We recently moved from our fun city-town to new country-town. This new, wondrous, scary, different, amazing, curious place has had me spinning since the move process started. But we’re settled now!
I plan on learning how to cook with a pressure cooker soon (sale notice compliments of http://www.mamainsticts.com). Sweetpea started Montessori preschool, I now work part time, and baby-to-be is doing great! I’ve started freezing new slow cooker recipes so I’m hoping to post a bunch of winners soon! We recently tried a slow cooker Strogonoff…it was good but just not Strogonoff. So back to the drawing board on that one. More to come!
While I was making pumpkin pancakes this morning (BECAUSE IT’S AUTUMN!!!!!), I thought I’d throw together a slow cooker recipe.
Yes, I love cooking with my daughter. She and I threw (literally) together our pumpkin pancakes this morning. I love that she wants to “help”. Anytime I’m in the kitchen, she’s asking to “heeaaallllllllllllpppp?” I love learning play!! I try to say yes! Get right in and up here. Cleaning up can easily happen and I can always make the recipe again if it all ends on the floor. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Pancakes/ (I did add about an extra 1/2-3/4 c milk to thin them down…as George said…not a fan of pancake bricks…I’ll take the pancake version).
Anyhow, while the pancakes were cooking (on very very low) we put together the spices and juices in the slow cooker while we defrosted the chicken in the microwave (on the defrost function). 8 minutes later I put the chicken in the slow cooker and turned it on for 6.5 hours.
1 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
4 t prechopped garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder I used cayenne (I’m apparently out of chili powder)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
The recipe went on to say broil it and crisp it up but if you don’t have time…don’t!
I had grand plans of making 5 slow cooker recipes this week. That was until I accidentally strained the beans out of the pot into the sink…etc…etc…So we had two slow cooker menus, the standby pasta dinner, and a quick chicken dinner (quick-ish = 45 minutes).
As my mother would say, both recipes were “Banner Batches.” I liked the soup so much I had it for lunch twice in addition to dinner on Tuesday. Okay, that could have been influenced by the fact that my lunch planning was slightly lacking. Friday’s lunch was “buy your own” … whoops.
1. Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone
Notes: Some people on the http://www.howsweeteats.com website commented that this was flavorless or flat, but to me it was perfect. I loved it and so did George.
2. Slow Cooked Jerk Pork with Caribbean Mango Salsa
Notes: I think I woke up twice during the night as this one was cooking. It smelled AMAZING. The jerk seasoning added a lot of flavor. I thought I might skip making the salsa…the mango salsa really made this dinner amazing.
This past week was a dream: dinners prepped on Sunday, 5-10 minute heat up time and best of all….AMAZINGLY GOOD!
My husband sent me this link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/slow-cooker-spring-dinners this past week-ish. I dutifully marked it and promptly forgot about it until he asked what I thought of the Spring-time recipes he’d sent. Quickly re-opening the link, I made last minute changes to our grocery order (thank you http://www.peapod.com). Am I glad I did or what! I tried 3 of the recipes and found a fourth (we’re trying another 5 this upcoming week!). Could not give a higher recommendations.
My notes: I used generic salsa verde, chicken thighs (what I had on hand), and served with sour cream/ corn tortillas/shredded (purple) cabbage. I threw this in the slow cooker while I was prepping for the week.
My notes: Sorry no picture (they had an intense legal page). This did take a minute to make (probably because I wanted to use my stick blender). I halved the recipe and we enjoyed corned beef/mustard/swiss cheese sandwiches for lunch.
My notes: Just think of this as: 1) Veggie prep, 2) Chicken prep 3) Spice rub prep. I cooked this for 8-8.5 hours and it tended to be a smidgen dry because of this. Cook for 7.5 hours. This was DELICIOUSLY DELICIOUS. We made quesadillas for lunch out of these for two people in addition to dinner. Cannot recommend this one enough. The instructions look overwhelming but it turned out to be pretty simple.
Seeing that this past week was a meat mash wash (read my recipes failed to be delicious), I am going to rehash my top 5 recipes (which might be my last couple posts??). In no particular order other than flavorful, easy to make, and down right good.
How I do it:
1. Prep and freeze on weekend
2. Cook at night (thaw prior to cooking) Monday morning before work place in containers (we like glass)
5a. Thaw Tuesday night’s dinner Monday morning
6. Monday night….dinner’s ready! SO MUCH TIME FOR ACTIVITIES!!!!!!
When I first looked at this recipe, I thought: NO WAY. However, as I idly read through the related blog (http://www.stacymakescents.com/crock-pot-beef-fajitas), I found the recipe ultimately became spices, meat, slow cooker, so I gave it a shot. Since I tend to be pretty clueless about meat cuts, it was helpful to me to read as long as you have 2-2.5 lbs o’beef — it did not matter. This recipe was flavorful and a home run as my mother says.
In short this recipe is: Spices + Meat + Brown = Ready for slow cooker.
Beef Fajitas (Modified)
2 ½ pound beef roast (I used chuck roast, but apparently any cut will do)
1/2 yellow onion sliced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon of chopped/bottled garlic
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1. Combined spices, coat meat, browned meat (3 minutes on each side…not required it just seals in alot of flavor), cook or store in freezer.
2. When ready cook on low for 8 hrs.
3. We served with salsa, sour cream on tortillas (so not 100% Paleo…). We didn’t have any bell peppers etc.
Note: For a Paleo version, the cooked beef was delicious by itself and I would have served with lettuce.