Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's for Google?

I am mostly organized. Mostly. And other times I become hideously overwhelmed by my life and workload and things get out of control.

Last week was such a week. A magazine deadline loomed. Another client needed edits to a document ASAP. And another client's weekly work needed to be completed as well. Plus, tomorrow is the last day of school (Finn was home sick today--no joke) and so these last weeks have been filled with activities that all require parent time/money/involvement in some way.

I need a vacation to start summer vacation.

Anyway, one of the things I try to do during the year is plan out menus at least one week, if not more, ahead. I look at our calendar and see what's coming and try to plan a dinner that coincides with what's going on. We very rarely eat out, even as a last resort when we get home late, so while I don't buy a lot of convenience foods, you'll definitely find frozen pizza in our freezer. If we're going to be out skiing all day, I like to put something in the crockpot so it's ready when we get home. During the week I cook a lot from Desperation Dinners, which claims every recipe in the cookbook can be ready in under 30 minutes.

Planning things out ahead like that also helps me at the grocery store. I make a list based on what I need for the meals I've decided to cook that week and I pretty much stick to it--and the budget. Unless the boys are with me and then all bets are off. Miscellaneous boxes of cereal and various and sundry snacks always seem to make their way into the cart putting my weekly budget in peril.

So, like I said, that organizational plan works for me. Most of the time.

But then life gets in the way and I find myself scrambling--cooking straight from whatever I've got stashed in the freezer or cupboards because I haven't planned ahead. I hate that feeling, especially when 5 o'clock rolls around, nothing is defrosted (although defrosting things in the sink is quite speedy), and everyone is suddenly ravenously hungry.

It's nights like these, and tonight in fact, I dash to the computer and get friendly with Google. Tonight I Googled mahi mahi recipes and found this:

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi. With more than 725 reviews and nearly 5 stars, I figured I was a winner. I was underwhelmed. Of course, I baked it instead of frying it, which is something that drives Eamonn crazy. When you see people on those sites who say, "This recipe was great, but I used trout instead of mahi mahi, teriyaki instead of soy sauce, and I grilled it instead of fried it." So basically they made a completely different recipe.

After all of my Googling for recipes, I have found that I use allrecipes.com more often than other sites.

At Christmas, when I was trying to use up a ham, these scalloped potatoes were a hit. Except for with Finn, now that I think about it. But frankly, I thought they were delish and had to try very hard not to eat the whole dish myself.

You can't beat this blueberry pie. It turned out so well and looked so pretty that one time when I made it for a family party, Great Ruth thought I had bought it at a store. As if, Great Ruth! I only buy store pies when I am going to a party where I don't know anyone.

I love this chocolate pudding. And this rice pudding is Eamonn's favorite. It's like a meal in and of itself. My stomach just growled.

These are the brownies that I made for the school fair last week. They turned out like a volcano. I blame the altitude for that though. The brownies themselves tasted really, really good. I ate, like, a lot.

I see a disturbing trend in the types of recipes I apparently search for.

Anyway, my point here is that despite the shelf-bending number of cookbooks I have in my kitchen, I apparently cannot be bothered to actually look through them when I'm in a hurry.

Thank goodness for the Internet or else we'd starve.


Kristie said...

I do the exact same thing with my shopping list, and yet we still wound up bringing a pizza home last night ... what gives??

Mountain Mama said...

Sounds just like our home (and me). Time spent planning... all for not!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Pioneer Woman?

FREDDA said...

My daughter faithfully uses the six o'clock scramble for her family--and has for years. And Natalie, she's as health/organic conscious as you. Google it and you will find. It's a subscription thing, but it is weekly evening menus, recipes, ingredients and a shopping list. Ingredients build on what you have already purchased.

Anonymous said...

If you like allrecipes.com, you might also like razzledazzlerecipes.com. It's one of my favorites.

Beth said...

I am a big Allrecipes fan too! I have not liked most of PW's recipes that I've tried. And most of my recipe box (on allrecipes) is dessert. I have a school-type folder in which I put my printed out recipes that I want to repeat. Then, when I am scrounging around for ideas while I'm planning menus, I can just flip through them.

I'm heading off to read the blueberry pie one...it's almost season here and there is a blueberry farm a few miles down the road!

Jennifer said...

If you like your Crock Pot - check out this site: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com - I have used it a LOT this past few months! (I'm a BIG fan of the Crock Pot - nothing better than walking in the door after a loooong day teaching 4-year olds, to the smell of dinner already cooked!!) Anyway - her recipes are great - they're all gluten-free, because her daughter is Celiac - but you can use whatever brands you prefer! I love the Crock Pot lady (she used it everyday for a year!!)