Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back to Reality

After a weekend away, I always have a little trouble getting re-motivated to get back to life as usual. I miss the soft, squishiness of the comforter from my B&B room. I miss the rainfall shower head, and the interesting street fronts of a city I don't know well. It makes my day seem... boring.

More importantly though, I get lazy about cooking.

After eating out (out of necessity) for the weekend, I want to keep doing it! But alas, I went grocery shopping. Last night I put together maple glazed chicken breasts with caramelized apples and onions for dinner. It felt very glamorous but really only contained the 4 ingredients mentioned above and a little olive oil for cooking lubrication and a smidge of cinnamon because cinnamon is delicious.

I also put together an apple carrot slaw that will be a deliciously bright side dish for the week.

Apples are in season now here in Minnesota, so I'm sure they'll keep popping up in my foods for the next month or two. Manpanion and I always make a point to take the kiddos to the apple orchard as well, generally right before Halloween so we can get our pumpkin carving on. It's one of my favorite traditions because I can drink warm apple cider while I walk around with a giant bag of apples on my hip --  that I picked myself!

Speaking of picking, I picked up a shift at work today for a co-worker, so I am losing out on my Tuesday ritual of homework and cooking. While the stress of losing this necessary prep time is starting to creep up, I'm tossing some of it out the window by bringing out my crockpot and preparing Crockpot Chicken a la Criolla to be served over some brown rice. 
ready to heat!

As for the stress of losing important homework time, I got myself out of bed at 5am this morning to get a head start. I would normally use Tuesdays to "sleep in" (until 7) and get my butt to the gym, but these extra 2 hours have proven incredibly productive. I finished up a paper that I had started from my coffee perch this weekend in Madison, and I managed to read an entire chapter and synthesize it for my notes. Midterms are coming up in the next 2 weeks, so soon I will be cuddled up on the couch re-reading my syntheses, making sure I have a good grasp on the fundamentals, but most importantly, the details. 

Tonight, Manpanion and I are headed to THE PLANETARIUM.  If you haven't quite gotten it yet, we're science geeks, and he is way more of scientist than I will ever be. A bunch of friends have arranged for a private viewing, so we'll be stargazing with our buddies. 

But, back to the crock pot, or.. more correctly, the slow cooker (though mine is actually a Crockpot). What are some of your favorite prep it and leave it recipes? I have a feeling that I'll be using the crockpot even more this year than I have in years passed, and I LOVE my crockpots. 

So SPILL! Make with the recipes, friends. 

Pretty please? 


Tiffany Campiotti said...

One of my favorite things to do in the crockpot...a whole chicken. Rub it down with your favorite spice mix (I usually just rub it down with poultry seasoning and call it good). Throw the whole bird in the pot and hit on. No need to add fluid, it cooks in it's own juices. So delicious. Then you can use the leftover meat for soup or enchiladas etc. You can also layer in some veggies on the bottom if you like. I also like to throw the bones (not the skin) back in the pot with water, celery, carrots and onion and make my own chicken stock/bone broth. You get all kinds of nutrients and good stuff that way...mmmmmmm.
Have a great time at the planetarium! That sounds amazing! As does the apple picking...

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

There are several really good crockpot recipes in the Sparkpeople Cookbook. I make those frequently.

I am an early riser and find I get so much more done!