Cooking Dinner at 8am

One of the things I’m most excited about with my new lifestyle is being able to cook more in general, as well as experiment with different cooking methods and ingredients. I really enjoy cooking, but Jeff had that job covered for the past few months, and getting home from work at 6:30, then working out, then making dinner was not the greatest schedule. No longer!

First, here if my new kitchen:


There is tons of counter space and a full size dishwasher, both of which are very conducive to fun and interesting recipes. And one of the things I was most excited about experimenting with was the slow cooker—why not put something together at 8am, have the apartment fill up with delicious smells as I work through the day, and then have a meal ready come dinnertime?! And I’m happy to say, my first foray was a success. I made the Farro and Butternut Squash Stew from The Complete Slow Cooker from America’s Test Kitchen. I love the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks, so you’ll see them here quite a bit. I’m not going to include the recipe here, just a couple steps (you’ll have to buy the book!).

The base of the stew was basically mushrooms, onions and farro, which all went in the slow cooker.


Next, the butternut squash was wrapped in a foil packet and placed on top. This way, it didn’t break down through the long cooking time, instead steaming deliciously in it’s own juices.


After 10 hours of simmering broth and mouthwatering aromas, I stirred in the squash and added greens.


Then ladled some into a bowl and topped it with some shredded Parmesan to finish.


The super savory mushrooms and the sweet butternut squash balanced each other out perfectly, while the farro thickened the stew and made it a hearty meal. I was full after one bowl!

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