menu planning recap: night one

yalls comments on the last post about cooking and menu planning were awesome and mega helpful/consoling. i should have mentioned that i do love my crockpot but cant do it more than once a week or it makes me want to barf. dont know why. i love meat juices as much more than the next girl, but something about all the mingling and seeing and smelling it for 8 hours straight just starts to weigh on my brain and make me feel extra hunger-strike-ish.

so last night was 2 sides and an entree from my pinterest boards.

first up, cauliflower tater tots. a cheesy, creamy way to trick your mouth into eating nature's styrofoam. i was all about it. here's the pin and the original pic:

i figured, sure, the recipe includes heavy cream and cheese, but thats okay because there will be so much cauli happening. i read the recipe (she says you can just bake them or bake and then fry them for extra crunch) and decided to stop at baking mine, since frying them in oil would have been ridiculous (for that much caloric and heart attack factor i might as well just eat real fries from fast food and cut out the hassle and the cost).

you guys, it did NOT go well.

i guess i can blame myself for mixing it all up beforehand. perhaps the mixture sitting in the fridge let the beaten egg whites settle too much so that when i piped them out i had this (yes, a recipe that involving a piping bag, aka ziploc w/tip cut off, is NOT a great one for a weeknight meal):

the phrase you're looking for is, "albino turds."

and then i baked them:

flat little soggy piles.

i was so pissed. but i wasnt ready to call it quits. i wanted to make it at least edible, so i decided to fry them.

about half of them disintegrated upon impact with the oil

of the half that stayed together, some of them did turn out crispy and light and golden brown. with a little salt these werent too bad. but after 30 minutes of work and like $4 of ingredients, i wanted more than "not too bad."

i will not be attempting these again. way too much work for way too little nutritional payoff. sadtimes. and i was sweating and cussing while cooking, which is never a good sign.

i was full-on despair when i turned to my other side of a brussel sprout salad.

we never ate brussel sprouts growing up, but i knew they were gross because so many kids' shows used them as the yuckiest of things in joke references.

but as it turns out, you can shred up anything, cook it in bacon grease, top it with ACTUAL bacon, and have deliciousness pouring out of your ears. this stuff was AWESOME. very easy, very yummy and very cheap.

this is ours.

so so so good. i will be making this again and often.

and for our entree was slow-cooker balsamic glazed pork tendie. i got ours on big sale at publix and was stoked to let the crock do all the work.

the picture is divine....and as it turned out for me, totally unrealistic. theirs looks like it has an awesome char on the meat, but mine did NOT. this was where my crock pot aversion came in. avert your eyes vegetarians and the weak-stomached.

ok so that is the meat, the sage rub and the 1/2 cup water i put in 8 hours earlier plus the piggy juices.

after seeing this every time i went to brush on the glaze, i just had a hard time getting excited after i fished the meat out to actually eat it. i just cant get it up for meatwater.

it was totally tender and perfectly cooked and the glaze was awesome and crucial and everyone else in the fam loved it, (judah: "more fork peez mommy!"), but i passed last night and think i will revisit this as leftovers in a few nights. this is my problem with the crockpot.

not bad. but it was more like BBQ than the delicious roasted pork tenderloin i have made in the past.

and put it all together:
hmmm. i give it a 6 out of 10. the salad saved the day. and my jury is still out on the pork.

luckily the rest of the week is things i have had before and know i will love. monday was my adventurous day so i am a-okay with it not being a rockstar epic meal of perfection. everything was eaten and enjoyed, so, job well done, keight.

one day down, 3 to go.


  1. You should try crock pot ribs. They are my favorite way to make them. Buy some ribs (beef or pork), slather them with rib rub, then dump in the crock pot on low. After about 8 hours they are falling off the bone delish!

  2. Those cauli-tots looked awful... WWAY too much effort! Totally trying the sprout salad and did you try searing the pork first? That might make it a little more blackened looking....

  3. That cauliflower buisisness looked terrible. Ick.

  4. Those Albino turds look like everything I ever try to make.

    Like Homer Simpson so beautifully and inspiringly stated "If at first you don't succeed - Why try?"

    I will demand that salad if I ever get to GA.

  5. Ha! Oh my gosh, I was so excited to make those stupid cauliflower fluffy puff things, I am so glad I did not as I too would have been swearing and sweating and probably yelling at what/whoever walked in the kitchen... Kudos for trying out these culinary projects, and I look forward to reading your blog more often! Cheers!