May cook-a-long: Wrap-up

This month, first of all, I owe you an apology. Last week was one of the busiest weeks I have had in a long time, which meant I wasn’t around much on cook-a-long day. I am so sorry. As it turned out, you didn’t seem to need me much. You all did such a great job!

After nearly five years of staying at home with my kids, I have recently returned to work three days a week. I am absolutely loving it, but it means I am out of the house at 5:30am each morning, and only get home in time to pick the kids up at three o’clock. Then I was out three nights, which is completely unlike me. I am such a homebody, especially at night. Needless to say, by Saturday I was a zombie…

Being so busy this week has meant that I have hardly had  a moment spare to keep in touch with the Facebook page. This has been so disappointing, especially as it has been my favourite time of the month – cook-a-long! There is always such a buzz around when people are busy creating their meals. I just love it!

Because of that crazy little presentation I had to make on Wednesday night at Pecha Kucha Night, I ended up making my cook-a-long recipe on Tuesday and eating it Tuesday night. Mr Picky Palette was out for work, so it was just me and B2 and B4 for dinner.

I think I had my meal prepared and ready in the slow cooker by about ten o’clock as I had to duck out and do a few errands in the morning.  By the time I got home, the smell coming from my house was AMAZING! I hope my neighbours were jealous!

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Once the meat was all soft and tender, I removed it from the sauce. In the interests of increasing my chances of getting the kiddies to eat their dinner, I then pulsed the sauce in my blender to break up any big pieces of vegetables. Once I had removed all the meat from the bone, I mixed it with the now blended sauce. At this point, I stood at the stove with that 100 grams of unsalted butter and hesitated. I just could not bring myself to add all that butter to the sauce. It seemed like a lot! In the end I added about half. And yes. It made the sauce shiny and rich, but I think the full 100 grams was excessive.

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I’m not going to bore you with my usual “make your own pasta” rant! But what I will say is that, making your own pasta is so easy that my friend Carolyn and her five year old managed to whip up a batch with their bare hands and a rolling pin. In her words, she “tasted the love”. So very awesome!

I love that the cook-a-long has become more than just one day. I love that you all feel comfortable enough to just go with the flow, give it a go, and cook it when you have the time. I love that you feel comfortable enough to adjust the recipe to suit the tastes and dietary needs of your family and friends. I’m so happy to be amongst such an enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive bunch of people!

Thank you once again to those who had the courage to share your dinner with us on the Facebook page. What a great effort! In honour of braving the social media critics, I wanted to share a summary of some of the pictures and feedback shared.

Delicious! Absolutely loved the flavours… Will have to make again as our leftover’s won’t last long! By the way, I unintentionally cooked this with diced lamb (was frozen so didn’t notice) and the flavour was great! – Melissa E

Yum, yum!!! I didn’t do the sauce but added peas. – Denica

Well after preparing everything yesterday so I could just pour it into my slow cooker this morning before work, my pregnancy brain forgot to turn the slow cooker on!!!! So after some damage control and dinner a little later than normal, here is my dish and it is yummo!!! I was a little worried about the butter but it really made the sauce very smooth!! Will do again for sure but will remember to turn the slow cooker on next time ;)) – Leah

Here is my version – the whole family loved it! – Kara

So here is my efforts – with pasta I made myself, with a rolling pin & a 5yr old… Tasted the love.
Only thing I would do different is use meat on a bone, diced beef was a bit meh… Definitely will do again, thanks for the inspiration Brigitte xx – Carolyn

Here’s mine attempt (a bit slap-dash!). Was pretty happy with it the end. All bowls looked clean in our house! So I guess that’s a pretty good sign. – Jacinta

No alterations here, and it was Yum!! Oops, I lied. I did omit the butter. – Melissa O

Added pumpkin, broccoli and lentils- no pasta….so kinda a casserole in the end with a dollop of natural yoghurt. Eating as I type! – Sherry

Yum! Used lactose free cheddar for the sauce not quiet the effect it was after but was still yum!!! – Rebecca

I also wanted to take a moment and thank you all for sharing the event with your friends and getting them involved. I was thrilled to see so many new names amongst the group this month.

Now that May’s cook-a-long is over, it is time to start thinking about next month. The date for the June cook-a-long will be Wednesday 12 June. Lock it in your diaries.

Next month I have a little surprise for those who participate. So make sure you sign-up to the June event on the the My Delicious Year Facebook page.

Don’t forget that the cook-a-long will always remain affordable, achievable and delicious!

Until next time,

X Bree

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