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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

They can't all be winners!

Every Sunday afternoon, I sit down with my grocery list app, my Pinterest boards, and my calendar and I meal plan. 

I look at the calendar to figure out which nights we will be eating late due to activities, which nights will need crockpot meals because of said activities, which nights we won't be home (my favorite because that means momma doesn't cook), and which nights we need a full-on meal.

And then I go through the recipes I've pinned or when I'm feeling old school, I get out my recipe binder and I figure out what we are going to eat on which nights and then I create my grocery list.

I do this every Sunday because every Monday morning I head to Aldi and Wal-Mart to get groceries for the week. I have done this for years. In fact, I guess I've done this ever since we had kids.  I have to have a meal plan or we would be eating Domino's pizza every night for dinner. Which if you ask the kids would definitely be preferable.

I'm not one of those talented people who can walk around the grocery store without a list and manage to make it home with all the ingredients for a weeks worth of meals and then actually be able to open up the pantry at dinner time and look in and think, "hmm, let's have chicken casserole, mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner" AND actually be able to find all the necessary ingredients and cook them and have them on the table.  Nope, that's not me. 

I've always admired those people but that's not how my brain works.  I tell you all of this because last night, I went rogue.  Yep.  I veered away from normal meal plan and tried to be adventurous.

Typically on Monday nights, Peter and Dan go to Boy Scouts and twice a month Sarah has Girl Scouts.  But, last night, the Peter did not have Boy Scouts and in the afternoon Sarah's meeting got cancelled so instead of the chili I was planning on having, I decided to move lots of things around and decided that we would have a sheet pan chicken and veggie dinner since we would all be at home.

But then, and here's where things go really wrong, I decided to sub out the chicken from the sheet pan dinner with a chicken recipe that I just found that sounded really good.  The only issue was that the chicken wasn't cooked in the oven but in a skillet.  I hate cooking chicken in a skillet because it always (and I mean ALWAYS) takes longer than the recipe claims and then your chicken isn't done but everything else is and sits there getting cold while the chicken is still cooking.

But the marinade for this chicken recipe sounded really good and it got a lot of rave reviews so I decided to go for it.

The chicken breasts were different thicknesses (aren't they always?) so I pounded them out. Well, actually Sarah pounded them out for me because she said she had some aggression she needed to work out. There was one really big one that she didn't quite get pounded out thin enough but I decided I would just cook it longer.  No big deal.

I had the chicken in the skillet and the veggies in the oven and everything was humming along nicely.  Peter called out to me from the office and said the printer had a paper jam.  I went in to fix the jam and then he asked me for some help getting his math project printed out.  There were some spacing issues and I was trying to help him.  It was taking longer than I expected and I could hear the chicken sizzling in the pan.

The heat was up a little higher than I realized so when I finally got to it, the chicken was really charred on that side. I flipped it over and turned the heat down and let it continue to cook on the other side.  I used the meat thermometer and the smaller pieces were done so I took them out and let the two bigger pieces continue to cook. 

We finally sat down to dinner and I was very excited to try this chicken only to cut into my piece and one part of it was very undercooked.  Peter's had the same problem. 

Dan's and Sarah's were cooked all the way through so I guess perhaps when I was checking the temp with the thermometer I wasn't putting it in the thickest part of the two undercooked pieces. 

Dan gave Peter some of his chicken.  Sarah offered me some of hers but I let her eat it all and I just ate cookies after my dinner of carrots and potatoes and brocoli.

You know how you can think back to your mom's kitchen and recall the meals you loved her to fix when you were growing up?  Well, I think my kids are going to be reminiscing about all the times they almost got salmonella. But I guess that's what good family stories are made of!


Mari said...

:) I hate when that happens! Better luck next time and thank good ness for an understanding family!

Pam said...

I have learned never to cook drumbsticks in the oven. Takes them forever to cook. Crock pot all the way. I have served chicken legs that dripped a bit of blood. Had checked a couple but the one the daughter got still had blood. I was terrified she was going to get sick. Thankful she did not. I hate it when the meal plan doesn't come together. It's no fun.

Maria (also Bia) said...

I have the same schedule: meal planning on Sunday, grocery shopping on Monday. And I am PARANOID about making sure my chicken is cooked. If someone at the table ccuts into their chicken and I glimpse even the tiniest bit of pink, I will grab their plate and pop it into the microwave to zap the rawness.

All your cute images had me laughing (especially the raw chicken/pecking rice one).