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Menu Plan Monday: You too can be SUPERWOMAN

Make it Fast, Cook it Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking

So is anybody tired of me blogging about my crock pot yet?

Sorry peeps… but you probably better learn to love it, and that I’m going to plug Stephanie O’Dea, her blog www.crockpost365.com and her book (on the right) every chance I get!

My daughter plays volleyball, and I am the team mom. My responsibilities are largely to coordinate the feeding of a team of twelve pre-teen girls throughout an eight-hour tournament. Now, anybody who has tried to feed ONE child a healthy meal on the go knows what challenge that is… imagine feeding twelve that come from different religious and cultural backgrounds and have a variety of palates.

I’m really proud of the fact that I actually seem pretty good at this… and not just in my own mind! I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from coaches (mine and the jealous ones at the next table) and parents, but most importantly, from the girls themselves. By the end of the season last year, I would practically get mobbed at the curb when I pulled up… I didn’t have to carry much in! Saturday morning when I was getting set up to serve the girls a mini breakfast before their first game, one of my daughter’s teammates looked at me and said in an awed voice,

OHHHH… you’re THE mom…

A girl who was on Halle’s team last year asked her who she thought it was, if not a parent. The first girl said, THE mom with the food.

The day I was serving it up at the first volleyball tournament of the season, a good friend of mine signed her son up for little league & told me she might be needing some of my super powers. So partly for her, and partly related to a rant on parents and youth sports, I’m sharing how I feed a team of 12 girls.

You’ll need a blender (and if you happen to have two, even better… I had two, broke one in the move, and by the time I was finishing up the gallon of smoothies I was afraid I’d burnt out the motor) and a crock pot (same here… two is better), crock pot liners, and a cooler (rolling one is best, and they’re pretty inexpensive at Wal-Mart).

The menu:

  • Fruit smoothies (a big bag of mixed fruit from the freezer section & a pint or two of vanilla yogurt, thrown in a blender till you get your desired consistency)
  • Turkey bacon (many don’t eat pork for religious or cultural reasons, plus it’s healthier and tastes better)
  • Fruit slices (you’ll probably have leftover frozen fruit from the smoothies… throw it in a Tupperware & take it with; it’s oddly popular)
  • Veggie Slices (I buy a tray or bags of precut) and dip (since people seem to either love or hate ranch, I take french onion dip & I’ve never heard a complaint)
  • Cheese sticks (cheddar & mozzarella – the big $5 packages from Wal-Mart)
  • Any 2 of the following (I alternate): BBQ meatballs (frozen bag & some KC Masterpeice), hot wings (throw them in the oven for an hour, drain & add Ken Wards hot wing sauce), and hard-boiled eggs
  • Some sweet treat for after the game (see Stephanie’s crock pot apple dumpling recipe) 

The gameplan:

I get up and start the meatballs… they’re the first dish I serve since they actually cook in the crockpot. I start the wings in the oven, then go get myself ready. I usually have time to do that and make the smoothies (which I stick in the freezer, with my keys on top of the pitcher so I won’t forget it… don’t laugh, it works) before the chicken is done. I put the chicken in a tupperware lined with a crock pot liner (after the meatballs are gone, I toss the liner I used to cook them and drop the already cooked wings into the crock to reheat & add the sauce). I start the turkey bacon RIGHT before I leave the house so it’s still warm when I get to the tournament. I make at least one full pack (no pun intended, but they really gobble that stuff up LOL)… throw it on a couple cookie sheets or broiler pans for ten minutes or so.  For this tournament, the crock pot apple dumplings were a last minute add on after I’d already gone to the tournament… I had my 13yo start working on them since he was still at home for the first half of the tournament.

I fed the whole team and several siblings/friends, and I don’t think I spent much over $60, and the only food I came home with was a few cheese sticks & cherry tomatoes.

Next tournament, I’m hoping to try one of Stephanie’s crock pot breakfast items… and you KNOW I’ll be telling you all about it!

  1. Eiball
    February 1, 2010 at 8:04 AM

    I do thank you for sharing and we’ll see what little league brings. I may have to channel this creativity elsewhere, but it will never the less be used at some point in my future.

    And yes, I am going to take a tiny FRACTION of that already spent tax return and get myself a new pretty crock pot too. Mine has done duty for far too long. While they both still work, they are the ugliest things ever and also have no timers or anything. So I think I need to invest. I’ll be taking suggetions.

    • February 3, 2010 at 9:54 PM

      I am loving the Hamilton Beach crock I posted about last week… Kim P. from FB has the same one. It’s got much more flexible programming options than I’ve seen on any other programmable crockpot.

  2. christie
    February 1, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    I love this…especially the keys in the freezer part. I do that all the time, and then I run around the house frantically searching for my keys til one of the kids reminds me…MOM – you put them in the FRIDGE- REMEMBER??? LOL. Thank you for this fabulous blog and I am dying to hear about the breakfast to follow….

    • February 3, 2010 at 10:12 PM

      People at work have given me such crap about that… but then the other week, a coworker of mine who has just returned to work & is pumping, lamented about how she’d forgotten to take home milk a couple days in a row. Another coworker advised her, “Do a Cyndi.”

      The following week, the new mom excitedly told me how well my method worked… she put her keys in the fridge, and the milk made it home.

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