A Meal out of Three Cookbooks

A great selection of three cookbooks with themes are used to build a wonderful 3-course meal.

The internet is an infinite source for recipes, no one can deny that, but sometimes sitting in your favorite chair and leafing through a cookbook can be really relaxing and gratifying. Cookbooks also have a great knack for gathering a whole bunch of recipes on a specific theme. Today I will give you a brief introduction to such three cookbooks I received recently: Spiralizer, Slow-cooker and Vegetarian Thai.

A Meal out of 3 great Cookbooks

I have savored my time leafing through these cookbooks and testing out some of the recipes lately. I am including the main description of the books, a recipe and a “my-2-cents” paragraph for each. Bon Appetit!

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Bourbon Lavender Raspberry Applesauce

I will start off this post with clearing my guilty feelings. I am sorry fellow bloggers for not having been around to comment this week. Life has been nuts. Nothing majors, just super busy. I thought my schedule would calm down as the weather would cool down for fall…but nothing could have been further from the truth. Work is super busy and my social schedule is busting at the seam. So next week starting with a clean slate and I’ll be back at commenting.

Have you been suffering from the same busy bee ailment as I? I have to say I am not complaining, life has been a blast. Today will  be more of a visual treat of a day trip spent with friends. One of our stops was an apple orchard. And it was the perfect excuse to super-major-over the top-play with the best applesauce ever I made last year. The trick is making it over a long period of time in a slow cooker: it totally gets caramelized and the apple flavor dominates. This year I added notes of lavender, vanilla and raspberries with a splash of bourbon. Sounds like  weird mix but they all do go together and the notes were subtle. Time to make some Bourbon Lavender Raspberry Applesauce!

Bourbon Lavender Raspberry Applesauce top

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Slow Cooker Mu Shu for Two

How many old-school appliances do you have in your kitchen that you use still? I have a handheld mixer, my grandmother’s standing mixer, also her potato masher. Although not an antique, I also enjoy my slow cooker, also called a crock pot. It took a while for me to love it though because the recipes I knew were the ones I grew up with and the results were never really modern.

So now I am always on the lookout for good new slow cooker recipes. And I found plenty in the Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook I received for review. I was surprised to find fun and international recipes to and chose to try out the Mu Shu for Two.

IMG_0868

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Slow Cooker Stout and Chicken Stew

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. The holiday season is over and it was a wonderful time surrounded by friends and family. But my clothes is happy it is over! Time for a bit healthier meals, or at least considering it while you are still polishing off the leftovers from all the parties you may have hosted. One dish I was really sorry to not have any leftovers to enjoy was this Slow Cooker Stout and Chicken Stew.

Stout Chicken Stew

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Carnitas: the Mexican pulled pork

I will keep this post short today. And I will share with you something kinda private because writing and chatting about it is therapeutic. Yesterday my father had heart surgery. It was scheduled since last fall so not due to any emergency but still it is a nerve racking experience. It felt like one of the longest days of my life, waiting for hours on end to get post operation news and to see him awake.

The surgery went very well and as of 3pm today he was taken out of ICU and is back in a regular room. He is good, tired but in much less pain than he had expected. We are all so relieved and we expect a nice recovery.

But let’s get to some food now. How about a little carnitas?

carnitas 029

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Slow Cooker Chicken and Shrimp Bouillabaisse

OK people, T-minus 3 days and 1 night before the cast is taken off should everything be in order! I cannot wait, I want to rip this damn thing off my arm so bad. I will have a lot of physical therapy since my muscles have atrophied and it may hurt more than while in the cast…BUT I DON’T CARE…TAKE IT OFF!

Since my  injury I have depended mostly on the kindness of my mom’s leftovers, a few dishes friends came over and prepared for me, the occasional frozen dinner and the one recipe I managed to cook in the last 6 weeks, my One Armed Tom Yam Wonton Soup.

My chosen recipes are 1 dish balanced meals. Its easy for me to warm up and all I dirty is 1 bowl and a fork. I have been searching for more exotic 1 dish meals than the first Google results. This week I chose a Slow Cooker Chicken and Shrimp Bouillabaisse recipe that was prepared by my special someone. This is a very flavorful and easy meal to prepare that gets slowly cooked in a crock-pot.

Bouillabaisse  is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille, France. This one is not playing by the rules as it uses chicken (and my added shrimp), so it is perfect for non seafood lovers. I modified the original recipe a lot by doubling the veggie portions and seasoning, and adding shrimp and white beans. In my opinion what sets a real Bouillabaisse apart is the distinctive flavor of real saffron. Best crock-pot recipe ever.

You may not find anything unusual about the left side but remember 6 weeks ago I could not move or really feel some fingers. Since yesterday I can slowly bend my ring and little finger and touch the cast. You may have noticed the unusual selection of nail polish colors, I matched the colors used from the cast design for my final cast days!

Now lets cook 🙂

Ξ Slow Cooker Chicken and Shrimp Bouillabaisse Ξ
adapted from Good Housekeeping

Ingredients

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
3 chicken breasts, cut in half
1/2 pound raw shelled shrimp
Salt and pepper
1 fennel bulb
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 can (14 ounce) white beans
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

Directions

In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high until hot. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to season both sides. Add chicken to skillet and cook  until lightly browned on both sides, turning chicken over once and adding more oil if necessary. Set aside.

Meanwhile, trim stems and bottom from fennel bulb. Cut bulb into quarters, then thinly slice bulb crosswise.

After all chicken is browned, add wine to skillet and heat to boiling on high, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Boil 1 minute, stirring.

In 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker bowl, combine fennel, onion, garlic, broth, tomatoes with their juice, beans, bay leaf, thyme, and saffron. Top with browned chicken, shrimp and wine mixture from skillet; do not stir. Cover slow cooker with lid, and cook on the low setting for 8 hours or the  high setting for 4 hours. Serve in a soup bowl with a slice of French bread. Makes 4 servings.