cooking potatoes before slow cooking?

Well, I was thinking I could microwave the sweet potatoes/squash so that they could easily be sliced and I could scoop the insides out one-handed.. I unfortunately can't hold them still to cut them, or I'd throw them in with the skins on.

The "recipe" is really just a throw together, haha. I take the slow cooker and dump in:
- a bag of lentils (with enough liquid too cook them, minus the amount of the coconut milk)
- a can of coconut milk
- chunks of sweet potato and/or butternut squash
- curry powder, cumin, and pepper to taste

And then cook it on low until everything seems done. Sometimes I throw some spinach or kale in at the end. It's healthy (and tastes like it) but it makes a filling, inexpensive meal that's also easy for leftovers :)

Do you have an acquired taste?

Shrimp. Every time my parents would eat it, I would ask for a bite.. and not like it.. then one day, it clicked, and now I love it. Soy milk.. a necessity after discovering a dairy allergy, and I love it now. Beer. Wine.

cooking pasta without a stove?

thanks, all! I went the meatball sandwich route last night, but I'll try the microwave method today. Unfortunately, no grill (I live in a 2nd floor apt) or hotplate (though I may ask around at work for one to borrow in the meantime). I survived the derecho with the gas stove and a lighter, but this is almost harder!

Did you lay in food for the storm?

I haven't gone crazy, but that's because a) I'm couch surfing while I wait for an apartment to be ready and b) after the unexpectedness of the derecho this summer I realized I can totally survive for at least a couple days on the food I have on hand. It helps that we can light the gas stove without electricity!

The wind and damage have me more worried than anything.

Chai tea latte powder recommendations?

The Tazo concentrate is great, and you can find it at a lot of grocery stores- and Target!! I'll warn that it's not exactly the same as the Starbucks. I worked at a Starbucks, and the one we had to use was at least twice as concentrated (makes for more room for milk and a creamier latte).. you can't buy that strength anywhere I've found.

safe to eat?

Thanks all! We went for the sauce (less frozen than the chili) and veggies- all were yummy and fine. Chili will be dinner tomorrow with the rest of the veggies (already cooked and drained). Best surprise of the night was when the power came back around 7!

Ice Cream Maker Recommendations?

Thanks for the input so far, everyone. I don't have a kitchenaid, unfortunately (that's not in the budget and probably won't be for a long, long time). I'll ask around and see if anyone else has one that I could try out (or share with). I should mention that my roommate, who is an ice creamaholic, would likely be using it as well but to make real ice cream, so it would hopefully get more than the usual amount of use.

Unbelievable chip flavours!!!!!!!!

In Baltimore we have "crab" chips.. covered in Old Bay. mmmmm

I suck at making...

eggs. any kind except hard boiled. i've tried and failed so many times, that i never make them unless i'm the only one eating them.

Do you have food allergies?

Mine isn't a true allergy either, but the proteins in milk products (casein and whey) give me killer migraines. I discovered it when I went to Costa Rica, had no milk for a month, and no migraines.. and first thing back I had a glass of milk and got one. I tried one more time a few months later with a milkshake (I was craving it) and had the worst headache in years.. to the point of not being able to stand. I limit myself to one very small serving or less a day. Avoiding the milk in general isn't so tough, but here's a little known fact: a product can be called "milk/dairy free" and still have the proteins! They're both colorless and tasteless so they're a go-to method of adding protein to foods, and they can be tricky to avoid.

I also have to avoid yellow dyes, green tea, blackberries and grapefruit.. all part of the migraine list that has been growing consistently since I was six.

Best Coffee Travel Mug?

I was gifted this one from Target, and it works well for me. It's a fancy recycled plastic one, and it a) is microwavable (but tall, so it doesn't fit in all micros), b) has a lid that doesn't leak, c) has a good flip top, and d) keeps things relatively warm. I'm a teacher with a long commute, and my coffee is still hot when I get to work.. bonus points for being solid- one of my students was carrying it for me and dropped it, and it still looks like new.

What are your food supplies for the Hurricane?

I had sort of ignored this thread, thinking "man, I'm SO grateful I don't need to think about a hurricane"... until I was informed last night that we may get hit pretty hard here in Bmore. Planning on riding out the storm at someone else's house (I am a worrier and a scaredy cat and live by myself.. not a good combo) so I'll probably take some fruit/veggies/snacks to share, and maybe some hummus. Since I'm a teacher, we're paying more attention to the possibility that school may not start on Monday after all!

What's cooking this weekend?

Made pulled pork yesterday, and arroz con pollo today! my house smells wonderful. Later this week is pineapple BBQ chicken for about 25, so I'm going to take it easy on the cooking for a couple days in between.

A Meal for Friends

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I'm leaning toward the pulled pork BBQ (it's going to be hot here, and I think I can do that in the crockpot!) and maybe some mac and cheese on the side.

@DM normally that's what I would do.. I was just feeling particularly stuck this time! Most things I make would be too adventurous.. and I'm cooking my go-to next week for a dinner they'll be at.. I didn't want to repeat, cause it's boring!

Do You Drink Soy Milk Over Other Milks?

I drink it, but I really have no preference of soy over almond milk or coconut- it just seems to be a little less expensive, which is important on a grad student budget. The only brand I've found I don't like at all is Westsoy- and a lot of store brands are pretty decent. I switched over in college after finding out that milk proteins (casein and whey) are huge migraine triggers for me. I actually prefer the taste of non-cow milks in cereal, etc. but I can't STAND soy milk in my coffee! That little bit of cream (or non-dairy creamer, which still has the proteins) is my dairy allowance for the day.

Drinking party eats?

thanks for the suggestions! i'll go for all things dip-able and snack-able! dinner before will be pasta and meatballs, i think.

and thank you for the "be careful" messages- and i will be! this is a group of friends who i a) trust wholeheartedly, b) know my limits and won't hesitate to stop me, c) know that my tolerance is low and don't care if i only have like 3 drinks, and d) have experience with this kind of thing.. i wouldn't have agreed to it otherwise! current plan is alternating a drink with lots of water and eating tons of food!

First meal of 2011?

first "real" meal was ham and bean soup, thrown in the slow cooker early in the morning so I could go back to bed!

Drinking party eats?

hahaha don't worry.. we're not talking trashed drunk here.. the aim is to have fun and laugh a lot, and that would be NO fun. just tipsy!

How to Make Dried Apple Chips

How long are these likely to last once made? If I make a huge batch will they be easy to store for a couple of weeks, or will they go bad?

What's your favorite dunkable snack?

Cassaendra are you talking about FunDip? it's very bright colored powder in a couple pouches with a stick. that was often my brother's favorite candy choice. I didn't realize it was still around until one of my preschoolers brought it to school last year.

Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

i had a particularly bad wisdom teeth experience, and didn't eat solid food for about 2 weeks, so i (well, my mom.. i was on too many meds to think for myself) got creative.

overcooked pasta (to the point of being mushy) was my staple. it slides down without chewing but gives the pain meds that can be hard on a stomach some extra padding. i second the mashed potatoes, apple sauce, jello. very airy melt-in-your-mouth bread, soup with no large chunks, protein drinks are good (i can't drink them because i'm allergic to the proteins used, but friends said so). spinach and overcooked veggies. nothing acidic (like tomato sauce, oranges, etc) because it hurts! also, i may be the only one for whom this was true but ice cream made mine more painful unless i let it melt.

or, you could be like my brother (who had a very different experience than mine) and eat a hoagie the next day.

Hidden gems of the cereal isle...

Kashi cinnamon harvest is great! it's like shredded wheat biscuits with cinnamon and brown sugar in the middle. I eat it cold in the summer but warm it up a little in the winter. autumn wheat is pretty good too.

Are You A Fan of Food Souvenirs?

@micheyd- i order it from not sure if it's based in the US or in Costa Rica. i know some places (spanish markets, mostly) in the US do sell it so I'd check into that first, but I've yet to find one in Philly

Are You A Fan of Food Souvenirs?

I spent a month in a Costa Rican orphanage and brought quite a few things back.. but the best was a large bottle of Lizano sauce. I used it at every meal down there and I've gotten everyone here hooked as well. I now mail-order it as soon as I get low.

Your "Poor Era" Eats

like some others, i'm still a poor college student. i'm not ashamed to admit that i use coupons a LOT and stalk the sale ads of the grocery store, so I have a little more money to spend on the stuff I really want. My go-to meals are rice and beans, pasta and sauce (it used to be mac & cheese before i figured out milk was giving me migraines..), and baked (microwaved) potatoes. but thanks to being thrifty I don't eat too badly. and i usually freeze most of what i make to have quick, reheat-able meals when the semester is particularly crazy.

cooking potatoes before slow cooking?

i had surgery on my wrist this past week, and in my pre-planning got all the ingredients to do a simple throw-together slow cooker batch of lentils, coconut milk, curry and squash or sweet potatoes. in my wisdom, I totally forgot about needing to cut up the squash/potatoes.. and in my defense i thought i'd have at least some use of this arm for steadying things (no such luck).

Is it possible to cook and mash the potatoes ahead of time so i can get them peeled, without the texture being awful? i'm guessing the squash is just not a possibility at all :(


cooking pasta without a stove?

I'm stove and oven-less for the near future because of a gas leak.. I had the brilliant idea to throw meatballs and sauce in the slow cooker, but managed to overlook the fact that I need to cook pasta as well. Any suggestions? Can I throw it in the slow cooker too? (Should have gone with the meal that needed rice.. at least that's doable in the microwave, as much as I don't prefer to cook it that way.)

safe to eat?

I'm in the unlucky mess that got hit hard on Friday night and still has no power 60+ hours later, in 90+ degree heat. We saved some of our food on ice and some went into a friend's freezer, who ended up losing power but a full 18 hours after ours went out. Items in question:
a) a block of cheddar cheese- it's unopened (shrink-wrapped), stayed cool (though not cold) and looks fine.
b) chili and sauce, both with cooked meat, in an unopened freezer and still very frozen in the middle
c) coconut milk- same deal as the cheese
d) frozen veggies- now thawed :(

are any of these still safe? I don't want to take a big risk, but we've thrown out SO much food already that I'd love to save something.. and it would give us dinner for a night or two

Ice Cream Maker Recommendations?

I'm allergic to milk proteins, so I've gone almost totally ice cream-less for a few years because soy/almond/coconut milk ice creams are delicious but SO EXPENSIVE. I'd like to try to make my own, and figure it might be cost-effective in the long run. Does anyone have a recommendation for a fairly inexpensive (talking Amazon prices- there's many at about half off) machine that would work with non-dairy milk?

A Meal for Friends

I apologize that I know there have been similar posts to this one recently, but I can't find them. Dear friends of mine's daughter had a pretty intense surgery yesterday, and I want to bring them a meal, but I'm clear out of ideas! They're not an "adventurous eating" family, so I need to stick with something classic. The only thing I can think of is baked ziti, but that makes me feel boring. One-dish is best (minus veggies, I can take a salad), and something that will transport across the city well. It needs to feed 2 adults and 4 other kids. I actually have a decent amount of free time right now, so if it takes some prep that's fine! (Also, bonus points for ideas of something special to take just for her that doesn't require chewing..)

Drinking party eats?

A few friends have decided that since I'm a college graduate and haven't been drunk, they need to change that. We're having a party to do just that next weekend, and I'm hosting (logically, since I won't be able to drive). I'm looking for a couple simple things to serve (both food and drinks)!

The basic requirements:
- most need to be vegetarian
- I can't have too much dairy (it gives me migraines)
- it needs to be relatively inexpensive
- things that can be made fast or in advance are a huge plus, as I'll only have a couple of hours after work to get it all together

After-Graduation Eats in Philadelphia

I've lived in Philly for 4 years, all of my college career, and somehow am completely lost as to where to go for a meal after graduation. I'm looking for somewhere nice, but not super expensive. (As in, mom is treating, but I don't want to feel badly about how much it's going to cost. And frankly, I'm looking more for somewhere I'll enjoy eating than for somewhere fancy). It will likely be an early dinner, with other grads and their families. I'm open to anywhere in the city, although preferably somewhere fairly accessible by subway. Any suggestions?

What to cook for a vague occasion..

Here's a random one: I'm getting some pretty big news next week, and I promised I'd cook a few (5?) friends dinner in exchange for either celebrating the good news with me or being there for the bad news. I want to make something not too complicated, because I'll be working until a few hours before we eat, but it doesn't have to be super simple either. And possibly something comforting (in case of the bad) but not overly heavy (in case a good news dance party breaks out). I plan on using either shrimp or chicken as a protein. I can't do a gourmet meal, but price isn't a huge issue.

Any suggestions?

Espresso machine lacking instructions

I recently purchased a great espresso machine at a thrift store, and didn't think the lack of instruction manual would be a problem.. until I tried to both steam milk and make espresso in one use. I can't seem to figure out how (or if it's possible to) brew espresso and steam milk at the same time, nor can I tell which I'm supposed to do first. I tried brewing espresso and then adding more water to steam the milk, but the water exploded out because of the heat and that option failed.

The machine is a Maxim, and doesn't look super old but I can't find a manual online anywhere. The best way I can describe the settings is this: on the left side there is a dial with four options- brew->off->one circular dot->4 circular dots with what looks like a milk wand coming out of the top one. So far, the only setting that produces espresso is "brew", and the two on the other side of off steam milk (I've noticed no difference between the two settings).

I feel like an idiot for not being able to work a simple machine, after working at a coffee shop and running a much more complicated one. Anyone have a similar machine?

shourtney hasn't favorited a post yet.