We love our Crockpot. We use it all year round and have a lot of recipes that are certified Family Favorites that rotate in on a monthly basis. It's a fun game to walk in the door at night, stand and sniff the air, trying to guess what Momma put in the 'pot that morning. I especially like it in the summer because you can make so many great side dishes for your cookouts without heating up the kitchen. Come to think of it there isn't a whole lot I won't cook in the Crockpot.
One thing I love, love, love to make is soup. I love soup because [1.] You can use whatever you have on hand [2.] You can season it any way you like, making it as low in or free of sodium as needed and [3.] I lurve soup. Nothing says comfort and the warm toasties like a big pot of soup on the counter. Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM. Besides soup can be made low in calories and has been proven to cut your caloric intake at dinner time if eaten before a meal. Win-win Tadpoles.
Now, my most recent soup? Winner, winner no meat dinner. This stuff is gooood.
Side note: I wasn't raised Catholic but my Mom always served fish on Fridays. She also thought she was an old Jewish lady. Really I don't know why, but I got in the habit of not eating meat on Fridays from her, so when I married Pooldad it was fortuitous that he had a ready made Catholic who agreed with the no meat on Fridays deal.
I knew Friday, especially a Friday during Lent, I would have to come up with something non meat. I really like fish, but I get tired of fish. And has anyone priced the stuff lately? I will wait until Wallene and I can go fishing this summer to get back to more fish Fridays. Anyhoodle - I decided soup since I had several different kinds of fresh and frozen vegetables and herbs on hand. Before Pooldad got up I could just chop, dice and mince it all up, toss it in the pot with some water, beans and seasonings - and presto! We would have tasty, lowest sodium vegetable soup with bread for dinner. As I said easy peasy.
I ended up with almost a full crockpot. I kept adding stuff and well. . .we had a lot of soup. No problem because we ended up eating a lot of soup [Remember I said it's low calorie? Well, I'll see that rationalization and raise you two more.] Too tired to portion it out and freeze it for later use I just put the whole entire [removable] crock into the fridge and went to bed.
Saturday morning we had a lot of running around to do so I whipped out the crock, put it in the heating element on low and we left for the day. Later when we got home it had evaporated a bit more than I would've liked so I added some water, a can of diced tomatoes with mild chilis [If you haven't tried diced tomatoes with a seasoning in it in your soup, you must. MUST. I am telling you.
They make so many different options. Pick one. You won't be sorry. I promise your smile will be even prettier if you throw a can of those in our soup. I ain't lying. Nope.] Along with the water and tomatoes I tossed in a big bag of cabbage I had diced just for such an occasion and once again I had a big, honker pot of soup.
You may have noticed that honker may well be one of my all time favorite words to use to describe the large size of something. I don't know, but it just rollllls off the tongue doesn't it? And you try and say honker out loud without the corners of your mouth turning up just a wee bit. It is a word that begs you to smile when you say it. You're welcome to borrow. ::grinning::
We ate soup. Again. This time I paired it with homemade poppyseed rolls filled with the leftover sausage and sauce from our Valentine's Day's dinner for the family. I just had a roll. It was good. Nah, it was great. It had sat for a day and had all those extra ingredients, so, yes, yum.
I put that half full crock of soup back in the fridge and went to bed. I told you, so easy.
Sunday dawned, bright and sunny, but cold. Windy, blustery, no snow [you selfish bastard winter] bone chilling cold. The soup came out of the fridge and back into the heating element. We went to church, ran errands and came home to yet, more soup. I could feel Wallene rolling her eyes behind my back when she asked what was for dinner. Ah well. I like soup, her Dad likes soup and I don't see her cooking dinner, so you will eat the soup kiddo. Friday night I had baked a 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast with garlic, paprika and pepper that Pooldad chopped up, added celery, onion and a touch of mayo to for a killer chicken salad [served, of course, on those rolls.] We had added yet more water and veggies to the soup, so when dinner was done, we still had soup.
What to do? What to do?
Turns out we didn't have to decide. Because it appears that the soup wasn't as epic as I thought or everyone was tired of it [including me
YessireeBob, we killed the soup.
Poor soup. I came down this morning to a cold pot. I shed a small [imaginary] tear because it was so delicious, had served us well and now I know I have to actually make dinner again. Dagnabit. I had a pretty good run there, didn't I?
No worries. I have a ham bone in the fridge that stares me down everytime I open the door. It wants to be made into Senate Bean Soup. Yesss!! Unfortunately SBS isn't the type of soup that can be continually added to, but we won't run the danger of leaving it on the counter either. We'll finish it off in one night with leftovers for Pooldad's lunch.
I am not adding recipes to either of these soups because they are my own, "eyeball" recipes - as in I just eyeball all the ingredients and hope for the best - but if anyone wants a starter on either just let me know I can email you.
Hope y'all have a great Monday. A lot of the government has today off here in the US, as does my family, so I have peoples to play with WOOTHOO! But y'know, I want to know why, if everything is closed and no one is at work, why, just why I have a doctor's appointment today at 3 pm? Did they not get the memo that said everything is closed? I think if the banks are closed then I shouldn't have to go see my doctor either. I think that's fair, don't you? When does Skippy get a day off? I want a holiday too. :) Besides I just saw him on Friday. I see entirely too much of this man. If Pooldad didn't know better he could get suspicious. HA! As it is I really like this particular doctor so it is almost [a.l.m.o.s.t] a treat to go see him.
Okay, as I said hope y'all have a great Monday. Keep your dancing shoes on and at the ready. More adventures to come. I love that you dance with me Tadpoles and I am beginning to think I may have a lot more to dance about here in the future. Smile LOUD! Life is a gift.
We'll see ya' on the flipside. XO Skippy