Tag Archives: slow cooker

Now, for something completely different:

I moved in with my grandpa. (He’s doing a favor for me, not me for him, I had nowhere to live, and very suddenly)

He’s allegric to gluten (like, gets hives). I’m lactose intolerant (by varying degrees but generally stay away from cheese and milk. Yogurt and I are best friends, I’ve never had any problems with “real” yogurt).

Together, we cannot eat about 95% of my favorite things. Lucky for me, he’s very outgoing in the food department. I have plans for both Thai and Indian curries as well as some butternut squash, carrot and sweet potato soup that I think he will like.

Our meals normally center around a slow cooker. Thank god, I found one shortly after I moved in – it has been a life saver. I work teaching until 4pm, then go to the health center and work three or four more hours, so I’m rarely home before 7pm.  Even though prepping the dinner the night before is hard on me after coming home late already, it’s better than not having any dinner at all the next night!

Tonight: Beef stew.

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The Trials of French Onion Soup

One of the families I work for, the mother is a really good cook. She doesn’t cook for me regularly, but when she offers me leftovers, I take them. The first time, she heated up some frozen butternut squash soup she had. It was so tasty, filling and really good for you that I made my own at home (and I have the ingredients to do it again soon!). I do have to give her a lot of credit, because of just talking to her and absorbing information from her cooking, I’ve learned to cook more effectively (I am a better baker, and she appreciates me because of that).

A month ago she made french onion stew with beef in the slow cooker, raved about it and had me prepare it for slow cooker one afternoon. She told me the majority of the recipe as I went, and then the next day, she gave me some of the leftovers. Again, all I could think about was making it for myself! I looked up recipes and most only used onions and beef stock which I was fine with.

Then that weekend, when I do most of my cooking, I was very sick but still wanted this soup and got some from panera which was multiple levels below her soup, but still so good. I tried making it a couple days later, because I had also apparently bought two bags of onions two weeks in a row! Way too many onions.

I tried making it about a week ago. I was silly and though it was good, I didn’t caramelize the onions enough. You can see that they are still mostly white (With red wine coloring them) but they should have been mostly brown! If I just let go a couple minutes longer, it would have been fine.

It was pretty tasty, but I also made it too thick. Eating it that night was fine but the next day it was too thick, mostly tasted just like onion soup, not the french part!

It was a learning experience though: next time, make sure the onions are fully caramelized and don’t thicken the stock too much! And I want to buy better cheese next time to put in the soup as well as melt over bread. I want to try this again soon though, I love soup and soup weather will soon be over. Does anyone have any yummy soup suggestions? Or ways to better my french onion experience next time?

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Right Now

I’m knitting a sweater currently, as well as several other things. I love knitting it but I keep plugging away for what feels like eternity without much progress! I want to finish it before spring so I can wear it a lot before summer, but I don’t know if I’m going to make it!

Right now I’m in the simple, fun part of the sweater – pretty much straight knitting in the pattern, with a couple waist decreases or increases on the horizon. From reading ahead though, I can tell that soon, it’ll be more of a sit there and scratch my head type of pattern.

I’m also working on a rather complicated pattern from Cookie A.’s book, Knit.Sock.Love. I’m amazed that I was able to somewhat memorize the pattern, but I did. It’s for my grandmother, and I’m trying to finish them soon because I want her to have them before the summer!

Recently, I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking. I’ve been really sick, yesterday I was supposed to go to Northampton to go to Webs (the yarn store), with my good friend mullica and I had to call her in the morning because I was too dizzy to drive. I had had a cold but it hadn’t been that bad, until yesterday, were I fluctuated between dizzy and starving. I had gotten up in the morning and made chili in the slow cooker. Good, but I’m going to try again with a couple tweaks  then post it up here.

Today, however, I did make a couple interesting things.

First for breakfast:

(an omelet with mushrooms and tomatoes, the goal was more veggies that eggs, I will try again soon!)

And also not so interesting, but some granola bars:

Which I don’t have a recipe for, because they were a jar gift that I got from a woman I worked with for Christmas. I don’t know if they will be good, they are still cooling.  Today is the superbowl for football (American football), but I don’t have cable so I doubt I’ll be doing anything special. I might be going to my parents good friend’s house for a bit, but I’m still not feeling well. I’ll update later with more pictures of knitting projects.

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Past the introductions: This Saturday, I went to yoga, came home, then put some beef, veggies, etc in to the slower cooker for stew. I used this recipe, with the couple suggestions that people wrote on the comments – flour and brown the beef, soften the onions, then move that to the slow cooker, then deglaze pan with wine and beef stock. I added a bit more wine then called for, as well as more carrots, because I had more than 2 pounds of beef! It was pretty good, we had it at night with some store bought rolls.

Other things I’ve been working on:

A shawl for who knows who.

And a scarf for my professor from last semester. Today, my boyfriend and roommate started classes. I will bring it to him soon, and yes I do have a mannequin on my kitchen table. More later.

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