Sear, Simmer & Stir

Life, style & food in the District

Sweaters and Crockpots and Javier Bardem

So in case you can’t tell by my title, D.C. has started to experience some cooler weather this week…. And while part of me is devastated that I had to say bye to the pool today (such a sad, sad day), the other (what I like to think of as the more awesome) part of me is jumping for joy at the first signs of fall! Can we all just give a little cheer for apple picking, corn mazes and pumpkin carving? Umm hmm!  Such a Virginia girl, at heart…

Fall is by far my favorite season of the year – And probably the only reason why I am the only person on this planet who would not be happy living in southern California. I have to have my fall! To me, there is nothing better than a cool, crisp day spent outdoors (this weekend was spent at the annual H Street festival on Saturday and the Vintage Crystal food and wine festival on Sunday – both great events, check them out!); followed by the sounds of football on TV; the smell of a warm, hearty meal cooking all day and then lots of time curled up in a blanket (preferably while the windows are open – bring in that cool, crisp air!).  Oh, and did I mention new clothes and boots? Yeah, that is another perk of fall… Love me some new clothes… And boots.

But I digress… As far as cooking goes, there is not much I can do in boots (except look cute while cooking, duh). BUT, there is a lot I can do in a Crockpot. The Crockpot has to be one of the best inventions ever – And I think the reason I love my Crockpot so much is because I can be a completely lazy cook and still deliver an incredibly awesome meal …just 8 hours later.  And let’s face it people, there is really nothing better than walking through the door after a long day at work and smelling a delicious and hearty meal that is ready for you TO EAT right away. Except for maybe walking home after a long day and finding Javier Bardem in your living room. That is an example of something that might beat a hot, hearty meal…

Again, I digress. I mentioned earlier that the Crockpot makes me a lazy cook. That is because my immediate go-to in the Crockpot is the following:

  • Chop an onion or two (in large pieces – no point in dicing)
  • Rough chop some red potatoes (again – I prefer the larger, more imprecise pieces – just seems more rustic and thus tastes better to me)
  • Throw in some garlic (the more the better, right?)
  • Add some sort of liquid (this usually depends on what I have in the fridge  – this could be chicken broth, beef broth, a can of crushed tomatoes and some water, or even a beer or white wine? All of the above? Play around, people – you know what goes with what)
  • Seasoning (again, whatever I have? Salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary…depends on the other things thrown in)
  • Meat! Browned in a pan! Delicious! And again, whatever is available… This weekend was a pork butt! But also have done a whole chicken, a pot roast, even sausages (just cook on a lower temp for a shorter amount of time)

Combine all of the above, press “on,” come home eight hours later, open the windows (to get a whiff of that fall air), pour yourself a glass of wine and just watch all of your troubles melt away.  Seriously – they melt! And so do your taste buds…

I know cookbooks exist for all different types of crazy Crockpot recipes, but I feel like a lot of these complicated (aka: “look at all the things you never knew you could make in a Crockpot, but can!”) recipes take away from the sense of ease a Crockpot should deliver! I mean, the point of the Crockpot is to make your meat (or vegetarian option) tender and make all the flavors blend together with minimal effort, right? Right.

However, as much as I love my go-to, I am in the search for new (but easy – seriously, people, I want easy) Crockpot recipes. So if there are any out there that you use and love, please pass them on! You can either post them here as comments (and we can all share!) or you can email them to me (rnania@gmail.com)! Chances are, I will make whatever you send along (did I mention that I use my Crockpot a lot this time of year?) and will tell you how awesome you are for providing me with a new Crockpot recipe.

So send them along and we will meet back here soon! Until next time, buy some boots, put on some sweaters, make a warm meal, watch a Javier Bardem film and be merry!

Hugs and kisses and fall weather wishes!

Rachel

To note: My autocorrect changed “Crockpots” to “crackpots” throughput this post… So just to set the record straight (in case there are any I missed), I do NOT enjoy crackpots – just Crockpots. Come on, people… seriously?

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3 comments on “Sweaters and Crockpots and Javier Bardem

  1. Dottie Ji
    September 18, 2011

    Ye Old Classic CrockPot Roast

    2-3 pound roast
    3-4 carrots
    2-3 potatoes
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 pkg mushroom-onion soup mix

    Place vegetables in bottom of crock, halved, quartered, or cut up.
    Place meat on top. Slather roast with cr/mushroom soup. Top it
    off with mushroom-onion soup mix. (No liquids necessary–makes
    a lovely gravy).

    Cook on Low 8-10 hours.
    High 4-6 hours.

  2. lara
    September 26, 2011

    I’ve got lots of pressure cooker recipes, but no crock pot ones. I know the 8 hours of slow cooking creates something magical , but when time and moisture is of the essence, I can make something delish in 8 minutes!! 🙂

    • Rachel Nania
      September 26, 2011

      Pass them on!!!

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This entry was posted on September 18, 2011 by in Crockpot.

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