Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crockpot-ing Adventures

It's a gloomy Sunday and to be perfectly honest, I should still be in bed sleeping.  Granted, it's almost 10:00 a.m., but I woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat and can't seem to shake it.  I guess the changes in weather are finally affecting me. 

I'm kind of excited for cooler weather because that means I'm going to use my crockpot more.  I decided this yesterday.  Every week I'm going to try to make some kind of new-to-me soup.  It's been fun to go on the hunt for recipes and find ones that look amazing and actually cook them and have them turn out delicious.  One of the most fun websites I found is: A Year of Slow Cooking.  Check it out!

I experimented with some of the fabulous recipes over the summer.  I have two favorites so far...

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Mango Lettuce Wraps

I made the Sweet and Sour Chicken with Mango Lettuce Wraps one night for my dad, his girlfriend, my brother, my husband and I.  Everyone raved about how yummy they were (thank you Stephanie O'Dea!) and with that said, it was quite possibly the trickiest recipe I've ever followed because of the sheer amount of ingredients:
I think my most favorite part about my crockpot is that it makes all kinds of ingredients that you wouldn't normally even think about putting together smell awesome.  My house always smells good when I use the crock. 

I looked at this jumble and wondered how it was going to make anything that would possibly resemble chicken... I left it alone and the crock worked its magic.  During the process of chopping everything, I learned how to "seed" a cucumber.  Who knew?

After a few hours...
Oooo, all ready!

Total hit.  

Here's the second of my favorite recipes... this was the first ever in my crockpot and the first recipe I made to begin my cooking challenge.  :-)  That makes it special.  Plus, it has "taco" in the name.  You know how we love tacos.  No?  You don't?  Our favorite go to meal before I started cooking all the time was tacos.  Or quesadillas.  Or burritos.  We called it our "All Guacamole Diet".  Hehe.

Taco Soup

So easy.  Just dump everything into the crock and there you have it!  Well, there you have it 6-8 hours later...  I think every time I've made this recipe it ends up being a different consistency based on how long you cook it and how much water is in the cans of corn you use.  It's kind of a chili consistency... mmm.  Chili.

That's me, back in July, super excited to be using my brand new crockpot for the first time. 
Do you have a happy crockpot picture?  Maybe you should. 

Happy crockpot-ing!  :-) 

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