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Sjogrens Topics => Living Life In Spite of Sjogren's => Topic started by: Bucky on October 16, 2020, 02:05:19 PM

Title: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Bucky on October 16, 2020, 02:05:19 PM
Hi - any time is a good time to use a crock pot, but the fall/winter months are usually when I use my crock pot the most.

Last week we cooked a pork butt to use for pulled pork . . . . yum!  This past Tuesday, I cooked the chunk of the pork butt that had the bone in it and made a roast . . . ohhhh, the house smelled sooo good, and the roast was delicious!

I just love how easy it is to prep your food and put it in a crock pot to cook for hours while your house smells so good as it cooks.  One pot clean-up . . . my kind of cooking!

What are some of your favorite foods to cook in a crock pot? 

Any recipes you wish to share?

Happy Crock pot cooking!!   ;D

Bucky
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Linda196 on October 17, 2020, 02:57:37 AM
It's not even 7AM here and hubby has the crock pot started with a BBQ beef brisket recipe he found online. He's taking over as chief cook and bottle washer while I mend from a collarbone fracture secondary to clumsiness, and he could have taken the easy way and stocked the fridge and freezer with prepared and take away meals, and we do have a few of those in for when he goes to work, but he's exploring his culinary side, and he's a great cook!

For the most part, our crock pot is the source of baked beans, but i love doing seasoned chicken pieces, pork, and rice puddings in it too! I even have a buffet style one, three small pots with independent controls in one piece, and I've done soup, main, and dessert int it (of curse the amounts are just for two or three people, especially the main curses)
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on October 17, 2020, 03:23:49 PM
My favorite thing to make in crock pot is soup. I always made a full crock pot of soup when the boys were young. I let it cook on high to begin with and then turned to low during the night. The longer it cooks the better it is.

I have been using Herb-Ox chicken powdered bouillon for my soups for years. It is sodium and gluten free and is solo good. It takes about 3 packets for the big crock pot. Makes it zoo easy to monitor how much salt and other spices to use as there is no salt in the bouillon. There is a powdered beef also.

They have the cubes but they are not sodium free....at least in the stores I shop. Sometimes they are so hard to find in the stores. I swear all the stores put them on the top shelves. The store I shop in puts them in the canned bouillon section which is also in the bread section. So, I guess one has to search for these. meirish
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Linda196 on October 18, 2020, 02:41:00 AM
*UPDATE* The BBQ brisket was delicious! It was even a bit spicy, which me surprised because hubby usually doesn't go spicy, but I loved it
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on October 26, 2020, 11:41:03 AM
Yesterday I browned some skinless chicken thighs very crispy and put I'm crock pot. I used all non salt spices to season plus my Herb-Ox salt free bouilllon powder plus dried dill, dried parsley and dried minced onions. I browned up milk gravy in the dripping using cornstarch. Put potatoes in with the chicken and then added the gravy. Oh, that tasted good later on.

Since I am along I try to make smaller batches and have found that using the small can of evaporated milk along with a couple of cans of water works good for a good gravy. I don't use milk so I finally stocked up on the evaporated milk and it sure comes in handy. Have good cooking this winter. meirish
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on November 08, 2020, 04:01:39 PM
Weather check!!! It has been really nice in southern MN the  past few weeks. WE have had wind every day but the temps have been in the 50's and even higher.. a few days in the higher 60's and low 70's. The sun has shown a lot and the farmers are picking corn like crazy. They may just get their crop out before Thanksgiving this year. WE did not get a hard freeze in my area until middle October. I can remember having the harder freeze  in mid Sept and then we would have our Indian summer for 4-5 weeks.

One thing that I love is the cool evenings. I leave several windows open much of the day and into the late evening as I love that air, I will be sitting watching TV with a heavy blanket but love breathing that colder fresh air. Take care and hope you are all enjoying the weather before the cold and snow sets in. meirish
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Linda196 on November 09, 2020, 04:10:16 AM
Due to a clumsy accident resulting in me breaking a collarbone (dominant hand side of course), hubby has been chief cook for a couple of weeks. He has discovered and is in love with my crock pot! LOL

So far we've had barbeque brisket, pork in mushroom sauce, chili, spaghetti sauce, and he has a line up of recipes he's found online, ready and waiting.

Since there's just the two of us, it provides lots of easily prepared leftovers as well as the first hot meal, even things I can heat up when he's working.

I warned him that if he keeps preparing these delicious meals, this might be the slowest healing fracture in medical history!
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on November 09, 2020, 05:39:03 AM
Linda,You are going to give women an idea. Get an owie and avoid cooking... Sorry that you fractured your clavicle though. Such a rotten area cause move anywhere in the body and the pain hits the collarbone. I just thought of something though. Is your husband good at wrapping Christmas presents?? It takes a long time to heal a collarbone doesn't it? ;D Take care and heal fast. meirish
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on November 09, 2020, 05:40:02 AM
Soory, I just noticed that I put my weather check in the wrong post. meirish
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Linda196 on November 10, 2020, 06:48:50 AM
BRILLIANT IDEA, Meirish, about the gift wrapping! He actually enjoys doing that, but his choice of gift wrap can be questionable, at best. Last year he did all his own wrapping...with the funny papers and duct tape! It was colourful and charming, and we had fun with it, but my sister-in-law, whose tree and house look like a Good Housekeeping photoshoot, and who places carefully colour coordinated gifts under her main tree (others go under the smaller tree in the den) was totally aghast!
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Bucky on November 16, 2020, 09:38:34 AM
Hello - I don't smell anything cooking in the crock pot!!  ;)

Linda - lucky you that your husband enjoys cooking!  I would certainly continue to let him cook while your collarbone heals.  :D

Irish - soup in the crock pot sounds good too.  I'll have to look for that salt-free bouillon powder in the store.

It seemed for the month of October I got stuck in a pork roast faze with the crock pot.   I cooked several - they are fine when they are first out of the crock pot, but I get tired of the leftovers.  I did take some of the roast, put it in the food processor and then made little packets of roast to be used later for BBQ sandwiches.  Yum!

I guess I've never really used the crock pot for anything other than roasts.  I need to expand my crock pot usage.

This is not a "crock pot" meal, but this week a niece dropped off a package of filet mignon.  I have never eaten filet mignon, than alone cooked it.  We looked up online how to cook it - our niece included some marinade, so we used that and cooked the meat on a stove top grill.  OH.my.goodness . . . . that was the BEST meat I have ever had!! Yum-O!!

Do you have a go-to website or cookbook for crock pot recipes?  If you do, please share.

Happy cooking!!

Bucky
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on November 23, 2020, 10:13:20 PM
Hi, folks. I don't have a lot of things that I cook in the crock pot. I do tend to brown my beef for stew and put that in the crock pot. The beef chunks seem to get more tender cooking those long hours. I usually don't use a recipe, just the potatoes, celery, lots of onions and then I add the dehydrated minced onions. The dehydrated ones in big container by Tones seems to add a lot more flavor than the raw ones do.

I also add carrots and sit up chunks of sweet potato and sometimes rutabagas which give a really good flavor. Add some garlic and often use tomato juice as the liquid. This takes a long time to cook but is so darned good. I am partial to soaking many things on stove top or in the oven. I like chili cooked on stove top and swiss steak cooked in oven as the gravy turns a really nice brown.

Would sure like to hear of other foods that people cook in the crock pot as it is really nice in the winter. Over the years and before the new electric pressure cookers I used my stove top Presto pressure cooker a lot. I would buy soup bones (theory were cheaper back then) and cook them up and then cut off bones for my soup. This made such good broth also. I got so I would come home from work at 4 pm and put a roast and potatoes, carrots and onions in the pressure cooker and have supper ready by 6 pm or so. Really much less clean up and I had a 6 qt cooker that held more so I had more left overs.

Wow. I am getting hungry. We need to have a get together and cook up a storm and then sit down and eat...without masks!! Have a good week. meirish
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Kathy57 on November 25, 2020, 09:46:30 PM
I love to make taco soup in my crockpot.  I?ve tried several recipes and have used leftover chicken, ground beef and even leftover turkey.  I experiment with different ingredients,  lately I?ve been adding jalape?os to my recipe and it gave it a nice little kick

I just look up recipes on my phone using GOOGLE.  I really don?t use my cook book much anymore. 

I have a wonderful Italian beef recipe for the crock pot.  Just get a nice rump roast or you can even use a chuck roast.  I don?t brown it but add a packet of onion soup mix, one jar pepperoncini  with the juice, and add one can or bottle of beer to it.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Take out the meat and slice it up (it will be very tender) and put it back in the crock pot.

It makes great hoagie sandwiches and the gravy is outstanding.  Quite comforting and addicting and smells wonderful while it is cooking,

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Kathy

Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Bucky on December 29, 2020, 01:39:48 PM
Wow. I am getting hungry. We need to have a get together and cook up a storm and then sit down and eat...without masks!! Have a good week. meirish

Irish - I wish!!  That would be so nice to actually meet people we've "talked" to for years.

Kathy - I've never tried soup in my crock pot - I'll have to try that.  I tend to stick to "roasts".

I got a new crock pot for Christmas - haven't used it yet.  My old one, for some reason, the crock part has a hairline crack, so I've been using those slow cooker liners in it.

With the cold winter months here, I'll have to use my crock pot more often.  Love the smell of the house while the food is cooking.  Mmmmmmmm.

Bucky
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on January 09, 2021, 06:56:51 PM
Remember the brown crockery pots used to make baked beans. Well, I found mine and I have a hankering for home baked beans. One of these days I will make them. Got the first step donee..Ii bought the dried navy beans.
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Kathy57 on January 11, 2021, 06:38:45 PM
Hello!

I just browned some pork chops today in a little olive oil in my frying pan, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.  I removed the chops and added 3/4 cup chicken broth, one cup cream of mushroom and one can cream of chicken soup and stirred it up nice.  I sliced half an onion very thinly and laid it on the bottom of the crock pot, covered them with my pork chops and poured the soup over it all.  Cooked it on low for 7 hours.

The place smelled yummy and I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans.  The gravy was tasty and this is why I am never going to lose any weight but I?m gonna die happy. 😃

Kathy
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Bucky on January 13, 2021, 10:15:18 PM
meirish - I've never cooked any baked beans in a crockery pot.  I just open the can and pour it into a pan and put it on the stove.  I'm sure the slow-cooking way is much tastier.

Kathy57 - mmmm, that sounds sooooo good!  The aroma of slow cooking food is the best (next to baked bread).   :)

Nothing new here on the crock pot scene at my house.  I did get a new crock pot for Christmas, my old one the crock part has a hairline crack in it.  I don't know what to do with the old one - as far as heating and everything it works fine, the crock is the only thing that needs to be replaced.  I would imagine the cost to replace the crock is about the same as buying a whole new unit.  I'm not sure the thrift store would take just the unit without the crock part??  I guess I'll have to ask.

Bucky
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on January 13, 2021, 11:39:59 PM
I had my first crockpot for more years than I can remember. I always used it to make a big batch of soup. Especially the vegetable loaded with potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, onions, celery, carrots, peas and beef from a soup bone. Soup bones were a whole lot cheaper those years.

Anyway I would start the soup about 10 PM and let it cook all night. Started it on high for a couple of hours and then down to low. It would smell so good when I woke up during the night and I would go out and give it a stir and taste to check the seasonings. I about wore that crockpot out. Well, the plastic cover got a big crack in it and being an intelligent housewife I patched it up good with duct tape and it lasted many more years. It finally gave up the ghost and I got a new crockpot and it doesn't make good soup. Don't ask me why. I still do it the same but it is like that old crock pot absorbed the seasoning in the crockery just like a grill in a restaurant retains the flavors of years of frying.

I miss the cooking for the family out on the farm. The big batches of chili and spaghetti. I used to make a big roaster of cut up potatoes, carrots with browned pork steak. The pork steak has more fat and is really tasty..and fattening. I would layer all this (onions too) with sliced apples, sauerkraut and some brown sugar. That was so good and was even better the next day. That was back in the day when I could eat a whole lot more and not pack on so many pounds.

Making me hungry and I am supposed to be nothing by mouth in an hour. Time to head for bed. Take care. meirish
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Kathy57 on January 19, 2021, 10:15:12 PM
Irish,

My mouth started watering just reading your last post!  That pork steak recipe sounds amazing.  I was trying to imagine what it tastes like - could almost taste the cooked apples!😂. Anyway I think I put a pound on just reading these recipes! 😂

We are in Houston now and my husband is going through a phase two cancer trial at MD Anderson.  We rented a nice apartment walking distance from the Clinics.  I have been feeding him very well and his appetite is very good.  Since the weather is nice, we have been going for an hour walk when we can.  Jim gets fatigued and does not always go with me.  It has been cold, icy, and snowy in Illinois where we live, but 72 degrees here.  I am LOVING the weather here.

But I am not losing any weight!  Jim has been maintaining which is good.  I am going to have to try harder, but cooking and eating is so much fun.  Let?s plan on losing weight next year.  😉

Kathy
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on February 13, 2021, 11:33:46 PM
Just wondered if anyone has made any crockpot soups lately. I have noticed that the internet has a lot of soup recipes lately and I have starting to think about making potato soup. Because my hubby was celiac I had to do the gluten free soup so I would cook up a bunch of potatoes and then cut up half of them and take the little mixer and mash somewhat thinly the rest of the potatoes.

I used the mashed potatoes as the "cream" or base of the soup. I would usually add broth to this to continue thinning it out as it heated. Added the saut?ed onions, sometimes grated carrots, celery finely chopped, sometimes ham chunks or home made bacon bits. Also many different seasoning plus dried dill and parsley. I have to confess that I liked my soups simmered in a dutch oven on top of the stove versus the crock pot. Thought my soups had more flavor cooked on top of the stove.

Looking forward to some new crockpot recipes as this weather is conducive to usually that convenience. Take care folks and stay warm. meirish

P.S. Kathy, hope your husbands treatments are going well and  prayers are said for his recovery.
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Bucky on February 20, 2021, 12:33:30 PM
Kathy - I echo Irish's post hoping your husbands treatments are going well.

Irish - I'm in a crockpot rut - just keep making the same two recipes all the time.   :-\ 

I've never learned about spices - what each one tastes like, and what it adds to a dish.  I don't like things spicy.  My husband likes onions and will put it on a lot of his food - me, not so much.  It's weird, the only way I will eat an onion is if they are in onion rings that are deep fried or baked in the oven.  I know, strange.  I do put some onion in the crockpot when making roasts, but I don't eat them.

I guess I need to be more adventurous in my food.  (who am I kidding, it won't happen . . . . )

Bucky
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: Linda196 on February 23, 2021, 05:48:32 AM
Meirish, I made a potato soup last weekend, loosely based on what you posted, but as you know, soup is its own journey, and takes on whatever we find in the fridge. I did the potato base, with garlic, onions and bacon, in homemade chicken broth, then when it was almost ready to serve, added sour cream, grated cheese, more bacon and some chives...loaded baked potato soup!

I use a lot of onion, garlic, scallion, chives, smoked paprika and thyme, I'd have to say those are my favourites, but I also keep Bay, sage, dill, oregano, turmeric, dried chilis, cumin and cayenne on hand, and they don't get stale! I use sweet spices, too, like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, sometimes even in meat dishes!

I'm sort of split about the slow cooker vs Dutch oven, I guess in the long run it comes down to volume, if I'm making a bigger batch of something, its on the stovetop, smaller is slow cooker. Right now theres a ham bone simmering on the stove, because it wouldn't fit in the slow cooker!
Title: Re: Fall / Winter - perfect crock pot season
Post by: meirish on February 23, 2021, 06:13:26 AM
Loved hearing about your soup journey. That is a terrific way of describing it...sort of like Forrest Gump saying "it's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. That is the fun and expectation of the journey with soup.

Love all the spices you use. You are more adventurous than I am with the chilis and cayenne. I have been on a low salt diet now and use a lot of "no sodium" spices. My favorite is salt free onion powder. I love it on everything. Many things I add raw onions and garlic cloves or powdered garlic. I also will use the larger dried minced onions. I used to dehydrate loads of home grown onions and they were the best for soups as they added a more mild sweet flavor to soups and meat dishes. I tend to always add a TBSP or so of sugar to soups and tomato sauces as that enhances the flavor also.

Like you I love the thyme, sage, dried dill, chives and parsley plus both regular and smoked paprika. I also will grate up chocolate into my chili and that adds more flavor also. A trick the chili contest cowboys do I have read. So much fun using the spices.

I used to make home made french dressing for my husband ( celiac GF diet)and am going to start making it again for myself with "no salt" added tomato sauce. This time I will have to do it with no sugar and Stevia so that will be another experience.

Food and spices are so much fun. Take care and enjoy that ham bone soup. Yum. meirish