Sicilian White Wine Chicken

Hey Guys- Keeper here. IMG_8723I’m going to go ahead and take some responsibility of why my Mom hasn’t been able to get to the coffee shop and write. I think I’ve been occupying a little extra of her personal time. I can’t help it though! I wake up every morning in this awesome fort thing with a blanket that smells like my other brothers that I love, but first hint of a roll from Sus and I have to get out!! The day is only so long and I have so much to do! I know she’s up even if she tries to fake it, I’m too smart for her tricks. I try this thing where I put my head in between my paws and look up at her with really big eyes and it gets her every time. What a newbie she is. Then she has to get up and feed me. I do this really funny dance in the morning and turn in circles and fall on my back because I know I’m about to get some salmon and rice!! Gah this life really doesn’t get much better. She makes me sit and wait every time before she feeds me and I don’t know why, but I’ve learned to just do it because for some reason it makes her happy and I get fed faster. Then we go for our walk. I show her all my favorite places and look back just to make sure she’s still there. I usually take her to Fulton’s house. Fulton looks like me and plays how I like to play… unlike my Uncle Boo. Anytime I try to play with Boo he never looks at me so I’m not really sure if he knows I even exist. IMG_8164Fulton on the other paw jumps right on me so I know she sees me.image image I think she might even like me more than just a friend, like my friends Murphy and Raven. Murphy and I love to go to play at this place that kinda looks like my bathtub, but soooo much bigger! Murphy runs super fast when we are there, but sometimes I trick him and run the other way to get ahead of him and then he chases me. It’s so cool.IMG_8650My friend Raven has this thing that I got to go on last weekend and it feels kinda like when we ride in my Mom’s car, but so much more fun. It goes really fast and I get a  huge gush of wind in my face. image image imageSo anyways enough about how awesome my days are living it up in Charleston with all my friends, I’m here to fill y’all in on a recipe my Mom made last week. It was super easy and I got to be her sous chef. IMG_8591 IMG_8594We only used two ingredients: about 3lbs. of skin on/bone in chicken thighs and a jar of Sicilian White Wine sauce. My friends Fallon and Shannon gave the sauce to Sus for her birthday and it smelled like nothing I’d ever come across! If she hadn’t of been looking I definitely woulda eaten it all up. IMG_0001 IMG_0002

Step one is to salt and pepper the chicken thighs and brown them in a skillet with olive oil. IMG_0003Step two is to put them in the bad boy and add the jar of sauce.IMG_0004 IMG_0005 IMG_0006 IMG_0007Then all you do is set the crockpot to 2 hours and cook on high! I’m telling y’all so easy I could even do it! I had to give my final sniff approval….IMG_0008and it passed! My friend freckles came over for dinner. I think she might like me, but geez does she play hard to get. It’s okay though I think I just have to be patient.IMG_0010So here’s the part I don’t understand. I help the whole time in the kitchen. I wait extremely patiently. I sit on my Moms foot the whole time. When she moves I move. I suffer through the heavenly smells of freshly braised chicken for 2 hours. And then. Nothing. Wait I’m sorry, one little bite after all the humans had a full plate! What is this about!??? Ridiculous, but it looked like they all enjoyed it. woof.IMG_0009Hopefully she makes something again soon and I can have more and tell you how I enjoyed it. In the meantime see what I’m up to on Instagram @KeeperOfTheKassel.

Bye everyone!

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Crockpot Meatloaf

MA THE MEAT LOAF!

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If I could have one bite of food right before I die I would take a fork and get a healthy piece of meatloaf on it, scoop it through some whipped potatoes, dip into some peas, dabble in some ketchup, and then put it all in my mouth with a large sip of milk. Kill me now.

My meatloaf obsession started from an early age. This was a common dish my dad use to make when I was growing up and immediately became a favorite. Recently I found a recipe for meatloaf in a crockpot. This is typically a dish that is made in an oven so I was a little hesitant, but up for the challenge. Worst case scenario I end up with meatloaf soup and it all crumbles in the pot. I’ll take my chances.

Ingredients: Serves ~6 Crockheads
~ 2.5lbs of Ground Beef
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Milk
2/3 cup Breadcrumbs
1/2 Onion, diced
1/2 Red Pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon Rubbed Sage
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup Ketchup
2 T Brown Sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Mix eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, onions, pepper, sage, salt, and pepper in a bowl.IMG_0018 IMG_0019 IMG_0021Handful by handful start adding the ground beef. Tip: Use a bigger bowl than I did. IMG_0023Here I added some ketchup squirts and also some more breadcrumbs in order to better form everything into a proper loaf. Once successfully done, transfer your loaf to a tin foil lined crockpot. IMG_0025 IMG_0027The tin foil is key because the meatloaf creates a ton of juice from cooking out the fat. Next mix your 1/4 cup of ketchup with the brown sugar and worcestershire sauce. Pour the mixture over the loaf.IMG_0028Set the bad boy on low for 6 hours. (Look at all that juice after 6 hours!)IMG_0002To ensure the loaf is cooked through all the way, take a thermometer and it should read at least 160 degrees. Transfer it then to a pan and broil it in the oven for about 5 minutes on high.

Before:IMG_0003 IMG_0004After:IMG_0005IMG_0006Cover the loaf in some tin foil for about 5 minutes before slicing.

At this point I was secretly dancing in my head that I did not have meat soup. My guests that came to Crockpottuesday were Fallon, Eric, Fritz, Shannon, and Raymond.IMG_0008While hanging out in the kitchen Fallon had a genius idea- to use the juice from the meat to make gravy! This is why I love to cook around others. I would have never thought of that and just thrown it away. Fall transferred the juice to a small pot on the stove and added some flour and whisked away. It was delicious. IMG_0009 IMG_0010 IMG_0016I have to say our plates turned out pretty pretty. Fallon contributed the mashed potatoes and the most amazing peas with proscuitto and Shannon made a delicious summer spinach salad with fetta cheese, strawberries, and a fruit vinaigrette.IMG_0014 IMG_0017Thanks for coming y’all and hope I didn’t scare y’all from coming back… 😉 Remember: What happens at Crockpottuesday, stays at Crockpottuesday!!!!!!

Wings on Wings on Wings

IMG_0014_2You could say I’ve been on a wings kick. I would like to go ahead and claim wings as my ‘craving’ food. I don’t necessarily CRAVE pizza, Mexican food, or Chinese food like others do. However if I can see, hear about, or smell wings in the future, it becomes this yearning that won’t end well unless ending in my belly. I also either rarely eat them, let’s say with a year in between, or the complete opposite…eat them more times in a week than one should. So I need to start by giving a shout out to Recovery Room where it all started.Recovery-Room

Rec is the number 1 dive bar in South Carolina, the number 1 seller of PBR in the Nation, and voted Charleston’s best late night bar. And they happen to have one of the best wing dishes I’ve ever had. If you can brave the late night ‘smell’ of the bar by either plugging your nose or just having a few brewskies to do it for you, the wings will make it all worth it.

Then last Sunday I got stuck watching this infomercial on wings in a pressure cooker. They took a bag of frozen wings, put them in the pressure cooker, and literally within 20 minutes, the wings were ready. I was shocked slash didn’t like this. I like the idea of my meat slow cooking all day, it seems more genuine versus this futuristic method. It was like food coming immediately out of the TV or something, it just didn’t make sense. So I knew what I had to do. SLOW COOK SOME WINGS IN THE BAD BOY.

Ingredients: A bag of wings and a bottle of your favorite teriyaki sauce. (If you would rather make a homemade sauce, check out Honey Sesame Sauce from one of my previous recipes.)

Directions: First place wings in the pot.IMG_0003 IMG_0001 IMG_0002Add your teriyaki or homemade sauce.IMG_0005IMG_0007Cook on low on for 5-6 hours. After the allotted time, pull wings out in batches and place on a cookie sheet.IMG_0009Broil each batch under high for about 3 minutes until a crispy crust forms.IMG_0011 IMG_0013 IMG_0017The broil step is key. The texture of the crispy crust with the soft slow-cooked meat creates that CRAVE. Katie and I served the wings with some stir fry veggies and rice, celery, and of course ranch dressing. It was a great dinner with great company including Jay, Alex, and Carlos. At one point in the dinner I looked over at Alex’s plate of ‘discarded bones’ filled with hidden meat treasures. I immediately grabbed them and went to town on her left overs. Alex looks at me and says, “There is only one other person in this world that would re-eat my eaten wings, Mike Foley.” Mike, I get it.IMG_0012Wings-it’s been real, until next time. Crocks-I dare y’all to try this two-ingredient recipe. PEACE!

Guest Chef @ Elliotborough Mini Bar

OH-MY-CROCKPOT. I’m not gonna get too sappy, but Tuesday was one of the top night’s of my life. I decided to ignore my nerves and apprehension, and accept the challenge of Guest-Chef at my favorite bar downtown, Elliotborough Mini Bar. My job was to prepare all the food, the menu, provide the dishes, and take the orders, serve, clean up, and of course, mingle. AHHHHH!! Well, I don’t know what I was thinking doing all that by myself!?? My whole family ended up showing up and I’m talkin’ SHOWING UP! Y’all are the best people I know and your help was unbelievable. So, on a freezing cold evening in February, and probably the only day calling for a ‘wintery mix’ this year, all of my friends also showed up and made the inside of ElliotBorough Mini Bar steam up!!! Y’ALL ARE AWESOME! delete 010delete 011 My menu included Pulled Pork Sliders with Slaw, Mexican Chicken Tacos with Guacamole, and sides of 4 Cheese Macaroni and Collard Greens….and everything obviously slow-cooked. That means I rolled into Mini Bar 6 crockpots deep!!! CROCKS BLOWING UP….ON A TUESDAY!

Major kudos to Cath for helping me with the menus!

Major kudos to Cath for helping me with the menus!

IMG_0012_2As my family was setting up in the kitchen, we decided we were not going to be so serious and just have fun with this whole night ahead of us. I mean who are we kidding, we are the Kassel family playing house right now. As all four of us stood in a 1ftx1ft kitchen pumping each other up and saying ‘we got this’, I quickly realized we couldn’t all fit and I needed space before we chopped each others’ heads off. In a strict voice I gave out roles: “Jake-you’ll be on the floor serving, Chacha-money controller and hostess with the mostest, Susu and Dad-chefs and plating food.” Dad and I then had a talk about not getting in the weeds and it’s okay to take our time, these are all my peeps anyways. Deep breath. Crockpots on three! Then first order up, a Piggy Plate and a Mix and Match both with Carolina Mustard sauce. delete 007 delete 005delete 008After careful consideration with the plating, Dad and I were so proud with our first order going out successfully and cheers-in’ in the kitchen when Jake comes back with another order. He has given us now a ‘ticket’ reading “3 (1) MM (EC) and (1) PP (MB).” What!??? “Jake back in the kitchen! What does this mean!??” Jake in a cut-to-the-point tone replies, “Table 3, 1 Mix and Match with Eastern Carolina sauce and 1 Piggy Plate with Mustard base sauce,” and then promptly exits. Okay..This.Just.Got.Real. and the tables are numbered. IMG_0019Dad and I set up a system in the kitchen, he does the tacos, I do the sliders and the sides, and he tops everything off with the garnishes. We were reaching around each other and throwing terms out like, “Hit me with the collards!” “You got sauce on that?” “I need a taco!” “Is this a mix and match!?” “Wait for the gauc!” (AND keep in mind also making way for people to walk through to clean wine glasses and get to the bathroom in very close quarters.) Then we had a big order, “Jake order up!” Jake comes back and we have multiple baskets to go out at the same time. All of sudden he loads baskets all the way up his forearms, looks at Mom and says, “Can I get a follow?” Chacha goes to grab the last basket before it’s been sprinkled with garnish and I accidentally do an impulsive snap at her and Jake says, “Yea..never take a plate from expo Mom until it’s ready.” At this point my cheeks are quivering to hold back laughter because I don’t have time to break and we are all being so serious and in the moment concentrating. We were so into it and everything we talked about earlier flew out the window. We came here to work!  delete 003

Thanks for the shot Belinda and for coming!

Thanks for the shot Belinda and for coming!

delete 009One of the best parts of the night was I could see everyone coming into the bar. The kitchen is in the back, but open so you can see straight to the front door. Every single one of you that walked through made my heart beat even faster and my tail was wagging a thousand times a minute. Throughout the crowded bar I could hear from the back, “Crockpottuesday” and it was such a powerful moment. I stepped out from the kitchen and saw my Mom passing out cookies for dessert, running around with my computer case as her money bag, and working a crowd so in her element. She then took a seat between two of my favorite co-workers, across from my oldest friends from childhood, and my ‘newer’ friends on either side. I then turned and saw my brother walking around taking and serving orders like a pro and jamming to the awesome live music he arranged by his friend Cal Fahey. And then my Dad, after working hard in the kitchen, was shaking hands, talking with his friends that showed up, and making connections with my hotel friends at the bar. Tuesday night was the definition of Crockpottuesday and it’s pinnacle. It also just so happens that this post marks the 100TH POST ANNIVERSARY!! I couldn’t have imagined anything better and am in shock that this all began in a small NYC apartment on a Tuesday, my day off from work each week. All of you are what make up this crazy term and y’all’s support and coming out to this event will be one of my favorite memories of all time. Anna, thanks so much for the encouragement and opening up your doors!IMG_0008_2 IMG_0005_2And a special thanks to this girl for helping me day of in the kitchen!!!!!IMG_0020_2After the event Jake and I were in my car headed home to drop off all the crockpots and he looks at me and says, “I think that’s the coolest thing we’ve ever done as a family.” Jake I think you nailed it, Kassel Family Restaurant coming to you soon….IMG_0009_2

Fallon in da House!!!

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This week’s Friday Feature comes from the girl who loves and appreciates food as much as I do, who I can always count on for an “I’m in,” and who’s always down for dessert….coming in hot…..Miss Fallon Marie Sposatooooooooo!

Sposato Family Braciole

“Crockheads…I hope you’re ready to be schooled in some authentic Italian eats because this is the real deal…. a Sposato family favorite I’ve been eating since I was a kid. BUT. Full disclosure: it appears as though no one in my family writes things down or keeps recipes. This is a very loose recipe…I tried to keep up with my dad as best I could.

Anyhow…Christmas time in the Sposato household means one thing: Italian food traditions. Every year we bake Italian pastries by the plenty (biscotti, pizzelles, totos, etc.) and we celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fish on Christmas Eve. Occasionally, we have lasagna on Christmas day.

On the 26th when I was “working remotely” aka on house arrest with my computer but doing nothing productive, I decided to cook with my dad and document an Italian dish we eat all throughout the year. This dish isn’t complicated but does require many hours simmered in sauce – perfect to be adapted for the crockpot.IMG_0001

Braciole, pronounced bra’zhul, can be cooked with meatballs or in place of them with pasta. Known as braciole in the United States, in Italy they’re called involtini, which means “little bundles”. The little bundles we put together are thin slices of beef with a savory filling, rolled and held together by a toothpick. Interestingly in our variation we use raisins, which are surprisingly good in savory dishes.

Ingredients:IMG_0003
-Approx. 2.5 lbs top round steak thin sliced or flank steak thin sliced
-4-5 cloves of minced garlic, more or less to taste
-2 small boxes of raisins
-Large bunch of fresh parsley
-Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
-Italian seasoning
-Garlic salt
-Pepper
-Toothpicks
-Jar of store bought marinara sauce
-Extra virgin olive oil
-Pasta – penne or other small type

  1. Cut beef into strips. This depends on personal preference but I suggest 1-2 inches wide. The beef is easier to work with if its really cold so keep it refrigerated until the last moment.
  2. Layer on each beef strip garlic salt, pepper, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley, raisins and Parmesan cheese.IMG_0004
  3. Roll strip up into a little bundle and secure with one toothpick per bundle.IMG_0002
  4. Once you have seasoned and rolled all strips, put them in olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the bundles, remove from heat and add to the crockpot.IMG_0008IMG_0006
  5. Add store bought marinara to crockpot and let simmer for 3-4 hours over low setting.

Optional:

After we browned the braciole, we deglazed the pot with good red wine for the base of our sauce. Then we put our sauce in the pot and added peppers, whole canned tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Once this was all stirred together, we added to the crock pot over the meat. Again, it depends on personal preference with the sauce.IMG_0007

To serve:

We served this with penne pasta. Remember to remove the toothpicks prior to serving or remind your diners to do so on their plates and please don’t sue me if you forget. Buon appetito!”IMG_0005

Fal, this looks amaaaazing and I would like for you to cook this for the crew sooner than later please 🙂 Thanks for your Friday Feature!!!10698590_10102538326664937_5254771097725680975_n

Southern Mac and Collards

Good day Crocks,

Last night I had a trial run of some dishes for my upcoming guest chef night at Elliot Borough Mini Bar. I am super nervous because number 1: I am no chef. The people who have participated in this in the past are all cooks from restaurants which is extremely intimating. Number 2: I am a…crocker? which is different because the bad boy does all the work, I’m just there to throw it all in. Number 3: I relate more to a writer who strictly writes about food and now here I am on the other end. So, yes nervous, but also thrilled about the opportunity and wouldn’t want to cook at any other establishment! So the rules of last night: You couldn’t say a dish was ‘good’. I needed some real feedback with describing words and solutions to what the dishes needed. Here’s how it went:

                                                 Crockpot Mac and Cheese

IMG_0018Ingredients
-Medium HT Traders shell pasta
-1 stick of butter, melted
-2 eggs, beaten
-4 cups of cheese: American, Cheddar, Gouda, Gruyère
-1 can evaporated milk
-1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
-1 cup 2% milk
-Salt and Pepper to taste
Yields 6-7 servings
Cook pasta according to package. Transfer to crockpot and stir in melted butter.IMG_0022 In a separate large bowl, combine eggs, cheese, evaporated milk, cheese soup, and milk.IMG_0020 Pour mixture over macaroni in crockpot and cook on low for 3 hours.IMG_0023IMG_0028

(Original recipe calls for only putting the first 3 cups of cheese in crockpot and then adding the last cup at the very end just on top and sprinkling with paprika.) So my personal assessment, I wish the macaroni kept some of the creamy consistency it started with. If you look at the last two pictures, picture one is before the mixture cooked for three hours and it was very soupy. Picture two, the macaroni soaked up most of the liquid and the cheese separated a bit. However, Jayman and Raymond both agreed that they preferred this texture better. I believe Ray even stated, “This is more of a high end macaroni dish”. Katie had me add more salt and pepper which I agreed it needed and then Louise had a good recommendation, she wanted more sharpness. The cheeses cooked together to create a smooth taste and she wanted more of a bite from some sharp cheddar. And sweet Cath said her palate was too immature to know what we were talking about and she just really liked it. Thanks Cath I love you. Moving on to the collards.

                                                    Crockpot Collard Greens

Ingredients
-1 ham hock, 2lbs
-Collards 4.5lbs=~3bunches
-2 tablespoons Olive oil
-1 yellow onion, medium diced
-3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
-1 cup chicken broth -1 tablespoon cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon granulated sugar
-salt and pepper
-Red pepper flakes
Yields 6-7 servings IMG_0004 IMG_0002 Place dat ham hock in the middle of the crockpot and well come back to it. Side note, ham hocks are awesome. I’ve been somewhat naïve of them as I marched straight up to the butcher asking for one and he had to redirect me to the prepackaged section. They add so much flavor and make me feel like I’m a Southern grandma cooking for my family of 10 on a Sunday with the dogs barking on the front porch. IMG_0006Thoroughly run collards under warm water in the sink to make sure all dirt and grit washes off, dry them, and set aside.

Next, heat olive oil in a large pot on the stove top. Once collards are dry, use your hands to remove collard leaves from stems and throw stems away. Allow plenty of time for this process because separating through 5 pounds of collards mimics paddling upstream in a kayak. I was going strong, but wasn’t making a dent and couldn’t see the dock. Worst part, my olive oil was burning! During this time I thought of Mama Connie and how she always had collards simmering on her stove top. I respect you so much more Mama Connie for all those long hours you did in the kitchen! Tip: Prepare the collards first and then heat your olive oil. Once olive oil is hot, add in the onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions are clear. Next add in chicken broth and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. I used chicken stock I had saved from a  previous crockpot meal. Remember to always save the juice!IMG_0008 IMG_0010 Stir in collards a handful at a time, adding more as they wilt. I made the mistake of using too small a pot so I had to transfer some collards out to the crockpot prematurely to make more room. So again, make sure you use a very large pot. Also, I noticed the bottom of the pan was burning a bit and I wanted more stock to pour in, but had used it all. I had to substitute some white wine in its place just to give the pan more juice. Once all collards are in the pot, turn off the heat and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar, the sugar, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes (your preference on measurement depending on desired spicy level).IMG_0012 Transfer all to the crockpot and cook on low for 3 hours, until the greens are very tender.IMG_0013 IMG_0015 After doing some errands and coming in the back kitchen door after a run, I knew something was right. The kitchen smelled like the Terrill’s kitchen. I’ll always think of that kitchen of home to the best Southern dishes and casseroles I’ve ever had. I loved eating dinner over there growing up because I was a deprived Southern child growing up with two Yankee parents who did not cook things like pineapple casserole or green bean casserole. (Mom, Dad-just kidding, just making the story more intense.) As I lifted the lid and lowered my face into the pot, Southern Sunday scents of a home cooked meal swirled in my nostrils and my mouth began to water. The last step is to take out the ham hock and cut it into bite-sized pieces and then stir it back into the greens. Now for the taste test.IMG_0026I wasn’t sure if the collards needed more sugar. Jay said it just needed a little more salt so I let him do the honors. Ray said he is used to collards being drenched in vinegar to the point where he can only eat a certain helping. He said he could eat these for days so they might need some more vinegar. Jay quickly opposed this idea so I went with Jay, sorry Ray, but I do appreciate your input. Louise and Katie said the collards didn’t need anything, and sweet Cath was happy. At the end of the day everyone is going to like their collards somewhat differently and I had to focus more so on whether or not they had a good base because you know I’M ALL ABOUT THAT BASS ‘BOUT THAT BASS. IMG_0030(Not pictured: Jayman and Susu) Thanks for coming out and testing frands and thank you to Katie for making some dank BBQ chicken, to Cath and Weez for the wine, and to Raymond for the ice cream sandwiches and snickers. I’ll let y’all know how the big day goes or hopefully will see y’all there: February 24th!

ShuLaur in the house!

Crockpottuesday has a special guest in the house this week for Friday Feature. This person is probably one of my sweetest friends and nicest of my group of high school friends. Girls…the one that always said, “well you can if you want to…” Miss Lauren Shuler in da kitchen!!!!!

“About a month ago I was tailgating with Susu at a South Carolina home game (side note: go Tigers and go Gators!!) when I expressed to her my wish to use my crockpot more, which, by the way, I received as a Christmas gift but had never used it. She encouraged me to just research recipes and go for it. Crockpotting and cooking is easy and about experimenting. So my first crockpot experience which was 10 months after I received it began like this….picture of us

October. The best month of the year: cooler weather, college football, Oktoberfest beers, the return of The Walking Dead and post season baseball (the last two mainly because my boyfriend, Stephen, enjoys them). *Editor’s note: also the month Lauren and Stephen were born!!!* Alongside cooler weather comes warm comfort food, my personal favorite being CHILI! There are so many ways to make chili. We’ve already made this recipe twice this fall. One of the great things about this recipe is that it lends itself well to variations depending on personal preference and what you have in your cupboard. It’s easy to make and you have leftovers for days which certainly is a plus.chilliIngredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cans of kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cans of pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin Red pepper flakes
Sriracha

Dircetions:
1. Brown ground beef in skillet with garlic.

2. Once meat is browned, add celery, carrots, onion, red pepper flakes (to taste, depending on your desire for spicy, we used about a teaspoon). Keep cooking in skillet on medium for about 6 minutes.

3. Transfer contents of skillet into crockpot and add beans, tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin. Add Sriracha. The amount of Sriracha will vary depending on your preference. We used about 2 tablespoons.

4. Set on low for 6.5 hours

It’s that simple! Add sour cream, cheese, green onion, cornbread, or whatever your stomach desires!

And, of course, a good fall beer, as pictured by our puppy Bailey below.bailey

Thanks Lauren- will definitely be copying this recipe in the near future!! Happy fall y’all…and get yo chilli on dawg!

Odom in the House!

Crockheads,

You’ve seen him around town, you’ve heard of him on the blog, and you know the name, now coming to you live from Charleston for Friday Feature……. ALEX ODOM!!!!!!!!!! snaps snaps snaps.

“Having never blogged before I hope you all can hear my writer’s voice.  It’s more of a yell so be glad this isn’t a podcast. What a true honor to have Susu relinquish control of CPT and author a Friday Feature! Big shoes to follow in with Richard (literally, he’s huge) and Mr. Kassel… but I’m no slouch so here we go. Having read CPT since the Manhattan days and helped Su work her way through Charleston’s finest restaurants (Zaxby’s anyone? Kidding, Charleston Grill is where it’s at) this is a true honor. I have been in Charleston for the last 2 years working on a Master’s degree at MUSC, but have been cooking since childhood. Coming from a family of well-fed individuals if you wanted to eat, you had to cook. Or at least contribute. And in honor of the upcoming Gamecock football season—139 days y’all—I decided on Cajun Boiled Peanuts. The original Redneck Candy and perfect for tailgate.  Beautiful in its simplicity, all you need are a few ingredients and a little patience and you will wow even the snootiest of Clemson fans.
 
Ingredients:
1 bag or RAW peanuts… do not get green, they are terrible
3/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
Hot sauce
Enough water to cover the peanuts, adding as needed
Heavy plates
*All ingredients are to taste, so this is just a guideline
 
Wash peanuts in a colander and place in crockpot with plain water covering the nuts. Place heavy plates over the top and let soak for at least 6 hours. Leave crockpot OFF.

plates
Remove plates and add all seasonings. Replace plates and set crockpot to LOW.
Let peanuts cook for 15-18 hours. The plates need to stay on for a while to cook evenly. But when the color darkens you can remove the plates and just stir occasionally. in pot

Remember this is an all day affair and peanuts are extremely hard to mess up.
Approximate cook time for this batch was 18 hours, and they were perfect I must say. The longer they cook the stronger the flavor.
Serve with a fine craft beer such as Bud Light.

beer 
A bike delivery for Su and Kendall at the Charleston Place makes for very jealous co-workers.Su See you all in August, Go Cocks!

These boiled peanuts were cooked perfectly! Kendall and I destroyed them at work…and I could handle the heat! Odom, thanks for the Friday Feature…what’s next on our bucket list? I’m not canoeing to Edisto…1546364_10201851009865506_1373382752_n

Susu Honey Sesame Chicken

chix 1Crockheads. I think this might be the best crockpot meal yet. Honey Sesame Chicken. So simple even Odom can do it. (Just kidding, Odom just liked it so much he made the recipe the following night for his brother.) I found this recipe from pinterest and tweaked it a bit with the hopes of using it in the South of Broad Living magazine if it turned out okay…well, I’m happy to say you’ll be seeing this one in April.

Ingredients: 
7 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 cup Arborio rice (2 cups waters)
Sesame seeds
Green beans

Yields: 3-4 servings

First salt and pepper thoroughly your chicken thighs and place them in the crockpot.raw chix

Next combine in a bowl the onion, garlic, red pepper, soy, honey, olive oil, and ketchup to create your sauce.

ingredients

Pour the sauce over the chicken in the crockpot and set the timer for three hours on low.

in the pot

After cooking for three hours, cook for an additional 30 minutes on high. Then remove the chicken thighs and cut into large bite size pieces.

cut chix

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water and slowly mix into the crockpot. This will help to thicken up the sauce. Let the sauce cook alone for 10 minutes on high and then place the chicken back in, stirring everything together.

Finally, saute the  green beans in a skillet with olive oil and garlic salt. Splash some of the sauce from the crockpot into the skillet and let it cook out. Serve the chicken on top of the cooked arborio rice with the green beans and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

“CHEEEEEESE”

susu 2

My guests for the evening were Catherine, Kelley, and Danielle. Kelley also served with dinner her famous fried okra which you can find on her blog Costal Kelder. And I might as well tell yall and call myself out, I made the exact same meal the next night too for Odom and Kendall. I still had a pound of chicken thighs left in the freezer so why not! Telling yall, you need to make this recipe and please let me know what your think!

Stay Classy Crockheads.

girls 3

Short Ribs

Whatchu Know Bout Short Ribs?

Well lemme tell you who does know! Myyyyy Daddy! My pops is a talented chef constantly researching new techniques and cooking what I think to be intense complicated pieces of meat.  Being his favorite daughter and all he gave me a short ribs recipe and yall, ain’t nothing you and the bad boy can’t do…I’m talking about your crockpot.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs. of short ribs (I had to ask the butcher for them- 8 came in my pack)
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 5 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots
  • ½ box mushrooms
  • Dried thyme, salt, pepper
  • Cup of beef broth
  • Cup of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Canola oil

These ribs are going to cook for 10 hours so the night before I did the preparing:

Directions

Place canola oil in a pan on high heat to sear your ribs.  Pat the ribs first with paper towels because dry meat browns better. Season generously with salt and pepper and then place the ribs in the canola oil and sear for about 30 seconds on each side. Remove ribs and place aside on a plate.dry

searplate

Cut up the pepper, celery, onion, carrots, and mushrooms and throw them into the crockpot. Strategically place your browned short ribs on top. Season with thyme and then put the lid on and place the ole crock in the fridge overnight.veggiesribs in pot

I set my alarm for 7AM (on my day off keep in mind) and had a few steps left: pour in the cup of beef, the cup of wine, and lastly put 2 bay leaves on top. I walked down my pitch black hallway to the kitchen with one eye opened half asleep. I proceeded to find a can opener and dump the broth in the crock. Next, I maneuvered through a drawer to find the wine opener and began twisting through the cork. I then had a moment of realization that if my roommate came in right now this would look extremely bad- hair a mess, long camo night-shirt on, striped pajama pants, duck slippers on…gettin AT a bottle of syrah wine a 7AM. So then I poured myself a glass. Just kidding. So then I poured a cup of wine in the crock, added the bay leaves, and plugged the bad boy in for 10 hours on low and hurried my ass back to bed.

Now yesterday was a very special Tuesday. Yesterday was not only Crockpottuesday. Yesterday was Crockpottuesday meets Coastal Kelder! Kelley is one of my friends down here in Charleston who has a blog that features many different DIY crafts.  I’m learning the two of us have lots in common. To name a few we both love soccer, studied in Spain, have animal slippers, have the same coffee mug and target chair, have blogs, love food, love crafts, and LOVE CATS. So pretty much the coolest kids ever. Anyways, yesterday I packed up my crockpot and headed to Kelley’s for dinner and crafts.

The beef came out extremely tender and contained so much juicy flavor. I was really impressed with the results and how easy it was to cook. The crockpot created a lot of liquid too so we actually ate the ribs in a bowl as a soup. The best part, the spoon was enough to pull the meat away from the bone because it was that tender. We served with the beef on the side bacon corn and old bay seasoned roasted okra. I would also suggestion using rice or potatoes and serve the beef over them and ladle the juice on top as gravy. (Tip: Always save your broth to use again for future ribs or even for soup-thanks Brenna!)plated

After dinner we moved to Kelley’s craft table and I made a spring wreath and a twine wrapped decorative bottle. Kelley had bought chalk paint and used it to make a sign on a wood slice, painted wine bottles with it, and even little flower pots! It’s been awhile since I have sat at a table and done arts and crafts and I forgot how into you get and how it even becomes soothing! For real!crafts

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Crockpottuesday meets Coastal Kelder!

Oh and did I mention her cat Cleo loved me?cleo