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Have been reduced to a bobblehead with a wonky neck spring. Brain function reduced to a trickle. Discovered don’t have a waist upon trying on Julia Child outfits (Oxford-style shirt, tied apron, which makes me look more like Paul Prudhomme) in front of full-length mirror. Ghoulash for dinner. Wanted to tell you about it. V. good on brown rice. Leftovers. Better after a day or two in the fridge. Freezes well. One Year Ago: Beef Stu, Garlicky Cheese Biscuits and Blood & Gutscakes

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While I emceed an event, M and W had leftover turkey chili (I think – they might have eaten Ichiban and Cheezies in my absence) – a recipe I had to make as soon as I saw it. It’s not your traditional chili – although it does have beans (black) it’s more loaded with chunks of butternut squash and apples, with a curry quality brought on by a can of coconut milk. Très fall. Apparently it’s pretty fab made with leftover roast turkey – I had some ground in my freezer, but I’ll be sure to make use of turkey leftovers in a couple weeks (HOW DID OCTOBER SNEAK UP ON ME LIKE THIS?). Or sooner, because I just discovered you can cook a whole entire turkey in your CrockPot. Oh yes, and you don’t have to debone it in order to cram it in! I’ll fill you in on the details soon – experiment #1 is chilling right now in its pot in myContinue reading

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My sister dropped off sick kids this morning and left them to languish on my couch all day while W tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to rouse them and I tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to get stuff done. I had bought some skinless chicken thighs and drums to test a “faux fried chicken” recipe, but instead decreed that they should spend the day in the CrockPot becoming butter chicken. So I threw it all in, the drumsticks partially frozen, even, without bothering to brown anything first. (Which isn’t necessary, but does boost flavour.) At 5 I stuck a pot of brown rice on to boil, and stirred a bit of plain yogurt and a bit of cream into the finished chicken. After cooking all day the meat self destructed upon being stirred; I just plucked the bones out. You could start with skinless, boneless chicken, but any meat cooked on the bone has far more flavour. This was good for a laugh today. One Year Ago: Cinnamon BunContinue reading

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I am quite slow on the uptake. That memo probably took awhile to get out. I have been meaning to revisit the Thai chicken thighs since a conversation broke out on the topic months ago. I have just now gotten ’round to digging some skinless chicken thighs out of the freezer and throwing them in the slow cooker with a cup of salsa, a couple big spoonfuls of peanut butter, a squirt of soy sauce and lime juice, and a small spoonful of grated ginger. Served over leftover rice, fried up in a little canola and sesame oil with some frozen peas. V. tasty. In fact, my parents popped by tonight after a meeting and almost finished the leftovers cold, at the kitchen counter, standing up. My Dad asked what was in it. (This is a v. good sign.) Seriously, this is about as easy as it gets. It looks a little watery at first, but give it a chance – the sauce will cookContinue reading

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As promised, I hauled out my Crock-pot today. (Partly to celebrate the shiny new ones that are en route to Maureen and Theresa! I am heeding the request to post winners’ names. Sorry I’m so late.) And last night I pulled out a boneless leg of lamb that had been taking up altogether too much space in the freezer. When outside it’s the same shade of grey all day long, so that you can’t tell what time it is until it begins to get dark at 4 o’clock, and the gritty snow and slush require you to halt the dog upon entering the house and wipe down his muddy paws every single time he has to go pee or sniff something, it puts me in the mood for a dark, sticky, robust, slow-cooked stew, preferably served over a mound of warm carbohydrates. I’ve been thinking about braised lamb shanks, but this caught my eye as I flipped through magazines in the car on our driveContinue reading

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If you didn’t get an email asking for your coordinates so I could ship you a spanking new Crock Pot this morning, sorry about that. I so wish I could have sent one to each of you, but I doubt the fairy godmother/FedEx guy will show up on my doorstep with 200+ new Crock Pots. That was so much fun though – it makes me want to give stuff away all the time – perhaps I will start Free Stuff Fridays (far better than Casual Fridays or Freaky Fridays, don’t you think?) so stay tuned. I’ll try to scare up some more loot. In the spirit of the contest, and because I just got home last night from foodstyling for said Crock Pot media tour in Edmonton, I decided it was a slow cooker night. (That, and I had to do CBC traffic this afternoon until 6pm.) Besides, when I got home and unloaded all my gear and had Crock Pots all over my counter andContinue reading

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I do believe I have achieved one of the most visually unappealing meals possible – the fleshy colour and mushy texture of both chicken and smashed potatoes did not make this an easy photo. I was all set to make French onion soup tonight, to justify my 25 cent purchase of two soup bowls circa 1972 at a garage sale last summer, when I got a call just after noon to see if I was available to go do traffic on the Homestretch. My first reaction: what can I put in the slow cooker that will be done in 6 hours? And can any of it come from the freezer? I remembered something I saw on S’s blog recently – chicken cooked in applesauce – and considering my plethora of apples, mushy apples, applesauce and other apple products, it seemed fitting. Plus our nice, non-carnivorous neighbours brought over a box of frozen chicken breasts they got as a freebie-with-purchase last week at Superstore. It seemedContinue reading

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I’m not really a steak and potatoes gal. Which isn’t to say I don’t love steak or potatoes; I just don’t come to a meal by considering the meat first and then filling the space around it with the requisite starch and veg. As you may have noticed over the past 239 (!) days, I tend toward meals that combine all elements into one. Or maybe I’m just lazy. But I was perusing Stephanie’s blog – she is using her Crockpot every night for a year (a braver soul than I, I think) and came across a recipe for a layered dinner – the name of which shot me straight back to the 70s – where you tuck your steak, potato and corn in the crockpot and leave for 7 hours, and come back to them all cooked. And it worked, technically, although it all came out roughly the same shade of beige, and was a litte… utilitarian. This photo gives it a little more justice than it likely deserves.Continue reading

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Today was not a good day for Spanx. It wasn’t the best day for a boiled dinner either, and I know, it could not sound less appetizing. Technically it wasn’t boiled, but slow-cooked. Either way an unusual choice – I’ve never eaten corned beef brisket before, let alone cooked one. But. Every time I haul out my slow cooker (it’s not that big a deal, really) I get all giddy over it and go on a slow cooker kick for awhile before putting it away again. After the pulled pork fiasco I wanted to give it another go, so stopped at the grocery store on the way home and perused the meat section. I’m not sure if you’ve seen those sealed plastic packages containing corned beef brisket in brine – they have them at Safeway, and every single time I see them I pause and ponder it, partly because they are foreign to me, and partly because Mike always said that corned beef brisket was theContinue reading

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