a rotation of five - week night cooking


One of the things I wanted to try and do this year was to incorporate a few new recipes into our usual rotation of five basic dishes.  My husband is a simple man and he likes simple food, the way his mama cooked it.  When I was a working girl this was actually a relief.  I mean how long does it take to whip up a batch of semi-homemade spaghetti? (20 minutes from defrost to table, just for the record.)

But now that I am a full time wife at home with more time to cook (or so you'd think) I have been wanting to try adding a few new dishes to our week night dinners. Getting these into our usual rotation requires a two thumbs up from hubby man and believe me, that is not an easy thing to do.

I am a big fan of cooking shows especially Ina Garten, Tricia Yearwood and my current favorite, Rhee Drummond - The Pioneer Woman.  With the exception of Ina, these ladies cook simple foods for real families and I think that's what draws me to them.  (As far as Ina, I just love how she can make even fancy food seem doable and I swoon over her home and garden every week plus she has the most fun friends.)

I have decided to shoot for one new take on a standard rotation meal each week.  For the record our rotation of five consists of...Spaghetti, Chicken, Burritos, Roast (both beef and pork) and something on a bun, usually a hamburger.  A salad or soup must be accompanied by one of the rotation of five meats and no matter what the ingredients are not considered a meal by themselves.

This week after looking at my pantry and freezer, I decided to try PW's drip beef. Her recipe called for a full roast, peperoncini peppers, Italian seasoning and a can of beef broth, all of which I had on hand. I only had beef stew meat and not a whole roast so I cut back on the Italian seasoning...just not enough.

I put it all into my cast iron pot, set the oven to a low 275 degrees for four hours and what I ended up with was the most tender and juicy overly seasoned beef drip sandwich you could possible imagine.  Not heat spicy just too many spices spicy.  Needless to say it was a thumbs down from hubby man.  And I had to agree with him on this one which is really a bummer because I love me a good beef dip sandwich.

I cut the Italian seasoning down from 3 -4 tablespoons to two tablespoons but even that was a good tablespoon too much.  Maybe sometime in the distant future I can try it again. And in Rhee's defense, I'm sure if I had used the entire roast it would have been delicious.

Oh well, not every new recipe is going to be a keeper...I guess it's back to semi-homemade spaghetti for us tonight.

xo, Patty


  1. Patty, it makes me crazy when I try a recipe and it doesn't work out. I've made something very similar to your recipe and it worked out. Maybe if you tried again with a larger cut of meat you'd have good luck.

  2. Oh, I can remember cooking every night. But that was long ago. Now it's just me and the pupsters. And I eat a baked potato usually.

  3. Sounds like a good idea - just cutting down on the spices.


  4. Sounds like your man and my man have at least one thing in common. While he will try new things, and often enjoys them, he prefers old methods and old-fashioned foods and meals.

    Some recipes are disappointing and it's fun to go back and tweak to your own liking.

  5. Patty. I make peppered beef too. I use one whole chuck roast. Put cloves of garlic in the meat. One whole jar of peperoncinis. That is it! Cook for 12 hours. Serve on french rolls...with a piece of provolone! Yum!!
    XO Kris

  6. I've had a lot of success with Pioneer Woman recipes. Sorry that one didn't work out. I'm sure the next one will.

  7. Patty.....would really like to provide my address with a poor me note, "send food!"
    Kari~~~~~~drooling just a bit!

  8. Coming from a cook, it's hard for me to fathom using the same basic 5 recipes over and over again each week! Neither me nor my husband are picky and since I love to cook, I make different recipes all the time. I'm lucky if I make the same recipe within a month! Sorry your recipe didn't turn out too well.

  9. I'm feeling very lucky right now that my Hubby is such an adventurous eater. My dad is more like your husband and I always feel bad for his wife. I love to cook (most of the time!) and it is so much more fun cooking for a family that loves to eat (except for Emma who is still at an age where she is fairly picky)!

  10. My husband knew nothing about fresh vegetables when we first met. He was raised on cans from the grocery store. Uh, it didn't take him long to change. (smile) Now he likes everything and I'm so glad. I wouldn't know what to do if he preferred to eat the same things most of the time. I love trying new recipes.

  11. Sounds a bit like a recipe we make . . .

  12. Ah well, seasoning can trip you up since it's such a matter of personal taste, but knowing that it was too much may get you two thumbs up in the future!


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