16 March 2014

Saturday night jams

That feeling when you have so much to do, you can't do anything because you're paralyzed by a combination of fear and stress.

So I'm listening to angsty music I used to listen to in college. Because I was really fucking angsty.

10 March 2014

Slow Cooking

She is way cuter than an ugly slow-cooked meal
To say that things have been tumultuous lately would be a vast understatement. The uncertainty of the future combined with the incredible stress that comes with finishing a thesis would be bad enough, but having to maintain some facade of sanity so as to not terrorize my 2(!) year old, makes it a lot more challenging. One thing that is abundantly clear is that we need to really start saving money because my last guaranteed paycheck comes in May.

We've started using the slow cooker a lot more. We actually have two of these, and they've mostly sat in the pantry neglected, only to come out during the holidays to warm whatever alcoholic beverage we're serving (think spiked hot chocolate or mulled cider). My main issue with the slow cooker is something that I still don't understand. If you have a recipe that cooks in 6 hours, how exactly do you time your slow cooking so that you don't come home to a giant mess of over-cooked food or do you just eat at midnight?

I thought that I'd link to a few recipes that we've tried with some notes, mostly for me.

Chicken Philly Sandwiches
This recipe calls for "Dale's Steak Seasoning", which I gather is basically just Maggi with some other things in it, but we didn't have any and neither did Central Market, so I used ~3T or so of Pecos 83 BBQ Marinade. I also added some Zehnder's Chicken Seasoning (although I have the one with MSG in it because yum) because I somehow have two bottles of this stuff and I have no idea what to do with it. This turned out really well.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken
I'm not even sure that this is the recipe I used, but it's close to what we did. What you should NEVER do is use Sweet Baby Ray's. That shit is a) nasty and b) way too high in sugar to slow cook because it burns. I'd probably use that Pecos 83 BBQ marinade and try to make this again.

Beef and Farro Stew
Admittedly, slow-cooking is the opposite of pressure cooking, but I'd been watching a lot of old school AB lately. We had almost all of the ingredients on hand, minus the beef, so I figured we'd give this a go. I substituted farro for the barley because we have a lot of if and I have no idea what to do with it. I also subbed in sage and thyme because I hate rosemary and we don't have any marjoram and obviously, I used prepared beef stock. At the end, I added a big dash of porcini powder and some frozen corn that we had on hand. The first day I was super disappointed because it was so one-dimensional (i.e., it was like tomato stew with other things in it), but after sitting in the fridge for a couple days, it made for great leftovers.