As promised, I give you a Slow Cooker Roasted Vegetable Recipe. This Mediterranean medley is inspired by one of my French cookbooks. Zucchini squash, red bell pepper, eggplant, tomatoes, red onion seasoned with thyme, parsley and garlic.
Well, there is no recipe today. I got nothin. It’s not for lack of trying. This week I have been experimenting with the slow cooker again. I have seen where some folks swear that vegetables “roasted” in a slow cooker are as good as when you roast them in the oven. I did not find this to be the case.
Now it could be the combination of vegetables that I used. I tried zucchini, tomatoes, and radishes seasoned with basil. Nope, didn’t care for the combination. I think the vegetables need to be a similar texture. That way they all cook to the same degree.
Next I tried sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and brussel sprouts seasoned with some cinnamon. Nope, brussel sprouts do not belong with root vegetables. Lastly, I tried chicken leg quarters. Supposedly when you cook chicken without any liquid, skin on, in the slow cooker the skin comes out crispy but the meat stays nice and moist. No crispy skin for me. The chicken was nice and moist. But, it was a bit overdone. I cooked it as directed on low for what was supposed to be seven hours. It was fall apart tender at six hours. I did however, get some really good broth out of that little experiment. My next endeavor will involve the temperature sensor that goes with my slow cooker. I am going to see how long it takes to get it to 160° with chicken, and I am going to try some different vegetable mixes. I love a good medley. So stay tuned.
Meanwhile back here at the ranch, (I really can say that) the weather continues to be unseasonably warm (and unfortunately dry). This is really nice especially when one heats the house with wood. On really cold nights we have to get up a couple of times to feed the wood stove. With this warmer weather we are able to sleep through the night.
The best thing for me about February is that calving season starts for us. The first momma with her calf in tow showed up a couple of days ago. The first day or so they are so spindly on their new legs. By the second day they are already testing out their running skills. It’s really fun to watch two calves meet each other for the first time. Just like a couple of toddlers meeting at the playground. A bit shy and tentative and then they are off to play. Seeing those new babies tells me that Spring is not too far off.
So tomorrow, it’s back to kitchen. These experiments will prove to be fruitful eventually.
This flu season has been a tough one. So, I thought it was high time to make some homemade Chicken Soup. Flo’s Chicken and Vegetable Soup has a few twists to it. The first one is okra. For all of you out there that are wrinkling up you nose right now at the thought of slimy okra, stick with me. First of all, you can buy frozen sliced okra and use as much or as little as you like. You just open up the package and pour some into the soup. No sliminess involved. Here is why you want to use okra in your soup, it will thicken it a bit and give it a sort of silky texture. The okra itself will literally melt in your mouth as you eat it.
Is there really anything better than brownies? Yes, I think there is. Brownie mix cookies. Now I am a corner girl. You know, the brownies that reside in the four corners of the pan. Crusty and crunchy on two sides, and chewy and soft on the other two sides and middle. Sadly, there are only four of these little gems in a batch. Now imagine a cookie that has that crusty, crunchy texture all around the edges, and in the middle soft and chewy. Does it get any better? Well, sorta, these cookies are so easy. Store bought brownie mix, I like Ghirardelli the best, a couple of eggs, a bit of flour, oil, water and whatever extras you want to add.
“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.” Bernard-Paul Heroux.
The perfect cup of tea is one of life’s simple pleasures. All it takes to make that perfect cup of tea, is just a bit of extra time. There really isn’t anything better. First, it needs to be brewed in a pot or at least a mug that you can cover while it brews. The water needs to be brought to the right temperature. For most teas that is 200°F. Don’t forget to warm the pot before adding the tea. It doesn’t do much good to get the water hot enough, just to have it cool in a cold teapot. And, of course, use good quality tea! Keep your tea in an air tight tin or container. Loose tea is best but I confess I use tea in bags for my morning cuppa. These extra steps are part of my morning routine. They are so worth the extra few minutes. Let’s face it, a good start can make all the difference in how the rest of the day goes. So be good to yourself and take those extra few minutes.
Its been a couple of frustrating days here in the kitchen, but Flo’s Carrot Soup is a keeper. I have created and tested recipes for stuffed mushrooms and queso blanco cheese dip (thinking about Super Bowl food). Neither are worthy of sharing yet. But, this carrot soup, well I just spent the last few minutes scraping every last bit of it out of the cooking pot. YUM! The flavors are very subtile. No one flavor jumps out at you but the combination is intriguingly delicious. This soup is gluten free, dairy free and vegan if you leave out the butter.
One of the many things I love about Germany is the breakfasts. Whenever possible we stayed at privately owned Bed and Breakfasts partly so we could sample all the different breakfast choices. One of the simplest and yet one of my favorites is muesli. It’s slightly different everywhere you go. This German Muesli is inspired by my favorite German store-bought variety.
Yesterday it was cold and blustery. A perfect day to hang out by the fire with a good book and have a nice hot bowl of authentic New Mexico Green Chile Stew. Ground beef, green chile, and potatoes in a hearty broth. Top it with a bit of shredded cheese, add a flour tortilla along side, and you have a culinary electric blanket on a cold winter evening.
I love a good pot pie. I know, the crust is flour and butter. But, I love a good pot pie. Boston Market, Kentucky Fried Chicken and once upon a time Banquet or Marie Callander Frozen Pot Pies. The frozen ones of late have changed though. They are mainly crust and gravy. What happened to all the vegetables and meat?