A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Polenta in the Crockpot

I love to cook and I love polenta, but I don't have the patience to stand and stir for 30 minutes. I have tried this crockpot version several times now, and it's been a big success.


2 cups polenta
6 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt

Place polenta in crockpot and gradually add boiling water, stirring until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on High for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every 20 or 30 minutes. If desired, a few minutes before serving stir in

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.


Spiced Pecans

Our friend Leila brought these delicious pecans to our Christmas hike and picnic, and then brought us some more the next day. Even better, she gave me the recipe. It's wonderful to find a Christmas nut recipe that isn't coated in sugar!

Spiced Pecans

3 T butter, melted
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash Tabasco sauce
1 lb. pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients, add pecans, toss. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring often. Enjoy!

(I think there are a few left. I'm going to go eat them now.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Beer Can Chicken, a Guest Recipe from Andy

We gave Andy and his family some dried herbs from our garden for Christmas. He coated a chicken with them, refrigerated for 24 hours, and then made this Beer Can Chicken:

We like beer can chicken. It's dead simple, easy to clean up, keeps the chicken moist, entertains Abby... it's a winner. I'd recommend getting one of the can stands; they sell them in kitchen stores or even in the supermarket for like 5 bucks. The stand makes it easy to stabilize the chicken, although I've done it with just the can as well. Any beer works or really anything in a can... I've used Dr. Pepper. Just jam a bunch of your favorite spices in the cavity, drink a little of the beer, jam some more spices in the beer can and poke a few more holes in the top of the can, shove the chicken on so its legs are hanging down, maybe put a little olive oil and spices on the outside, put it on the grill on medium (if it's gas) for about an hour and 15 minutes for a 5 pound bird... a little longer for a larger bird... easy. I take it off the grill with a couple metal spatulas and put it on a big wooden cutting board to rest and cut.

Tucson Breakfast of Champions

Anasazi beans, chopped green chile, oregano, cheese, green onions.