Showing posts with label Slow Cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slow Cooking. Show all posts

May 22, 2014


The Beauty is Yours for the Taking

Plans are underway for creating our summer house...adding elements of design in the garden. Selecting places for unexpected bright colors and touches of whimsy! How fun to design small spaces for entertaining by the poolside. The possibilities are endless. Why not utilize your slow cooker so you can spend more hours out of doors. No need to purchase a passport to can find all of the romance right out your backdoor!
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cubed
1 medium onion - diced
1 zucchini - diced
1 red pepper - seeded and diced
15 oz. cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
15 oz. diced tomatoes - low sodium
2 cups chopped frozen kale
6 cups chicken broth - low sodium
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 t. black pepper
Fresh parsley for garnish

Place all ingredients except for the fresh parsley in a slow cooker and heat on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours. Garnish with fresh parsley to serve.

"I say, if your knees aren't green by the end of the day,
you ought to seriously re-examine your life."
~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

November 1, 2013


October in Atlanta

The Atlanta Home

Another October has left us. It was somewhat sad to me.....actually, truth be told...I was missing my childhood. You know, as we were preparing for the Trick-or-Treaters, we were able to watch "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", which we have been watching since WE were children. I adore this and it has certainly stood the test of time. It represents the days when Mother was making hot Spiced Tea and homemade popcorn balls for us. It was our family tradition to watch The Wizard of Oz and count our Halloween candy......sigh........yes....I was a little sad.

Me: "What costumes do you remember as a kid when you dressed up for Halloween?"

Him: "I don't remember any of them!"

Me: "What?" Certainly you can you not remember your costumes?"

Him: "Well, what were your costumes?"

Me: "Hmmmm, well I was a bunny rabbit, a ballerina, Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke, and, oh yes, once I was a June Taylor dancer from The Jackie Gleason show!" 
(showing my age I know)

Him: "I can totally see you as all of those. 
Oh wait, I do remember I was a cowboy once."

Me: ""Really.........
(a short moment to visualize him as a cowboy)....
I have always had an affinity for cowboys, you know.......

This made my little bout of sadness disappear......he always has a way of doing this

Time to record a few October memories from Atlanta

 Luke and Izzy on a Hayride

Luke and Izzy at the Pumpkin Patch

Time to make the Jack-O-Lantern

WOW! Impressive I would say!

Luke, The Roman Soldier

Miss Izzy, The Pirate.........oh my gosh, she is SO adorable!

Here's a quick, easy little dinner. I cannot wait to begin the November issue of Estelle's.....such a short month and ever so beautiful! 

Creamy Chicken and Noodles
2 cups of chicken breasts or thighs, diced
2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup
1 stalk diced celery
1 cup diced carrots

4 cups of water
1 pint of half and half
broad egg noodles
2 t. of salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder

Mix all the ingredients except the egg noodles in a large crockpot. let cook on low for 5-6 hours. Add the egg noodles and continue to cook for about 5-8 more minutes. So creamy, rich and delicious!

October 23, 2013


Can October really be leaving us? Say it ain't so.....I never tire of seeing the beauty of this month. There is something so peaceful about is festive, connecting humans to the earth, to our harvest, to our history. We begin to prepare for the next few months of Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means celebrating our blessings and being thankful for family. I am going to savor the remaining days and soak in the sights of the harvest season. The gigantic orange harvest moon, the falling leaves, a misty morn, the vibrant chrysanthemums and of course, the lovely pumpkins. 

You are so going to love this pot roast. It is one of my favorite slow cooker meals to prepare during cooler months. Talk about comfort food darlings..this one is certain to please!

1 4-lb. chuck roast
2 sweet onions, chopped
5 carrots chopped into chunks
5 medium russet red potatoes

Put meat and vegetables into your crockpot.

Mix together:
2 cups of beef broth
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
I T. soy sauce
1 t.  pepper
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Zest of a small orange

Mix well to dissolve sugar then pour over meat. Set on low and cook for 7 hours. Turn your crockpot to "warm" setting and remove the meat and veggies. Pour the juice into a small saucepan, add 2 T. flour and mix, along with a little milk or water to make a gravy. Put all the ingredients back into the crockpot and allow to keep warm until ready to serve. Delicious with buttery mashed potatoes and fresh green beans.

September 25, 2013


Wrap Yourself in Warm Comfort

Bring natural elements into your home which will showcase
the abundance of Autumn

Turn something simple and organic into a romantic style

Delight in Elegance

Savor the flavors of the season

Slowcooker Blueberry Peach Crisp 
4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
2 pints blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided use
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans PLUS
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, divided

In a 4-quart electric slow cooker, combine berries with their juices, sliced peaches and granulated sugar; mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on high heat setting for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, baking powder and butter. Pulse until mixture looks crumbly. Add cream, zest and 1/4 cup pecans. Pulse until dough forms a ball.

Stir fruit in the slow cooker. Divide dough into walnut-size pieces, roll each into a ball and flatten with you fingers into 2-inch mounds. Place pieces of dough on top of the fruit.

Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 2 tablespoons chopped pecans on top.

Cover and cook on high heat setting for 1 to 1 1/4 hours longer, until dough is cooked through. Turn off the cooker, remove cover and let the dessert cool in the pot for at least 10 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve hot, at room temperature or cold with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

September 24, 2013


Some days are just meant to be doing other things besides cooking! 
This is a FANTASTIC slow cooker recipe to serve for dinner 
after you have been "playing all day!" 

1 bag frozen Tortellini pasta
1 bag of fresh organic spinach
2 cans of Italian diced Tomatoes, undrained
4 cans of chicken broth
1 (8 -ounce) package of cream cheese

Place all ingredients in a crockpot and cook for 5-6 hours! 

June 21, 2013


I thought we could enjoy discussing two topics this morning before we are out and about for a busy weekend. A country house and Slow Cookers! I love both! When I came across this little country home, I stopped in my tracks. Is this just not the warmest, sweetest home ever? I just wanted to imagine being invited in for a little tour, a glass of tea and an evening of a delightful history lesson of the house. It reminded me of visiting Grandmother in the summer....

Now, subject number two....
"Did we really need another Crock Pot?",  he asked.

I must confess, I love Crock Pots! When I came across this little beauty, I could not resist! I have wanted this one for a long time and could never find it, so when I ran across it last weekend, I convinced myself it was a necessity!  I change my slow cookers along with the of my little quirks I suppose! But you know, trying Slow Cooker recipes is such an enjoyable thing to do! Especially in hot summer months. They allow you to make mouth watering meals without taking up a lot of your time. So create a little magic for your family and take out your favorite slow cooker.....!

I do not know anyone who does not do "the happy dance" when it comes to a good Macaroni and Cheese recipe! I have made many versions over the years, but honey child....this one is REALLY GOOD! I just tweaked the ingredients until I came up with a creamy, cheesy mixture. Now just know, you could invent your own recipe with these basics.....incorporate different cheeses, or add sour cream to name a few. Darling commented several times throughout dinner......"Hey Dahlin', this is goooooooood!" Success!!


16 ounces of dried macaroni
12 ounces of evaporated milk
1 large egg
10  ounces of Velveeta Cheese, cubed
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, grated
4 T. butter
1/2 t. dried mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. smoked paprika

Boil macaroni for abut 7 minutes in salted water. Drain. Transfer to the slow cooker which has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the evaporated milk, and egg in a mixing bowl and pour over the macaroni. Cover with remaining ingredients and fold till combined. Set the cooker to LOW and cook for 2-3 hours. Stir a few times while cooking to combine the cheeses.

May 31, 2013


"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." 
 ~Sam Keen

Summertime brings with itself unhurried mornings,
restful afternoons, and leisurely evenings.....

 Crockpots are a "must have" during the summer months! There are more important things to spending lazy afternoons daydreaming.....
I would imagine most people have prepared Golfer's Chicken before. Mother always made this during the summer. It was one of our most requested suppers....especially after spending the day out at Lake Cavalier boating and water skiing. Dinner was ready when we arrived home...tired and sunburned!

4 pounds chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 bottle (12 ounce size) Russian salad dressing
8 ounces apricot jam

Place chicken in your crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve with rice and a fresh vegetable, such as broccoli!

May 22, 2013



Almost Summer.....
A summer barbecue is one of life's simple pleasures
This weekend, many of us across our country will be gathering together to honor and celebrate Memorial Day. Barbecues will be held at many homes and we will smell the aromas of burgers, briskets and smoked ribs. Chicken on the grill can be divine, but what do we do, when we are not skilled at an outdoor grill? Miss Judy asked me this very question! She wanted to host a holiday barbecue, but she wanted an idea that would be easier for her to prepare for her family and her guests. Hey, I have a great recipe for you! A homemade barbecue sauce that you can do in your crockpot! The truth of the matter is, once you have homemade barbecue sauce, you will never buy a store-bought brand again. 

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 dashes hot pepper sauce
8 sandwich rolls, split
Place the chicken breasts into the bottom of a slow cooker. In a bowl, stir together the ketchup, mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce until the mixture is well blended.
 Pour the sauce over the chicken, set the cooker to Low, and cook for 6 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks, and cook for 30 more minutes. Serve the chicken and sauce spooned into the sandwich rolls!







April 11, 2011

Woodland Beauty Inspired by Sologne!

Sologne is a region of north-central France, stretching southeast of Blois, and  is one of those traditionally rural regions of France that help keep alive the national self-image. Depending on the weather and the season, it can be one of the most dismal areas in central France: damp, flat, featureless and foggy. But at other times its forests, lakes, ponds and marshes have a quiet magic – in summer, for example, when the heather is in bloom and the ponds are full of water lilies, or in early autumn when you can go hunting for mushrooms. Wild boar and deer roam here, not to mention the ducks, geese, quails and pheasants, who far outnumber the small human population. This breathtaking area of the country was the inspiration for our new "favorite thing" at The Maine House! Gien Sologne fine china! Perhaps a birthday request.....are you listening Darling?

These rustic recipes are perfectly paired with the beauty of this
woodland fine china!

Estelle's Rustic French Onion Soup
8 large yellow onions, peeled, sliced in thin strips
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 1/2 T. sugar
1 1/2 T. salt
3 cans Beef Broth
32 oz. Chicken broth
1/2 cup good white wine, dry sherry or Marsala
1 dried bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme, tied with kitchen twine
1t. pepper
1 fresh baguette, cut into 1/2 thick slices
1/2 shredded Gruyere cheese for EACH serving

 Combine oil and butter in a frying pan and put all 8 cups of onions in pan. Add sugar and salt and toss to coat. Cook onions on medium low heat for 40 minutes to 1 hour stirring occasionally. They will cook down to a fraction of their former volume and most of the liquid will evaporate. Add these cooked onions to your slow cooker/crock pot. Add broth, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Cook for three hours. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place baguette slices on baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Place a baguette slice in a soup bowl and ladle the soup over the baguette. Generously sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the soup and place the bowls on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until cheese is gooey and melted!

Perfect Rustic Roasted Chicken
1 (6-7 pound) roasting chicken
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
1/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.


February 14, 2011

The Elegance of Sleigh Rides & Warming Winter Soups!

The Maine House took visitors over to Vermont last week to experience a romantic winter wonderland sleigh ride in the snow-covered hills of southern Vermont. Those gentle draft horses can simply whisk you away into sheer beauty and quietness. If you ever are fortunate enough to enjoy a sleigh ride, know that you can schedule your ride during the day, or in the evening under the stars and moonlight.  Either way, it will create a lasting memory that will stay with you for years to come! It is both romantic and magical....just dress warmly and take along your favorite blanket or quilt.

 Heading back to Maine, we chatted away about our experience and looked forward with anticipation as to what was on the evening menu.  Estelle's had prepared the dining table for us knowing we would all be ready for our warm winter soups and freshly baked breads. It proved to be a perfect winter weekend!

A Maine House Mosaic

Estelle's French Onion Soup
8 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 1/2 T. sugar
1 1/2 T. salt
3 cans  Beef Broth
32 oz. chicken broth
1/2 cup good Marsala wine
1 dried bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme, tied with kitchen twine
2 t. pepper
1 baguette, cut into 1/2 thick slices
1/2 shredded Gruyere cheese for each serving

Combine oil and butter in a frying pan and put all 8 cups of onions(sliced thinly) in pan. Add sugar and salt and toss to coat. Cook onions on medium low heat for 40 minutes to 1 hour stirring occasionally.  Add onions to your  slow cooker. Top with broth, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Cook on high for 2-3 hours.

While your soup is cooking, slice one baguette into slices about 2 inches in thickness. Place baguette slices on your baking sheet and place in a 350 degree F. preheated oven for 20 minutes.

 Once your onions are tender after 3 hours, put a baguette slice in a soup bowl. Ladle the soup on top of the baguette slice. Grate Guyere cheese generously over the top. Put soup bowls on cookie sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and gooey!

Estelle's Butternut Squash & Pear Soup
2 T. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
1 leek (white part only), chopped, rinsed well
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 Bartlett pears, peeled, chopped
6 cups vegetable stock or water
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 t. pepper, or to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
Toasted pine nuts
Crumbled chèvre

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium. Add onion, celery, carrot and leek. Cook, stirring, 10 minutes until vegetables soften and start to brown. Add squash, pear, stock or water, bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Raise heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are very soft. Discard bay leaves. Using immersion blender or hand mixer, or in food processor or blender, purée until smooth. Pour soup into bowls. If desired, drizzle with oil, or sprinkle with pine nuts or cheese!

"Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the withered air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, and housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson