scrap/skrap/
noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Triple the Crock...

My lovely triple pot crock pot!  I love her!
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope you have had a fantastic week and that the upcoming one is even better!  This weekend is our annual Lilac Bloomsday Run and, as you can imagine, thousands of people have descended upon the big city for this as they do every year.  The folks at work were gearing up for this too and the buzz was everywhere.  Me?  Noooo, I do not participate.  The only reason you're going to see me run is if there's an emergency somewhere.  Other than that...BWAH HAHAHAHAHAH! TOODIE and RUN do NOT belong in the same atmosphere, let alone the same sentence.  So, what's a girl to do when she's not running in a race with a bazillion people?  She stays home out of the way.  We all know I don't live in the big city and I just couldn't find reason enough to go in today. I went yesterday to have lunch with a couple of friends and that was bad enough! Traffic detoured and altered, an overabundance of lines and waiting people everywhere, even in the clothing stores.  Staying home is good!

Today, I figured while I was home and the weather is a little cool (translation - cold, windy and expecting rain according to those clouds I'm seeing) I would do some baking. EXCEPT...I sort of forgot I was going to do some baking and proceeded to clean my oven.  Well, how stupid can I be? I've got a self-cleaning oven and it takes a while.  As in my oven was super cruddy so I put it on heavy duty and the readout said 4 hours.  That doesn't include the cooling down period of one and a half hours before I can even open the door to clean out the ash.  Seriously a bad decision today. No baking a crisp.  No rice for dinner because I bake my rice.  Hmmm.  Way to ruin a plan!  Ah well, no need to have anything good to eat, right?  Wrong!  You are talking to the gal with the biggest love for a slow cooker that you've ever seen!   I might even go so far as to say I love them just as much as I love Mr. Scrappin.  Don't tell him - he'll be hurt by that.  Not surprised, but hurt.  LOL!

Now, most of you may not know that I have a couple of different crock pots. One is my BIG one that can cook for what seems like an army, but another one is a three-pot crock pot.  There are three separate crocks with lids and three separate compartments to put them in so that I can cook with all three or just one or two.  I love it.  The pots are smaller and perfect for littler amounts of things.  Side dishes such as mac and cheese or a smaller roast for one or two. When it's chilly out sometimes I'll invite friends over for a "hot drink" day and I'll have hot cocoa, apple cider and another hot drink all ready in the crock pot and everyone can pick and choose.  Perfectamundo I tell you!  So today, since I'm making salmon for Mr. Scrappin for dinner and I am not a fan, I've chosen to do my own dinner in one, some rice in another and a dessert in the third.  Talk about feeling like I've done something awesome!  I'll have enough dinner leftovers to take for lunches this week and I'll have enough rice left over to make some fried rice later on this week with the pork chops.  The dessert?  Well, I'm pretty sure there won't be anything left past tomorrow.  LOL!  Mr. Scrappin does like his desserts!  Just ask him!

Light, fluffy, flavorful rice!
It is certainly true that not everything is the same in a crock pot as in the oven, but most of the time you can come pretty darn close!  For example, I almost always bake my rice in the oven using this recipe from Alton Brown. It's perfect every single time and there's no watching a pot or overcooking.  Once I found it I never looked back and it is my go-to for rice.  Using a crock pot for your rice can be just as easy and, if you now you won't have the time to bake it in the oven, will still turn out perfect using this method.  I promise!  How easy?  EASY!  Spray your pot with nonstick spray, put in 1-1/2 cups of rice (I use brown but you can use any kind) and 3-1/4 cups of water or broth, whichever you prefer.  Turn on low and a few hours later - voila - rice! Hot, tender, perfectly flavorful rice.  It really can't get any easier than that!  Put it in before work or at lunch and you can have it ready when you want it.  Just don't pull MY trick and forget to turn it on!  The end result isn't very good.

Just look at this cheesy goodness and bubbly sauce!
Another thing I love to do in a crock pot versus the stove or oven is my ravioli.  Mr. Scrappin, bless his un-Italian heart, does not like ravioli...so when I do make it, it's only for me.  I don't want to get a pot out for the pasta and a pot out do do the sauce if it's only for me.  Two burners for one little tiny portion?  No thanks. I'm lazy that way. So I will layer it in the crock pot - sauce on the bottom, followed by ravioli (or whatever pasta I choose) and a bit of cheese.  Layer again and end with sauce and cheese on top, turn on low (or high of course if you're time limited) and there ya go...one dish ravioli that is cheesy and yummy without the hassle of the stove.  It works, trust me!  One note though; if you are using dry pasta, add some water to help cook those noodles better and so that they can absorb some of that liquid instead of all of the sauce.   This, by the way, is my dinner for tonight.  Mr. Scrappin doesn't like ravioli and I don't particularly care for salmon and I had just a little of both left so it's perfect.  We both get what we want in an easy way.

Oh my yumness!  Bubbly fruit and a crisp topping. 
I have a lot of people look at me funny when I tell them I do a lot of desserts in the crock pot too. They think I'm cracked. Which I am and they obviously know but, hey, it still works!  I've done cakes, puddings, cobblers, sauces - you name it. Today? Peach Mango Crisp.  I always use the topping from my mother's apple crisp recipe no matter what kind of crisp I'm making.  Mainly because it makes me think of my mother (it was one of the very few things she baked) but also because it's just darn good!  Today I made it easy on myself and grabbed some frozen peaches and some frozen mangoes out of the freezer and went to town.  I mixed them together with a tablespoon of flour and a tablespoon of sugar and let them sit to meld while I went to take a shower.  After that, I made my topping:  1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup oats, 1 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and some cinnamon.  You'll note the lack of measurement for cinnamon.  That's because I LOVE cinnamon and just add until it "smells right" to me.  Mix those all together, add 1/2 cup melted butter and top your fruit. Cook on low for about four to five hours or high for about two. Usually, when I do a crisp in the crock pot, I will start with fruit on the bottom, add a layer of the topping, add the rest of the fruit and top with the remaining topping.  I feel like this adds more flavor throughout the crisp, but whether it really does or not I don't know.  :)  And since the whole point of a crisp is to have the yummy hot fruit with a crispy type topping, I pop my crisp under the broiler for about 2 minutes after I take it out of the compartment.  Be sure to do that right away so that the heat of the broiler doesn't break your pot.

Love my crock pots - today it was triple the crock!

2 comments:

  1. I love my crock pot too, I will be trying your recipes, I am always looking for more recipes. Wow!!! a triple crock pot, lucky you.

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  2. I know, I love, love, love this thing! I hope you like the recipes; you've really got to try the crisp!!

    ReplyDelete