Okay so… I know we’re not a “cooking blog” but we often go off the book-rails in our comment section talking about life in general. And over the years, we’ve shared (and enjoyed) each other’s recipes, cooking ideas and favorite foods. Yep. We are TOTAL foodies here.
And since we’re heading right into our mega-comfort food cooking season, with the requests of our book crew, I’ve searched back through our comments and gathered all of our cooking highlights to share with the world. 😀
JulieO: Maryse… A new category: TRIED AND TRUE RECIPES FROM OUR CREW. I think we would all enjoy this one. New comers to the blog I’m sure would like to get your MISSISSIPPI Pot Roast Recipe etc. We all like talking food !!!!!
Leslie M: Guess what??? Pot Roast was a hit!!! *jumps up and down in excitement* I told hubs I got idea from my books buds and he said “go ask them what else you can make”. *giggles*
R. Renee: Merry Christmas guys!! I got up twenty minutes ago and put Maryse’s pot roast on and I AM DONE! Woo hoo! *throws confetti*
Tasha J: If you’ve got recipes for turkey meatballs, I’ll take it. I like to bake them and I rarely do homemade, but I love them. I’ve never blackened anything (is it spicy?) I’ll take the recipe for that too.
Leslie M: I went apple picking yesterday. Now I get to binge on my fave apple snack (apple slices loaded with chunky peanut butter) and look for yummy apple recipes.
Julie O: Please, please, please need recipe for pot roast. Just thinking about making one is making me hungry!
Leslie M: would love a good recipe for homemade tomato soup. I have an immersion blender, never used it….now I am a little scared.
Michele G: I love this site…where else can I feed my book addiction and get recipes…
Leslie M: Maryse, maybe you need a food blog too!! 😉
Get hungry my friends. These are tried-and-true:
OUR CROCKPOT – SLOW COOKER RECIPES:
Maryse: MISSISSIPPI POT ROAST… I would like to make an announcement.
I pronounce myself the BEST COOK IN THE WORLD!!!! Sure… sure… I followed a recipe online, and sure… sure, my slow cooker did all the work, but my pot roast just made my eyes roll back in my head… I ate TOO MUCH of it, and I feel soooooooooo happy. Yep. I am the BEST COOK IN THE WORLD!!!!! :D!!!! *snort*
Okay so this is a mix of about 5 different recipes (I DO use the whole jar of pepperoncinis). Some recipes say only half, some recipes say the whole jar – I’m an “all in” type. But here’s how I make it:
- Okay a 2-3 lb chuck roast
- 2 or 3 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks
- 5 or 6 red potatoes (small-medium – whole I don’t cut them)
- 2 stalks of celery
- a whole thingie of fresh sliced mushrooms
- a half cup of beef stock (or you can use an au jus packet)
- a packet of ranch dressing powder (once, I did it with a packet of italian salad dressing powder ’cause it’s all I had, and it was JUST as delicious!! Maybe even better? 😉 )
- a whole jar of pepperoncini (juice and all) – trust me. Even the Pioneer woman says throw it all in. It cuts the gaminess of the meat, and the meat cuts the acidity of the whole jar. It just… evens out. Sometimes all I have is a jar of sliced banana peppers and that works too. I even did it once with a jar of sliced jalapeños – pickled liquid and all, and it was AMAZING too!!)
- Official recipes use a whole stick of butter (I don’t, but I bet it’s awesome – I find the meat fatty enough as it is)
- Throw the WHOLE lot into the crock pot (I put the veggies on the bottom and rest the meat on top of it all and then the mushrooms and the pepperoncinis on top, and sprinkle the ranch dressing all over it)
- 6-8 hours on low (I tend to find it ready at 6.5 to 7 hrs(
Just Google SLOW COOKER MISSISSIPPI POT ROAST and you’ll see all sorts of variations but pretty much all the same thing.
Here are a few recipes to give you an idea:
Grey: I can’t even picture pepperoncinis? LOL But the pot roast sounds YUM! I made a delish one a couple weeks ago too. This was with 2 T of Lawry’s garlic salt, 2 packets of dried onion soup mix, a can of mushrooms and a 20 ounce bottle of cherry coke. I know, sounds weird, right? it was SOOO good though. Then serve over either smashed potatoes or egg noodles. nom nom nom.
R. Renee: I forced myself out of bed because I’m making Maryse’s pot roast today and it takes 8 hrs and I was already way behind because as it was it wouldn’t be ready until 8pm! 🙄
R. Renee: Maryseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that roast just changed my life, my marriage, and my world view.
Maryse: YAY R!!!!!!!!!!! I intended on freezing leftovers when I made it… but umm… there’s none left. *snort*
Amy: R, I made Maryse’s pot roast on Thursday and OMG it was as sooooooooooo good!! The pepperoncinis and juice gave the meat and veggies a bite which was so unexpected and DELICIOUS! And when I put it on the platter for serving with the carrots and potatoes surrounding it and the mushrooms and pepperoncinis over everything…gorgeous.
Leslie M: Guess what I bought at store today? Pot roast and pepperoncini! I will be cooking that baby tomorrow. I am going to do mine with carrots, potatoes & celery too.
Amy: Oh, and parsnips as well. They look like big white carrots. They are GREAT in that Mississippi pot roast recipe.
Cheryl: Maryse I use the dry Lipton onion soup mix- I do mix it with water and then pour over my pot roast in the crock pot. I put potatoes, carrots and onions in with it.
Leslie M: Guess what??? Pot Roast was a hit!!! *jumps up and down in excitement* I told hubs I got idea from my books buds and he said “go ask them what else you can make”. *giggles*
R. Renee: Just an FYI on Maryse’s pot roast… It always makes way more than the two of us can eat (even with leftovers) so I put it in a freezer bag and throw it in the freezer. I just took it out because I refuse to leave the house during my Riders crunch and I’m having to get creative. I put in in a pot on the stove, tossed in a drained can of green beans and a can of rotel tomatoes and heated on low. OMG. Sooooo good! I recommend trying to get out the pepperoncini stems first! I mentioned before but the leftovers in an egg scramble are amazing too!
Leslie M: I had my leftover pot roast last night. 🙂 I shredded it, added sauteed peppers, slathered in gravy, heated it up and served over mashed potatoes.
Tasha J: Crockpot chicken alfredo for us and it smells/looks so good. And not with jarred sauce! I’m always so proud when I put in the effort for homemade. Lol. 1st time with this recipe, I hope it’s a winner.
Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo <— Here is the crockpot recipe I used. I liked it enough to use as a regular- especially on these busy sports nights. So, it needed a little something though.
I added a dash of salt and extra parm to my bowl and topped with steamed broccoli. I cooked my chicken on high for 4 hours, took it out to cut and added the cup of hot water, used 1lb of the mini penne (eliminates cutting for me) and set on high for 30 min. Checked at 20 min. And it was done.
Probably could’ve checked at 18 or so for more al dente, but wasn’t overdone. Added my chicken and cheese back in. It’s pretty saucy, but I used a slotted spoon and added extra as I wanted. I didn’t add a ton of extra salt and pepper to anything cuz of my picky eaters and I didn’t know how much extra would be too much. A little less is better than too much, right? But, next time I may season my chicken a little more, maybe some Italian seasoning or something. Overall, simple, quick and tasty.
Maryse: That sounds delicious, Tasha!!!!!! TOTALLY my kind of favorite meal.
Lisa: Omg!!! It looks & sounds amazing. Just saved this recipe!!
Amy: SLOW COOKER PESTO CHICKEN I tossed this in the slow cooker this morning: Super easy, super yummy, and super filling: https://www.themagicalslowcooker.com/slow-cooker-pesto-mozzarella-chicken-pasta/. Seriously guys, easiest dish and sooooo freaking yummy. Perfect winter comfort food.
Michele G: Btw, I made the slow cooker pesto chicken recipe I saw on here a while back and you would have thought I had given my husband the best sex ever… he was absolutely and totally in love with that chicken 🙂 So thanks ladies…you made me look like a rockstar!
Amy: Michele G…that recipe is so freaking tasty, right??
Michele G: I made the Pesto Chicken again yesterday…cause hubby loves it, my super picky eater (youngest son) eats the heck out of it and my daughter was in from college and wanted to try it…and most obvious reason – – it’s so dang easy!! Anyway, huge hit again! I’m making the roast tomorrow. Tonight…not quite sure yet…
MichelleS: OMG! The “other Michelle” is my doppelgänger! Let’s see… I have a 22 year old son, my hubby & him love pesto chicken (make it once a week)…
R. Renee: this… “I made the slow cooker pesto chicken recipe I saw on here a while back and you would have thought I had given my husband the best sex ever…” 😀 Um…I missed this recipe…
Michelle G: R. Renee, yes the Pesto Chicken is awesome! I add veggie rotini to mine…but you can easily do it with no pasta or if you use spaghetti squash or zoodles…maybe just manually add it to them…I’d be afraid they’d get mushy in the slow cooker….very popular in my house though which is highly unusual!
Maryse: I think I’m gonna make the chicken Pesto this week with my sister and Zoodles!!! Great idea R, and good suggestion Michele on just adding them in the end or on the plate…
Tasha J: Mmm you all are making me hungry for the chicken pesto. I remember it was Amy’s suggestion when I was whining on here about how my pregnancy and dietary restrictions wouldn’t let me eat so many things. I need to make it again, I’m always looking for dinner ideas and I’d forgotten this one. 🙂
R. Renee: …made the pesto chicken the other night and threw a spaghetti squash in the oven an hour before cooking ended, then mixed in the squash and cheeses. It was delish! I halved the cheese though, and next time I’d cut the butter. With the oil from the pesto I don’t think it’s needed. Keto friendly!!
Tasha J: cube steak comes out the best in the crockpot, super tender. I don’t thicken the gravy at the end, but I spoon a little onto our steaks and whatever side we’re having (noodles or mashed potatoes). And I didn’t have French onion soup this time and used beefy mushroom, still yummy. https://www.thecountrycook.net/crock-pot-cubed-steak-with-gravy/
Leslie M: Making Tasha’s cube steak tomorrow!! 🙂
Tasha J: Yay, I hope you like them. My daughter actually requests them she likes them so much, it’s the only steak she’ll eat.
JulieO: TASHA…thank you. Looks yummy. Sounds like something I used to make but put in oven. Crockpot will be so much easier. I love crockpots!
Leslie M: The cube steak was delish. It passed the hubs test too. Yay!! I love a new food win.
Tasha J: Also, I read in the comments on that crockpot recipe, someone uses tomato sauce and mozzarella on cube steaks with garlic bread- TOTALLY doing that next!
JulieO: ONE OF MY FAVORITE EASY CROCKPOT RECIPES…
- -ekrich smoked sausage
- -carrots. I use baby carrots
- -potatoes. 2 or 3 baking size
- -fresh or canned mushrooms
Slice up sausage into coins. Cut up onion and potatoes into bite size pieces and put all ingredients in crockpot with 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup and cook on low all day or high half a day. This is a recipe you can adapt for your family. Add or take away what ever you want. I always serve with a loaf of French bread because the gravy is good.
Tasha J: Oh, yum! I’m adding that recipe to my queue JulieO!
JulieO: I don’t bother with Rotisserie chickens anymore either. I buy a couple packages of fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx 6 or 7) and cook in crockpot with a small amount of chicken broth. After done I have quite a bit of chicken that I divide up and put in ziplock bags and into freezer that is very handy for quick meals. Chicken turns out very tender. Also keep the chicken broth to use in recipes.
Tasha J: That’s about the 3rd time I’ve heard someone mention that chicken prep trick in the crockpot. I’ve GOT to get on that, it’ll make my day to day so much easier!!
Leslie M: I more of a slow cooker person and ordered a ninja 4 in 1 thingy instead. So…hit me with good crockpot recipes!!! I love Tasha’s cube steak, Maryse’s Mississippi pot roast and I need to try Amy’s pesto chicken. What are other meal ideas??
Tasha J: I like cooking chicken breasts in mine. They cook in 3 hours. I’ll use just bbq, Italian dressing, broth and use them in a soup, or throw a jar of pesto in and add it all to noodles. Sometimes a jar of salsa for tacos. But, I prefer to just do a bit of broth and add a T or so of my own taco seasoning. And soups! Lots of soups, though it’s too hot now for that.
- I loved the flavor of this and did make the homemade mushroom soup linked in there. https://mycrazygoodlife.com/healthy-pot-roast/
- https://www.themagicalslowcooker.com/slow-cooker-basil-chicken-rice/ This is so yum! I forgot this recipe, I shall make it this week.
- https://www.whiskingmama.com/the-best-crock-pot-pork-tenderloin/ The orzo in this recipe is delish as well.
- https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/weeknight-beef-bourguignon/ This makes me feel fancy.
- I recently made the bbq pineapple chicken outta this recipe https://www.asweetpeachef.com/slow-cooker-shredded-chicken/
- https://www.tablefortwoblog.com/take-out-fake-out-beef-broccoli-crockpot/ I threw cut carrots in to cook with the meat and threw a steamer bag of broccoli in the microwave and just added that when meat was done cooking. Served with rice a couple days and noodles a day.
Leslie M: Tasha, I am DEFINITELY trying this one. I love the idea of adding carrots. Thanks!! Your last recipe was huge hit with the hubs. I would automatically think “rice” with this but how yummy would it be with egg noodles???
Tasha J: Right? It was a hit with the kids. They’re still asking for it and we typically always forget what I make bc I try new recipes so often. I’ve resorted to taking photos so we can remember. Lol. I just used spaghetti noodles the one day bc we’d run out of rice, they may have loved that more. I made a big list of more, but it said it was waiting for moderation. Then it disappeared, I hope it worked!
Jenn: I loved spiral ham in crock pot, I do mine with pineapple and maraschino cherries on top of it and mixed the juices and poor over the top of it. YUM! Unfortunately my hubs hates warm ham but I still make it this way and than when cooled make him ham sandwich on ciabatta roll!
R. Renee: I need the details on that ham please!
Jenn: https://cookpad.com/us/recipes/1518778-holiday-ham-slow-cooker <— The only modifications I make-I only use 1 cup brown sugar and no honey or syrup, I use the cherries.
Grey’s Buffalo Chicken Soup
- 3 cans of cream of chicken soup (10oz)
- 6 cups of milk (whole milk is best)
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (Frank’s)
- 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (using a plain rotisserie chicken and shredding it is easiest, or boneless skinless chicken breasts)
- Mix all of the ingredients together and heat on low on stove top or you can put crockpot and cook on low all day. Some people add celery and other veggies, but we prefer it as is, over cooked egg noodles.
*Extra note… This also makes a super delicious base for buffalo chicken lasagna.*
Maryse: OMG BUFFALO CHICKEN SOUP??? I have never had that but it sounds AMAZING considering how much I love buffalo wings. …I have all of it. P.S. I only ever use whole milk for everything. LOL!
R. Renee: Yumm! I’m so making this!
Leslie M: Maryse and Amy – since you both talked about yummy meatballs, I’m wondering if you have your fave recipes? I only make regular Italian meatballs and am intrigued by the ones you mentioned.
Maryse: Leslie M – I just made regular meatballs out of Italian sausage (didn’t add egg or any breadcrumbs) just made them into balls without compressing them too much, dropped into a jar of my fav spaghetti sauce, and I add whatever.. The other is Swedish meatballs that I’ll need to get the recipe again from my sister (she made them twice while she was at my place). AMY is the meatball know-it-all. 😉 I need to know what her favs are.
Leslie M: Oooh Maryse, sausage balls! I like that idea. I bet even beef Italian meatballs would be yummy if you subbed half with ground sausage.
Jenn: Leslie I know you said Amy and Maryse just thought I’d put my two cents in I do love all different kinds but one of my favorite after fried up I put in crock pot with grape jelly and catsup for a few hours-YUM
Amy: I am OBSSESSED with meatballs right now. Turkey meatballs, ground beef meatballs, ground chicken meatballs, Swedish, Korean BBQ, Italian, even flavored with Lipton onion soup mix *drool*! They freeze well so I can make a bunch in advance and then just thaw them out. But tonight, it’s a fresh batch, and I can’t wait!
OUR INSTANT POT RECIPES:
Maryse: GREEK GREEN BEANS (Fasolakia) One of my favorite things to make in it is Fasolakia (greek green beans that I then load up with Feta cheese) and they come out perfect and in no time at all. My INSTANT POT!!! Yep. My absolute favorite tool in my kitchen, along with my crock pot. But the Instant Pot actually serves as a crockpot too!!! 😀 That photo was from back when I didn’t have an Instant Pot yet, and had to braise them slowly on the stove for an hour or 2.
I don’t follow an exact recipe anymore. I kind of mixed a bunch of recipes together now… to my own taste:
- I buy string green beans (cut the ends off, , cut them in half, rinse ’em and throw them in the Instant Pot).
- I pour in half a jar of my favorite marinara (or a small can of chopped tomatoes)
- Plenty of salt and pepper
- squeeze in a whole lemon
- I pour a copious amount of extra virgin olive oil all over the green beans (if I remember right, I think “fasolakia” translates to “oily beans” – and they are deliciously oily though you may decide to use less)
- you can add finely chopped onions and/or garlic – but I don’t love either of those for some reason right now, so I barely use them in my own recipes). I used to love both. Weird.
- I sprinkle in greek oregano (or any oregano – but greek is my favorite) and chopped dill if you have it.
- Stir the whole combo really well.
- even set a timer, ’cause I just let the crockpot release the steam and de-pressurize slowly all on it’s own (I don’t “vent” it or release it myself – cause the longer the green beans sit and cook in the mixture – braise? – the better!) and after half an hour or so maybe even 45 minutes, whenever it’s easy to just (carefully!! Still steaming hot!!) open up the lid without pressure/venting issue, they are DONE and perfect!!!
- Then I load on the feta cheese.
NOTE: Sometimes I leave out the tomatoes altogether and just do lemon juice of one whole lemon, olive oil, chopped dill, salt and pepper and it’s just as delicious (just not as sweet without the tomato – pure lemony instead for those that don’t like tomatoes).
R. Renee: And Maryse. I’m CRAVING that now! The oil. THE OIL!!!
Maryse: It is sooooo yummy and rich. The oil is extra virgin olive oil and I am an addict!!!!!!
Leslie M: Yum to those green beans!!
Amy: OMG I’m dying right now. DYING. LOL!!!!!!! How did you manage to eat those green beans without getting stuff all over your face? I would have had tomatoes all over my chin and cheeks and nose if I tried to film myself eating. *snort*
Tessa: Maryse. Now I’m hungry. Lol that looks good.
Robyn: Maryse I also made your Greek beans in the instant pot and they are super Yummy! That could be a weekly staple. I added feta cheese and lemon and it totally put it over the top!
Leslie M: Maryse, I’m still craving those olive oil green beans you made before.
Maryse: YAY!!!! I’m glad you love them too. IT IS a staple for me every week. Either way, both are my favorite way to make green beans. I LOVE Feta and this is a great excuse to load it on. 😉
Amy: Recipe and food talk…you know what is delicious in the Instant Pot? Collard greens. I cooked some pancetta using the sauté function in a little bit of olive oil, added chicken broth, red pepper flakes, and apple cider vinegar, cooked them and then let the pressure release slowly, and WOW. Yummmmmmy.
Maryse: I love collared greeeeeens!!!! YES I want to make this!!!
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS & DISHES:
Leslie M: …we always have to have green beans. I par boil fresh green beans, mix with cream of celery soup (traditional recipe calls for mushroom but hubs hate mushrooms) and a little milk to thin and add those crunchy fried onions and bake!!
Leslie M: My mashed sweet potato “secret” is to bake them instead of boiling. Poke a few holes in them, wrap in foil, bake until wicked soft. Unwrap and let cool. The skin will just fall off and baking them develops their natural sugars so you dont need to add any sweetener. You could then add your “savory” seasoning of choice. I honestly add nothing except salt, pepper and butter.
Oh I almost forgot to mention…make sure you put sweet potatoes on a sheet pan or baking dish (not directly on oven rack) because the sugars come out almost like a sticky syrup and leak through foil.
R. Renee: “Bake until wicked soft.” *dies* 🤣🤣🤣
Leslie M: I’m letting my Massachusetts show. I find I type like I talk. And….I do say “wicked” a wicked lot! 🤣
Tasha J: Thanks, Leslie! I may just try baking them first, I bet it gives it a yummy flavor.
Amy: I just came across a recipe for whipped pumpkin spice butter made with pumpkin purée, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, and vanilla. Holy. Freaking. Moly. Makes me want to indulge in bagels, waffles, and pancakes just so I can top them with that stuff. And indulge in a huge pumpkin pie blizzard. *sigh*
Maryse: Amy I could totally eat that butter (your pumpkin one) if I change the honey to “Swerve”. YES!!!!
Tessa: uh… Amy… recipe?
Amy: Oh, right… *grins sheepishly* https://www.handletheheat.com/whipped-cinnamon-pumpkin-butter/#jump
Tessa: Thank you! I’ll make it for morning toast. 🙂 …I was thinking of the same thing Maryse. No sugar that way. 🙂
Leslie M: Whipped Pumpkin Butter?? *hits floor with loud thud*
Jenn: Not a fan of pumpkin anything but I do love me some cinnamon whipped butter…YUM
Maryse: Mmmmm cinnamon whipped butttttterrrrr!!!!!!!
Leslie M: Now trying to figure out dinner….maybe pasta fagioli?? (no low carb nonsense at my house) 😉
Maryse: Leslie… your pasta sounds amazing, so I get you. Biggest thing I miss, for sure, is good ol’ spaghetti and meatballs. Or spaghetti with salt and butter. *snort* I’ll eat spaghetti ANY way. Er… I mean I would. Once. 😉 *sigh* #grrrKeto
Leslie M: Maryse, will you be mad at me if I tell you that I’m also serving french bread (fresh from bakery) with it too???
Lisa M: Ohhh pasta fagioli sounds so good. I haven’t had that is so long!!! Please share your recipe. I’m not giving up anything it’s all about moderation in our house.
Leslie M: Lisa, I’m not a recipe follower. I’m a toss in a bunch of ingredients without measuring kind of cook. However, this recipe closely resembles what I make! 🙂 I use my homemade sauce for the tomato sauce and I add spinach instead of parsley.
R. Renee: I’ve been killing my chicken dishes lately. Spatchcock chicken on the grill (or in the oven) with some kind of herb butter (the butter’s not so healthy though), whole roasted chicken with fresh herbs (super healthy!), curried chicken thighs, braised leg quarters… Turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash, blackened catfish (or chicken) with pico and super low cal coleslaw, homemade tomato soup, stir fry–just tell me what you’re in the mood for and I bet I have a healthy recipe to fit it!
Tasha J: Spatchcock chicken looks yummy, btw. At first, I thought ‘heck no I’m not messing with any bones!’ *shivers* But, then I watched a video and it looks pretty easy. Maybe I’ll make the hubs do it 1st. Lol
R. Renee: Spatchcock chicken is really easy! Just use kitchen shears and cut that bad boy right out! When I do this, I pretty much just salt and pepper it, then make an herb butter. My fave is tarragon sauteed in butter but basil works great too (sage butter is awesome for pork as well). If you don’t do the butter, you’ll need something, either herbs stuffed in the skin or garlic/lemon, or BBQ sauce. Something because by itself it will be bland.
Maryse: Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts (halved, tossed first in olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper). Then roasted. Delicious (and I usually hated those). Tossed again, after baking… with bacon bits, and even some feta cheese, or maybe a touch of fresh lemon squeezed on top. Healthy, and yummy! I use Ina Garten’s recipe (it’s perfection!)
R: I LOVE brussels sprouts!! I’m not sure what amount of sugar you can get away with on keto, but tossed in maple syrup and cayenne pepper is fab too. And surprisingly low in carbs/calories because you use so little of it.
Tasha J: Oddly, this sounds good to me right now and I don’t like Brussels sprouts. I think I’ll try.
Maryse: Roast up some radishes with olive oil, salt and pepper (and maybe even some rosemary) and you will be AMAZED. DELICIOUS!! Cut them in half even, if you want that golden toastiness like roasted potatoes. Since I’m Keto now, where recipes call for roasted potatoes (or even in crockpot recipes) I go ahead and use the radishes. That spicy flavor in raw radishes goes away when you cook them. https://therealfoodrds.com/garlic-roasted-radishes/
R. Renee: I love roasted radishes! I used to sub sunchokes for potatoes all the time too until our store quit carrying them!
Leslie M: Ooooh! I am going to try roasted radishes. My rosemary plant is only herb I kept alive from the summer. 🙁 I have also always wanted to try celery root. I recently tried jicama and it was weird…no taste.
Amy: Yes, Leslie…give radishes a try because they are YUMMY. 😀
R. Renee: Jicama is great in salads and as a wrap if you get the thin sheets! And you can cut it into sticks and use it with dips. …You can buy the jicama sheets precut. They’re great for little mini shrimp tacos.
R. Renee: OVEN-ROASTED VEGGIES My kitchen smells sooo good! I never do the veggies in the pot because I like the burnt sugar crisp I get from the oven. I toss carrots and potatoes in olive oil with rosemary and garlic, roast them on a cookie sheet, then drizzle them with Sherry vinegar. It’s a little more work but OMG.
Nay: OMG, there is nothing like roasted veggies with lots of good spices. And roasted garlic spread on bread… *drool*
Amy: I love roasting veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. I usually toss together chopped carrots, Brussels sprouts, and a small mesh bag of potatoes I get from the commissary which has small Yukon gold, red, and purple potatoes (I slice the potatoes in half) then roast them, and at the end I throw in asparagus. All of the colors make it SO appealing.
But for this recipe I put them in the bottom of the slow cooker to cook in the broth and pepperoncini juice and WOW! Nummies.
Nay: Amy–I love roasting the Yukon gold and also Brussels sprouts, but I’ve never put them together and I’ve never added carrots. That sounds awesome! Oh, and I toss some garlic powder (or chopped garlic) and some balsamic vinegar in with the veggies. That extra acidity makes them delicious!!
Amy: It is delicious, Nay! The carrots add some veggie sweetness and the Brussels sprouts carmelize, and the purple and red potatoes add in their own unique flavors as well. Then there is the bright green of the asparagus which completes the color scheme. Just be sure if you use purple potatoes to toss them separately from the other potatoes before adding them to the roasting pan or else the purple will get all over the other potatoes. It doesn’t look as pretty. 😕
Jan: Ooh now I’m hungry again! I love parsnips. We have them roasted with a bit of olive oil, and I’ve also made them into a yummy soup. Haven’t tried roasting radishes though. That sounds yum too.
R. Renee: We’re having spaghetti squash tonight! I make it all the time. …I cut the squash in half (lengthwise gives you more surface area to caramelize, but my small hands deal with it better to cut crosswise), scoop out the seeds BEFORE baking, brush the surface with olive oil, salt & pepper, bake face down at 400 degrees about 50 minutes, then turn over and broil the top a little more to carmelize. When it cools a little, fork the squash into a strainer over a bowl so it can drain. Then I use it like spaghetti. Tonight I’m making homemade meatballs and sauce.
Leslie M: R., That sounds delish, thanks. I have to try that. I saw recipe where they mix squash w/tomato sauce, place back in squash cavity, cover with cheese and bake it again to melt cheese. I think hubs would love that with meatballs.
Nay: …shredded chicken because that’s what I’m cooking for my boys for lunch right now. But mine is the quick recipe–put chicken tenderloins in a skillet with olive oil, crushed garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and some salsa. Do a quick simmer and then shred it and roll it up with shredded jack cheese on warm flour tortillas. I make variations of this for them all the time. As long as spicy chicken, a good melty cheese and warm flour tortillas are involved, I’m good and they’re happy!
You can make that chicken buffalo, or Italian, or Greek, just however you want to switch up the spices/sauce/cheese. I usually cook mine pretty quick, so it’s not quite as tender as it could be, but you can usually cut through those tenderloins like butter. And I make sure not to overcook them.
Amy: Holy moly, Nay…I’m copying that down right now. YUM!
Jan: I’m going to bake some Norwegian cookies this morning (before the house gets too hot LOL). Lemon and cardamom. I saw them on a cooking/travel TV show called the Hairy Bikers Bakeation. (IKR?) But they look yummy. (The biscuits that is LOL not the hairy bikers). Kind of shortbread. https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/cardamom_and_lemon_74033
Maryse: Jan your cookies sound delightful. I miss a shortbread Christmas cookie (or is it a sugar cookie) that had Anise it it. I’m a black licorice fan, so these cookies rocked my world.
VARIOUS COOKING TECHNIQUES & TOOLS:
R. Renee: Braising is just cooking it, covered, in a shallow pan with liquid. You brown the pieces first, remove, make a simple broth, can cook it in there. The thing that’s great about leg quarters is that it’s hard to overcook. So I’ll make something like this with a pot of pasta when I have company and don’t know when we’re going to eat, because it can just sit on the stove….
This is one of my favorite braising recipes. It’s looks harder than it is. I use quarters, rosemary, jarred garlic, and whatever cajun seasoning I have on hand.
Breast meat is different. You really want to stop cooking it the second it’s done or it will dry out. But I do have some super simple chicken “topper” recipes that are meant for boneless skinless chicken breasts that I’ll send you too.
I SUCK at taking temps but it still helps when you’re doing something like breast meat or a whole chicken. And I use a $4 thermometer from my grocery store. I’ve had a $100 one and hated it. You can check it easily using ice water if you think it’s off. If it is, just toss it and get a new one.
Leslie M: Robin, If you didn’t live so far from me I’d show up on your doorstep with bag of groceries exclaiming “teach me”!! 😉 Well, when I retire to Florida Maryse can teach me.
R. Renee: Show up with a bag of wine instead! It’ll be much more fun!
Maryse: I think Robin should retire to Florida too, and teach both of us!!! 😀
Sharon F: Any recommendations on food processors? My beloved and ancient cuisinart is on its last leg! I think I want another cuisinart pro classic, but may want to upgrade in size from the my 7 cup.
Maryse: I don’t even HAVE a food processor, which blows my mind, considering how many cool kitchen toys I have. So I’m all ears.
Amy: Food processors are SO worth the investment. I use mine as often as (if not more than) my slow cooker. They are especially helpful when you have to great a large amount of cheese.
Leslie M: Ok folks, I used my immersion blender, and lived to tell about it. 😉 It was much like using my hand mixer. You have to be careful as to not splatter everywhere, and…of course a little scarier because soup was boiling hot, but…it worked just fine. It was very nice not having to clean blender or food processor. So yay me and my homemade tomato soup!!
Nay: Speaking of cooking, I still haven’t used the immersion blender my guys got me for Christmas. I’m planning to make one of the Pioneer Woman’s soups. Guess I should have done it this past week, not now when it’s going to be in the 60’s!
Tasha J: Omg I bought an immersion blender specifically for tomatoe bisque. The instructions warned about the suction, I thought I could handle it…nope! I poured a little, maybe halfway in the pitcher thing it came with and it shot right to the bottom, tomato bisque (straight from crockpot, boiling hot) shot straight out and everywhere. Including my poor hands. I just put the rest in my blender afterwards.