Tagged With: slow cooker

Not Your Grandma’s Crock Pot

crock pot, slow cooker, mexican slow cooker, set it and forget it

What person on a tight schedule doesn’t love a crock pot?

Nobody, that’s who! Unless you’ve been hiding in an underground bunker/bomb shelter since the 1970’s, odds are you’re aware of these marvelous devices. Since it gets hot inside and outside during these long summer days, the slow cooker is my preferred method to reduce the work and heat that goes into cooking a meal.  The whole “set it and forget it” method does wonders for my mood each time I remember that dinner is busy preparing itself.

For some, it doesn’t stop with meals either. Folks are getting more and more creative with their slow-cooker recipes these days, as Pinterest helps to popularize “alternative” uses for crock pots, such as:

  • Making your own yogurt
  • Dyeing yarn
  • Home made soap
  • Home made candles

Now, personally I don’t need my crock pot tasting like soap. Or candle wax. I’d much rather have my slow cooker bubbling with the flavors found in our Low and Slow gift set, which includes our Tikka Masala, Memphis Beale St. BBQ, Cuban Spice, and Mole Ole! spice blends. You might have tried some of these spice blends as dry rubs or in sauces already, but once you’ve tried them in your favorite slow cooker recipes, well, you’ll want to continue trying them often.

Mexican Slow Cooker

When it comes to getting the most our of your crock pot, I cannot recommend The Mexican Slow Cooker highly enough. With 137 pages of glorious slow cooked meals, such as moles, soups, carnitas, enchiladas, tacos, etc… you can have all of the authentic Mexican flavor without languishing in the kitchen heat during the day-long braising and simmering.

Heck, during the time it’s taken you to read this post, you could already have your Pollo en Crema con Chipotles in the pot and ready to forget about until dinner.  Now you can get out there and enjoy your day.  You’re welcome!

What are your favorite low and slow cooked meals?  Let us know in the comments!

(photo credit: Orbital Joe via photopin cc)

Categories: Hot Topics, Notes from the Field, Recipes, Slow Cooker | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Friendly Cookbooks

grilled vegetables, grilled veggies, slow cooker, the gardener and the grill, kitchen garden

Our selection of cookbooks here at World Spice Merchants is vast, and can possibly be a little daunting. Since summer is in full swing, we’ve thrown together a handy guide to cookbooks you can add to your shelf to use all summer long without breaking a sweat:

The Gardener And The Grill

I don’t know about you, but folks in my family are a little, well, garden crazy.  My brother is one of the few folks I know who will go for a hike in the mountains and come home with a salad. My mother prefers the tame vegetables that she plants every year like clockwork, but her garden still gets a little out of control.  From spring to early fall she commands an abundance of asparagus, tomatoes, onions, several varieties of squash, swiss chard, string beans, and snow peas.  There’s a whole segment of her garden devoted to herbs.

How she is able to coordinate all these delicious plants with the proper time to plant, water, and harvest is beyond me.  However, how she is able to swiftly convert this vegetable matter into a delicious meal is not so hard to understand with the help of  The Gardener And The Grill.  This book will give you plenty of ideas for what to do with this years crop. It may even have you making plans for what to plant next year.

Personally, after checking out the prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears, I’ve got my own plans for the neighborhood p-patch. Make your own plans for your garden, and enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labors!


Plenty is a more than just a word that brilliantly describes the produce of the summer season, it’s also an inspired book of vegetable cookery by Yotam Ottolenghi. Perfect for the time of year when all of our figures beg for lighter fare, the recipes are so succulent that even the most devoted carnivore won’t miss the meat at the barbecue.

Ranging from simple techniques like poaching, to more beautiful and complicated frittatas and tartlettes, veggies are taken to new levels with Ottolenghi’s focus on featuring the best ingredients and pairing them with unique spices and flavors. A hands-down favorite of nearly every spice merchant, Plenty is a must-have for spring and summer cuisine.

Campfire Cuisine

This handy book by Robin Donavan offers more than 100 recipes for the earnest camper. Once you get your paws on this book, you may want to plan a camping trip just for the express purpose of trying some of these simple and delicious recipes out.

While I understand that you probably don’t want to go camping 100 times in a year, the good news is the old backyard is a fine place to practice the craft of outdoor cooking as well, so you can keep whipping up your favorites well into fall.

Campfire Cuisine also contains practical guidance on menus, shopping for those fresh ingredients, and the best equipment that won’t break the bank or your back. Chefs of every skill level will enjoy this travel sized camping companion.

Categories: Cookbook Club, Notes from the Field | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment