Wednesday, December 29, 2010

3 down - 50 to go and misadventure #1

My cooking adventures continue....

Boy-o came home from work (he has a part-time job during the school year at a local library - what a cool job!) famished and dove into the from scratch Red Beans and Rice. He gave it a 4 1/2 out of 5 once he added lots of hot sauce. Strangely enough, the large onion, 6 cloves of garlic, 3 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of cumin weren't enough. I tasted it and had to agree. It was a little bland. Once he spiced it to his satisfaction, he enjoyed it and said it was a "make again" recipe. Yeah. He said the TVP was pretty neutral. It didn't add anything to the taste but didn't ruin it either. Since it is high in protein (important for vegetarians), I think it is a "keeper" as well.

Inspired by my successes on Monday, I decided to try another new recipe. Boy-o has suddenly decided that he wants a hot breakfast every morning before school. He loves oatmeal (yucky in my opinion) so I decided to try a breakfast oatmeal recipe in the crockp pot. I tried one before Christmas and the results were only OK. The oatmeal was a very strange consistency. It was slimy. I checked with my sister and she suggested a new type of oatmeal (steel cut oats) and assured me that it would be better. I also picked out a new recipe with more spice. I assembled the ingredients and decided to try out a new gadget that I had received in my stocking from Santa. I had read in a cookbook that you can put your crock pot on a timer delay to have it start later. The whole food safety thing was a concern but when I looked at the ingredients (oatmeal, water, spice, nuts, dried fruit), I decided to give it a try. I read the instructions (in about size 2 font) and figured out how to make it work. I programed it to turn on and happily went to bed. I woke up a few times during the night and enjoyed the smell of spice. I got up the next morning and ran down the stairs to check on my masterpiece. As I approached the crock pot, I noticed that it still looked the same as it had the night before. I touched the side and it was stone cold. I grabbed the timer gadget and looked it over. It looked like it should be working. Hmmmm. After some muttering to myself about unreliable equipment, I happened to look down at the crock pot to notice the on and off button still firmly in the off position. Ahh. Not equipment error - operator error and misadventure #1. I ended up putting the crock pot into the frig and whipping up scrambled eggs for Boy-o. Last night, I reprogrammed the timer gadget, checked, double-checked and triple-checked, the on and off button and woke up this morning to cooking oatmeal. Boy-o said it was good and gave it a 4 out of 5. He did say that the consistency was improved over my first attempt with another recipe. A little work the evening before will result in an easier morning for me.

The first 3 new recipes have all been for the benefit of my son. Last night, I did use an existing recipe and roasted my hubby and I a chicken in the crock pot. The leftover chicken will go into a chicken noodle soup for tomorrow night. I love the two for one meals!

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