I have no great kitchen skills. I am not all that great at cutting up meats or vegetables, I have nearly lost quite a few fingers in my journey to consume healthier foods, and I have used more than my fair share of olive oil in an effort to cut back on the delicious and fattening dairy product, butter. So, when I looked into the fridge this morning and noticed that I’d barely touched the mushrooms I got from the grocery store last week, I knew that it was a good day to cook. As I haven’t ever used this crock pot (which has actually never been used by anyone in this household as it was still taped up in the packaging it was delivered in), and since we have been eying each other for several months during this very interesting, rewarding, and new journey in my life as a woman who cooks, I finally gave in and sliced the tape on the box.
Honestly, I’m pretty excited about finally using this beautiful crock pot because I REALLY love soup. For some people, soup is an appetizer, but, for others, soup is the entire meal. I’m an entire-meal kind of soup lover and so, in my frenzied excitement about breaking out this beautiful, little pot, I cut up some chicken to go in it (with hopes that maybe the meat would entice some of my picky family members to try some too, though, those hopes are slim.)
As I work on this post, the slow-cooker is hard at work, set for a long, 10-hour cooking to make sure the carrots and meat are both cooked, and tender. You might be wondering about what else is in this. For a moment, I totally forgot that I didn’t tell you! Besides the mushrooms and chicken, the base of this soup is canned tomato soup and canned black beans. While experimenting last week, I mixed a delicious combo of black beans, rice, chicken, and goat cheese and thought I should try that again (plus the mushrooms and carrots that I needed to get rid of, minus the goat cheese because it’s an underappreciated flavor and I’m the only one in the house who eats it).
Of course, I also seasoned this with garlic powder (I totally ran out of fresh garlic and was not going to get some more, but for the unlazy, I will always recommend fresh garlic), ground pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, seasoning salt, and olive oil (if you want to count that as a seasoning, which I kind of do because it adds its own flavor). As I have previously stated, this soup is in the process of cooking and I will return later with an update!
Alright. Taking into consideration the instructions that came with the crockpot (which said that when using pasta, boil the pasta first and add it a half hour before your dish is done), I decided that putting the rice in about an hour before the “finish time” on the crock pot (which comes with pre-set timing options), would be fine. Wrong. That was not fine. I have decided that I cannot be trusted with rice as it is one of those things that is pretty unpredictable to cook with. When I poured rice into the pot, I said to myself, “It’s not that much.” As you can see in the bottom-most picture, the rice soaked up ALL of the soup. I have no one to blame but myself for my heavy hand with…most things.
Enough rice to feed half an army. As I do not foresee myself eating all of this rice by myself, I boxed it all up in plastic containers and have given away about 4 bowls’ worth to a friend. The moral of this cooking lesson is: two handfuls of rice is more than enough!! ???? Let’s all take a moment to laugh because as I was making this in the crockpot, I was also cooking an entirely separate dinner of sauteed chicken, slow-cooked carrots and corn, and a side item of rice, and I sort of nibbled a little on the chicken after I was done (because I finished that a long time before the crock pot had finished). So, when the rice had FINALLY cooked enough to no longer be crunchy, I made myself a bowl, of which I only ate about half. I suppose I should focus on making some new friends, so when I overcook in future, I’ll have a ton of people to invite for dinner.
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