Thursday, March 6, 2014

What's Cooking?

I have not yet kissed my slow cooker, but that's only because when it's at its most alluring, it is also blisteringly hot.

As far as I am concerned, it is alchemy. I put ingredients within, leave the house, and the next thing I know--AMAZING smells and what's that?  Dinner is mostly ready?

Even better--sometimes I load it before I go to bed.  Most delicious dreams ever. And such a feeling of accomplishment when supper is ready before anyone else in the house is even awake!

And best of all? Quicker recipes (4-6 hours) for busy Sundays--load the crockpot, go do the heavy lifting of my Sunday morning, and open the door to a lovely and hearty meal?  It's like being invited into someone else's home... but I can do this in pajamas, and fall immediately into SundayAfternoonNap.

With my trusty smart phone I can stand in the grocery store in front of sale items, looking for the
best slow cooker recipe.  That's how we ended up with Wednesday's layered dish--the base was small potatoes cut in half (cut sizes up), 12 oz. sliced mushrooms, marinated chicken drumsticks, then collards on top.  Oh my goodness.  I ended up using some of the braising liquid to make some quick lentils with veggies and we had a delicious dinner on the table before 6.

This part of the week I have a bunch of meetings and will not be home for dinners.  So I made the guys something I knew they'd find a special treat--I grabbed a picnic roast and made carnitas (Mexican shredded pork), with a pound of pinto beans at the bottom of the slow cooker-- presto- bonus bean soup.  I walked in the door late this evening and saw three beaming faces. They're not at all sad that there are plenty of leftovers. (By the way- an 8-lb bone-in roast yields eight cups of finished carnitas. That's plenty, even when there are teenagers in the house.)

So, what should my next slow cooker adventure be?

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