Saturday, January 26, 2013


I wanted to test my new slow cooker which is about half the size of one I bought several years ago.  I made this recipe using four kinds of vegetables.  You could substitute or add other vegetables including green beans, carrots or an oriental frozen vegetable mixture.  Instead of using chicken, you could use beef.  I added more chicken broth than needed and I did adjust the recipe to reduce the amount required.  To thicken the liquid, I added some corn starch mixed with water to the slow cooker at the end.  To brighten the dish you may want to use a red or green pepper.  I used a yellow pepper.  I served the chicken with rice.  Both the DH and I enjoyed this dish.

Just dished from the slow cooker.


1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 coloured pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
3 large chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce or soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp orange marmalade
1/4 tsp orange extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Splenda
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp gry ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste


Place the vegetables on the bottom of your slow cooker.  Add the chicken.  In a bowl or large glass measuring cup combine the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables.  Set the slower cooker to low and cook for 5 hours.   Serves 4.

You can serve this over rice, pasta, quinoa or couscous.

Adapted/modified from '200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes' by Dana Carpender

Friday, January 18, 2013


In my previous post I wrote about the pressure cooker/slow cooker that I bought.  After using the pressure cooker to cook 1.5 cups of dry mixed beans, I then made a vegetable bean soup.  Dry beans when cooked, double in volume.  The soup turned out great and both the DH and I enjoyed it.  Using the pressure cooker was a much quicker method to make the soup and I didn't feel that the taste was compromised.  You can also add different vegetables than the ones I have included here.  For example,  instead of using fresh potatoes, I used leftover mashed potatoes.

All of the ingredients have been added and new ready to cook.

I am going to sample the soup.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large handful of fresh green beans, chopped
1 large potato, scrubbed or pealed, chopped finely
1 - 15 ounce canned tomatoes or 6 frozen or fresh tomatoes
1 tbsp chicken bouillon flavouring
6 to 8 cups water
3 cups of cooked beans
1 to 2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried thyme


Using a pressure cooker

Add the oil to the cooking pot and saute the onion, garlic and celery for 7 minutes.  Add the carrots and cook for another minute.   Turn the saute option off.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the cooking pot and combine.  Set the machine up to cook as a pressure cooker and set the timer for 15 minutes.  If you don't have a saute option with your machine, you can saute the vegetables in a separate pan before adding them to the pressure cooker pot.  You can add salt and pepper to taste after the cooking is done.

Using a soup pot

Heat the oil on medium high heat and saute the onion, garlic, celery for 7 minutes on medium low heat. Add the carrots and cook for another minute.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 75 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6 to 8.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Who would have ever thought?  Combining a pressure cooker and a slow cooker and creating one pot with different cooking systems.  Furthermore, it is electric instead of a stove top model.  Besides being a pressure cooker and a slow cooker, you can also saute vegetables or meat before using the pressure cooker or slow cooker options.  To test out my new gadget, I decided to first cook beans.  After cooking the beans, I would use them to make a bean vegetable soup.  The recipe will follow in my next posting.   The beans turned out fine.  I first soaked them overnight before pressure cooking them in the morning.   I set the timer for 27 minutes and the challenge was that the bean mixture included nine different beans which were not all equal in size.  Some beans were over soft and other beans needed an extra minute or two of cooking.  I knew that cooking them in the soup would finish the cooking time.

Growing up my mom used a pressure cooker for a number of things including cooking beans and roasts.  When I asked some of my friends if their moms used pressure cookers when they were growing up at home, they responded yes.  They were all stove top models, heavy to lift and didn't have the fancy   extras that today's models have including timers.

The other advantage of this new gadget is that the slow cooker is a smaller one than the one I have.   The stand alone slow cooker that I have is in some ways too big for most meals.  I am looking forward to trying out new recipes for fast and slow cooking.

The box with all of the descriptions. 

What the gadget looks like. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


It has been many years since I have made yorkshire pudding with roast beef.  Having friends in over the holidays prompted me to make this instead of cooking a turkey.  I also decided to review some of my 'bible' cookbooks to review cooking a roast and see if I needed to alter the gravy recipe.  I am more use to making turkey gravy than beef gravy.

I did learn or relearn a few things in reviewing the cookbooks.  For example, cooking a roast at 325 degrees F is okay.  You don't need to cook it at 350 degrees F.  The fat layer on the one side of the roast should be facing up when placing the roast in the roasting pan.  I have sometimes place the fat layer on the bottom of the pan when putting the roast into the pan in the past.  It pays to use a meat thermometer to know when the roast is ready, particularly if you are wanting to cook it to a medium level.  Letting the roast sit for 15 minutes, when taken out of the oven, and covered with tin foil, does make a difference.  After that you can carve it.  The heat from the inside of the roast does move to the outside and the juices get sealed in the roast.  The roast was cut from the sirloin and it was one of the best roasts I have made according to DH.  Of course I did use all of the tips I learned from reading the 'bible' cookbooks.  The yorkshire pudding turned out amazingly well and many compliments were made on the taste and texture.   The gravy turned out fine and went well with the meat, yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes.

The DH carved the roast.

Gravy being made.

Yorkshire pudding in the basket.   

Yorkshire Pudding


1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste


In a medium size mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and pepper.  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the milk.  Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.   If you are finished cooking the roast, add some of the fat drippings to a 12 cup muffin tins.  If you don't have drippings you can add a little bit of olive or canola oil to each cup.  Place in the oven and let the drippings or oil heat until it is smoking.  While the muffin tins is in the oven,  add the egg mixture to the flour.  Combine the batter well.

Add the batter to the muffin tins and fill each tin about half full.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.   Makes 12 individual puddings.

If you want a more savoury flavour, you can add dried herbs to the flour before you add the eggs.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I prefer to make my own marinated chicken wings versus buying them already prepared and frozen from the grocery store.  It does require planning ahead to have both the ingredients on hand and making them in advance of supper so that they have the time to marinate.  If the batch marinating is really more than what you need for supper and leftovers, you can freeze the uncooked marinated chicken wings in the zip lock bag for future use.  I baked the chicken in the oven but you can also grill them on the bbq.   The package of meat that I bought included both wings and drumettes.  I like the combination of these two.  

Wings and drumettes marinating in a zip lock bag.


2-1/2 - 3 lb chicken wings and drumettes                 
salt and pepper
1-1/4 cups ketchup
1/2 cup (125 ml) chicken broth
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine or white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 tbsp BBQ sauce or Heinz 57
4 tbsp honey or brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or a couple of dashes Tabasco sauce


Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large zip lock bag and marinate the chicken wings/drumettes for approximately 3 hours in the refrigerator.   If you have the time, flip the bag over every hour or so.  Remove the wings/drumettes and gently shake off any excess sauce.
Grill the chicken on the barbecue for approximately 10 minutes on each side.  You can also bake them in the oven at 400 degrees F for approximately 15 to 20 minutes on each side.
Adapted/modified from