Monday, February 8, 2010

Successful Food Experimentation

Anybody who knows me, knows I am not the cook in this house. Jeff is the cook and a good one; he makes beautiful, tasty food. But with him working full time and me still unemployed, I have tried a lot more crockpot cooking experimentation this year. I usually look to some recipes for inspiration, but I've mostly been throwing a bunch of ingredients, usually what we have in the refrigerator, together in the crockpot.

Additionally, one of my goals for 2010 is to learn how to cook dry beans. I'm on my third batch already—this week was pinto beans. I've also made red beans and black beans and they worked out pretty well, though one batch was a bit overcooked.

Today I tried my hand at crockpot chili. I had (grass fed) ground beef defrosted in the refrigerator as well as some black and pinto beans. I browned the beef along with some pork sausage and tossed it into the crockpot. I added the last of the black beans (about a cup) and a couple cups of pinto beans. I processed an onion and a couple carrots in the food processor and tossed them in and we had a can of chiles we needed to use up; I threw that in too! In went a can of diced tomatoes and chili-type spices and then I cooked it all day in the crockpot on low. It turned out very good—though maybe a bit spicy for my taste!

I have been working on clearing out the foods in the freezer. Every time I find an unidentified package, I pull it out. If it's good—we cook it. If not, we toss it. We need this freezer empty. We are not in stock-up mode because we still continue to hope that we'll be moving later this year.

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