It’s hard to believe we’re at the mid-way point of August already. Here in Southern California, we’re starting to venture into the hot part of the year – August to mid-October. Which means finding ways to cook that don’t heat up the kitchen. The crock pot, pressure cooker, grill, and I will become good friends over the next few months as I try to avoid my oven, especially since we don’t have central a/c and try to only use the portable one when it’s 90+ and can’t stand it anymore. Thankfully, it does tend to cool off at night. We’re more inland, so we can be 99 during the day and get down to around 64 at night. (I’m sure you can imagine my reaction when a soup was one of the dinner suggestions from my husband for this next week. Nope!)
I did print out a basic monthly calendar from Word this weekend, though, and tentatively plan out meals for the rest of the month. I’m not sure how closely we’ll stick to it, but it was kind of nice to put together at least a basic menu plan based on a normal week for us.
Last week the Grilled Thai Coconut Lime Skirt Steak and Slow Cooker Chicken Curry were both successes: 4/5 stars from my husband. I haven’t figured out exactly what his star system means at all levels, but I have figured out that 5/5 means he could eat the dish every single week/one of his favorite meals, and 4/5 means that he liked it and would eat it again. Below that, the star ranking gets a little murky. Usually when it’s less than 4, I wouldn’t eat it again – at least not in the recipe iteration that I made it – so it doesn’t really matter. I didn’t get to the Greek Chicken because I underestimated the amount of chicken we had in our freezer, and we had chicken curry left. Another time, perhaps.
For the chicken curry, I made the rice in our electric pressure cooker. It worked fabulously the first night – one cup water, one cup rice, 3 minutes at high pressure, 10 minutes to naturally de-pressurize. The second night was a bit of a fail, mostly because I popped the float valve seal off the lid when I was washing it and didn’t discover that fact until I was trying to use it. The second batch of rice was a little al dente (I tossed the first batch because the water was gone by the time I figured out why it might not be coming up to pressure), but edible. And I found the seal the next morning in our dish towel drawer, which might have been slightly open while I was drying dishes. Don’t ask. I couldn’t do that again if I tried. But considering we have a pressure cooker that is no longer being made, along with its parts, at least I can put off ordering a new one for yet a while longer. Though the new Instant Pot with bluetooth functionality (affiliate link) has caught my eye, should we be in the market again soon.
This week’s menu plan:
Leftover smoked brisket
Chicken Spinach Alfredo (link to cookbook site, not recipe)
Easy Tender London Broil
Shrimp and Zucchini Pasta
Neighborhood bbq/potluck? – I’d have to bring a side dish for this. I haven’t gotten that far yet.
likely something smoked