Author Archives: Maureen Slaughter

Mom to Mom: The Update on 90 Days of No Repeat Dinners

Wednesday, Oct 5th, 2011 by

Back in August, my close friend Maureen Slaughter (a mom to two boys) told us about how she had challenged herself not to repeat a dinner all summer long. Today, she gives us an update about how it all turned out. 

Our summer of “No Repeat Dinners” came to an end last month. I found it to be a very rewarding challenge.  Originally, my family was not crazy about the idea, but it was actually enjoyable to plan meals together, try new things and get out of our dinner rut. And, most importantly, my children lived through having their beloved chicken parmesan only once all summer. They saved it for the last week of the summer, and they savored every bite.

Photo by Leo Reynolds on Flickr.We tried at least one new dinner recipe each week, which revealed some new meals to add to our dinner rotation. Tilapia with lemon, turkey meatball sandwiches, and parmesan crusted pork chops were all successes! However, we had some failures along the way – food experiments that we can cross of the list. I try to convince myself that these failures give us a greater appreciation for the more successful meals.

I’m pleased that some of our favorite meals were very simple to make including roast chicken, grilled pork chops and cheese omelets. And several can be made in big batches and frozen for a future meal like shredded roast beef, chicken tacos and pulled pork BBQ.

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Mom to Mom: 90 Days of No Repeat Dinners — The Recipes

Thursday, Aug 4th, 2011 by

I promised that Maureen Slaughter would share a few of her family’s favorite recipes — recipes that are only getting used once this summer because she’s not repeating a dinner for 90 days. Note that you can get five different type of meals out of the “Crock Pot Shredded Beef.” Now you’re well on your way to your own 90-day challenge! – Tara

Photo by michelle grimord eggers on Flickr.CROCK POT SHREDDED BEEF OR PORK FIVE WAYS

Ingredients:

Large Beef or Pork Roast  (Any Cut)

1-2 cans beef or vegetable broth

Seasoning Salt (I use Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt)

Directions: 

Put meat, one can of broth, and lots of seasoning salt into crock pot on low for 10 or more hours. About an hour before serving, I shred it up in the crock pot with a big fork and sturdy spatula and let it continue cooking until we are ready to eat.

Serve on a roll or tortilla with favorite toppings.  It is a super easy way to feed a crowd.  Make enough so that you have leftovers so that you can try one of the variations below.

Notes:

*If using a particularly large roast, I start it late the night before so it has plenty of time to get tender enough to be shredded.

*If using beef, I usually sear all sides in a frying pan with a little oil before putting it into the crock pot. Adds a little flavor if you have the time.

Variations:

  1. Shredded Beef Sandwiches
    This shredded beef is excellent on a good roll like Turano French Rolls. Or, if you want to spend a little more energy on it, you can open up some rolls onto a baking sheet, put meat on one side.  Top with provolone cheese and put under the broiler until the cheese starts to brown.  It toasts the rolls at the same time.  So good!
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Mom to Mom: 90 Days of No Repeat Dinners

Wednesday, Aug 3rd, 2011 by

When my good friend Maureen Slaughter told me she planned not to repeat a dinner recipe all summer long, I demanded she write about it for Go West Young Mom. Luckily she obliged. I’ll post some of her family’s favorite recipes later today. — Tara

I always find it a challenge to come up with dinner ideas for my family. In order to get out of a recent dinner rut, I came up with a personal challenge: I would not repeat a meal all summer long. My family was not very excited about my idea. One son exclaimed “What?! Even Tacos? You have GOT to be kidding!” and the other said with a lump in his throat, “We can only have chicken parmesan once all summer?”

Photo by Leo Reynolds on Flickr.Despite my family’s opposition, I created a master list of more than 100 dinner ideas. For ideas, I enlisted the help of friends, relatives, cookbooks and websites (including Go West Young Mom’s “Weeknight Dinners” feature). I divided the meals into categories such as Beef, Chicken, Meatless, etc. and further divided them into subcategories like Mexican, Italian, etc. Some meals were just variations on the same theme – I counted shredded beef tacos, ground beef enchiladas, and chicken quesadillas as three different meals even though they had many of the same ingredients. 

Each week, one of my boys is in charge of going through the dinner list with me and picking out the meals for the upcoming week. He has to pick meals from different subcategories to create a good balance. Plus, one of the meals he chooses has to be a new meal – something we have never made before. The weekly dinner chooser also helps prepare these dinners each night. (The other child isn’t off the hook. He’s the dish helper.)

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