Monday, August 21, 2006

Automotive Slow Cooking... hitting the road with food

So I'm watching the final episode of Alton Brown's Feasting on Asphalt, the one where his bike and shoulder meet a gravely end. The best discovery of the show, besides the Hawthorne police officer with the cast iron stomach, is the truck driver's 12 volt slow cooker. Alton had never seen one before, and neither had I.

I have to have one. But I can't find the item for sale anywhere on the Internet. The closes thing I can find is this 12V 1.5QT Capacity Slow Cooker - Price: under $40 at Not a bad deal, but I'm not sure I'd want to cook in it while driving, which is the charm of the box Alton Brown found. Still it does provide some interesting options for picnicing, car and RV camping, and the like. Anybody ever try using one before?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Feasting on Alton Brown (not literally! Ew!)

If you're a fan of Road Food and you're not watching Alton Brown's Feasting on Asphalt you're missing some great television. But don't worry, Food TV is running all the episodes back to back this Sunday culminating in the last episode. That's the episode where Alton and gravity have an encounter. (Guess who wins.) So set your Tivos, VCRs, or just watch the shows when they air if you're old fashioned.

This is also a good time to point out that has been upgrading itself recently with new features. Mike and Jane Stern as masters of eating on the open road. They were the inspiration for my own food track when we drove cross country a few years ago without eating at a single national chain eatery (okay, barring the one morning we had to get going early and McD's was calling our name).

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Two 'Mexican' flavored recipes

No, it's not Cinco De Mayo. But I've been on a bit of a Mexican kick recently. Living in Los Angeles for 10 years I acquired a taste for the Mexican food served in the region. Now I live in Orlando and have a hard time finding anything that's even close.

Note these are not the most gourmet of recipes, more like camp cooking. But sometimes you just have a craving for the simple things.

Slow Cooker Mexican Meat loaf

2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 cup coarsely crushed corn chips
1/3 cup taco sauce
2 tablespoons taco seasoning or taco spices
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Mexican blend)

Direction: Mix meat, crushed chips, taco sauce, seasoning, egg and cheese. Shape into a loaf. Place in electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours (or on high 3½ to 5 hours). Makes 5 to 6 servings.

Mexican Spam Soup

1 (12 ounce) can Turkey Spam, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 cans chicken broth
1 (32 ounce) can refried beans (or two 16 ounce cans)
2 chopped green chiles
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Direction: Mix together in slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve with crackers and some fat free cheddar cheese. You could substitute seasoned and cooked ground Turkey.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fast Food Fast (as in don't eat it)

If you want another reason not to eat Fast Food, then head on over to Fast Food News and read what one McDonald's employee thinks of her customers and what she does to their food when they are rude to her.

That's why we're the Slow Cooker Nation! Maybe I should change the name of the blog.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Crock Pot Cherry Cake

Have you ever made a cake in a crock pot? Here's an old Betty Crocker recipe for Crock Pot Cake that sounds quite delicious.

Crock Pot Cake
1 box cake mix (White or Chocolate or experiment)
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
3 beaten egg whites
1 can cherry pie filling

1. Mix first 3 ingredients together.
2. Fold in beaten egg whites.
3. Spray cooker really thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray and turn on high.
4. Add pie filling to crock pot.
5. Then add cake batter spread evenly on top.
6. Put 2 layers of paper towels between crockpot and lid to absorb excess moisture. (this seems like a great step for a lot of recipes)
7. Cook on high for at least 2 hours.
8. When done, turn off cooker and remove towels and lid; let cool for 15 minutes in cooker.
9. Turn cake out on serving tray or dish. Add whipped cream if desired.

The cherries will spill out on to the top and over the sides. Serve with whipped cream on top.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

slowcooker chicken and rice

This is a recipe for an easy one-pot slowcooker dinner made with stuff you probably already have in your home.

Easy Rice & Meat
2 can cream of whatever (I prefer cream of mushroom, but some new variations lend great flavor)
2 1/2 cups of rice (white or whatever you have)
3 cups milk/water
For meat use chicken or pork chops put as many pieces as you need. Season with Salt.

Mix first 3 ingredients together in crockpot. Layer meat on top. Cook on low 6-8 hrs. Check rice at 5 hour point. If dry, but not done, then add 1/2 cup water as needed until done.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Chick'n and Dumplins--vegan

I went through a three year period in my life where I was a vegetarian. There were plenty of veggie loafs, salads, tofu, and meat substitute. But I never tried the crock pot. This vegan dish sounds delish. I might recommend adding a few more spices, such as a dash of rosemary or tarragon.

Chick'n and Dumplins

2 large carrots, sliced medium thick
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 large white onion, cut in chunks
12 ounce of meat substitute (Loma Linda Meatless Tender Bits, Chik'n Strips, etc)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
20 ounces organic vegetable broth (about 2.5 cups)
2 cup vegan biscuit dough (or mix)
2/3 cup plain soymilk

Place carrots, onions, celery, chik'n in crock pot. Add salt, pepper and broth. Cover, set on low and cook 6 hours or until all is tender.

Dumplings: Mix biscuit dough with soymilk. About an hour before you're ready to eat, drop spoonfulls of dumpling dough into crockpot and turn crockpot on high. Cook 1 hour.

Modified off a recipe found on

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Orange Teriyaki Chicken - Slow style.

Orange Teriyaki Chicken

4 chicken breasts (frozen okay)
1 cup teriyaki sauce (We use Soy vay Veri Veri Teriyaki - although this can get expensive)
Juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)
strips of the peel from the orange (just use the orange part)
1/2 cup water or enough to almost cover the chicken breasts

Cook for 5-6 hours on low. Some suggest reducing the sauce after awards. Transfer to a saucepan and put on a low boil until reduced by half. At that point a little cornstarch (made into a rue with water) can be used to thicken it up.