Thursday, January 26, 2012

Slow Cooking Morning and Evening!

We've gotten back into our slow cooker in a big way the last month.  It's so easy to put it on the shelf and kind of forget about it - especially once summer hits and we're eating fresh, fresh, fresh from the garden!  This all started when sister Keltie shopped at her local Farmers' Market for our Christmas present; she sent us an assortment of great slow-cooker soups from Souptacular in Alberta.  The product is packaged with everything needed, including the spices.  You just put everything in the crock pot with water or stock and walk away!  Six hours later, a beautiful soup, and healthy with a selection of beans, peas, lentils, barley and such.  Our favorite so far is the Tandoori - would be great with chicken added, as well.

With the slow cooker out on the counter, I started to pay more attention to the foodie blogs and Facebook pages that I follow when they talked about slow cookers.  Saw a great recipe for hot breakfast oatmeal in the slower cooker from Simple Bites - instructions are here for Apple Pie Oatmeal.  Takes five minutes before bed to mix the ingredients and you wake up to a hearty, hot breakfast.  The recipe calls for steel-cut oats; we have local organic oat flakes in the house but I bought the steel-cut to trial the recipe.  I also wanted to see what the fuss was all about over steel-cut.  Really good!  We halved the recipe because we're two and also because an appropriate container for the serving for four would not fit in our little crock pot - check that out before you proceed!  The oats are cooked in a water bath (or bain de marie for your foodies): a mix of oats, milk, grated apple and applesauce are put in a heat resistant container like a heavy, glass measuring cup and then placed in the crock pot surrounded by water.  The oatmeal is, essentially, steaming.  The Apple Pie Oatmeal was just delightful!  There's a link in Simple Bite's post to an almond oatmeal - we'll be trying that, too!  And, I'll also be trying to incorporate some of our local oat flakes and spelt groats that are in the house.  Nice thing is, too, that I didn't really get the slow cooker dirty!

I had been online reading about the good value of chicken thighs, as opposed to cooking with chicken breasts, so I picked up a package during my last grocery shop.  Went online and found an easy recipe from the blog What Kara's Cookin'; it didn't require browning of the chicken and called for our homegrown potatoes and carrots!  The recipe calls for half broth/half wine but I used just our stock with a splash of homemade thyme vinegar, to brighten things up.  Less than ten minutes of cleaning and chopping some vegetables, mixing the stock with minced garlic and dried thyme, both from the garden, layer everything and done!  Six hours later a great chicken dinner, the chicken thighs really moist and yummy!  And I love having one pot to clean!

Of course, there was no time between breakfast and dinner to slow cook a lunch.  Lunch for us was eggs fresh from the chicken coop and homemade bread!  Are you using your slow cooker these days?  It may be time to dust it off!


  1. I'm going to try the chicken crock-pot recipe -- it sounds delicious!


  2. Oatmeal in a slow cooker! now I've heard everything. I've often heard these are just the best appliance to have for cooking in winter but have yet to try one.

  3. Hi there! This is Liz from Souptacular. I just wanted to shoot you a big "thank you" for the mention! We love the idea that our product goes so well with small farm produce - it's such a great partnership for a healthy lifestyle. Cheers, and happy planting!