Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Crock Pot Result #1: Beef and Bean Chili

Welp..I embarked on my crock pot journey last night. I think this was very easy to make. For the most part, I just threw all of the ingredients in the crock pot and let 'er go! Seven hours later I was suprised to find a delicious stew-like chunky chili ready to go. I made some cornbread (gotta love Jiffy's) and some fluffy white rice to accompany the deliciousness.

Out of 5 stars, I would give this one 3 1/2 stars. I think that it was missing a beef bouillon cube and more garlic. I tried it again today for lunch. I gave it 4 stars must have had a chance to marinate.

Try it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prepping for Crock Pot Week...

Yummy chicken I made a earlier this year. It was sooo delicious and tender.

Now I don't know about you, but I am deeply enamored by the crock-pot experience. I live for a nice juicy meat falling off the bone. When I try to pick a favorite recipe, my brain fails me as all the crock pot meals I have had have been astronomically delicious! Below, I have listed a few recipes that I want to try. I will narrow them down to 5 so that I will make a new recipe everyday between October 25 and October 30. I CANT WAIT!

My list so Far:

Chicken Adobo

1 small sweet onion, sliced
8 cloves crushed garlic
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1 (3 pound) whole chicken
In a small bowl combine the onion, garlic, soy sauce and vinegar and mix all together.
Place chicken in crockpot and pour mixture over chicken. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Chicken and Cornbread Dressing

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1-1/4 cups water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (6.00 ounces) package cornbread stuffing mix
Place chicken in greased crockpot. Pour undiluted soup on top of chicken. In a medium sized bowl, combine cornbread stuffing, butter and water. Mix until well combined, then spoon over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 hour until juices run clear.

Crock Pot Meatloaf

2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion (diced)
1/4 cup water
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into a meatloaf shape that will fit into your crock pot. Cut a strip of foil and place under the meatloaf in crock pot. Cut it long enough to cover the bottom and sides of meatloaf. Place meat loaf in crock pot and top with an additional 2 tablespoons ketchup. Cover and cook on low for approximately 8 hours.

Beef and Bean Chili

2 lbs beef stew meat
2 (14.50 ounces) cans diced tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (6.00 ounces) can tomato paste
1 (4.50 ounces) jar chopped green chilies, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 (15.25 ounces) cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed
In a slow cooker, combine beef, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, tomato paste, chilies, garlic, chili powder, Italian seasoning, cumin & salt. Cover; cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in beans. Cover; cook 15 minutes or until heated through.

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (mine were frozen solid)
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 T butter
15 cardamom pods (sewn together!)
2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can coconut milk (I used light)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 T lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt (to add at the end, I used fat free)

The Directions.

Use a 5 quart or larger crockpot. Carefully sew together the cardamom pods using a needle and thread. You can put them in a little cheese cloth bundle, instead, if you have that in the house. Put chicken in crockpot, and add onion, garlic, and all of the dry spices. Plop in the butter and tomato paste. Add lemon juice and coconut milk. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. The chicken should shred easily with 2 forks when fully cooked.

Stir in plain yogurt 15 minutes before serving. Discard cardamom pods. Salt to taste, serve with white or brown basmati rice.

Ox Tails (YUUUUUUM!!!)

--3 lbs oxtail
--2 chopped green onions
--1 cup frozen roasted corn
--5 baby potatoes, chopped in bite-sized chunks
--1 cup sliced celery
--1 cup baby carrots
--4 whole cloves of garlic
--1 large can of tomatoes and juice
--1/2 t Italian Seasoning
--1/2 t powdered ginger
--1/2 t cumin
--baby bottle of white wine (~1 cup)
--1 cup of beef broth

The Directions:
--rub a bit of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware
--plop your ox tails in
--cover with the spices
--add tomatoes, vegetables and wine-

I ended up cooking this on high for 5 hours on the first day and then let it cool overnight. I then cooked it on low for another 10 hours.
If you are not going to do this in two steps, I'd recommend cooking it on low for as long as you can. Probably 14-20 hours...

French Beef Burgundy

1/2 pound bacon, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups frozen peeled pearl onions
3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 large white mushrooms, sliced in half
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 cup burgundy wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
In a medium skillet, cook the diced bacon until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside.
Combine the flour, salt and black pepper.
Dredge the beef cubes in the flour mixture and brown in the bacon fat in the same skillet.
Discard the remaining fat and spoon the beef into the Crock-Pot® slow cooker.
Deglaze the skillet with the wine and beef broth by bringing the liquids to a boil. Scrape up any browned bits.
Place the liquid, bacon, onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and bay leaves into the stoneware with the beef and mix thoroughly to combine.
Cover; cook on Low 4 to 6 hours (or on High for 2 to 3 hours).
Skim off any fat that has risen to the top and remove the bay leaves. Before serving, add the parsley and mix to combine.

Breakfast Bake

3 to 4 cups crusty bread, diced (3/4 – 1 inch dice)
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups fresh spinach, sliced
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack, shredded
salt and pepper
Spray the stoneware with nonstick spray. Pour bread into bottom of stoneware.
Heat a sauté pan on medium heat and cook bacon until crispy. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of grease. Add mushrooms and spinach and toss to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until spinach wilts.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and milk. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Pour into Crock-Pot® slow cooker.
Cook on low for 2 ½ hours, until eggs are firm but still moist. Adjust seasonings.

Chicken Parisienne

6 chicken breasts, cubed
salt and pepper
1/2 cup white wine
10 3/4 ounces cream of mushroom soup, canned
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sour cream, mixed with 1 cup flour
Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt, pepper and paprika. Place in the slow cooker.
Mix wine, soup and mushrooms. Pour over chicken.
Cover; cook on Low 7-9 hours.
Remove chicken, stir in sour cream mixture. Cook for 30 minutes longer.
Serve over chicken.

20-40 Clove Garlic Chicken

3-4 pounds chicken
1 large onion (or 2 bitties, like I used), sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart oval slow cooker. Place onion slices on the bottom of the stoneware insert. In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken parts with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves. Pour into slow cooker, on top of the onion.
Do not add water.Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook chicken-on-the-bone, the more tender it will be. If you use drumsticks, the ones on the side will brown and may stick to the sides of the crock, burning a bit. If this bothers you, you can rearrange them with tongs an hour before serving.
I cooked our chicken on low for 7 hours, then kept it on warm for another 2.

*Recipes are courtesy of:

Herbal Essences

Most of my friends know I am into making herbal concoctions for hair and body, and I must give credit to where credit is due!

My herbal BIBLE is Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality.

I purchased this jewel from Scarlet Sage Herb Company in San Francisco many years ago. This book is very detailed and easy to understand with many herbal recipes specifically for women, men, children, and the elders. I especially love her skin and hair recipes. The back of the book contains a detailed encyclopedia (complete with pictures) of all of the herbs mentioned in the book and more. If you are a newbie herbalist or an expert looking to expand your collection, this book is an excellent starting point.

Scarlet Sage Herb Company -

Rosemary Gladstar's website -

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And then we celebrated..

YES!!!! I knew they could do it. The San Francisco Giants have done it again. Lincecum was on fire last night and we just had to celebrate. We ended up not going to the beer festival because of my fiance's chronic lateness. After the mellow mood had taken hold we ended up at Gestalt ( to enjoy the most delicous, juicy brats I have ever tasted! The yumminess was a perfect thai chicken/turkey sausage served between a crisp bun. I'm comin' back just for the sausages y'all. The beer was nice and cold too which is always a plus.

After the game, we hit up my favorite dive bar, The Delirum( Their motto is "Service for the Sick" and I needed some medicine and good music to take me into the night.

My last stop? Deja Vu Pizza and Pasta ( for a delicious ground beef, garlic, and spinach slice. YUM!

Until next time... :-)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Welcome to my blog y'all!

Hey everyone! I have succumbed to the bloggery and I will be sharing with you snippets of my various weekend adventures in the San Francisco Bay Area. I will also be listing events and documenting (randomly) my hair care practices as I love to make homemade products. As a matter of fact, today my sister and I are going to the (drum roll, please):

Old Oakland Beer Festival -

The event is being held by Pacific Coast Brewing Company from 12 pm to 7 pm and is located at 906 Washington Ave. Oakland, Ca. 94607

After we enjoy some local brewery goodness and plenty of people watching, we are headed to the city to check out some Giants viewing parties.
I will be back to report my sunshine-filled sudsy findings..tee hee. I am excited.