Tag Archive | recipes

Thankful for my slow cooker and more

I have so many things to be thankful for, starting with living in a place with great weather, good friends, fresh herbs in my garden, a view, and abundant local produce. I am also very thankful for the internet and Google which have helped my genealogy research enormously. I could go on endlessly with my thanks, but this holiday makes me think of food, so today I will blog about cooking.

About a year ago a friend gave me her old slow cooker, as she was getting a larger one. What a great gift this has turned out to be! This is such a convenient way to make dinner, almost no stirring over a hot stove, so little time to prepare it, and so wonderful to eat. Since I work out of a home office, I can throw the ingredients together in the morning or at lunch and then forget about it. Yes I love stew.

When my cousin was visiting last weekend I started Mexican beans in the morning before I left to take her to the ocean. I called my husband on the way home and asked him to put a bag of rice on. Another convenience to be thankful for! When I got home I made some cauliflower in the microwave and grated some cheese. An excellent dinner was ready in no time.

That Mexican bean recipe was an internet find at Mom’s Kitchen Handbook (click here), no soaking the beans overnight instead you just cook them on low for a long time. Good for three meals for us.

All my slow cooker recipes are from the internet. What I do is print them out, add any notes about changes I made, then if they work well, I add them to my book, one of those presentation binders with many clear pages that you can slip printouts into.

Most of the dinners that I cook in the slow cooker can feed many more people than the two of us, so I freeze up one and two person servings for another day. That way, when I am in a time crunch for a deadline I can just defrost my own cooking. Plus when I leave town, my husbands meals are all taken care of.

Warning, we have changed our diet over the last few years to be mainly plant based and full of healthful cancer fighting food (click here for Dr Li’s Eat to Beat disease website).

Here are some of my favorite slow cooker recipes:
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Too many figs this year!

It’s a wonderful problem. I have way too many figs this year. I eat two or three every morning while I pick about twenty or thirty more. Below is a picture of two days worth of picking, Time to dehydrate them.

My tree is about 60 feet tall and the wild parrots eat the figs on the top half. Sometimes the parrots are lower down where I can take a video …

Click image for my video of this wild parrot in my tree

I dehydrate the figs and then freeze them but there is very little room left in my freezer and I have not talked my husband into buying a separate one for the garage. So I posted on my neighborhood facebook page that I would trade for lemons (my tree is on hiatus til October) or cucumbers or squash.
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My Recipes for Weight Control

Maintaining a sensible weight has always been a struggle for me so I object to 23andme saying “Kitty, your genes predispose you to weigh about 8% less than average.” I really want to blame my DNA for this excess weight, not the eating habits I learned growing up. My maternal grandparents were a bit pear-shaped when they were older. My mother and brother also always struggled with their weight … it has to be in my genes!

I have a simple five year plan for weight control: diet for six months to lose 15-20 pounds then eat for four plus years to gain 20-25. You can see how this long term trend is going! So this time I will try to lose 30 even if it takes over a year to do it.

Critical to my many previous successes has been a support person or group. Perhaps that is why I have done Weight Watchers so many times. The last two times my husband dieted with me and we did Nutrisystem quite successfully. This time I am doing South Beach with my friend Lynne (her choice) and I am quite pleased with it as I do not get very hungry nor crave .. chocolate … Low carb has always worked well for me. As a teenager all I had to do was give up dessert and hamburger buns for a week to lose 5 pounds.

Since a reader told me at a recent conference that she enjoyed my occasional off topic posts, I will share some of my low carb creations here. By the way, whenever I find a recipe online, somehow I always have to fiddle with it a little.

I prefer to start the day with a good breakfast so here is my own invention, an easy recipe for an open faced breakfast sandwich using a microwave and a toaster oven that works on Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, (2 protein, 1 bread) and starting week 3 of South Beach. However my current weight loss stalled when I added back the whole wheat English muffin so I dropped that part of it and now serve mine on small slices of ham instead.
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Chicken soup for what ails you

So I have been fighting off a cold for weeks now and never seem to actually get rid of it. This has slowed down my blogging as well kept me from doing much of anything energetic.

A bowl of my frozen chicken stock cubes

Thus it seems appropriate to follow up on my new year’s resolution of occasionally writing a cooking or gardening post by sharing my chicken soup recipe. I made it again yesterday. This is the third time since the start of this cold!

I always make a lot so that I can freeze up two or three ice cube trays of the broth for use in cooking. The trays get emptied into baggies or my glass containers for the freezer as pictured on the left.  I always use a cube or two or three for extra flavor when I cook various things on other days.

Click the continue reading for my recipe which cheats a little by using a rotisserie chicken (I prefer the rosemary-garlic or lemon-pepper ones)

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