Why does everyone think a 4hr slow cooker recipe is helpful?

Seriously, if I’m around to turn on the slow cooker 4 hours before dinner, I’m around enough to cook. Okay, now our slow cooker can switch over to warm after a set number of hours, but things still cook (at least a bit) on warm. It might be that my first slow cooker didn’t have a timer option and I came home to quite a few batches of overcooked chicken something. But 4 hour cooking times in a slow cooker still sounds like a really awkward time to work with/around.

Eh, I might just be cranky about how many vegetables I chopped up for this one – more specifically, how long I was standing up to do so. Also how much in leftovers there are. Trust me, there was no way this recipe, as written, was going to fit in my 6 quart slow cooker.

I think I’m starting to understand what Adam means by his (usually anguished) cries of “It got away from me!” We are totally going to be eating this for the rest of the week.

At this point, in a change from how things usually go around here, I’m thinking I will not keep this recipe. Basically too much work for the end result (for me) – those of you with working olfactory senses might get more out of it.

Vegetable & Chickpea Stew

Original from TheKitchn.com
Makes … lots. 8-12 servings?
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 17; Dinners: 3 recipes left

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 purple potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp salt, divided
  • 1 tbsp curry powder of choice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cups broth
  • 32 oz chickpeas
  • 4-5 small peppers, diced
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 28 oz (5-6) tomatoes, diced
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 1 can coconut milk
  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot on medium heat. Add the onion and 1 tsp of salt; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and 1 tsp of salt; sauté for several minutes.
  2. Add the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili powder; cook, stirring a bit, until fragrant – about 30 seconds. Pour in some of the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to pull up any brown bits. Add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes; stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 45 – 60 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Add the spinach and coconut milk; stir until spinach wilts. Pull off the heat and adjust any seasonings if necessary. Serve.

All the eggs -> best French toast I’ve ever had

So let me start this off by saying that this recipe is absolutely not healthy. Especially not with the modifications we made as we went along. But so very tasty.

See a couple friends of ours had a baby. We may have mentioned this before 🙂 But we all still want to play boardgames, Shadowrun, and the other various geeky things we do together. We just… need to work around the baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule. Which will work better if Adam or I cook dinner in their kitchen whilst the baby’s sleep routine goes on. This was the first week we tried this out so, 1) breakfast for dinner, hurray! and 2) most of the prep-work the night before. Basically, just needed to slide the baking dish in the oven when we got there and off we were going. Plus, Adam and I have this bag of bread cubes in the freezer, made up of the left over heels and things of bread loaves. This is totally the type of thing we’re supposed to use them for.

This recipe completely fit all the things we wanted of it – no prep work at gaming, stuck it in the oven and didn’t need to do anything more than pull it out later, served a small crowd and was tasty.

10/10, would cook again. 🙂

I mean, it turned into dessert for dinner, but I cannot fault the protein content for that – not with an even dozen eggs in the recipe. I blame sweet things, specifically the leftover cream cheese frosting from the earlier cinnamon rolls. Seriously, the frosting portion of that recipe made about twice as much as I could pour over the rolls.

Baked Chai French Toast

Original from TheKitchn.com
Makes 12 big servings
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 21; Breakfasts: 2 recipes left

Chai Spice Mixture

  • 1 1/2 tbsp (4 1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 ground ginger
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the spice mixture ingredients; set aside.

French Toast

  • 12 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp Chai Spice Mixture
  • 1-2 tbsp butter (for greasing a 13×9 inch pan)
  • 9-10 cups (or just a really big bowl…) of cubed day-old (or more…) bread (challah if you’ve got it)

Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon-sugar mixture
    • OR 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 1/2 tsp Chai Spice Mixture
  • pinch salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter cold and chopped into small pieces

Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, soft
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and 4 tbsp of Chai Spice mix.
  2. Grease a 13×9″ casserole dish with the butter; layer the cubed bread in the dish and gently press down. Briefly re-whisk the liquid ingredients then pour over the bread in the pan (try to cover all the exposed bread). Cover (preferably with the pan’s lid, but plastic wrap otherwise) and refrigerated for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 350°F. Make the topping by combining the flour, sugar-spice mixture, salt, and butter; combine until crumbly.
  4. Uncover the pan and gently press the bread down, such that some liquid begins seeping up. Spread the topping mixture evenly over the bread. Bake until the top is golden and crumbly, about 45 minutes.
  5. While the French Toast is baking, make the frosting – beat the cream cheese, milk, vanilla and sugar together. Add more powdered sugar as necessary to get the consistency you like.
  6. Once baked, allow the French Toast to cool for a few minutes. Then slice, pour as much frosting as you like over the top, and serve.

Fastest post ever

So this is going to be the fastest post I’ve ever written because a) we have a guest staying with us and I’d like to hang out and b) Adam and I are moving on Monday. No, the apartment is not completely packed yet. The books are though – 17 boxes, 3 cubic feet each. We’ve got lots of books.

Any rate. Pumpkin pie oatmeal. In a slow cooker! I can definitely see using this one more in the fall, but it was good now too: used up a can of pumpkin pureé so we did not have to move it 🙂

The original recipe had a few issues, from my point of view:
1) the original oats to water ratio would have resulted in an insanely thin oatmeal. I mean I know Adam and I like rather thick oatmeal but still! Insanity
2) Needs more texture. We started tossing in diced apples and various nuts in the morning. Make it much better.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Original from AroundMyFamilyTable
Makes Lots
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 31; Breakfast: 3 recipes left

  • 3 cups steel cut oats
  • 7 cups water (this is what we made – needs cutting though – we’ll try 5.5-6 next time)
  • 1 can (~15oz) pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
  • Toppings of choice: diced apples, chopped nuts suggested
  1. Combine all ingredients other than toppings in a large slow cooker (6 cups-ish). Cook on low overnight.
  2. Season to taste and mix-in toppings of choice.

Trying stuff before copying out

So you know how I said in the ‘about me’ section that I can’t/don’t really cook from recipes unless they’ve been handwritten out? Apparently I’ve started to move past that (finally). Because I’ve bee able to try a couple of the recipes from this latest set before they’ve been copied out. Now I’m dropping out of my brain what I’m doing about twice as fast, and hence checking the recipe twice as much. But this is actually an improvement.

Also, why did no one tell me before that roasting broccoli is awesome? It’s the fastest I’ve ever roasted something, time always being the drive not to roast. So simple to do and these came out great. Like Adam trying the first piece and going ‘oh my god make these again, make them lots.’

Definitely copying out and putting in the binder. Don’t even have to add them to the list of things to try 🙂

Curry Roasted Broccoli

originally posted on Table for Seven by Soni’s Food

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1tsp masala mix (substitute your favorite type of curry spice mix here)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • salt to taste
  • ~2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil, spray with non-stick spray, lay down a sheet of parchment paper or otherwise prepare a baking sheet.
  2. Mix together the spices and salt.
  3. Arrange the broccoli on the baking sheet, then drizzle with the olive oil. Mix the two together (your hands work just fine for this), then sprinkle the spice mixture roughly evenly over the broccoli.
  4. Bake until the broccoli starts to turn golden at the edges, about 13-14 minutes, and serve.

The leftovers:
Curry Roasted Broccoli

Truth in Titles

Honestly, when most recipes have ‘simple’ in the title, my response is usually ‘uh-huh‘ (read that in a skeptical tone of voice). But 2 ingredients plus one optional ingredient, 30 minutes on the stove (with no attention from me), 5 minutes prep, and 5 minutes of work after the stove time? Yeah, that qualifies as simple.

Ginger Syrup

What is that? Well that is Ginger Syrup. I am not entirely sure what one does with Ginger Syrup. Yet. The plan currently is to use some in my next attempt at Winter Berry Pie (attempt #1, attempt #3) – Adam and I had another slice relatively recently and think the filling might just be the berries in a syrup and then baked. So, this is will be part of the next trial. Even if I did buy strawberries instead of blueberries for it this week.

Suggestions on use from the original source include adding it to club soda, using is as syrup on pancakes or waffles, and in mixed drinks. If you like soda, mixed drinks, and/or bread-like breakfast meals, I can totally see mincing some extra ginger while prepping dinner, getting it simmering, and then just leaving it while you make dinner. Assuming putting dinner together takes about 30 minutes, pull it off right before eating dinner and pour the syrup into a jar after dishes are cleaned up. Fairly simple and fits around doing other things.

Simple Ginger Syrup

Originally from Cooking for Geeks

Recipe Count – 14 left
Section Count – Black Binder: 8 more left, Subsection – Pantry staples: 2 more

  • 2.5 cups / 570 g water
  • 6 oz / 65 g raw ginger, minced or finely chopped
  • Optional: vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Combine the water, ginger & vanilla in a pot. Bring to a boil then simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and then strain the mix through a fine sieve into a jar or bottle. Discard the chopped ginger.

Improvising for McCormick – Mushrooms, Ginger, Chicken Broth, and Kale

Adam here. I’ll be your writer for this Christmas week. Happy Holidays to you and yours, dear readers!

So, back in the middle of November, Laura pointed out McCormick, the spices company, was tossing out challenges (Go 4 Gourmet Challenge if you’d like to know) along the lines of “here are 4 ingredients including one of our products – go forth and make a meal with them.” The specific challenge Laura pointed to and said “let’s do that” was Mushrooms, Ginger, Chicken Broth, and Kale. Being the improviser around here I thought it would be cool to whip something up and toss it into the proverbial ring.

To that end, I decided to stuff some mushrooms. That’s because Stuffed Mushrooms are one of life’s pleasures and, when right out of the oven hot, they make a great appetizer.

One last thing before I get to the ‘recipe,’ do not rest these before you serve them. Seriously, these have to be served immediately because as they cool the mushrooms get soggy. And no one wants a soggy mushroom.

One other last thing – we had quite a bit of left over kale and crab goodness. So I cracked a few eggs and turned it into quiche. It was yummy.

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Kale and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 24 white mushrooms, with 2 inch caps
  • olive oil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 oz finely minced ginger
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 3 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 5 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup crabmeat
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Pull off the stems from the mushrooms and lightly rub each cap with a small amount of olive oil. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the kosher salt and diced tomato. Transfer tomato to a colander and leave it to drain in the sink, for approximately 30 minutes.
  3. In a saucepan, simmer the tomato and ginger in the vegetable broth, until infused; approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Add chopped kale, basil, and flour to the saucepan; season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and simmer until reduced in size, about 15 minutes. With an immersion blender, purée. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by a third. Remove saucepan from heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Add the crabmeat to the kale mixture and stir until blended. Add the breadcrumbs to the crab-kale mixture. Stir until incorporated.
  7. Spoon about 1 tsp of crab-kale mixture into each mushroom cap; top with a sprinkling of cheese. Season to taste.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. Serve immediately.