A little slow-cooking… and a few lovely awards

These days, I have been living and dying by my slow cooker. Too many events and appointments are overlapping each other on the calendar, and almost all of them fall in those precious after-school/dinner-making hours. You know what I mean.

Since I can no longer rely on my patented “5 p.m.-refrigerator-crap-shoot” technique for getting dinner on the table, I’m giving a particular shout-out to this book:

I bought Make It Fast, Cook it Slow after reading reviews from other bloggers, and it is completely changing the way I view slow-cooking. For those who don’t know her, Stephanie O’Dea is ingenious with a slow cooker, as she proved by using her crockpot every day for a year and documenting it on her website, crockpot365.blogspot.com. Please forgive me for going a little fan-girl here, but her recipes are a big part of my life right now.

Pasta e fagioli ready for the day’s simmer

Tonight we’re having Pasta e Fagioli (p. 201), along with a little spinach salad and some garlic bread. I’ve made this one before, and my family loves it. Thank goodness, because today there is absolutely no time to even boil water for spaghetti. Being able to come home and eat a real meal on proper plates instead of a take-out one wrapped up in soggy, greasy papers and bags before running off to another meeting is my idea of living the good life. Well, that and leaving the dishes for the rest of my family…. πŸ™‚

Over the next few busy days, I’m going to try her Sweet and Spicy Salmon (p.233), White Bean and Apple Chili (p. 137), and the Southwestern Sweet Potato and Corn Medley (p. 106). I have a feeling my freezer is going to be full after that…

Do you have a favorite slow-cooker recipe book? Do share, because I am feeling very partial to my crockpot these days.


Before I post this, I need to thank a few bloggers who were kind enough to nominate me for some awards. I find so much personal reward in blogging — jotting down these little stories and photos for my own memories, sharing them with you and “meeting” you in the comments, and feeling part of a supportive writing community. Getting a shout-out is just a little icing on the cake, like finding a $20 bill in your winter coat pocket the first time you wear it in the season. It puts a smile on my face that even overflowing laundry and our cell phone bill can’t erase.

I feel I have been a bit remiss in thanking Cece over at Family Mill who nominated me for an Inspiring Blog Award a couple of weeks ago. Her site truly is inspirational with her thoughts on family, parenting, and life, and she also gives great tips for finding time to spend with your kids in this hectic life. Click on over there — I always come away with good food for thought on my role as a mom. Thanks so much, Cece, for nominating me for this award. I’m not sure I’m all that inspiring (more like perspiring to keep up!), but I’m ever so grateful that you thought of my space here!

I’ve really enjoyed “chatting” with Sue at Letters to Rosa in the comments section and was pleased as punch that she nominated me for One Lovely Blog Award this last week. Thanks so much, Sue! I love that she found me by setting out on a little expedition through the blogosphere, and I think I’ll follow her example by getting lost on WordPress for a while. In the meantime, take a peek at her blog, will you? She writes so lyrically about her grandmother.


Finally, Thea at Organized Living Essentials nominated me for both One Lovely Blog Award and the Super-Sweet Blogging Award (thanks so much, Thea!). Take a second to check out her blog; she has so many good ideas, projects, and tips for streamlining and beautifying your life.

I should note that Thea nominated me and 10 other bloggers who are all part of the upcoming amazing brainchild of Kelly at Cobwebs, Cupcakes, and Crayons called Collectively Creative.

Oh, you guys, I’m very excited about this! Kelly’s idea was simple — ask a group of bloggers to offer his/her take on a topic on a particular day. The first edition, scheduled for this upcoming Monday, October 22, is about all things Halloween. I can’t wait to see what the following creative bloggers are going to post:


Organized Living Essentials

Neaten Your Nest

Inspire and Indulge

Mrs. & The Misc.

Pillows A-La-Mode

Roar Sweetly

Team Ibrahim

Happy Little Kiwi

Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons

As I’ve done in the past, I’ll include these blogs and the lovely bloggers who nominated me on my blogroll (over there on the right) and put a permanent thank you to them on my Awards page. I’ll also try to throw a few new facts about myself on my About page. I may need to do all that tomorrow, because time is short and I’m going to have to start firing up the minivan for a round of “pick-up-a-kid, drop-a-kid-off, repeat-until-dizzy” cycle.

Hope you all have a lovely day!


About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
This entry was posted in Blogging, books, Cooking and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to A little slow-cooking… and a few lovely awards

  1. amyp22 says:

    I too am an avid fan of slow cookers. Will have to check out the book you mentioned. We had chicken and dumplings in ours last night.

  2. I absolutely love my slow cooker. Best drunken internet purchase ever. I just love being able to get the whole dinner thing over and done with by lunchtime. πŸ˜€

    I don’t have a favourite recipe because I make *everything* in it. But the last thing I made was spiced butternut squash, from here (hope the link works, feel free to edit as necessary).

  3. amyp22 says:

    Since it is late enough to really be up, I have checked the title of a recent gift that I’ve been using…Gooseberry Patch 101 Slow Cooker Recipes. We’ve tried several and have been happy with them all.

    • I’ll have to go grab that one and have a look — thanks for the recommendation! I’m addicted to the notion that my dinner-making responsibilities are over by 9 a.m. (Love. That.), so I am, by extension, also addicted to slow-cooker recipe books.

      Any particular favs in the Gooseberry Patch 101 book?

  4. Joan, thank you so much for your sweet words. They made my (rather dreary and muggy) day. Thank you. I’m so happy I can be of some help to you in some way.

    • Stephanie — thanks so much for dropping by! So nice of you! I meant every word — your cookbooks have completely changed how I use my slow-cooker and how I deal with dinner (and occasionally breakfast) at my house. Love them!!! — Joan

      (I’m going to go have a little fan-girl moment here, full of exclamation points. Don’t mind me.)

  5. All of those recipes mentioned sound delish! I’m going to have to
    take a look at a copy of that cookbook.

  6. Susan Bahr says:

    Great stuff, them slow-cookers. Mine is going at least once a week. I love coming home from work to dinner all cooked. Congrats on the award – you deserve it!

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