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Posted by jterrilynn
Fri, Mar 2, 12 at 19:32
|I have been an empty nester for a few days now but I did promise the boys I would bring them soups or stews once or twice a month. I want to get them a slow cooker crock pot that I can transfer the goodies into. There are four people total sharing the house, three young men and a young lady. Most are working and going to school so lots of coming and going. I don't own a crock myself so I was surprised to find out that I couldn't get a 10 quart? When I went on Amaz@n to check out the 8 to 8 1/2 quarts most reviews on those complained they were not really 8 or 81/2 quarts but closer to 7 qts. The other complaints I read about is that many were not really considered slow cookers as the temp often reached a boil and many others were not programmable.
So, what's a momma with three sheet pans of freezing grits dumplings to do for big pots of soups and stews? Yes I know I could just buy a pot but I will have a better piece of mind knowing that a low temp food left "on" for close to two days as people are coming and going will maybe not burn the house down.
|Check this one out on Amazon. It is listed as a roaster but it also works as a slow cooker and warmer. |
Hamilton Beach 32184 18-Quart Roaster Oven
|I've been using the crockpot in the link I've attached for the last few years, and really like it. 7 Quarts is actually a pretty good amount of food, even for 3 college age boys. If you really want a greater amount of food, you might be better off to get two crockpots, and put one of them in the fridge, and plug one in. When the first is empty, bring the next out. It would be safer and taste better I think. Be sure to spray your pot with PAM or something to make it easy to clean afterwards. I imagine most crockpots these days come with removable pots, but you may want to doublecheck. How sweet of you to do this! There are some great crockpot recipes on the web and some slowcooker cookbooks too. One of my favorites for really busy days, which even a college kid could make is: 4 skinless chicken breasts, 4 cans of Del Monte whole potatoes drained, a large bag of baby carrots, and 2-3 jars of Boston Market or Pepperidge Farm Chicken gravy.|
Here is a link that might be useful: The crockpot I have
|I have two crock pots, and for safety's sake neither can be programmed to stay on low or high for more than 12 hours, and "keep warm" is only 2 hours. Maybe it is a better idea to have them microwave their own portions as they want them. I would worry about the crock going dry in two days as they remove the food.|
|Oh pitiful me! I am sadly new at this empty nester thing and think I'm worrying too much. Worrying if they are eating right, worrying mostly about younger son who has my wimpy immune system and allergies. Worrying over all the comings and going and who will mind the pot...or not. So, today I made a big pot of their favorite chicken and dumplings with spinach and sweet potatoes. Son was so excited that he brought a few starving friends. When I told him I was looking for a slow cooker or maybe giving him my soup pot and buying myself another and how you can't leave a cheap pan on simmer because it will stick and burn and blah blah blah.. he just looked at me like I had three heads. He had brought a thin pot for the leftovers. I suggested he keep the pot in the frig as suggested above and zap servings in the micro. Jiminy Crickets I wonder about me sometimes! |
Thank you for the slow cooker suggestions, I still like the idea of it though:)
|Oh pitiful you and me jterrilynn. lol! I was going to tell you what crock pot I use but I'll share this... |
DD has been at school almost four years now and when I drove her back on Thursday, here's what I took for her kitchen:
A big batch of hummus
A big batch of tomato soup
A big batch of spinach lasagna
A big batch of seven layers cookies
and seven bags of groceries....
|Ohh hahaha Dee I'm so glad I am not the only one! Ok, you must know that now you have to Share that layered cookie recipe. I hope it's easy because my claim to fame is soups , stews and sauces. I'm not much of a baker. I was going to rest after helping him with the remodel of his first home but seem to be spending half of my convalescing (sp?) in the kitchen anyway. I guess it's a sort of therapy right now.|
|tiny hijack: deedee, i looked up 7-layer cookies and found two very different recipes. Which one do you make--the one with apricot and almond? Or the one with chocolate, butterscotch, and coconut? Thanks : )|
|Here it is fly and jterrilynn. Don't be mad at me if your family starts begging for these every month or so..... |
These are decadent and easy. One pan too!
Seven Layer Cookies
2 sticks butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 bag chocolate chips
1 bag butterscotch chips
2 cups coconut
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
Place butter in 9x13 pan and place in oven (350 degrees) while preheating.
When butter is melted add graham cracker crumbs and stir and pat down in pan.
Layer rest of ingredients in order and drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top.
Bake 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown.
|Boy~ Talk about opening my eyes... |
I have never heard of canned potatoes !!!
(Had to google it.)
On my list of things to try.
| Dee that sounds delicious! I can't wait to try this recipe; it looks easy enough for me to pull off. |
|Your welcome! |
Should have mentioned, loosen sides with knife after taking out of oven. Cut when cool. These are best when made at least 8 hours if not the day before.
|Deedee, just wanted to let you know that your layered cookies recipe was a BIG hit! I did a slight twist though because son isn't too keen on butterscotch. For the butterscotch layer I used a small amount of red raspberry preserves. |
They all want more soup/stew so if I make it it has to be for all. Do you think it wrong to get the cost of these big pots of soup? There are four people in the house that I'm more than happy to cook for every other week or so until they get settled on their own but I'm not sure "not" charging for supplies is sending the right message. Is it weird to charge for supplies?
|oooooo - that sounds so good with the raspberry! |
I wouldn't hesitate to ask the kids to chip in for the soups or whatever they request. Maybe just mention it to your son and see what his reaction is? You can always add a little extra goodie if you feel guilty:)
I know for example, a batch of seven layer cookies runs about $15 or so, so it can add up quickly!
|Dee, I ran it by the roommates and son that I would charge a total of $12 for a pot of soup and they were fine with it. I do feel a bit guilty though. I told son jokingly that the reason we wanted them out of the house in the first place is that they cost us at least $500 a month in food and at some point we need the break. So even though the pizza soup they requested costs me around $25.00 at least I'll make a bit of a point I guess. I will be happy that they will be eating some nutrition though because I put lots of veggies in.|
|Now I need the recipe for pizza soup please! |
Sounds like you have a nice sensible kid and his friends are too.
DD didn't give grocery prices much thought until she was out of the dorms and not using the schools food plan.
I told her yesterday about this thread and how I feel comforted when I have stocked her pantry. She eats nutritiously and is a good cook, but I still need to do it!
Let's hope the kids don't get a taste for lobster, steak and caviar....
|This is "about" a recipe as I'm not big on measuring and mostly go by taste. I usually make double batches of the 50%flour 50% grit dumplings ahead, cook, freeze and add to soup after it simmers a bit. Then simmer a bit more. Don't go any heaver on the pepperoni because it will overpower the soup, if anything go a bit lighter to start depending on the brand. If you add extra dumplings besides the basic amount below you might want a bit more crushed tomatoes or puree. The dumplings with garlic, parsley and parm act as the pizza dough crust in the soup. I use the grits in this mix so it doesn't get soggy in the sauce. |
Terri's meat lovers pizza stew w/grit dumplings
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 lb Italian sausage
2/3 cup of boars head pepperoni diced (use a good pepperoni)
1 Green pepper
1 Red pepper
2) 28 oz crushed tomatoes or puree w/garlic
1 cup mushrooms
1 large grated carrot
1/4 or so cup cream cheese
2 T parm
2 or 3 garlic
(or use dry spices to taste)
S & P
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Use your frozen cooked ahead in broth 50/50 grit flour dumplings at end.
Basic dumplings (I always double the recipe below but you don't have to).
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour or fast grits mix (use 50/50 for pizza soup and add garlic)
2 to 3 tablespoons of parmigiano reggiano
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of parsley
3/4 tea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of milk (warm 1/2 the milk w/butter and add the rest in increments).
In a large pot bring some stock to a boil, if I don't have homemade stock I use organic Better Than Bouillon vegetable base concentrate because its not just salt water like some. After boil set to low and spoon in dumplings. I make my dumplings a bit smaller, about a rounded teaspoon size. Cook on low for around 30 minutes or until done. If freezing put the the dumplings on pans, space them so they are not touching. When they get hard throw them in some ziplocks and freeze.
|You are such a sweetheart. |
I send a seven ingredient recipe and you send a masterpiece! No wonder the kids are requesting it. It looks fabulous!
I think my dh would go nuts over the dumplings - and I've never made dumplings in my life! I'm going to try though....
Just so I have it right-saute meats, peppers and onions then add the rest of the stew ingredients, right?
I just went grocery shopping tonight so I am going to start a list for next trip and make this. It will be a nice treat instead of my usual humdrum go-to-meals.
Also, do you think I can do this in my crock pot if I wait to add the cheeses (and dumplings) at the end?
|Oh yes, crock it! Sorry I'm not so great at writing out recipes because I often use what's on hand and use my hand for measuring lol. Go through the usual steps that you would for soups or stews. One thing though, it's good for you with all the veggies so if you eat too much it's ok because you can tell yourself it's healthy hehehe.|
|Turkey legs are my favorite. Wash and put with a cup of water or chicken broth and cook about 6 hrs until falling off the bone. EASY!!! I serve with mashed potatoes, turkey gravy out of a jar and green beans or other veggies. Budget friendly too.|
|That sounds good caminnc! |
Hey, want some of my pizza stew w/dumplings? I just made a big batch because my boys are coming tomorrow with their empty pot for a refill.
P.S I forgot to put the five cups or so of water on my recipe.
|I'm starving! Stop in jterrilynn! |
5 cups water notated....
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