The trouble with rocks
Despite my desire to be organized and make life easier for myself I really don’t like menu planning. No matter how much “flexibility” you can build into a week or month long plan it still feels restrictive to me. I am a surprise kind of person. When it comes to food I like to decided what to eat based on the weather, the pull of the moon, my mood or whatever suits my fancy. Your laughing!? I know you are wondering, how does THAT work with four little ones, especially since I’m a picky eater myself? I don’t exactly know yet but I’m working on it.
The Problem of Menu Planning Illustrated:
Saturday 3:00 pm – I have lots of help because my hubby is home. We are FINALLY able to get outside to enjoy the first sunny and relatively warm day of spring. This should be an excellent day for accomplishing one of my menu tasks. Happily I dig in the dirt and the boys throw rocks into a huge hole filled with rain water just off the driveway. I have visions of taquitos and even some green beans (veggies that I will eat!) , that should fry up quick and give us plenty of time outside in the sun. At the moment I’m thrilled that I’ve planned ahead.
4:00 pm – It’s time to think about getting the boys inside and washed up so we can start dinner. But Oh, this sun is glorious! The big boys have moved on to riding bikes and Bubba is running up and down the driveway exclaiming with glee, “Wide Bite’s! Wide Bite’s!” That’s “Ride Bikes” to the rest of us.
4:45 pm – Just about finished staking off the new garden. Three boys are back on a dirt mound tossing rocks. In a split second there is Thing 2 covered in mud climbing up the “bank” of the large puddle sputtering and crying, “Blood, Mom, BLOOOOD! I’m gonna DIE!”
5:00 pm – Time to start dinner but instead I’m carrying my 5 year old whose head is dripping with blood up to the house. My dear husband has run to get towels, hoping not to have to look at whatever is causing all the ruckus. He does not do blood unless it’s his own. That Goof could cut a leg off and shrug “ah, but a flesh wound”. Make him talk about or look at blood and he goes white in the face! I’m on my own with this one.
5;15 pm – The head is no longer dripping and I’ve got Thing 2 properly bandaged. The two of us are off to the ER for stitches. The story is Thing 1 thought about jumping the ditch but wanted to see if Thing 2 could clear it first. Being the dare devil that he is, 2 was happy to try and yet being short legged and attempting the long jump uphill, landed square in the middle of the puddle which then propelled him forward into the upper bank where a large and jutted rock sat firmly planted in the dirt waiting for a tender little head to split.
Whack! In three seconds flat (the time it takes to convince a 5 year old to jump) my dinner menu plan resolution was ruined and off I flew to the ER, leaving Hubby with Thing 1 (still howling in remorse since it was his idea that had gotten his brother hurt), the Bubba (howling even though he had no idea why) and Pee Wee (squealing just as loudly, not to be outdone).
While at the ER I had some time to think on the subject of menu planning and I believe I’ve got an idea. Even if I do menu plan I still have to find the time to cook what I’ve planned and more often than not, there in lies the problem. My new plan: always cook enough for 3-4 meals at once and freeze the extra! Maybe I’ll even get one whole Sat. to cook ahead and then I’ll really be set!
Instead of taquitos around 5:30 we ate Wendy’s take out and then when I got home Hubby and I stayed up late making loads of taquitos that I hope will last a couple weeks. But, you know what they say… “If you cook build it they will eat come.”
Rock Day Taquitos:
Do I really have to go there? (Shopping List):
Costco Baby, Costco!
- Frozen chicken (approx. 4lb) beef works too
- 50 corn tortillas or if you are really ambitious make your own
- vegetable oil (for frying)
- seasonings for the chicken if desired
If I can do it you can do it! (Recipe):
IN THE MORNING:
1. Fill your crock-pot to the brim with frozen chicken breast or thighs. Thighs are cheaper but harder to shred. Of course, in typical Goof fashion I learned the hard way. Cook on high 4hrs. You may want to re-arrange the pieces then turn to low and finish cooking any that need it.
Take your son to the ER and when you return the chicken will be cool enough to shred without burning your fingers! See there is a silver lining.
4 MORE HOURS LATER (or whenever)
2. Shred the chicken using two forks and put in a large bowl.
3. The easiest way we found to make large amounts of taquitos was in an electric skillet. Preheat skillet to 300 degrees.
4. Season chicken to taste. We poured the juice out of a can of jalapenos (put the jalapenos in Tupperware are covered again with water for use later) then added a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic as well as generous amounts of salt and cracked peppercorn (I like the colorful stuff).
5. Use just enough cooking oil to coat the bottom of the skillet or pan you are using. This will vary depending on the size of your skillet and you will have to add a small amount with each new batch.
6. Heat tortillas until they just begin to bubble then remove and place cooked side up on paper towels. We did four at a time until we had 16 then went on to the next step and repeated steps 5-7 until we had used up all the tortillas.
7. Spoon chicken into the tortilla’s (on the cooked side) and roll, then place them, seam side down, on the skillet to fry the other side. Take a little nap on the breakfast bar until you begin to smell the tortilla toasting, it’s time to turn (approx 5 min). Actually we were able to get 16 tortilla’s in my large skillet so by the time the last one was rolled the first only needed 1 min. more cooking time before we could begin to turn them and then only 1 more minute by the time they were all rolled to begin removing them and eating cooling them on a plate to freeze for an anytime meal. It worked well to pack them tight because they didn’t have room to unroll.
If you are making a small batch you will cook 5 min, turn then 5 min more or until the tortilla is lightly browned and no longer soft.
8. Freeze and when you need a quick meal heat on a grill 5 min each side or microwave wrapped in paper towels for 1-3min depending on how many you are re-heating at once.
Variation: Use shredded pork and a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies
NOTE: We got a little overly excited about our hearty home made taquitos and were only able to get 47 taquitos because they were stuffed. I would recommend going a little lighter on the chicken. They need to wrap one and a half times around so they don’t fall apart when you try to eat them. You will still have a far superior taquito to the store bought (often gluten filled) expensive and skimpy on the meat, taquitos. Not to mention at about half the cost.
My Hubby can’t resist doing the math and he figured out that our taquitos cost less than $20 for 50 which have probably 3 times the meat than the $6 box of 20 skimpy taquitos we usually buy.
This has been another recipe for the “What’s for Dinner Wednesday Blog Carnival” Hosted by the Gluten Free Homemaker. Thanks for stopping and check out more great ideas here.
Entry filed under: Hey What's Goin on Here?, Rock Day Taquitos, What's for dinner gluten-free goof? (recipes). Tags: chicken, food, freezer, gluten free fast food, gluten free on a budget, gluten-free, gluten-free-kids, kids, life, make ahead meals, menu planning, mexican, motherhood, pork.