Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘slow-cooker recipes’
Posted: May 13th, 2013

Mexican Pulled Pork from www.simplyrecipes.com will wake you up.

Mexican Pulled Pork from www.simplyrecipes.com will wake you up.


It’s really hard to improve on old-fashioned pulled pork. You can grill it, smoke it, slow-cook it, braise it, as long as you cook it slowly with love and patience.
That sweet and sour and spicy flavor can’t be rushed.
My slow-cooker method is one of my favorite recipes ever, but last week I was in the mood for something completely different. Mexican Pulled Pork, from simplyrecipes.com,, encrusted with a blend of heavy seasonings, didn’t last long in my house. It’s hard to believe John and I ate a 3-pound pork shoulder in four days. I’ll blame him, the always-hungry runner, but I will admit to enjoying my generous share.
I added chopped bell peppers and onions, and, perhaps unwisely, a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
The vegetables were great, but the water they released made the mixture a little too soupy. I probably should have drained the tomatoes first or gone without them.
Also, the recipe said it would cook six to 10 hours on low. That’s quite a range. I poked at the meat after four hours and it was still pretty tight, so I upped the heat to high and after seven hours total, it was perfect. My regular pulled pork recipe calls for eight hours on high, so when I make this again, I think I’ll just start with high heat.
The key to the bold flavor of this dish is to rub the spices on generously, let them sink in for an hour, and then brown the meat all the surfaces before putting it into the slow cooker, or on the grill, or in the back seat of your car this summer, and then cook it until fall-apart tender.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 25th, 2013

Parents.com offered this up as a simple dinner. I'll bite.

Parents.com offered this up as a simple dinner. I’ll bite.

OK, I have two reservations about this Enchilada Casserole from www.Parents.com: First, it’s designed for a slow cooker, and takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours to make. That’s pretty awkward for most of the dinner times in my life. Too long to cook after work, not long enough to cook during work.
My other reservation is that maybe it’s not innovative or fancy enough for a food writer to spend time on. It’s just so, well, simple.
So, I sloughed it off of the short list for today’s post.
Then something interesting happened: I didn’t just recycle the printout. I folded it up and put it in my purse, so I could make it at home, maybe on Saturday. John would love it. And, it was so, well, simple.
It occurred to me that maybe the recipes I’m taking home might be the ones I should be sharing, rather than the ones that are more sophisticated or something.
You can always soup it up yourself, say, by adding any of the following: roasted bell peppers, roasted grape tomatoes, a teaspoon of chili powder, black beans, cilantro (at the end), a squeeze from half a lime.
So, I know it’s Monday and it might be a few days before we get to use it. But I’m not going to kick this to the curb. It looks cheaper and easier than making, er, reservations.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 11th, 2013

Slow Cooker, pork shoulder, Asian sweet and spicy ... what could possibly go wrong?

Slow Cooker, pork shoulder, Asian sweet and spicy … what could possibly go wrong?

My weekend starts in T – 2 hours, 2 minutes.
I love weekends. Maybe this goes without saying, but I don’t just love them for their worklessness. I really work as much on Saturdays and Sundays as I do during the week, just on different stuff.
The real reason I love weekends is that I have time to make yummy food. I can choose recipes and go to the grocery store in the morning, do a little laundry, a household repair or two, and then get out in the kitchen at last where I can take my time, when no one is whining about being starved, and we’re not bumping up against anyone’s bedtime.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe. Just something that has some depth to it. Something worth looking forward to. Something new.
I usually collect recipes I like throughout the week online, in magazines, cookbooks, etc. I make a pile and decide whether to use them in the paper, in the blog, or just for home.
Slow-Cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder from www.RealSimple.com is coming home with me tonight, to make its appearance (she said hopefully) Sunday night.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 4th, 2012

Slow Cooker Pot Roast from www.sowonderfulsomarvelous.com will fit nicely between holiday dinners.

Sorry about my sudden disappearance last week. I was on vacation and couldn’t bring myself to sit in front of a computer for any of it.
I did, however, succeed in making yummy food.
I made double chocolate peppermint cookies, incredible pumpkin muffins and a hearty pot roast.
To avoid getting bogged down in Christmas-themed recipes all month long, I’ll share the pot roast recipe from www.sowonderfulsomarvelous.com first.
As you probably know, slow-cooker recipes save time in the evening, but most require as much prep as stove-top dishes — and you have to do it in the morning.
Well, I dispensed with that by chopping the vegetables and blending the spices the night before. That way all I had to do the next day was brown the roast and cross my fingers.
By the way, what’s called an “English roast” is also referred to as “chuck shoulder.”
The meal turned out beautifully. The vegetables were perfect, the meat was perfect, and the whole thing made the highlight reel of my low-key week off.
P.S. The recipe doesn’t say to brown the roast, but I wanted it to have that flavor, so it did it — about 2 to 3 minutes per side in a 12-inch skillet.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 25th, 2012

Slow-Cooked Moroccan Chicken from Parents magazine will tide you over until holiday favorites start coming at us.

We’re about to get pummeled by holiday comfort food recipes, and I’ll surely be part of that parade, so I’m using this small window of time to try something a little unusual.
When I was about 11, my parents took us to Disney World and Epcot Center. It started pouring rain, and we ducked into the first restaurant we could find. It had a Moroccan-themed menu, and my mom’s food was devastatingly spicy. She actually got sick and went out to the car while we watched the laser show.
I don’t remember liking mine either, so it was a long time before I went out on this culinary tightrope again.
Thank goodness I did. This stuff can be amazing if you get the right recipe. Most of it is pretty simple to make, too:
Just a few spices, meat, often dried fruit and adjustable heat.
This recipe, for Slow-Cooked Moroccan Chicken features prunes and curry, which might sound strange, but combine to form a delightfully tasty adventure.
Keep in mind also that Moroccan cooking doesn’t require a whole lot of fat or calories. In fact, this recipe only offers 255 calories, a steal considering all its flavor.
And it’s not terribly spicy either, meaning you shouldn’t have to go sleep in your car.

Posted in: Uncategorized