Chicken Potato Bake from Dizzy, Busy and Hungry. I made it the night my relatives arrived and got so busy hugging, talking, catching up and of course, pouring wine that I forgot to add the mozzarella at the end. It actually worked out perfectly though because it made for a healthier meal and the chicken and potatoes were so good on their own, we didn’t even need the cheese.
Then there’s the little story what happened the very first time I
used misused my new slow cooker! I planned to cook this yummy Pork Tenderloin Crock Pot Recipe from Gonna Want Seconds.
First mistake…I started preparing the dish at 2:30, noticing only at the end that it called for 6-8 hours of cooking time. Oops! At this rate, dinner would be ready by 8:30 at the earliest. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out but I always have an emergency frozen pizza on hand, just in case! My sister-in-law suggested we cook it on high for the first hour and since she’s cooked with a slow cooker before, it sounded good to me.
After about an hour and 15 minutes, I turned it on low and picked up the instructions to read about how the probe worked. Uh oh…I hadn’t noticed earlier that the manual said “NEVER lock the clips during cooking” and yes, NEVER was in all caps! Another oops! Apparently the clips were just there to use for transporting the dish. Hmmm…guess I should have read the directions a little more closely! I quickly unlatched the hooks and went back to reading the directions.
This time I read every page and noticed the suggested cooking times. Another oops! Cooking time for a pork tenderloin larger than ours was 2-3 hours on low and 1.5-2 hours on low. WHAT? I have no idea how the cooking times could differ so greatly but I quickly took the lid off and temped the meat…205 degrees! Not exactly the temperature that we wanted for a medium low tenderloin! I was very close to pulling out the frozen pizza but surprisingly, once I poured the sauce over it, it really wasn’t that bad. It was a good sign that everyone had seconds…crisis averted!
However, now that I’ve learned what NOT to do, I think I’ll do better next time! I’ll hop back into the challenge next week, but this week has been so insane that I think I’m just going to wing it. Maybe I’ll even attempt another slow cooker meal! Since I have so much stuff in my freezer, I’m just going to try to make meals out of that and only buy the essentials (you know, milk/eggs/wine) at the grocery store this week.
However, I don’t want to leave you without dinner ideas for the week so I’ve found some awesome recipes for you to try out…
I LOVE how easy these meals are (and the fact that they only have three main ingredients)!
33 Three-ingredient Meals from Totally The Bomb
These are much more complicated…they have a massive 5 ingredient list instead of 3
Yummy Healthy Easy has 35+ Dinner Recipes With 5 ingredients or less.
Here are a few more quick and easy meals:
15 Quick And Easy 30 Minute Dinners from Damn Delicious
Finally, these recipes should keep the kids happy!
20 Easy Dinner Recipes Kids Love from I Heart Arts n Crafts
Have you had any slow cooker fails? I’d love to hear about them (and learn from your mistakes, too)!
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