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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Return of the Slow Cooker

This morning was fun because I had intended to get up a little earlier than usual so I’d have more time to get the Slow Cooker going and then I totally slept through the alarm. I’m a sound sleeper and I sleep with ear plugs because Husband snores like you would not believe. I have a clock radio and a Dawn Simulator alarm clock. Usually the light is what wakes me up enough to hear the alarm clock but I was somehow sleeping face down with the covers over my head.

I wasn’t late getting up for a normal day, I just didn’t have the extra time that I was hoping for. Oops.

So last Saturday, when I was wandering through the grocery store in a fog, with my list of things that I needed for the party that night and also trying to figure out what we’d eat this week, I picked up a package of Deluxe Stewing Beef. I have never bought Stew Meat in my life, which is not surprising when you consider the fact that I’ve never liked stew and I’m not that crazy about beef. So why I picked it up, I’ll never know…Like I said, I was in a bit of a fog.

I had the notion of something vaguely chili-like rolling around in my brain; something done in the slow cooker. I had also been thinking about Mole ever since I saw this recipe over at Soap & Chocolate. Husband would never go for that recipe though, since it had no meat in it. I started looking around and came up with a Crock Pot Mole recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking.

And the rest is history…

I made a few changes – based on what I wanted and what I had on hand (recipe is in a separate post below). Last night I chopped my veggies. This morning I had 3 burners going on the stove – one to toast almonds, one to brown meat and then saute veggies, and one to cook oat bran for breakfast. Things were flying in the kitchen this morning, that’s for sure, and if I’m being honest I left it in a bit of a disaster.

What I was cooking, I had a glass of Bolthouse Vanilla Chai.

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Okay – maybe not that full; I actually forgot to take a photo in my frenzy, so I am copying one from another day.

Once I got to work, I ate my oat bran.

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My oat bran was cooked with half water, half Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze. I added a smidge of vanilla at the end, plus some coconut butter and almond butter. At work, I added about a teaspoon of maple syrup (yes, I keep a bottle in the fridge at work – don’t you?).

I really want to like oat bran – I find it to be very filling, more so than regular or even steel cut oats (as a matter of fact, I didn’t finish all of this because I was too full). But I find the consistency a bit weird. I’m trying to get used to it.

For lunch, the last of the Ma Po Tofu and rice.

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I overestimated how much I had and the bowl was too full for me to stir things around. There is Ma Po Tofu stir fry under that rice.

Later in the afternoon I ate my apple (totally forgot to take a photo but you can see it in the breakfast pic).

We actually left work early which was a big Whoo-Hoo! Especially after being there an hour late yesterday. We were on our way home about a half hour early, plus supper was ready. Good day.

I had completely forgotten the experience of walking into the house after the slow cooker has been going all day. It smelled goooood!

I stirred things around since I had just tossed the chocolate on top before turning on the co0ker and dashing out the door. It was melted, it just needed to be mixed around.

I left the slow cooker going while I fed the cats, changed my clothes and then did a workout. Today was the second new Strength Circuit for November; it was an easier workout than Workout A, though made difficult by the fact that my glutes are still killing me from Monday’s workout. Good stuff.

Then, since I had time, I hopped on the treadmill for 20 minutes. And broke my “take it easy” rule. I decided I wanted to do some running and as soon as I started I knew it was a bad idea, but I kept pushing through. I did come to my senses, but by then I had to drop back to a really slow walk to finish out my 20 minutes. Must remember advice from that wise sage Han Solo – don’t get cocky.

I had a good stretch, then headed upstairs for dinner. I prepared us each a dish of raw veggies, then heated up some leftover rice and ladled on the Mole concoction.

Here is Crock Pot Mole with Beef and Black Beans:

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This was freaking awesome.

When I came home it smelled really good, but to me it also smelled like something was missing (if that makes sense). As I said, I stirred it all around to get the chocolate incorporated and let it continue cooking.

Before serving, I tasted and decided it needed a bit of salt. Then I decided it could use a bit of sweetening as well, so I added some Agave Nectar. It honestly turned out perfectly.

I was actually surprised that Husband only ate one bowl, but he said it was really filling (which I see as a good thing because it’s not like he needs two helpings of supper).

There is enough left for two more meals and I’ll definitely make this again.

I did have a little dessert to end off my meal:

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However, I have to say that the sugar frenzy seems to be wearing off, so I may be back to normal next week without having to do anything drastic.

Now, if you will all excuse me…I have to go clean my kitchen.

4 comments:

Sagan said...

That looks delicious! I always figure, the messier the kitchen, the tastier the food :)

I'm a big fan of steel cut oats. I find them to be really filling! Haven't tried the oat bran before.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

the mole sounds awesome.

Angie All The Way said...

OMG that looks and sounds GREAT! Chocolate really?!?! I suppose!

I've not yet tried oat bran, but I'm considering doing a half and half with oat bran and oatmeal. Do you think that would help?

JavaChick said...

Angie - mixing the oat bran with regular oats might help, might give it some texture other than mush.