Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way


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Crock Pot Adventures

I bought my first slow cooker at the beginning of the winter. Mostly I wanted a slow cooker to aid in existing recipes that I make. When we make and can apple sauce, it’s easy to have a crock pot to the side slow cooking the apple butter. We do the same with pumpkin butter. Oh, and if you’ve never eaten pumpkin butter, you’ve never lived.

I was dubious that I would find enough delicious vegetarian recipes to make constant use of the slow cooker, but I was completely wrong. Here’s a sampling of my favorite recipes with my comments. And here’s some of the recipes that I will try in March.

  • Veggie Minestrone – This recipe is DELICIOUS. I didn’t realize how much I love minestrone until I had my first bites of this. I make no modifications to this recipe. The only thing you might want to note is that I use my own veggie broth and my own home canned tomatoes. Without the parmesan rind, this recipe can easily be vegan. As a cheese lover, I always add it.
  • Veggie Gumbo – This recipe is hearty and warms any winter chill. Pair this with some rice and it’s a satisfying meal.
  • Chick Pea and Butternut Squash Curry – This curry is creamy, and unlike many of these recipes, you can throw the chick peas in the cooker dry. Plus, it’s not necessary to saute the veggies before they go in the pot. For how easy this is, it’s amazingly good.
  • Madras Lentils – Like the recipe above you can throw the veggies in without a saute, and the lentils go in dry. I thought I would need to embellish the spices in this recipe to get it flavorful enough for me. I was shocked at how great this tasted, as is.
  • White Chili with Roasted Poblanos and Quinoa – This recipe is super healthy, but it requires considerable prep work. I modified the recipe by cutting the amount of beans by half. For my taste, I wanted more pepper and spice flavors in the chili, and the most direct way to do that was to cut down on the starch. After that modification, the flavors were better balanced. Also, be careful with the poblanos. The amount of heat they pack can vary pretty significantly. Make sure you taste before you Tabasco.

Here’s what I will try out in March:

With spring around the corner, I┬áhave two things that I would like to make before canning season starts. I want to make fig jam, although I know that will be dependent of if I can find fresh figs. Check out this recipe. I also want to make a second batch of yellow mustard. That mustard was the shit, and now that I know how good and easy home made mustard is French’s just isn’t cutting it. Then bring on canning season, also known as summer.