Rainy Day Cookies and Stew–necessarily, in that order!

"Raining" courtesy of Peter Griffin/Public Domain Pictures.net

So we are experiencing our first rain of the season here in Los Angeles. Save for venturing out for a Yoga class, Ms. Foodie is fortunate enough to be ensconced at home with her two furry babies, with visions of culinary delights dancing in her head.

The afternoon started with test-driving a recipe for Almond Butter Cookies from a blog called Good Life Eats. Author Katie Goodman does some killer desserts, and she has some great Holiday offerings that Ms. Foodie plans to try as that Season draws near.

Ms. Goodman gives some great information about an Almond Butter called “Barney Butter“, that is Peanut free. Many nut butter manufacturers still use the same processing plant to do Peanut products along with the others, so if you have a Peanut allergy, even trace amounts can be dangerous. Thankfully, me and Mr. Foodie do not–we just enjoy the smooth taste of Almond Butter. Almond Butter is also easier on the digestion.

Ms. Foodie’s personal choice is Trader Joe’s Almond Butter with Flaxseed Oil. It made the cookie mixture a bit less firm when forming it into balls, but oh, what melt-in-your-mouth delight! Chased with a glass of cold milk, it was a perfect slice of yummy!

And what’s a rainy day without some nice, hearty stew? After finding uninspiring offerings on the food blogs, Ms. Foodie did her own thing with stuff in the Store. Kitchen-Cabinet Cooking at it’s finest! Two leftover lemon Chicken Breasts, a cup of mixed vegetables, Potato Gnocchi, one can of Cream of Mushroom and Garlic soup, a half cup of Sour Cream, and a tablespoon of Coconut Oil.

I threw it all in a Crock Pot, set it to low, and left the ingredients to meld.  Stews and soups always bring such lovely smells to the home!

Didn’t cancel out the Almond Butter cookies though… good thing the batch made three dozen! Mr. Foodie is doing the Happy Dance.

Slow-Cooked Hoisin and Ginger-marinated Pork Roast

Ms. Foodie loves slow cookers!  They are wonderful tools in any season, but particularly during the hot summer months.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t even want to think about turning on an oven in 90 degree heat!  Slow cookers save you the trouble, and fit the category of one-skillet meals–except you replace the skillet with the crock!

I have six, including a baby fondue-style one.  Come to one of my holiday parties, and you’ll understand why…

But I digress.  The recipe begins, of course, with a good cut of meat.  A two-pound butt roast, with just a bit of marbling, did the trick.  I marinated it overnight in a cup of white wine (or wine vinegar), rosemary, basil, ground pepper, and sea salt.

The next day, an hour before placing it in the crock, I rubbed it down with Hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup of ginger root.

I sliced up four red potatoes and joined them with asparagus stalks and baby carrots.  I placed these in the bottom of the slow cooker, not only to help them cook more completely, but also to give them the benefit of all those yummy juices that will fall from the roast.

Then I placed the roast in, topped it with another 1/4 cup more of sliced ginger root, the remaining marinade, and some green beans.

I used the stalks and beans to maintain the subtlety of the Hoisin and ginger.  Depending on the flavors you wish to perfect, you can use more Hoisin, and pair it with a stronger green vegetable, like Brussel sprouts or broccoli.

I like to use the longer-cook method, as it makes for a more tender meat; Eight hours later, you have a complete, hearty, and stove-free meal.

Hubby gave it two-thumbs up!