Good news! I'm not dying, I just have a sinus infection.
Things are going well in our house, and while I haven't been posting new recipes as often as I would like, I'm still using my slow cookers daily. In fact, as of this morning, I've made 183 new recipes since December 2009.
and the baby was born January 6th of 2010.
we've been busy!
I'm happy to say that I haven't gone off the deep-end (yet.), but am instead working on a new book of 200 (brand new!!) budget-friendly crockpot recipes that will be released in January of 2011. My due date is fast approaching, as is Easter, and summer vacation, and teething.
but we do have a trip to Disneyland planned after I turn in my manuscript. In fact, I'll be speaking/demo-ing, on Mother's Day weekend if you happen to live in the Anaheim area. I'd love to meet you!
Also, I've been having an EXTRAORDINARY (I think it's a glitch in blogger) amount of comment spam lately (like 175 robot-comments a day?!) so if you've written in to ask a question and I haven't posted and responded, it's because I got slightly (okay, more than slightly. I kind of freaked out.) overwhelmed last week and deleted everything. If you've got a burning question on a specific recipe, email me directly instead of going through the comment form.
I made a free-to-me soup last night, and promptly fell asleep while it was cooking. When Adam tried to wake me at 11:15 to remind me that the soup was still on, I muttered, "it's beans. they could cook forever, it's fine."
and I was right! This soup cooked on low for 19 hours. It's delicious, and can certainly be completely vegetarian if you don't use liquified chicken the way I did for broth.
serves 10, easily
1 pound assorted dried beans (I used small red, lima, northern, black-eyed peas, split peas, pinto)
2 cans (25-30 ounces approx) diced tomatoes (whatever you have on hand---flavored, Rotel, etc.)
3 tablespoons dried minced onion flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon celery seed (or chop up a bunch of celery if you already have it in the house)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups broth
4 cups water
Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Soak your beans overnight in enough water to cover completely with another 4 inches or so. Drain well and add to pot. If you don't have time to soak the beans for hours and hours, put them in a large stock pot with a bunch of water and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let your beans sit for an hour, then drain and use.
After the beans are in the slow cooker, add all of the spices and canned tomatoes. Pour in broth and water. Cover and cook on low for 10-20 hours, or until the beans have begun to split and thicken the broth. You can also remove about a cup of beans and blend, then stir back in to thicken the broth nicely (or do a few pulses with a hand mixer!)
I'm the only one who has had this so far. The kids are getting pictures taken for softball, and I need to get out of here and join them on the field. I had 2 mugfulls for breakfast, and am leaving the pot on "warm" so we can all enjoy it for lunch (and probably dinner, too). The flavor is mild, and beany. I didn't add any salt to my servings, but some may wish for a bit more of a salty flavor. I plan on giving the kids a small bowl of shredded cheese to stir into their servings.
Have a wonderful weekend!
p.s. I have been posting on Totally Together this year
and you should check out Kid vs. Produce for an entertaining year-long adventure!