Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer and Slow Cooker Dinner!

First off, I am so proud of my "girls"!  They put themselves to bed the night before last!  I was experimenting with leaving them out a little past sunset rather than trying to round them up a few minutes before hand (which hasn't been going that great).  The sun sets around 9pm here at the moment, so I waited until 9:20 or so before heading outside.  The photo to the left is what I found, all three of the girls cuddled up in the coop, mostly!  Henri, the lighter of my two SLWs had her rear end hanging out the coop door, lol.  So, they didn't get very far inside the coop...but they went in!  Gerty (the BR) has been going in without too much trouble for the last several days, so I suspect she talked the other two into joining her when the sun actually set.  The girls are 15 weeks old today too!  Time really does fly when you're having fun!  Still no I am extra hopeful that all of them are in deed pullets (yippy!), but Gerty's comb has really shot up in the past week or so!  All three of them have gotten quite a bit redder in the face as well, I suspect that this is just due to the hormones of getting closer to "hen" status though.  Last night I didn't wait quite as long after sunset to go outside, so all three were still in the run, but as soon as I walked over the pop door, all three went right up the ramp and inside!  They even all got up on the roost last night while I was moving the feed and water to inside the coop, but they didn't stay there...they like to cuddle up in the corner of the coop that has a wire mesh wall.  I guess they like the cool night air, lol.

As for my "slow cooker meal" today...I know, I's Summer, why did I even think I should break out the mid-winter cooking device?!?  Well, to tell you the truth, it's because I found a low-carb cookbook at the library that is "all" for the slow cooker!  There are many recipe that don't require the slow cooker, but those are all sauces, rubs, and such.  This is the same book I found the recipe for low-carb Kahlua!  Today, I am trying more recipes out of the book, since the Mockalua was so good! 
I combined everything in the sour cream container...
Waiting for the butter to melt!
I started my morning making the "Classic Rub", a dry spice rub with 13 ingredients in it!  That is a ton of ingredients, I usually stick to recipes with about half that many components, lol.  It does, however, smell really good and smelled even better on the spareribs while they were broiling in the oven!  Next up was "Dana's "Kansas-City" Barbecue Sauce"!  I cheated here, a little, with the ingredients.  I didn't have the counter space to chop up part of a fresh onion this morning (I really need to clean my dishes), so I threw in a small handful of dried chopped onion.  This works especially well as an onion replacement in my house, the tiny bits of onion are easier for my texture-phobic other half, who doesn't like the "feel" of fresh onion bits.  The sauce was super easy, toss everything in a saucepan, wait for the butter to melt, over low heat, then stir it up and simmer for 5 minutes!  Talk about simple!  I did add liquid smoke, like the author suggested, and it made the "perfect" barbeque sauce for us!  However, there are 6g net carbs per 2 Tablespoons, so it's a bit on the "carby" side still. 

The ribs are the third recipe we are trying today...I bought a package of nice looking Pork Spareribs at WinCo the other day for this recipe.  I don't expect them to be nearly as good as the ribs that my other half half grew up eating (his Dad makes the best ribs I've ever tasted...which is saying a lot since I never liked ribs before trying his), but they will hopefully be a "good enough" low-carb substitution!  I probably should have left them under the broiler longer to get a darker "browned", but since my AC is working overtime to get the house back down to 74 because of my running the broiler for more than 30 minutes (at 500 degrees), I decided to go ahead and pull them out after 7 minutes per side (the longest recommended cook time in the book).  In to my slow cooker they went!  I ended up with 4 pounds of ribs, instead of the 2.5 pounds called for, so I just added a little extra BBQ sauce to cover the last two racks with.
To keep my slow cooker semi-clean and definitely easier to get clean after cooking in it, I use Reynold's Slow Cooker bags, these things are awesome!  They keep all the icky-sticky mess off the porcelain of the crock and you just pull out the bag and throw it away when you're done!  I use these every time I use my slow cooker!  I have used them for soups, stews, everything!  "Flavor" does seep into the crock, so you do still need to wash it when you are done cooking, but the stuck on food is a thing of the past, no more need to soak it for weeks trying to get it clean!  I forget how much they cost, but the box comes with 3 bags in it...some weeks during the colder months, I got through more than a box in a week!  I know that with my doing the volunteer thing at the Humane Society, my slow cooker will be getting a workout this winter!  I made Dinner between 8 and 11 this morning!  I had to wait to start the meat until 11 or dinner would have been done at 3pm!

I'll wait to say for sure until I've tried a few more recipes, but I think I want to buy this cookbook!  Well, one just like it...I think the library over charges if you decide to keep their books, lol.


  1. It's funny, isn't it? Our girls are still inside at night (I know, I know, we need to finish so they can stay outside all night :lol:), and they all line up outside the back door.

    My oldest BR gets a bit desperate to come in- flying at the window and hopping up on things to look in, all the while doing her "something's wrong!" cheep, lol. We bring her in first and then she is happy.

    Once she comes in, we leave the door open and they all wander in, lol, where we pick them off one at a time and put them in the big brooder. What a riot, lol. Aren't they great?! :D

  2. Our girls didn't leave the brooder until around week 13, so I understand the need to get things done, lol. My cats and dog wouldn't allow me to let them wander in the house, so they are really loving their own little "personal space" that the run provides them! First thing every morning while I'm moving the food and water back outside, they are doing laps around the run, wings a flapping, it is hilarious to watch!