Each Month

Chef Mimi, a novice at slow cookin, will choose 1 ingredient (meat/veggie/fruit/herb) to be thrown in the crock. Chef Tiffany, an experienced slow cookin specialist, will then post a recipe featuring the ingredient of the week, challenging Mimi to learn new moves in the kitchen.

Join us
as we discover tips and tricks to getting down with your slow cooker.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Consumption: Jammin' Jumbalaya

This crock recipe was a complete success!  I absolutely loved all of the flavors that melted together in this one.

As I previously posted, shrimp is my favorite type of seafood.  I only used shrimp for this recipe because I wanted that flavor to stand out the most.  I chopped all the veggies so I could simply dump everything in the crock during my lunch break from work. I got home, poured everything in and flipped the switch to LOW for the next 5 hours.

When I came home from work, I peeled and deveined the shrimp myself (something I will never do again)! I added the shrimp to a skillet, with a couple cloves of garlic, and organic peppers from my boyfriend's Grandmother's garden.  I added the rest of the ingredients to my slow cooker and waited as my kitchen filled with spicy, cheesy aromas.

EVERYTHING was covered in cheesy hot sauce!  Words can not express how much I love that combination.  Every bite had a little piece of shrimp in it! I served with "butter-me-not" biscuits.

I would recommend cooking this on a cool Autumn night for friends.  The recipe made plenty of food as I still have a dish or two in my freezer.

Tips & Tricks:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Recipe: Cheesy Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya

Prep:  20 mins
Cook:  Low 5 hours, High 3.0 hours
Serving Size:  6
Category:  Seafood/Poultry

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 14.5-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1/2 of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoons Cajun seasoning or 1 recipe *Homemade Cajun Seasoning (ingredients listed; recipe below)
    • white pepper
    • garlic powder
    • onion powder
    • ground red pepper
    • paprika
    • black pepper
  • 1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 1 box Rice-a-Roni Creamy Four Cheese Rice
  • 8 ounces cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp 
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Texas Pete Hot Sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Salt Free Magic Seasoning Blend
Preparation:
*Homemade Cajun Seasoning:  In a small bowl combine 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/8 ground red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  

Combine celery, onion, undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and Cajun seasoning in the crock. 

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2.5 to 3 hours. 

Stir in instant rice, the entire rice-a-roni box, shrimp and peppers. Cover and cook 10-15 mins or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

- Chef Tiffany

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Ingredient: Shrimp

Shrimp is one of my favorite crustaceans of the sea!

I chose this ingredient because over and over again the crock is proving to be so versatile.

This of course made me think of the most notorious scene from, Forrest Gump; when Bubba starts listing all the different ways shrimp can be prepared. Watch this clip below:


Tips & Tricks:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Consumption: Saucy Orange Chicken

This dinner was so yummy!  When I was mixing the juice, zest, salt, balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper (which I measured super accurately), brown sugar, ketchup and garlic, I was wondering exactly what this mix would taste like.  Was I creating a marinade, where the juice would flavor the chicken?  How does ketchup and brown sugar fit in here?   

I hand-squeezed the oranges, which was challenging.  Since I do not own a juicer,  my boyfriend, Matt and I invented one using a small tool you stick into fruit to literally drink the juice and a sifter.

I mixed all the ingredients, poured over the chicken, and set the crock to LOW and cooked 3.5 hrs.

The juicy marinade turned into a sauce that coated all the pieces of chicken.  I served on white rice with a side salad & ginger dressing.  My man does not like onions so, I substituted sesame seeds.

The flavors reminded me of ordering take-out from my favorite Chinese restaurant.  I will definitely be making this slow cooked meal again!  It was so simple!  We had plenty of leftovers for dinner the next night.  Great recipe!

Tips & Tricks:
- Chef Mimi

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Recipe: Asian Orange Chicken


I found the original recipe on:
Stephanie O'Dea's blog, A Year of Slow Cooking
but modified the ingredients to use fresh oranges  



Prep:  25 mins
Cook:  Low 3.5 - 4 hours
Serving Size:  6
Category:  Poultry

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • Olive oil, for browning the chicken
  • Green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 1 can mandarin orange slices
  • 3 oranges
  • 1 teaspoon of zest, from your oranges
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
Preparation:
Cut chicken and toss in flour.  In a skillet heat the oil and brown chicken piece on all sides and put in the crock. 

I used the side of a cheese shredder to get the zest from the orange peel. Then I squeezed all 3 oranges, which measured out to 8 ounces of juice. 
Mix the juice, zest, salt, balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper (1 teaspoon), brown sugar, ketchup and garlic and pour on top of the chicken. 

Cover and cook on low for 3.5 - 4 hours.

Serve over white or brown rice, top with chopped green onions and garnish with mandarin orange wedges. 

Tips and Tricks:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Ingredient: Oranges


Florida oranges are great during the summa-time, as they are the easiest snack to bring to the beach.  They don't melt or get soggy; you just peel and eat!

I absolutely love walking into my man's back yard and eating an orange right off the tree. Talk about refreshing!  The hottest months (May, June, & July) are when you can find the juiciest oranges, which is why I picked this ingredient.

From what I understand, oranges are very diverse when it comes to cooking...you can use the rind, zest, juice and flesh. 

I can't wait to see how this yummy fruit cooks in the crock!

Tips and Tricks:
- Chef Mimi

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Consumption: O-M-Gyros



I discovered a couple of things while making this meal:
  • I love garbanzos even more!
  • Lamb is a delicious baby animal that I drool over!
  • I heart cooking with wine!
Garbanzos were already a fav of mine, as stated in my earlier post, The Ingredient.  There is something about those mealy little peas I can’t get enough of.  I think it’s because they create so much unique texture.  


Preparing the meat was the WORST part, but eating the meat was the BEST part.  The aromas coming from my skillet while browning made my mouth water.  Now, I was anxious to see what lamb actually tasted like.  I hate to admit it, but I was feeling very carnivorous!  

I believe wine was the key ingredient in the flavor of this dish, and can't wait to cook with it again!

I served the lamb/garbz mix in a whole wheat flatbread and wrapped the end in wax paper so the “stuffings” wouldn’t fall out.

There was some trouble mastering the tzatsiki sauce; some of my dinner guests thought it could be a little "thicker”.  I may have blended it too much, but I thought it was still a refreshing compliment to our dinner.

Overall, this dish was impressive, yummy and extremely filling!  
I am so stoked I was introduced to another type of cuisine.  This recipe proves again, how versatile your crock can be!  

Tips & Tricks:
- Chef Mimi

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Recipe: Mediterranean Lamb Pitas


Prep:  25 mins
Cook:  Low 8 hours, High 5 hours; plus 15 mins
Serving Size:  10
Category:  Beef, Pork and Lamb

Ingredients:
  • 2-pound portion boneless lamb leg roast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine (I used a cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1 6-ounce  can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Pita Bread 
  • Tzatziki Sauce
Preparation:
Trim the fat from the lamb roast. If necessary, cut roast to fit crock. In a large skillet brown lamb on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat.

Meanwhile, combine drained garbanzo beans, wine, tomato paste, water, onion, garlic, allspice, cumin, mint, salt and pepper in the crock.  I just poured everything in and used a big spoon to mix it all together.

Place browned meat over bean mixture. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours.

The original recipe says to remove the meat from the crock to shred, but all I had to do was stir it and the meat completely fell apart. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove meat and beans with a slotted spoon, making sure to drain as much of the juice as possible. Otherwise you will have an extremely messy and soggy sandwich.

Warm each pita in the oven, until soft. Spread tzatziki sauce down the middle, top with the meat/bean mixture, chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

Twist the sandwich in wax paper and serve.


Tips & Tricks:

You will be so surprised at how easy and tasty this meal is!

- Chef Tiffany

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Ingredient: Garbanzo Beans

We asked our readers: 
"Which bean would you like to see thrown in the crock?"

Below are the results of the poll:

Black Beans: 2
Kidney Beans:  0
Garbanzo Beans: 4
Great Northern Beans: 3


I am really excited about this challenge! I heart garbanzo beans, as they are the key ingredient in one of my favorite things to eat, hummus.

I must admit, I am a little nervous about using them in the crock, but can't wait to see what kind of recipe is posted.

- Chef Mimi

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Consumption: Wah-Wah Thai Coconut Chix Soup

BEFORE
This attempt at slow cookin' proved, I still have a lot to learn!

Notice my before pic above...It may appear delish at first, but look closer and you will notice a big mistake!

This week, I invited my Mom to join me on my Crock-n-Roll mission, giving me the opportunity to prepare her first slow cooked meal, EVER!

I sliced the chicken, peppers, onions, carrots and shrooms with pure perfection.  Then I added the lemon grass (FYI:  Do NOT eat this alone!), garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper; covered and crocked on HIGH for 3 hours. 

I decided to create a nice outdoor setting, allowing us to really enjoy this meal. Unfortunately, our first bites tasted like pure fire!

I began sweating and turning red right away, quickly motioning for everyone to move inside.  The A/C felt great, but I was still breathing fire! 

My Mom kept asking, "What did you add to make this so spicy?"  I started listing the ingredients:  cilantro, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper.  As we reviewed the recipe I instantly knew what happened.

The recipe calls for only a teaspoon of crushed red pepper and I added a tablespoon (you may recall I did this once before, preparing the Asian Chicken Soup)!

Although the veggies tasted amaz, this soup was a hot mess. 

I'm not going to let this get me down...I loved experimenting with the coconut milk and can not wait to perfect this recipe.  Next time I will make sure to pay closer attention to the measurements.

AFTER

Tips & Tricks:
- Chef Mimi

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    The Recipe: Thai-Style Coconut-Chicken Soup


    Prep:  20 mins
    Cook:  Low 6 hours, High 3 hours
    Serving Size:  6
    Category:  Soups & Stews

    Ingredients:  
    • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts; cut into 3/4-inch pieces
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups bias-sliced carrots 
    • 1 large onion; sliced
    • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
    • 3 cloves of garlic; minced
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon grass paste
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 1 1/2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 medium red pepper, orange pepper and yellow pepper; sliced 
    • 2 cups fresh mushrooms; cut in half
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro; chopped
    Preparation: 
    Combine chicken, broth, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, crushed red pepper, mushrooms and sweet peppers in the crock. 

    Cover; cook on low-heat for 6-7 hours or on high-heat for 3-3.5 hours. If necessary, skim off fat. 

    Stir coconut milk and the fresh cilantro into the soup. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with more fresh cilantro. 

    So GOOD!!!

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    The Ingredient: Coconut Milk

    Chef Tiffany has suggested to use this next ingredient in the crock.  She is notorious for loving Thai food.  I remember the first time I ever ate Thai food was with Tiff.   I had no clue what anything was on the menu, and she made great suggestions!  I remember trying the coconut soup.  It sounded so bizarre to me becuase when I think of coconut, I do not think of Thai cuisine, I immediately think of island foods from Hawaii or rum drinks like Pina Coladas.  The flavors from my dinner with Tiff are still stuck in my memory because I never knew a soup could taste this amazing!  It had two main flavors, milky sweet and spicy hot.  I can not wait to try the next recipe!

    Tip & Tricks


    Saturday, May 29, 2010

    The Consumption: Slow Cookin' Chili Tacos

    This recipe could not have worked better for my needs!  I have been relaxing in St. George, FL with my family from Atlanta.  I do not get to see them very often so, I am spending as much quality time with them as I can.  For my night to cook, I chose Mexican cuisine using the slow cooker.  My whole family supports Crock-N-Roll, and was anxious to see how tacos turn out in the crock.  My sister-in-law, Brooke, is an expert at slow cookin'.  She suggested that I use a crock pot liner to make clean up even more simple.  She made pulled pork sandwiches in the crock the night before and demonstrated how easy it was to use a liner.


    The tacos fed everyone in my family!  While browning the meat, I added salt, pepper, and diced jalepeno.  I have read that cooking fresh jalepenos relieves the heat.  I noticed the serving size varied based on how much meat filling you want to use in your taco.  The taco seasoning I used flavored the meat like chili.  I think for my next attempt I will use taco seasoning I have tried before.  St. George, FL is a tiny island in the Gulf and grocery stores are extrememly limited so I had slim pickins.  Other than the flavor of the meat, the tacos were delish!  I don't think you could really go wrong with a Mexican recipe (since it mainly consists of tortilla, meat, cheese, and vegetables) just monitor your flavor and use fresh veggies.

    - Chef Mimi

    I have to share a great photo from St. George Island, FL.  This pretty much sums up the vibe on our trip:



         


    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    The Recipe: Slow Cooker Tacos

    Prep:  15 - 20 mins
    Cook:  LOW 6 hours
    Serving size: 6-8
    Category:  Beef

    Ingredients:
    • 2lbs ground beef (or turkey)
    • 1/2 cup of water
    • 1 pkg of taco seasoning
    • 18 oz can of tomato sauce
    • 2 cups shredded cheese
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1 jalepeno
    • 1 can sliced black olives
    • soft or hard tortilla shells
    Preparation:
    Place a crock pot cooking liner in the crock.  In a skillet, brown meat over medium flame.  Drain and add to crock pot.  Add water, taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and Rotel.  Cover and cook on low 6 hours.  Serve with soft or hard taco shells with toppings like shredded cheddar cheese,  sour cream, diced jalepeno, black olives, and other desired toppings.

    Tips & Tricks:

    • This can also be served as a taco meat dip using tortilla chips.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    The Ingredient: Ground Beef

    I chose ground beef this week because I am constantly finding Mexican recipes for the crock pot.  Mexican food is an all time favorite of mine, and I am anxious to try this cuisine in the crock.  Some of my favorite recipes I want to try include ground beef.  Seasoned ground beef adds substance to these meals.  Most Mexican dishes are different variations using similar ingredients.   

    Jim Gaffigan, a great comedian, said it best:  All Mexican food is made up of 4 types of ingredients tortillas, meat, cheese and vegetables. 

    My family and I are about to travel to St. George Island, FL.  Each night my siblings and I rotate making dinner for everyone.  I wanted to make something that would feed a lot of people, but take no time to make. I did not want to lose any beach time with the fam.  Check out the next recipe!

    Tips & Tricks:

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    The Consumption: Veggie Boats of Flavor

    The zucchinni dream boats were delicious!  Most Italian meals I have cooked in the past consisted of dough, spaghetti sauce, lots of cheese, and pepperonis.  For this meal, I had to research how to "hollow" out a zuchinni before I began preparation.  I imagined it being something like carving a pumpkin.  To my surprise, it was relatively easy to make each zuch in the shape of a boat using a long narrow spoon.  The pulp scooped right out.  I filled each boat with the mixture of tomato sauce and placed in the crock.

    Before the zuchinni was finished slow cookin', I decided to toast the pine nuts.  I placed some tin foil on a small baking pan and scattered the pine nuts.  Then I placed in the oven on the highest rack, making sure they would toast nicely.  Unfortunately, within 10 secs, they all caught on FIRE.  Yes, burning flames burst out of the stove when I opened the oven.  I have learned pine nuts contain oil (like most nuts), and when heated to a very high temp, they can catch on fire.  Luckily, the flames dissipated immediately when I removed them from my oven.  I wish I had a live-in photographer to capture the terror on my face when my first small kitchen fire erupted.

    I served the Veggie Boats with some angel hair pasta and garnished with blackened pine nuts, fresh mozzerella, parm, and garlic bread.  The meal was a simple Italian dish that was easy to make on a busy weekday.  The flavors were all familiar and delicious, except for the burnt popcorn taste of the toasted pine nuts.  For my next attempt, I will use black olives.

    Don't BURN your nuts!

    Tips & Tricks
    - Chef Mimi

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    The Recipe: Veggie Stuffed Zucchini

    Prep: 30 mins
    Cook:  LOW 4-6 hours
    Serving Size: 4
    Category: Side Dishes


    Ingredients:
    • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, with seeds removed
    • 1 cup tomato sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
    • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
    • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
    • Fresh parsley (optional)
    • Fresh basil (optional)
    • Mozzerella cheese
    • Parmesan cheese

    Hollow out the center of the zucchini by using a long, narrow spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp, leaving at least 1/4 inch of flesh. If the pulp and seeds won't come out easily, use a paring knife to either cut them out or loosen them enough to scoop out with a spoon.

    In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce and vinegar.  In another small bowl, combine the onions, garlic, rice, parsley, basil, pepper, along with 2 Tablespoons of the tomato sauce-vinegar mixture.  When the zucchini halves have been hollowed out, hold them upright and spoon the rice mixture into them so each one is filled fairly densely.  Place zucchini halves in the bottom of the slow cooker.   Top with the remaining sauce-vinegar mixture.

    Cover and cook on LOW until rice is tender, 4 to 6 hours.  Garnish with toasted pine nuts, fresh herbs and cheese.  Makes 2 main dishes or 4 side dish servings.

    Tips & Tricks:
    - Chef Tiffany

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    The Ingredient: Zucchini

    I had a learning experience when I chose this as the next ingredient.  A friend emailed me asking if I knew any recipes that used squash.  I said, I was clueless, but would like to feature squash as the next ingredient to throw in the crock.

    Tiffany needed to know what type of squash we wanted to use so I Googled it,  and discovered the squash family is a lot bigger than I thought! I had no idea cucumbers and zucchini were considered a squash.

    I have cooked zucchini so many differnet ways:  grilled, sauteed and baked.  I cannot wait to see how it cooks in the crock!   


    Tips & Tricks:

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    The Consumption: Easy Cheesy Party Potatoes

    Another success Crockin-N-Rollin!  This time I was able to show off my skills at a good friend's cookout.

    After I filled the crock with all of the ingredients, I went to spend a day on the beach...when I returned, the cheese had melted into a gooey dream!  Reminded me of pulling a slice of pizza from a pie, and the melty mozzerella strings keep extending, until you must use your fingers to cut the tether from the actual Za (Pizza).  I stirred the ingredients and it became extremely creamy.  Once cooked, I poured into a serving dish.  I added the chopped chives and real bacon bits to the top, which added great colors for presentation, and headed to the party.

    We had arrived just in time to add the cheese dish to the buffet line and everyone was asking about the potatoes.  No one could believe I made a potato casserole with a slow cooker.  I explained how easy it was and all of the ladies agreed, they would have to try this recipe at home.  By the end of the night, I was wishing I made calling cards for the blog. 

    Tips & Tricks:

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    The Recipe: Smoked Gouda Spuds

    Prep:  20 mins
    Cook:  Low 5 hours
    Serving Size:  12
    Category:  Side Dishes

    Ingredients: 
    • 1 28-ounce package frozen diced hash brown potatoes with onions and peppers, thawed
    • 1 can condensed cream of chicken with herbs soup
    • 1.5 cups finely shredded Smoked Gouda cheese (6 ounces)
    • 1 cup finely shredded provolone cheese (4 ounces)
    • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, cut into small cubes (1/2 inch)
    • 3/4 cup of milk
    • 1/4 cup chopped leek
    • 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto or 4 slices bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled 
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Fresh chives, snipped
    Preparation:
    In the crock, combine thawed potatoes, soup, cheeses, milk, leeks, prosciutto (if using), pepper and garlic. 

    Cover and cook on low-heat for 5 to 6 hours. Before serving gently stir in chives and bacon (if using).

    * To add a little crunch to this recipe pour the crocked potatoes in a casserole dish, top with French's Fried Onions and back at 350 for 10 mins; or until the top browns.

    This is DEF on of my fav's so far!!

    Tips & Tricks:

    - Chef Tiffany

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    The Ingredient: Smoked Gouda

    We asked our readers:
    "Which cheese would you like to see thrown in the crock?"

    Below are the results of the poll:


    Asiago:  4 votes
    Parmesan:  0 votes
    Monterey Jack:  2 votes
    Smoked Gouda:  9 votes


    First of all, I am a dairy freak!  If it has milk in it, sign me up.  Second, I am so stoked on these results because I personally voted for smoked gouda.  My fondest memory of this cheese was when I was in Northern California, sitting on a patio surrounded by tall redwoods eating hummus, triscuits, black olives and smoked gouda.  All of the flavors combined made me feel so good, I wanted to hug a tree.  


    I also LOVE smoked gouda with a glass of white or red wine.  The cheese is so creamy, it feels like your drinking the flavor.I am anxious to see how cheese cooks in the crock.  Everything we have posted so far is immersed in a liquid.  I am imagining non-stop cheesy melty delish-ness.  I thought this could only exist in my dreams!


    - Chef Mimi

    Saturday, May 8, 2010

    The Consumption: Welcome Back Ribs!

    I marinated all of the ingredients together in a covered 11 x 13 glass dish.  The short ribs were ideal.  I bought two packs of 4.  They were each about 4 in. long, which was perfect for the crock.  In the morning, I added the contents of the dish to the crock pot.  The aroma was already incredible.  I was already looking forward to coming home for dinner.

    When I first bought the ribs, I was reminded of red muscles, which is a scary thought.  After cooking in the crock all day, the ribs turned a beautiful brown color.  Some of the meat had already fallen off the bones, and was floating among the veggies and fruit.  I served on a bed of white rice with bread and a small garden side salad.  The meat became boneless!  Literally, falling off the bones.  I was picking them up, and the meat slid off.

    I had never eaten ribs before, and had always thought the ingredient would be difficult to prepare.  For some reason, I imagined ribs could only be grilled and should be served at a cookout.  I know restaurants prepare them, but I had seen nothing like these ribs.  If ribs were prepared in the crock each time I ate them, you can count me in for dinner!  After a hard day at work, I was so happy to be welcomed back with a great home cooked meal.

    Tips & Tricks

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Challenges: To cook with the bone in or out?

    First, I would like to say thank you to all of the workers at the Lix (Publix) that helped me choose the items I needed to make this meal!

    I was puzzled when I approached the meat section at the Lix and saw 3 types of ribs.  Two were beef (spare ribs and short ribs) and the other was boneless pork ribs.

    I was so confused on what to buy, I had to call my Crockin-N-Rollin expert, Chef Tiffany.  After a few laughs, I felt like I needed to ask “the Meat Guy” AKA the all knowing butcher at Lix.

    I stood by the meat section for-EV-er, and finally was approached by 2 Lix managers.  I explained I was looking for boneless beef ribs and that I had never cooked them before.  Both laughed, and asked what had I been eating my whole life?

    They informed me most people prefer to have the bone-in for added flavor. The butcher finally returned to his post and convinced me the short ribs were, “Where it’s at when cooking with a slow cooker!”  

    Instead of using boneless spare ribs, I chose chuck short ribs.  Find out how good my decision was in The Consumption.

    Tips & Tricks

    - Chef Mimi

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    The Recipe: Sweet and Sour Country Style Spareribs

    Prep:  25 mins
    Cook:  Low 8 hours, High 5 hours
    Serving Size:  8
    Category:  Beef, Pork & Lamb

    Ingredients:
    • 3-4  pounds boneless beef ribs (or Pork)
    • 1  large onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 green pepper, thickly sliced
    • 3 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 (20-oz.) can pineapple chunk, undrained
    • 2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
    • 1/4 cup tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
      Preparation:

      Place ribs in slow cooker. In a bowl, combine pineapple, tomato sauce, onion, green pepper, brown sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic.

      Pour mixture over the ribs; cover and cook low 8 to 10 hours, or until ribs are cooked through and tender. ENJOY!!!

      Tips & Tricks:

      - What is packed brown sugar?
      - The different cuts of ribs
      - Cooking with canned foods

      - Chef Tiffany

      Monday, May 3, 2010

      The Ingredient: Boneless Ribs

      When I began this project, I did not realize how easy it would be to choose any ingredient and make it taste great in the slow cooker.

      When discussing Crock-N-Roll with people, I keep hearing "OH, YOU GOTTA TRY RIBS!"

      I have to be honest, I do not eat ribs that often and I never order them when I go out to eat. However, I am ready for a new challenge.

      This next recipe will truly test my crock skills!

      Tips and Tricks:
      Comment below and tell me your favorite way to eat ribs...

      - Chef Mimi

      Saturday, March 13, 2010

      The Consumption: 1st Place Firecracker Chili

      First Things First:  I heart Texas Pete hot sauce!

      This was my first attempt at making chili and I have to say I did an AMAZ job!  The ingredients were very easy to prep, simply browning the ground turkey and chopping all the fresh veggies into 1 inch think pieces (a tad larger than my previous attempts), I created a crunchy medley of flavors.
        
      I cooked my chili for a little over 3 hours, giving it just enough time to fill my kitchen with the enticing smell of savory spices.

      This chili was fantastic!!!  I would def enter this in a contest!  The melted shredded cheese and dollop of sour cream thickened the chili sauce, making it the perfect constancy.

      Growing up, my other mom, Randi, would make a delish chili, layering Fritos in the bottom of our bowls, then topping with chili, shredded cheese and sour cream.  I decided to serve mine the same way!  Our friends, Kacey and Dave, said the Fritos created a Mexican-style pasta dish.  The chili coated and soaked these flavorful corn chips, making them easy to chew and fun to crunch!

      I was definitely Crockin-N-Rollin!


      I loved this recipe and I am very impressed with my creation!

       Tips & Tricks:

      Wednesday, March 10, 2010

      The Recipe: Firecracker Turkey Chili

      Prep:  20 mins
      Cook:  Low 8 hours, Hight 4 hours
      Serving Size:  6 - 8
      Category:  Soups and Stews

      Ingredients:
      • 1   pound ground turkey
      • 1   15-ounce can dark red kidney beans
      • 1   14.5-ounce can Hunts fire roasted diced tomatoes 
      • 1   can mild Rotel diced toms & green chile peppers
      • 1   can Campbell's condensed tomato bisque soup 
      • 1   6-ounce can tomato paste
      • 1/2  cup of water
      • 1   cup chopped celery
      • 1   large onion, chopped
      • 2   green peppers, chopped
      • 2   fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
      • 2   large garlic cloves, minced
      • 1   cup frozen corn
      • 5   tablespoons Texas Pete Hot Sauce
      • 3   teaspoons chili powder
      • 1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
      • 1/2  teaspoon crushed red pepper
      • Shredded cheddar cheese
      • Sour cream
      Preparation:
      In a large skillet cook turkey until brown. Drain off fat.

      Combine cooked turkey, beans (drained), celery, onion, green pepper, jalapeno peppers and corn in the crock.  Add undrained tomatoes (Hunts & Rotel), 1/2 can of tomato bisque soup, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, water, tomato paste, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Mix.

      Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours.  Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

      Tips and Tricks:

      Monday, March 8, 2010

      The Ingredient: Texas Pete Hot Sauce

      I absolutely LOVE this hot sauce!  I use it on almost everything:  pizza, sandwiches, quesadillas, eggs, wings, tacos, fried rice, pasta and even salads!

      Tex Pete adds just enough hot to my unflavored whatever, and is the secret ingredient to most of the meals I make.

      I am anxious to see which slow cooker recipe features what I call, the world's best hot sauce!

      Tips and Tricks: 

      Saturday, March 6, 2010

      The Consumption: Apple Compote Surprise

      According to Frankie's comment on the recipe post below, this dessert was going to turn out like "apple pie without the crust". 

      After I got home from work, I peered into my crock and was so disappointed to see my tasty looking apples turn into a mushy, murky-colored liquid; it was like a runny apple sauce.


      However, looks can be deceiving! 
      This dessert was incredible!  Full of flavor and simply scrumptious!!  I served with all the recommended:  vanilla ice cream, toasted almonds, whip cream and extra cinnamon.

      Did I cook this too long?  Maybe I cut the apples too small like I did with the sweet potatoes in the Traditional Beef Stew recipe.  I have heard people say you have to build a relationship with your appliances in the kitchen.  For example, I know my oven only cooks evenly if I place the pan over to the left, just a smidge.  More experimenting with the crock is the best answer!

      Tips and Tricks
      - Chef Mimi 

      Thursday, March 4, 2010

      The Recipe: Apple-Rum Compote


      Prep:  15 mins
      Cook:  Low 7-8 hours, High 4-5 hours
      Serving Size:  12
      Category:  Desserts


      Ingredients:
      • 8 peeled and cored cooking apples (4 Granny Smith / 4 Golden delicious) cut into 1 inch cubes 
      • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
      • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
      • 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
      • 1 tablespoon honey 
      • 3 tablespoons rum (I used whiskey, of course!)
      • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
      • 1/3 cup sugar
      • 3/4 cup apple juice 
      • 3/4 cup whipping cream 
      • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
      • Vanilla Ice Cream
      Preparation:  
      Layer cut apples in the crock.  Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey and tapioca and pour in the apple juice, lemon juice and rum/whiskey. 

      Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 7 - 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 - 5 hours.  

      Serve on top of vanilla ice cream and top with whip cream, toasted almonds and more cinnamon.

      This was my first time making this recipe but def not my last!!!  It was so easy to prepare and the perfect ending to the day!!

      This recipe is also a perfect topping for pancakes, waffles and french toast! Mmmmmmm!


      Monday, March 1, 2010

      The Ingredient: Apples

      We decided to ask our readers: "Which fruit would you like to see thrown in the crock?" Below are the results of the poll:

      Apple:  5 votes
      Pineapple:  5 votes
      Blueberry:  3 votes
      Orange:  2 votes

      Since we had a tie, I chose apples.

      The slow cooker is proving to be extremely versatile.  I find myself drawn to bookstores, just to browse through their slow cookin section.  My curiosity has been sparked discovering the endless possibilities of the crock.

      I am very excited to see what Tiffany will come up with, and to begin my next crock challenge!

      Tips and Tricks:
      Don't forget to check out our new poll...
      - Chef Mimi

      Saturday, February 27, 2010

      The Consumption: Wing Fest 2010

      I will never prepare wings any other way!

      Using Lix brand chicken wings and drumettes, the recommended and very tangy Stubbs Hickory Bourbon BBQ sauce, honey, fresh minced garlic and crushed red pepper, I created a unique blend of aromas and flavors that completely filled my kitchen.  Flavors I never imagined I would associate with chicken wings.

      My “Official Taste Tester/ Boyfriend” and our guests Kacey (pictured above) and Dave all commented on the honey as being key to creating the thick and tangy, but yet sweet sauce; which completely coated the wings. As you can see, everyone succeeded in leaving with a “Wing Smile” and agreed this meal was, “finger lickin’ good!"


      I love learning all these new moves with my slow cooker and getting the opportunity to share my experiences with others. Each meal I make, I am completely surprised with the outcome.

      Tips and Tricks:
      If you try one of our recipes, don't forget to leave a comment and let us know how it was.
       - Chef Mimi 
       The Cean licking off his wing smile!

        Wednesday, February 24, 2010

        The Recipe: Hickory Bourbon Chicken Wings


        Prep:  15 mins
        Cook:  Low 3 hours, High 1 1/2 hours
        Broil:  15 mins
        Category:  Appetizers

        Ingredients:
        • 3 pounds chicken wings
        • 1 1/2 cups  Hickory Bourbon BBQ Sauce 
        • 1/4 cup honey
        • 1 teaspoon salt
        • 1 teaspoon sugar 
        • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper- measure this time! =)
        • 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic 
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
        • 1 medium chopped onion    
        Preparation:

        Place defrosted chicken wings on an unheated rack of a broiler pan and sprinkle each side with salt and sugar. Broil 4-5 inches from the heat for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is brown, turning once. Layer chicken wings in your slow cooker; add chopped onions and crushed red pepper.

        Combine barbecue sauce, honey, garlic and Worcestershire sauce and pour over the chicken wings. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 3-4 hours or on high-heat setting for 1 1/2- 2 hours.

        Sides:
        • Honey Baked Beans
        • Mac-N-Cheese with Broccoli Spears
        • Beer or maybe a whiskey and coke
        Tips and Tricks:

        - Chef Tiffany

          Monday, February 22, 2010

          The Ingredient: Chicken Wings

          My family and I love going out to get some good chicken wings.  We say you have the "wing smile" if you leave the restaurant with sauce stains on the corners of your mouth.  Wings are great to wash down with an icy light beer and best of all, you can never seem to get enough.

          I have made several attempts to cook them at home, but my wings turn out so dry.

          I noticed in the previous recipes, that my favorite part ususally ends up being the meat.  I can picture the chicken melting in my mouth and falling off the bone. Plus, if they are marinating in a sauce all day, the possibilities of flavor seems endless!

          Tips and Tricks

          Saturday, February 20, 2010

          The Consumption: RIDIC Asian-Style Chicken Soup

          After reading through the ingredients, I was stoked to begin preparation...

          My mom (pictured to the left) and I cut all the veggies and stored them together with the fresh grated ginger. Then we marinated the chicken in soy sauce and let sit over night. This time I cut everything the night before so I could come home after a long day of work and simply throw it all in the crock.

          At 7PM, I dumped the chicken, veggies, broth, water and garlic into my slow cooker. I eyed the amount of crushed red pepper by shaking until I could really smell it; learning that measuring spoons really do have a purpose!

          After cooking on High for 2 1/2 hours, I put 10 more mins on the timer and added the sugar snap peas, spinach and egg to the crock.

          By this time the kitchen smelled DELISH and I couldn't wait to show off my new moves to my favorite NSB couple, Tyler and Swiss. Everyone was unanimous:

          "This was one of the best crock recipes we ever had!"


          "Good till the last drop!"

          The French's Fried Onions were a yummy addition to the soup and a necessity to help take the spice down a notch!

          Tips and Tricks:

          Friday, February 19, 2010

          The Recipe: Asian-Style Chicken Soup

           

          Prep: 25 mins
          Cook:  Low 5 hours, High 2 1/2 hours; plus 10 mins on High
          Serving Size: 4
          Category:  Soups/Stews

          Ingredients:
          • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces 
          • 2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
          • 1 cup water
          • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
          • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root
          • 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
          • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
          • 1 medium red sweet pepper, cut julienne style
          • 3 medium carrots, cut julienne style 
          • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
          • 2 cups fresh sugar snap peas, cut in half
          • 2 cups fresh spinach 
          • 1 well-beaten egg
          • Rice Noodles 
          • Can of French's Fried Onions
          Preparation:  

          Place chicken in a 3 1/2 - 4 quart slow cooker. Stir in the chicken broth, water, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, sweet red pepper, carrots and green onions. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

          If using low-heat setting, increase to high-heat setting. Stir in sugar snap peas and spinach. Slowly pour in the well-beaten egg; stir gently. Cover and cook 10 minutes more.

          Prepare rice noodles according to package.

          Place noodles in bottom of bowl, fill with chicken soup and top with French's Fried Onions.

          Tips and Tricks:

           Enjoy!
          Chef Tiffany