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Monday, November 9, 2009

The Slow Cooker Challenge


Today is cold, rainy, and gray. Perfect to set the mood for something warm and toasty tonight for dinner...

The crock pot has become one of my best friends post-baby (right up there with the Babycook). I am at my best in the morning: lots of energy, Thomas is content wherever he is, and we're both coming off a (hopefully) good night of sleep. By the time the evening rolls around, this early bird is usually exhausted and ready for bed, even before Jonathan gets home from the office.

One of my favorite crock pot blogs, A Year of Slow Cooking, published an awesome book, "Make it Fast, Cook It Slow". She resolved to use her slow cooker every day in 2008 - and they are all pulled together into one book. The recipes in there are fabulous and take the idea of the crock pot to an entirely new level. If you want photos, you can just access her blog, search for the recipe, and see what it should turn out like!

Right now, Brown Sugar Chicken is in the crock pot, ready for dinner just as the Relay Training Task Force call finishes up tonight around 6:30.

I'm hosting a soup swap in a few weeks -- will probably use the slow cooker to prep for that as well.

This week, Domestically Challenged has her first weekly challenge which happens to coincide with my current craze: use your crock pot 3 times this week. With the combination of a very busy week + very little time, it was the perfect time to take on the challenge!

For the Skis, the Slow Cooker Challenge starts today.

I'll check back on Thursday with a sweet giveaway (or two) for Life on the Farm readers who share their own slow cooker recipes! Take a look for your fave recipe for Thursday, so you can have a chance to win! You will love the prize!

**Edited to add: On Thursday, by adding your recipe to the blog comments (so the recipes are all in one place for everyone to access), you'll be entered into the contest! If you've sent me an email with the recipe, I'll add it to the comments then. If you haven't sent it over yet, then save it for Thursday morning! :)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love my slowe cooker. I will have to find my fav recipe and share it. I was looking for it last night and couldn't find it which really upsets me, but I will look again - Jen

Sunday said...

Well, I am a HUGE fan of the McCormick slow-cooker seasoning packs. Tonight for dinner I made their beef stroganoff which was lip-smacking good. All you do is put 2 pounds of stew-style beef, 1/2 onion chopped up, 1 package of mushrooms (I use 2 because mushrooms and I are BFFs) and then you mix the seasoning packet with 1 cup of water and put it in your crock pot for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. It is oh-so-yummy!

Tai said...

Shelley-

I'm emailing you my fave slow cooker pot roast recipe (too big for the comments sections). I love love love it! Also, I just found a recipe on the WW website for Moroccan Slow Cooker stew, but I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say it's a fave just yet...

jen said...

Shelley - Here is my all time fave slow cooker recipe!

Balsamic-Seasoned Turkey and Sweet Potatoes
You will need:
1 turkey breast – 4 ½ pounds
1 can chicken broth – 14 oz
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
4 sweet potatoes
2 leeks, white part only, sliced
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and hear over high heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned on all sides. Let cool slightly.
Combine the broth, wine vinegar, and lemon thyme I the crockery pot. Add the turkey. Rub the exposed area of the turkey with the oil; sprinkle with the lemon pepper and fennel. Arrange the potatoes and leeks around the turkey. Cover and cook on Low until the turkey is tender; the juices run clear; and a meat thermometer, inserted in the thickest part of the breast, registers 170 F; and the potatoes are tender, 8-10 hours on Low or 6 -8 on High.
Let turkey rest for 10 minutes and serve with potatoes and leeks.

Marie said...

Lentil Soup

2 medium carrot(s), peeled, cut into large chunks
2 medium celery, ribs, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion(s), cut into large chunks
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
2 cup(s) dry lentils, picked over
3 piece(s) bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
8 cup(s) canned chicken broth
4 oz Canadian-style bacon, diced (4 or 5 slices) - I leave this out and when serving I put crumbled turkey bacon on the soup.

Place ingredients in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker in the following order: carrots, celery, onion, garlic, lentils, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper and broth. Cover slow cooker; cook on low setting for 6 hours. Uncover, stir in bacon and heat for 30 minutes more; remove bay leaves. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving, makes 8 servings.

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