Monthly Archives: November 2013

Are you a slow cooker? Or is that just a crock…

One of the trends in the kitchen of late seems to be cooking in a crock pot. I wrote about it in my local weekly column (you can see that post here). On of my readers requested vegetarian recipes that are made in a slow cooker, and as I don’t have one I couldn’t offer any advice at all. I found out there are whole websites and even an app devoted to this topic!

One recipe I found that I liked was from a British cook and it reminded me that we don’t all speak the same language in the kitchen, even when the words are all in English. I have included the recipe for Sweet Potato Stew in my archives with the required translations… Do you know what it means when it says “put the stoneware on the hob”?  I am always charmed by these idiosyncracies, and I have become somewhat of a geek about learning the significance of different expressions. Many years ago when I wrote my first cookbook I had to research terms so I could cook recipes; for example, I had never heard of a dessert spoon as a measurement – I didn’t even know how big (or small) a dessert spoon was!

Research on the internet is a slippery slope, and this search was a good example. I started looking for recipes and found a Facebook page that has great information not just on recipes but also what they call “frugal living”. (Apparently crock pots fit that lifestyle.) Wise Bread’s list of slow cooker recipes for “Lazy Vegetarians” had a great sense of humour. Then I narrowly averted being swayed by shopping sites (it is the biggest shopping week of the year, don’t you know). I took a small detour to check out a few entertaining ideas, but then came back to my search and finished off with a recipe that isn’t vegetarian but does showcase a trendy veggie: Slow Cooker Kale & Chorizo Soup.

crockpot we are what we eat

Maybe I’ll have to get a slow cooker one of these days… some of these recipes look pretty good 🙂 Please let me know what you think if you try any of them! A word of caution: please remember to reheat any leftovers to boiling to ensure any bacteria is killed. If you’re like me and you don’t own one yet but are interested, I found a great first-timer’s tip sheet and a good review post from the folks at The Kitchn.

Happy Birthday to me!

I wrote this in the movie theatre while waiting for my popcorn on my birthday a few days ago. There was no wifi to get it to post. I hope you will still enjoy the sentiment 🙂

Today is my birthday. I enjoy birthdays and in some years I have made a big deal about birthday meals. When I was a kid the cake was always important of course and I was lucky enough that my Mom was at home and liked baking. She made angel food, chocolate fudge, and any other whim I came up with. She wrapped nickels inside Saran Wrap and made sure there was one for every piece, for every kid. A few times we went out or restaurants and then there were always sparklers and singing and much fanfare.

Once I got older I did my own thing. I once made a checkerboard chocolate and orange cake I saw in a food magazine. It took half the day to cut out the checkerboard pieces of sponge and then put in the filling but it did taste amazing.
I’ve never had a surprise birthday party but my husband has surprised me with beautiful birthday treats. His chocolate Baileys ganache cake is one of the reasons I married him 😉
We celebrate lots of occasions together; our life is full of fun. Like Tuesdays for example. They have been our date nights since before we were married. We go to a movie almost every Tuesday. Many of our inside jokes are linked to some of our screen favourites. So this year having a birthday on a Tuesday is just about perfect. I get to be spoiled, and have quality time with my guy while having popcorn. Maybe he’ll surprise me with a piece of birthday cake when we get home 🙂


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