I like my slow cooker, because you can see what is going on through the clear top, but the sides aren’t clear. Some slow cookers are totally clear, which I think would be weird. It’s like, hello, TMI about what’s going on in my slow cooker. Anyhow. I guess that is why most aren’t clear. I’m really reaching to try to boost my slow cooker‘s confidence, because he’s had this inferiority complex ever since my sister made the comment about how you can’t call a slow cooker a “crock pot” unless it’s really a Crock Pot. Apparently it is like calling a box of CVS tissues a box of Kleenex. GEEZ. (By the way, WTF—that link says this is $2.99 currently? I paid $20 for mine. I am upset. Calling Best Buy today.)
I think I may soon wish I had spent a few extra bucks and gotten one larger. This one’s only 3 quarts. But oh well, I am still in the experimenting stage. Which brings me to an important point about me: I like to cook, but I don’t really love to follow recipes (except when it comes to baking, because baking is more of a science, in my opinion, while cooking is an art).This is out of character for me, because generally I am a follow-the-plan type of person. With cooking, no. In fact, if there’s a scientific reason behind cooking a certain dish, I tend to shy away.
onions & two giant cloves of garlic
However, I have to follow recipes quite a bit at my baby-sitting job, which is good because it gives me more exposure to cooking different things, but bad in a sense because I sometimes screw up when I think I can make my way around the rules. For example, last week while making beef stew, the recipe said to brown up the chunks of beef with bacon (no, I don’t eat what I cook there!) in shifts. Well, I did the shifts part, but only with the beef, so in the second batch everything started sticking more than usual, because the bacon was supposed to provide the fat to prevent that—had I followed the recipe correctly. So! I also apparently have no idea how to cook fresh brussel sprouts and that the outer layer and stem needs to be removed beforehand. Haha–you cook and you learn.
PS(A): Speaking of baby-sitting, if anyone college-aged here is going to be looking for work come May, and you like kids and hanging out by the pool and cooking and shopping at Whole Foods and playing soccer with 7-year-olds—I may have the job for you! Email me for more details. I need to find a replacement for me come that time, assuming I have found something more ‘career-orientated.’ And if anyone is looking to hire me for that ‘career-orientated something,’ just click on that “drop me a line” link above.
What I am slow-cooking today uses what I know about what goes into chili, aka: chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, beans — and then adding a healthy twist (more veggies, no meat).
Yesterday I went to the farmers market and got all kinds of stuff, some of which went into the slow cooker today.
- Cremini mushrooms
- Honey crisp apples
- Big bottle of olive oil that cost more than my slow cooker
At the Giant, I got a whole bunch of beans and canned tomatoes/tomato sauce (which aren’t in season locally), and a bunch of spices, since I had none.
Then this is what I threw in the crock pot, which is cooking at the moment:
- big can of organic crushed tomatoes (20 oz.)
- half of a big can of light kidney beans (so about 20 oz. again)
- smallish onion, cut into smallish chunks *L
- 2 carrots, sliced up like a 1/4 inch thick *L
- a couple handfuls of cauliflower florets
- the biggest “clove” of garlic you’ve ever seen in your life–I thought it was a bulb! Threw the whole thing in anyways, and did a piss-poor job of mincing, it’ll be fine though. *L
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cocoa-chili powder (I bought the cocoa blend because I couldn’t find straight up regular chili powder and I was tired of searching. Hope it’s not too cocoa-y!)
*L = Local
So I am going to let that get happy in the hot tub for about 8 hours, should be ready by 6 or 7pm. Will let you know how it turns out! Smells garlicy but I guess there’s no such thing as too much garlic!