I’ve made quite a few slow cooker meals over the years, and have found some pretty great ones (Chicken Tikka Masala and Chinese Pork being two of our favorites). I’ve found some pretty awful ones too…which we will leave unnamed. Sometimes, though, those great slow cooker meals take a few extra steps to make them that good. I love when I run across one that consists of nothing more than throwing a bunch of good stuff in a slow cooker, walking away for a day, and coming home to a satisfying dinner.
It was a couple of hours before the kids came home from school. I was cleaning up the kitchen, and noticed that the bananas hanging on my banana hook had seen better days. You know the type, the brown, spotty, “Oops, we didn’t eat these quickly enough” bananas? What do you do when life hands you brown bananas? You bake banana bread!
I’d seen this recipe a while ago, and wanted to give it a try. I love peanut butter and banana together, and I loved that this recipe (which I adapted from one I’d found in Cooking Light) had some healthier twists than the usual quick bread.
It took a little while this year, but our after school craziness is officially in full swing. I remember when my kids were younger, and parents of older kids were always telling me, “Just you wait.” when I’d remark on how busy their afternoons were. Well, that time is here for me now, and it seems like I spend at least a chunk of many afternoons running someone around town.
On nights like that, I’m eager to find solutions to help ease the craziness, and help dinner get to the table quickly…because I know my busy bunch is hungry.
This is one of those meals that I’ve made often over the years, but whenever I make it, I wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s an oldie, but a goodie, coming from a cookbook I’ve had since I got married. My mom had the cookbook, made this meal and many others from it, and then got the cookbook for me before we moved into our first apartment. I just looked at the copyright date and it came out the year after I graduated from high school.
I love acorn squash. I’m pretty partial to any squash in general, but I love to indulge in butternut and acorn squash in the fall, when the color or the squash matches the color of the leaves outside my window. I have fond memories of my mom roasting some up with our dinner, and it always involved brown sugar and butter, which made it seem like a dessert vegetable when I was growing up. She’d cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and then fill the middles with brown sugar and butter, which would just sizzle and caramelize and sweeten up the squash as it baked. Good stuff. It’s like comfort food to me.
I love it when I run across a meal that my whole family enjoys, is easily adaptable, AND I can throw together at a moment’s notice with stuff you can always find in my pantry and fridge. This is one of those meals. This sauce is incredible, so deliciously tasty that you’d think someone had spent hours on it. In reality, it takes just a few minutes of prep time, and a little bit of slow cooking in the oven.
That’s a name that will get your attention, eh? With a name like that, they’d have to be good! My dad found this recipe, was intrigued by the name, and passed it along to me. (There are many reasons why my parents are happy we’ve moved closer to home…and though they haven’t admitted it yet, I’m pretty sure one of them is because when I bake, I now live close enough to share.)
I’d never had Brunswick Stew until we’d moved down South, so I’m assuming that a lot of you haven’t heard of it either. I’m here to enlighten you! I noticed it on menus in a few places when we lived in Virginia, and then saw it more often when we lived in Georgia. As I was looking at the history of Brunswick Stew when I was prepping for this post, I realized that I am absolutely no help in solving the mystery of where exactly Brunswick Stew began. You see, Brunswick County, Virginia AND Brunswick, Georgia both claim to have originated the amazing concoction we now know as Brunswick Stew. My confusion lies in that I first ate Brunswick Stew in Virginia, but at that time, it was cooked for me by someone who was originally from Georgia.
I know it’s just under the wire, but I wanted to sneak this post in before the month, and the contest, were up! If you’ve been following my Facebook feed, you may have noticed a contest I spoke about called Cook For Health September. It’s the brainchild of Alex and Sonja Overhiser, over at the amazing A Couple Cooks. They’ve partnered up with Green BEAN Delivery, my favorite organic produce delivery group, to help promote healthy eating and meals made with healthy, seasonal, unprocessed foods…especially in their home state, and my home state, of Indiana.
One of my favorite fall traditions, and one that I’ve been able to carry on with my children, is of heading to an orchard in the early days of fall, picking bushels and bushels of apples, sipping on cider, swatting away the bees (OK, I could do without that part.), and then turning said bushels and bushels of apples into delicious treats for my friends and family once we get back home. We haven’t gone apple picking yet this year, but this could be the perfect weekend to do just that.