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Ta da! (Honestly – I didn’t even arrange the rosemary in this photo – it just came out that way.) I’m really – for sure this time – bringing back Sunday Dinner. I don’t mean that in the sense of reintroducing it to the world – I know this is something people commonly do – and yes, we’ve been eating dinner on Sunday nights for quite some time, but the tradition of bringing the extended family around the table for something that might even require actual napkins (as opposed to the omnipresent roll of paper towels) is something we’ve fallen out of the habit of. Not that it ever was a big thing in the childhood of my memory – throughout our twenties and most of our thirties we’d go to Mike’s parents house for Old Shoe Cooked in Beer, which we’ll just say didn’t foster the grandest memories. I’ve always wondered what it might have been like to marry into a big, food-loving ItalianContinue reading

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For the boys, anyway. Uninspired but wanting to get rid of the wad of poorly arranged chicken thighs from my freezer, I skinned them and threw them in the slow cooker with a carrot, celery stalk, red pepper, lots of garlic, chicken stock and a couple handfuls of lentils and barley. The dry beans and grains absorbed almost all the liquid – almost like I planned it that way – but I couldn’t give the ratios here; aim to have the liquid come about halfway up the chicken, make sure the dry stuff is stirred in rather than propped on top, and you’ll be fine. As for me, well, Chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro from Capo cooked for me tonight. There might have been some other people around too – I didn’t really notice. It was the Avenue Magazine Food Awards, where they revealed the much-anticipated March issue (and Paul is on the cover! Yay Paul! Yay Rouge!) which is famous for its list of theContinue reading

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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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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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