Well, I have to say it’s one of my most commented upon posts to date and…there’s an awful lot of you who thought it was effing terrible. Oy.
So! I re-made it! Yay! I think (hope, pray) that the issue with the first one was that it just lacked seasoning. Most of the negative comments called it bland or tasteless in so many words, so I decided to amp up the flavor a bit.
I know 6 ingredients (do spices really count as whole ingredients if they’re like a gram each?) are way less appealing than 3 (and I purposely don’t count “salt to taste” because of course I don’t), but geez, you guys, is the extra effort (all 10 seconds of it) totally worth it!
I really don’t know how you can call this bland. It’s sweet, spicy, tangy, and oh-so-rich and buttery.
For all of those I so gravely offended with the original recipe, please accept my apology.
The slow cooker rice casserole is my new go-to meal option. Seriously, changed my life…not only is it just insanely easy, but it’s the best way I’ve come up with like, ever, to use up my random assortments of leftovers. I have yet to find anything that doesn’t marry up with rice.
What’s even better is the texture is nothing short of, well, stuffing. And if you’re a stuffing hoarder like me this is pretty much the best thing since Stove Top.
I could eat nothing but stuffing for the rest of my life and be totally happy. It’s the epitome of carby, sweet, savory, salty, warm, comforting goodness. But this casserole? It’s like I transported through time to the Thanksgiving table. And it’s about a thousand times easier to make. And yes, I know stuffing is super easy to make anyway. Think about that one…
I wish there was a way to take a picture of this that didn’t make it look like a pile of something nasty because it’s so effing good I can’t even stand it. I mean, it’s a literal mash up of a million things so I honestly don’t know what to do unless I dressed up the dish with a sash and crown and just called it America’s Sweetheart. Maybe that would get the point across? Maybe I just need more sleep.
This recipe is extremely customizeable…note how pretty much every ingredient has something else that could fill in. Honestly, feel free to use whatever you’ve got on hand. The basic formula that works the best for me is just 2 cups of dry rice, 4 cups of liquid (like stock) and a can (1 1/2 cups) of coconut milk to add some richness. On top of it all…anything goes. So go nuts! (Add nuts!!)
When my husband came home with this cooking on the counter, the scent of sage and rosemary wafting through the house, he was convinced I was making Thanksgiving dinner.
Admittedly it’s super hard to make a picture of this delicious mess look as amazing as it is, so I reallyreally need you to trust me here. It’s approximately 2 minutes of actual work (and by work I mean dumping stuff into a slow cooker) for a meal that will either feed 6-8 people comfortable or feed 2 people for DAYS. And feeding us for days on some very affordable ingredients is a very, very good thing…especially if it manages to hit the level of rich, warm, comfort that makes a food coma positively inevitable.
This will most definitely be happening again…next time I’m thinking it’ll be time to bust out the fall veggies and go all out with some sausage, cranberries, winter squash…maybe even some apples if I’m feeling crazy
Seriously, y’all. It’s like I put a cheeseburger in a blender. I had this fantastic concoction cooking all day yesterday as we were moving in and our tiny kitchen was thick with the smell of backyard barbecue.
This was our second meal actually prepared in the new house. If you recall, half our house was without power and the AC was out for the whole weekend because things like that just…seem…to happen to me all of the time. I think we’re finally in the clear, but just know for the rest of the year I’ll be afraid to turn on the dryer…20A to start when the whole house is only 60A is terrifying. My only good ideas are to either a) just do laundry out, or b) to designate a laundry day and make sure *everything* is shut off before even thinking about washing clothes. At least our water bill might be lower?
Anyway, this chili. I went ahead and roasted half a butternut squash in foil and just scooped out the inside and dumped it into the crock pot, but in the future I’ll probably just used the canned stuff since a) it takes way less time, and b) I won’t have to turn the oven on. I’m making a lot of lists today. If I’d have been thinking ahead, I’d have thought to get some ketchup and mustard to dump over my bowl and make this even more like a cheeseburger smoothie. Trust me on this one.
So I made some baked apples this morning for breakfast and then realized I could use the same pan to roast up a bunch of chicken for this week’s lunches. No, I didn’t wash it in between (who does that?) so there was still a little coconut oil, apple goop, and allspice left behind. No big deal or anything, but this is the best damned chicken ever. EVER.
Speaking of chicken…Ross and I are in a roast chicken phase. Like, at least once a week for the last couple months. Whole chickens are super cost effective, even if they’re free range and organic…which they should be because unhappy, drug-induced chickens are no bueno for a lot of reasons. But we all knew that. Anyway, lots of roast chicken means lots of opportunities to make some fresh chicken stock without an ass-ton of added sodium and Goodness knows whatever else goes into the canned stuff. So go roast a chicken and make stock out of its carcass. You know you want to.
And of course, Fall is upon us here in the Mid-Atlantic and so it Soup Season. How convenient! Stock = Soup. I do love a good bowl of soup when the weather gets cooler, and I love soup, too, because it’s so low maintenance. Chop, toss, boil, eat. Boom. This is my latest concoction and it turned out swimmingly. Full of veggies and enough heat to warm you up!
We first decided to hop on the Paleo bandwagon almost 4 years ago when we lived in Texas and giant cuts of meat were plentiful and–most importantly for us–affordable. I didn’t know a pork loin from a chop at the time since I’d always been a good girl who opted for whole wheat pasta over fatty meats, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have to learn quick. The first time I bought a Boston Butt I actually thought it was the pig’s ass meat…score one for immature curiosity.
Fun fact: it’s the ham that’s the pig’s ass. Just FYI. Boston Butt is the pig’s upper shoulder, like up around the shoulder blade and is an incredibly tender, meaty and fatty cut that is superb for slow cooking. Don’t let the layer of fat freak you out–for one fat is good for you, and for another it renders down considerably during the cooking process and flavors the rest of the cut. It can be seasoned minimally or maximally (try this recipe, or this one, or this one), but this recipe is my go-to for a busy week night because it’s FAST, EASY, and DELICIOUS…and makes enough leftovers to keep us fed for a few days if needed. When we were at Ft Hood and had to commute in at 4:30 am, then not get home till 7:30 pm, this was an absolute lifesaver. I’d make a 5 or 6 pound butt on Monday, shred it up, and we’d have dinner and lunches till Wednesday.
Ever cooked with pig’s feet before? I sure hadn’t till this weekend. You know me…I see a weird part of an animal and I just…HAVE to eat it. That sounds awful. Pleassssse don’t get grossed out and run away just yet…they were actually quite delicious. A little interesting to eat, but delicious.
I know pig’s feet are generally used just as a flavoring agent–I’d only ever seen my mom use pig feet and hocks to make split pea soup. And I guess you see them pickled but that just looks nasty to me. There isn’t too much meat on them but a nice amount of fat and skin, which gets soooo tender and crispy when they’re slow cooked in the sauce then broiled to perfection.
Warning: you will get messy. I started off with knife and fork but realized that it’s so much easier to tear into them with hands and bare teeth. Kinda like ribs. Soooo I wouldn’t wear white. Trust me, it got a little primal in here.
For some reason, brats and sauerkraut is Ross’s most-requested meal. Not that I’m complaining…I like it when I don’t have to plan dinner since I almost always get the “Whatever you want to make!” response when I ask. More than anything, though, I like it because it’s easy. It’s comfort food that can be dressed up or down with whatever you’ve got on hand.
If you haven’t noticed, though, I’ve been hella busy with school this summer and Ross is all over the place, too. More than I’d like to admit, we’re not even home for dinner at the same time, so the crock pot has been a godsend. Ross was really skeptical of brats in the crockpot…and to be honest, I was, too since I was afraid they’d just disintegrate. Nope! We got juicy bratwursts that actually seasoned the ‘kraut as they cooked. Feel free to add whatever you’d like but it was so nice to have just a few ingredients to toss in together before I ran out the door. This one’s a keeper!
I’ve been trying my hand at some more complicated recipes lately…and it stresses me out. My red velvet fiasco comes to mind…I will never touch a beet again. Ever.
So you might say I need some simplicity in my life. Great segway, huh? I had no intention of ever posting this recipe, to be completely honest. I had pork shoulder that was meant for the crockpot (a weekly occurence in my house), but I noticed a lone can of pineapple in the bowels of the pantry. Not one to waste food, I threw it in there with some ginger for good measure, and BOOM. Awesome dinner. Like, super tender, succulent, sweet, salty, savory…OMG. Just do this. It’s so easy it’s a crime not to.
I dunno if I can really call this BBQ at all since I did it in a crockpot. And I’m not hating on Texas BBQ at all! I lived in Austin for 3 years, after all. Actually, check that–I love CENTRAL Texas BBQ…for the love of gee-whiz, I hate how all those Houston folks smother their meat in sauce that’s so friggin sweet it might as well be melted Jolly Ranchers. I’m gonna get some hate for that, I know…but you can’t fault me for being honest.
Growing up in the South…but, you know, the eastern part…I have an affinity for a vinegar-y base. Which, now that I think of it, might also explain my love of British pub fare. Or maybe that makes no sense at all. Whatever. My life, my food. Anyway, this is my take on your standard vinegar-based, sweet mustard sauce with just a little heat. If I had the time, I’d gladly break out the wood smoker…but seriously, my crockpot has never failed me. Saturday night BBQ was no exception! (Hint…this is spectacular served with Paleo Cornbread and Sweet Potato Turnip Puree!!)