Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crock-Pot Queen (With Recipe!)

I'm really into Crock-Pot cooking these days. A slow cooker is the poor woman's personal chef. I love the idea that things are cooking in my house while I am not home - or even better, while I sleep.

Dust off your crock-pot (you know you have one tucked away someplace) and prepare this at bedtime. You'll heart it too.

Irish Oatmeal with Apples and Walnuts

Makes 4 servings (It refrigerates well and can be reheated in the microwave.)

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups water

2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into half-inch cubes

1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats (also called Irish Oatmeal)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray

Chopped walnuts

Maple syrup (optional)

1. Coat the inside of 3-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place apple, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in slow cooker.

2. Bring milk, water, and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat. (Watch this like a hawk. It goes from barely bubbling to a reenactment of the eruption of Vesuvius in seconds flat.)

3. Pour milk mixture into slow cooker. Stir everything together. Cover and cook on LOW 7 hours or until oats are tender. (A couple of extra hours does not hurt it at all.)

4. Ladle oatmeal into bowls, and top with walnuts and maple syrup, if desired. I find I don't need the maple syrup. Goodness knows I'm already sweet enough.

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