Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Slow Cooker Week!

Apples before the picking - the leaves are now all yellow and falling

Well, the apples are all picked, the leaves are almost gone from my favorite poplar tree, rain and snow are in the forecast, and I am thinking about the upcoming winter.. It was 30 degrees this morning!
So... I'm on a mission...
I've been making 'slow' meals since Sunday... There is actually a 'slow foods' movement (google slow food) which I think originated in Italy. They even have a 'journal' publication. Anyway, the 'movement' is about taking time from your super crazy task oriented life on the fly, and actually sitting down at the dining room table with your family, eating a meal that was actually cooked, by you, with real foods... The benefit: wholesome and nutritious foods and the benefit of bringing your family or friends together for real conversations and consequently, 'quality time' together.. therefore, quality food and quality time.

My 'slow meals' have consisted of slow cooking our dinners each day since Sunday, with the hope of having a super tasty main dish all ready by the time dinner time rolls around... My usual tendency is to wait until 5pm, sometimes 6pm and then try to whip dinner together.. it's not fun trying to cook when you are already tired from your day.. by that time it is a chore and not something enjoyed...

Here's the outcome so far with my personal slow movement:
1.. Sunday was a chuck arm roast, slow cooked on the stovetop. FLOP! The burner I used has a mind of it's own, which I forgot about. We had a tough time chewing that meal! Very slow!
2. Monday was Lamb Shanks slow cooked in my almost 1 year old very fancy 'Breville' crock pot... Yumm! This dinner was a hit! I lucked out on this one.. Yet, the 'fancy pants' crock pot is driving me crazy... It is boiling food even in the 'warm' setting.. it doesn't seem to have a temperature control.
3. Tuesday was Beef Stew. Again slow cooked on the fancy crock pot... Not good... Too 'spicy hot'. Our lips were burning... I used a can of Yellow El Pato... instead of the Green...
4. Today is Hamburger Soup... again, slow cooking in the fancy crock of *#$@.

We will see how the Hamburger Soup goes... It's a little experiment I am conducting with my family members as my victims (drives my husband crazy!). The recipe is actually a 1 hour stove top one, which we tried before and it was a hit... But I am 'slow cooking' and want to stick to my week long goal!

Happy Cooking to you!
Anyone have a good source for a digital temperature control crock pot?


Tami B. said...

yummy! I'm slow cooking chili today and it smells so good. I love my cheapo crockpot. Don't know about the thermometer.

Sandy said...

I want your hamburger soup recipeeeeeeeee!!

ScrappyPam said...

I just have an inexpensive large Rival crock pot with three settings - warm, low and high. I don't have any problems with it, although if anything gets hot enough (and it will if it cooks for hours) it will boil.

One of our favorite ways to use it is with an inexpensive pork shoulder (or butt), cook it until it falls apart, take the extra fat out then add your choice of BBQ sauce. Yum! It's that time of year.. I need to get mine back out!

Debra Day said...

There are crock pot accessories you can find online for your brand of pot. The wire tray will keep foods from burning. My other suggestion is to cook 1/2 time on high then the other 1/2 on low, instead of high all the time. When cooking chicken put the veggies in first then the dark mean leaving the white meat on top in the middle so it doesn't overcook. Ciao Bella!

Kerilou said...

SOunds delish!! Rachael Ray has a TON of soup/stew recipes that you could use in your crockpot/or cook for a while on the stove...some of them look SO GOOD!! Keri