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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

Tag Archives: Crockpot

I’m not sure how we’d get through the week without mexican food. Mole was the first spicy food the kids liked and when they did, we knew we could live with them for a very long time. We are dedicated to La Poblanita, a brand of mole sold in deli containers at our local bodegas. We usually buy the traditional chile & chocolate mole but recently we saw that they also sell Pipian – pumpkin seed mole. Pipian is something we already eat – the super market brand, Doña Maria. The bodega variety is much easier to use, it starts out the consistency of a very thick smoothie and slips right into the slow cooker. The Doña Maria starts out like a rock – I have to dig it out of the glass jar with a spoon and dissolve it in boiling water in order to get it to turn into sauce before I can put it in the crockpot. Turns out the two Pipans taste quite different. The La Poblanita was much spicier and had an almost citrusy flavor. I sort of messed it up by adding too much stock to the crockpot so the sauce was too thin in the end. Next time, I might do it on the stovetop. I could even bake the chicken first…

We had black beans & rice to go with it. The beans area wonderful recipe that my husband John created. I measured out the spices so I could include the recipe. Normally I just shake! Very natural cook of me.

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My favorite time to make dinner is in the morning. The idea that it’s all over by 10:00 am! (Well, the hard part anyway)

I am very attached to my crockpot. I bought one when the kids were little and there was no question of being able to stay inside for four straight hours while a pot of beef stew simmered. This morning I used it to make something I call Simon & Garfunkel Soup. It is actually a recipe I made up. I’m unnaturally proud of it because it goes against every idea I have of myself as a rule-following recipe slave.

Here’s how I did it: I looked online at other white bean crock pot soups. I got the gist of them and added my own touch. Namely, I threw in some parmesan cheese rinds that I was storing in my cheese drawer because I have a hard time throwing anything out and because I kept thinking, “I can still get some cheese off that….” After I put in all the basic ingredients, beans, ham, vegetables, stock, I didn’t know how to season it. So I looked in my spice rack and that old Simon & Garfunkel song, “Scarborough Fair,” came to mind. It has that line, “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,” and I figured there must be some reason those spices were together so I added them and Simon & Garfunkel soup was born.

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