A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: crock pot recipe

This Corn and Shrimp Chowder Soothes My Couponing Failure

Late last year during my blogging hiatus, my BFF Laura talked me into drinking the “Extreme Couponing” Kool-Aid with her. Laura and I have a long history of being serial hobby enthusiasts. I’ve heard it goes with the territory of adult ADD, particularly in women.

Our kitchens are littered with the proof of our various attempts to change our lives with the newest craze. Well, mine is. Laura is MUCH better than I am at selling things on Ebay and Craig’s List. I, on the other hand, am a bit of a hoarder and hold on to my crap like a fecal obsessed potty training toddler.

For example, I own a wheat grinder and over 25 pounds of various grains, a juicer, the equipment to grow my own sprouts, a tortilla maker, a waffle iron, a panini maker, personal shake mixers, an applesauce press, and three crock pots of various sizes. And I’m just talking about the kitchen. You don’t even want to know how many crafts I have temporarily engrossed myself in over the years.

So when I saw Laura’s coupon binder last year and the semi-crazed glint in her eye when she shared how much money she was saving each week, I took the bait.

I bought a special binder.

I bought fancy tabs for that binder.

I bought enough baseball card holders to safely encase thousands of coupons.

I started buying 4 newspapers a week.

I bought a subscription to all*you magazine.

I joined every frequent shopper club I could at every local store and pharmacy.

I bought a bag tag at CVS.

I started frequenting couponing websites.

And then I started flipping, and clipping, and filing, and carrying that huge-ass binder with me everywhere I went. It was a full-time job.

And I sucked at it.

The math, and planning, and organizational skills required for this obsession totally overwhelmed my creative little brain.

I found myself buying all kinds of products I never would have purchased without a coupon just because I was getting a deal. And the time involved hunting down the obscure products I didn’t like in the first place! Dumb.

I’m talking Axe body spray that repelled animals, maxi pads the size of flying carpets, a lifetime supply of hideous lipsticks I wouldn’t even use to write REDRUM on the bathroom mirror and freak out my kids.

In the end, my extreme couponing was short lived, like my home wheat grinding, sprout farming, and tortilla making. Still have that damn electric tortilla maker if anyone wants it.

Now a days, the only time I’ll use a coupon is if somebody sends me one to shut me up, like that sweet executive at General Mills who responded immediately to my x-rated Tweet about the broken taco shells. Bless his heart.

As for that subscription to all*you magazine, I am ashamed to admit I have NEVER clipped a single coupon from it. What a waste; the coupons are outrageously good.

But I will say this, the recipes in all*you are consistently awesome. And believe you-me, I know a good recipe when I see one.

In the October 2011 issue, there is a whole section of recipes dedicated to using your slow cooker. I’ve already made their Corn Chowder with Shrimp TWICE, and it’s still October…it is that good.

I did tweak it just a tiny bit, so here’s my slightly modified version of the all*you Corn Chowder with Shrimp recipe:

Prep: 15 min.
Cook: 6 hr. 15 min.
Serves: 6
Cost per serving: $3.06

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2  16-oz. bags frozen corn
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 russet potatoes, diced (don’t peel)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • half a frozen blob of chipotle puree  (or 1/2 tsp. or so of chipotle powder)*
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1.)  Combine broth, corn, onion, bell pepper, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, 1 cup water, and 1 tsp. salt in slow cooker (use your big one). Cover and cook on LOW until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.

2.) Puree 3 cups of the soup in a blender and return to clow cooker. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 10-15 minutes. Stir in cream, if desired, and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and peppper, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

My kids said it looked like vomit, but smelled really good.

*The only thing I did to modify this recipe was add some chipotle flavor because I thought it was a little bland. But other than that, delish! So easy to throw together in the morning and have waiting for you on a chilly autumn evening. Serve with crusty bread and a salad and you have a completely satisfying meal.

Nature Boy has texture issues so I pureed his whole bowl separately. He didn't like it, even after I kowtowed to his pain-in-the-ass "special needs." Ingrate. Good thing he's so cute or I'd have surely killed him by now.

PER SERVING: 371 Cal., 10g Fat (5g Sat.), 141mg Chol., 6g Fiber, 25g Pro., 51g Carb., 710mg Sod.

Seriously, want a tortilla maker? How about a coupon binder complete with tabs and plastic inserts? Make me an offer. Free shipping. I’ll throw in a high value Old El Paso coupon.

Let’s make a deal,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


Butt.

I don’t often get to say that I’m ahead of the game, so cooking with my Crock Pot is always a nice boost to the self esteem. I just love being able to get all that pesky meal prep out of the way early in the day while I’m still all hopped up on the French Roast and not totally consumed with beating my children trying to survive the Witching Hour.

So tonight we’ll be eating barbecue pork sandwiches made from my children’s favorite cut of meat, The Boston Butt. This just tickles their funny bones like nothing else in my kitchen, with the possible exception of wieners and porcupine balls.

My three year old, Bucket Head, is especially fond of this meal. But this is a child who frequently just stops for no reason, points to his pooper, and says “Butt.”

"Butt."

Personally, I love this meal because it requires just a handful of ingredients, and I can toss it in the Crock Pot and forget about it for the whole live long day.

I’m not very good at taking pictures while I cook, so I can’t show you step by step how I did most of this, but here’s what it looked like right before I put the lid on it and walked away:

"Butt."

To make this yourself, all you need is a big ol’ Boston Butt pork roast. I like the kind with the bone in, but I’m sure you knew that already. Oh yes I did.

You will also need a few onions, some fresh thyme, and a can of Coke.

This recipe is so easy, I could probably do it blindfolded with my toes while texting The Star Spangled Banner, Christina Aguilera style. All you do is liberally season your big ol’ butt with salt and pepper, then brown it on all sides in an oily skillet, and toss it in your Crock Pot. Chop a few onions into big wedges and throw those in too. Then add a few whole sprigs of thyme and pour an entire can of Coke over the whole thing. Put a lid on that sucker and go about your bidness. Cook that bad boy all day on low. Or if you get a late start like I did today, give it a couple hours on high and then turn it to low for the rest of the day.

When it’s almost time for dinner, take that gorgeous tender butt out and let it rest for a spell while you whip up some cole slaw and open a can of baked beans. Once it is cool enough to touch, have your hunk-a-hunk-a-burning-love chop it up for you. Or do it yourself… I just couldn’t chop and take pictures at the same time, der.

"Butt."

Just so we’re clear, those hairy knuckles are not mine. They belong to The Gatekeeper. Now where was I? Oh yes…

Now mix in some barbecue sauce and a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar if you like it North Carolina style like we do. If my kids weren’t so wimpy I’d add some heat too at this point. No biggie though, I can just put it on my own sandwich at the table.

"Butt."

Now gather up the fam, say a blessing, and dig in! Butt jokes are optional, of course, but at my house this meal always spurs numerous compliments like: “Oh Mom! Your butt is so tender and juicy!” And “I yike your butt, Mommy.” And “Mom, your butt rocks.”  So yeah… no wonder I love cooking this meal.

Happy trails,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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