October 01, 2007

Slow Cookers

This might be risky - I'm going to ask a question!   In the past this has resulted in about zero answers... so we'll see.

I realized today (yeah I'm a bit slow sometimes) that it's heading into the cold weather season here.  This means I'll be cooking more things inside instead of on my trusty Weber grill - especially when it snows. 

Since I loathe my oven and try to use it as little as possible, I've decided that this year I want to do more by way of crockpot cooking. 

The problem is, my Crockpot is 28.5 years old.  We got it as a wedding present.  Yes, it still works, but I have to say it rather worries me.

I have used it over the years on occasion (it generally did NOT make enough food when young son was a teen and it saw way less use then). So while it has been used consistently, it hasn't been used heavily. But it's still really old!

Question:  What kind of crockpot/slow cooker should I get? 

Here's the thing - even though it is just beloved husband and myself - I often cook for 4 at least and then have leftovers for lunch and even another dinner... so a larger size crockpot will be okay while the tiny sizes will definitely be too small.  I'm thinking the 6-7.5 qt size will be good.

There are many out there - I've been reading about them - but nothing jumps out and says "buy me".  So, I thought I'd see what others have to say.  It can even be a crockpot you would "love" to have, but haven't bought it for whatever reason.

Any  suggestions?

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 05:54 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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September 18, 2007

Save Our Chocolate!

I was over at Gunslinger's Journal (many thanks to David M for pointing me to his blog). While perusing his site, I happened upon this...

To All Chocolate Lovers

Go read. Follow the link. Save the Chocolate!
(forget cheerleaders and heros... this is far more important)

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 05:02 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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September 07, 2007

Sometimes All It Takes Is A Nudge At The Right Time

Sissy Willis was nudged by her doctor who told her she needed to change something because her eating habits were causing her health problems. Little did he (she?) know, that nudge would turn into a blog project!

Not only has Sissy lost 25 pounds, she's been putting together light tasty recipes and posting them with glorious pictures. Finally Pam requested that she put it together into a book, but Sissy went one better...

The Cold Turkey Cookbook Index to Recipes

Go check them out! There are all kinds of goodies that are kind to the figure as well as beautiful to look at. Happy Eating!

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 12:17 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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September 10, 2006

It's Time to Eat!

Richmond is hosting Carnival of the Recipes this week. She has tables full of food - so head on over and get some ideas for this week's meal times.

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 04:48 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 02, 2006

Grill - The Arrival

Woo Hoo - the new grill came today. Did I mention it's raining? Of course it is, it had to be. All you New England people can thank me for the much needed precipitation. It's supposed to rain tomorrow too. Ha!

I looked at the directions sent along on how to put the grill cart together. I am SO glad we had the store do it! Holy smokes we would have been trying to get it done for the next 2-3 weeks. Anyhow, we put it first in the garage and I asked the guy to show me how to put the propane tank on - looks easy enough. Then they left. Even better - major Kudos to the driver for noticing we have low hanging power lines and he had a very large truck. He stopped before he did any damage - whew!

Next thing I did was find a place to fill the propane tank. First place I went only did trading of tanks - I bought this tank I don't want to be trading it around! Besides, I've seen some of the pieces of crap they give out - I wouldn't feel safe with those anywhere near my grill. However, they did direct me to a store only a few blocks away that would fill my tank for me. At the moment we are contemplating getting a second tank for the inevitable time I run out of propane in the middle of cooking dinner.

I get home, it's still raining, but I decide the heck with it and pull the grill out on to the back patio and hook up the tank - no problem. Whew - most complicated part down. Then I took out the grates (heavy suckers!) and washed off the machine oil.

After beloved husband got home - we fired up the burners. Then stood kinda looking at it for a few minutes - I'm sure we made a picture straight out of a sitcom. Then we put the lid down and went inside to wait about 10 minutes. Smoke (light smoke) started coming out from the lid. We're guessing it was burning off excess oils from when they made it. After it hit 500 degrees, we opened it - let it cool a bit - then closed it and reheated.

Tonight - in celebration - we had steak. It turned out wonderfully well! I'll have to work on the timing thing. It seems the cook time was a bit faster than our convection oven. I'm looking forward to doing veggies next to the meat - maybe tomorrow. That will be fun.

End result - an excellent dinner - no fires. I may be able to get the hang of this thing.

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 03:45 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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April 30, 2006

Soon To Arrive

Our newest appliance - a gas grill. Today beloved husband and I finally made the effort and went grill shopping. Well, maybe I should say, I've been researching them online and today we hit one of the local stores and looked at a couple of models I thought would suit our needs.

The grill is a significant piece of equipment for me. That's why I was extra careful. Currently our kitchen has some dandy looking appliances - they were made for house beautiful. Unfortunately, I don't think they were made for actual, real life cooking.

The most frustrating thing, other than the horrific switch from gas to electric (hate it!) , is the "smoking oven". No matter what I do, how I cook, how careful I am, the damned thing belches out smoke whenever I use it to cook. No matter the style of cooking, bake or broil, there will be smoke. I have run the cleaning cycle at least once a month since we moved in. In my last house with a decent run of the mill gas range - I ran the cleaning cycle twice a year - if I remembered. I am so frustrated, I am hoisting the white flag - I give up!

You may wonder why we didn't just get a new oven. Well, the problem is, the original owners (who didn't do much cooking) had builtins of "rare" appliances. Right now, the maker of our oven has a store about 50 miles away. Other stores out here used to carry it, but no more. It's an odd size, so any oven work will also entail cabinet work and very likely a new exhaust fan. Plus I would want to put in a gas cooktop (propane) at the very least while everything is torn up. The price tag on all that is far higher than I want to spend at the moment. Thus the new grill - I'll just cook outside and use gas to do it!

I've never used a gas grill before - only charcoal. I love charcoal, but let's face it, it isn't the easiest thing in the world to fire it up in mid winter. With gas, you just make sure you have propane, and you're good to go. For the summer I'm thinking we'll use the charcoal grill on occasion, but for most cooking I can get back to using gas. Especially nice is the side burner, which I am very much looking forward to using. Yes, we splurged on that - it certainly wasn't absolutely necessary.

We didn't get a huge grill, although it was fun looking at the Viking outdoor oven - it's the Cadillac of gas grills. If I had the money, I'd drop it on that baby in a heartbeat! I love good cooking equipment, I think we've got potential with the nice 4 burner model headed our way. With only 2 people to feed, I can do meat on 2 burners and vegies on the other 2 at a lower temp, plus any extras like rice on the side burner.

But you never know what kind of fun will happen when you mix me with a heated cooking surface. This is why I'm paying a few dollars extra to have the store deliver it and set it up. I can have them show me how everything works and I can make sure that when it catches on fire for the first time - it will hopefully not be my fault for improperly connecting the gas line or some such nonsense.

Stay tuned. Tuesday is delivery day.

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 05:33 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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December 14, 2005

Shall We Eat Out?

My blog sis Bou has posed an interesting question.

I’m taking an informal poll. Feel free to leave your answers in my comments. There’s no right or wrong answer.

How many times a week do you cook and how many times do you eat out?

The media makes it sound like Americans eat out whether it be fast food or something, nearly every night and I want to know if that’s true.

Things change over the years. Unlike Bou I no longer have young kids at home... but for the most part I cook every night.

When the kids were young...

we didn't have the money to go out. So, once a week I would order pizza... that was my night off from cooking. I did lots of "easy" stuff to cook as it became available... like precooked roasts so all I had to really cook was the side dishes.

When the kids got older...

I still cooked most of the time - the hard part was deciding how much to cook since I could be feeding 1 to 4 people depending on last minute schedule changes.

About 5 or 6 years ago I figured out that additives and preservatives gave me extra terrible migraines... up to 5 per week. I was living on pain medication... not so good. Then I really went on a rampage - got rid of everything that wasn't fresh in my diet. Now I cook from fresh food only in my house. I don't do pizza or carryout anymore unless it's a special occasion and I'm eating at someone else's place. (BTW - the headaches have mostly disappeared).

Also, now that my husband and I have finally settled down - gotten all moved and everything... we will go out to eat about every other week. Call it date night. I'm careful about the restaurants we go to and I usually try for fish and veggies without sauces - this generally works very well and it's one night that I don't have to clean up dishes (the only thing I really dislike about cooking).

When we were in the middle of moving - we were eating (by necessity) restaurant food every night for about a week. We both felt terrible at the end of that time - and couldn't wait to get moved in to the new place so we could have "real food"... even though the restaurants we patronized were of the very nice variety (not McDonald's! or even TGI Fridays)

Now I'm off to read the comments at her place and see what they are all saying. Interesting poll!

*** UPDATE... after reading the comments at Bou's - I should add that while I was at home alone in Chicago... while my husband was working out here on the east coast - I STILL cooked and ate at home - for that matter I only went out to eat when I was out here on the east coast with him. I am far less likely to go out and eat alone - I'll just stay home and cook.

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 06:19 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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July 29, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes

I have been remiss for about the last month and a half in posting the link for tasty eating. There's been lots of good eating going on out there and I've been so darn busy that by Friday I'm just beat - then I forget to post! Well, this week's Carnival is being held by the lovely and Feisty Christina. Head on over for enough food to feed your family for months! She's done a great job.

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 02:30 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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June 18, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes

This week Michele of Meanderings is hosting the Recipe Fest! There are so many great things ready for you to make a list and head to the store. Head on over and check it out. Michele did a terrific job.

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 07:55 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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June 12, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes

I know, I know I'm very late posting this, but just in case you've missed it. Carnival of the Recipes #43 is up over at Songstress7. She has done an outstanding job and there are tons of good eats listed. Go have a look and make out a menu for the week!

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 11:27 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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