Sunday, July 17, 2011

Adventures with the slow cooker, or 10 days at home

I enjoyed my ten days at home between jobs. The second week we had builders in installing our new downstairs loo. In the space of a week it went from this:

 Which wasn't great, the taps and pipework were on the leaky side and brown was a really good colour for showing up every single little tiny bit of limescale (and as the water here is really hard there was a LOT of limescale). Plus carpet on the loo floor is a bit, well, gross, isn't it?!

To this:

So much lighter and brighter. Plus we now have a mirror downstairs, crucial for that last minute hair check! And the window sill is bigger now, more room for plants! ;-)

As well as keeping the builders supplied with copious quantities of tea and chocolate biscuits I tried various slow cooker recipes.
This one is Mediterranean Vegetable Casserole (which actually turned out to be ratatouille). Then you just stir some mozzarella and basil in just before serving.

This one is chicken stew with olives. Except I forgot to get olives, so it's chicken stew.

And this one is slow cooked beef with madeira. Except I didn't have any madeira so it's just slow cooked beef. I also forgot to take a photo of it until it was on the OH's plate along with some potatoes.

And finally, I used up some vegetables by making stock. I then condensed it down and froze it into cubes. These can then be used with boiling water in place of using a stock cube.

 So, verdict on the slow cooker is that it's great. Although I've now got a freezer stuffed full of batch cooked meals so won't need to use it again for a while.

Most of those recipes came from the little booklet that came with the cooker, but some are from Antony Worrall Thompson's Slow cooking: easy one-pot dishes for the slow cooker, oven and hob which I found at the library. It's a really good book, with some nice recipes in and gives instructions for a variety of cooking methods, although it does assume your slow cooker is a 4-6 person one, rather than the 2-3 person one I was using.

I'm not sure how much time I'll have for blogging in the next couple of weeks as I start the new job tomorrow, which means a Longer Commute. I'll still be trying to keep up with other people's blogs though.

PS. Can't believe I put pictures of the loo on the internet!


Victoria said...

Ah, the meals look yummy. What is madeira? Your freezer is nearly full!

And the bathroom looks much better, I think. :) It looks... happier.

I hope the first day on the new job goes well!

Tina said...

Looks like the slow cooker is a big hit in your house as it is in ours! And there is nothing better than a freezer full of yummy “fast”food. (isn`t that the same dish on the first two pics?) I like your new bathroom, more “inviting” than the old one. Think you spent your free time well! Have a good start into your new job - just use the longer commute for knitting and it won’t be lost time:-)

Mary Anne said...

Your loo is bright and cheery; the builders did a great job.

That food you prepared with the slow cooker looks incredibly yummy.

I hope your new job makes you happy!