Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Slow Cookers, Blackened Pots and Pans, and Roasted Green Beans

I don't have a slow cooker.  A long, long time ago, I read or someone told me or I dreamed that:
1.  They maintained food at just the right temperature for bacteria to grow and, 2.  They turned all food into mush and, 3.  You should never leave them alone or they'd burn your kitchen down.  O.K., I was young and naive.  Through the ensuing years, I've seen many good recipes using those cookers.  It has suddenly dawned on me that, if they were that bad, the news should be full of the catastrophes caused by those cookers.

In light of my enlightenment, I've decided to purchase a slow cooker.  I need advice from you, dear readers.  Recommendations, really.  What kind of slow cooker do you recommend?  What size?

Moving on to roasted green beans.  I've roasted many vegetables but never green beans.  Saturday's market had an abundance of them.  As I was putting some into a bag, another customer asked how I planned to fix them.  Before I could answer, she asked if I ever roasted them.  Here's her recipe.

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 pound of green beans
Tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the beans with the olive oil, salt and pepper

Spread out on a pan large enough to hold in a single layer and roast about 20 minutes or until the beans begin to shrivel and turn brownish.


Do your baking pans look like mine?  Is it time to purchase new ones?  I'll save that discussion for another post.


  1. Love your long green beans Bonnie. Everyone's pan eventually looks like that. If it hasn't buckled or it's thin, I would keep using i

    As far as slow-cookers are concerned, I don't have one and use my big Le Creuset pans for slow-cooking like the French do. I don't quite like the idea of having to brown things before they go in a slow-cooker if you could just continue to finish the dish in the heavy Le Creuset pans , Plus I don't have any room in either house for one. On the up side, I see a lot of great dishes on blogs using them and they all rave about how it's nice to come home and have dinner ready, so I know you'll get much better & more positive advice from them.

  2. I have a crock pot but it sits in the recesses in the back of the cupboards. It is good for certain things like ribs and pulled pork, chill, etc without heating the house. I bought men at a yard sale for $2 so cannot recommend any particular brand.

  3. i dont have a slow cooker but now... LOVE those beans x

  4. We have started doing our beans like that too..Love them.
    I have 2 slow cookers a large and a small..they come out maybe twice a yr.
    My fave thing to make in them are French Dips..and Pulled Pork etc..

  5. yes my pans look like that, they were my mothers and still work fine. i tried this recipe a couple months ago, saw it on Facebook... Bob and I ate them but are not big fans of them, but the dogs loved them. beans and carrots are healthy snacks for dogs and keeps their weight down... i kept the left overs to feed them a few at at time while we had dinner.
    i have been looking at crock pots and cant decide.... i loved mine when my kids were growing up, that was in the late 60's and 70's.. i cooked in slow cooker or pressure cooker since i was a working mom

  6. i heart my slow cooker especially when it comes to the fall and winter time. So much to do in it. These green beans look fantastic. The grill flavor with the freshness of the beans is a winner

  7. I have roasted just about every vegetable except green beans. I'm going to have to try this. I have some delicious recipes for my slow cooker. I need to use it more often.

  8. I love using my Crock Pot (5 qt). It's great in the summer because you don't have to heat up the kitchen by using the stove, and it's great in the winter for all kinds of soups, stews, etc. I use it to make beans all the time, so I like the bigger one so I can fit a ham bone in there.

  9. I need to use my slow cooker more. I bought a fancy All Clad one, and I don't use it nearly as much as I should! I think the cheap ones work just as well, as the fancy ones.

  10. I haven't found a decent slow cooker that doesn't boil my food - it always heats too high, so if I do anything in the crock pot I turn it on before I leave for work at 8, my husband will turn it off around 1 and then turn it back on around 4:30. That seems to work and we've never gotten food poisoning!

    Oh my, all my pans look like that - I just call them seasoned! I do use parchment paper quite a bit though.

  11. I have never roasted green beans ! Might have to try it! :)

    My pans all look like that...I think it happens when we USE them! :)

    I have a RIVAL crock pot purchased a few years back at Target / got one for me and one for my son. I like it very much. Medium-sized :)

  12. I'm not a big slow cooker fan but my ♥4qt electronic pressure cooker♥ doubles as one. I will suggest this though, make sure you get one that is a true 180 degree slow cooker... Most crock pots cook much hotter these days (even on low) and everything boils. The beans sound great and your baking sheets look well seasoned... I'd keep them:@)

  13. I have a Wolfgang Puck 7 qt electronic slow cooker. I love it. I use it about once every two weeks. We are only two people here, but we do have family who come once in a while for a meal and I like to cook big amounts and freeze half for another time. It is wonderful to use in the summer...keeps the kitchen cooler and instead of lighting the oven when the AC is on...I just use the cooker. The trick to using it and having success is browning the meat first....it gives everything more flavor and color. Also keep it handy...where you don't have to haul it out from some inconvenient place. I read some bad reviews about it at Amazon, but I've had great success with it.

  14. Pulled pork (no need to brown) is excellent in the slow cooker. There are a lot of great dishes, and the slow cooker is really convenient when you are hard pressed to throw a meal together.

    And roasted green beans? DELICIOUS!


  15. I love green beans cooked that way! And your pan is just getting started. :) I have a slow cooker, and use it mainly for soups. I can't remember the brand, but it's not a fancy one. I cook mostly soups or stews in mine, so the mushy factor is irrelevant. I do always put it on a heat-proof surface though, just in case. :)

  16. Bonnie, I would love to hear after you read this if you will get a slow-cooler. I've thought about one and as I said, just don't have room.

  17. I have had two or three slow cookers. I don't use my current Rival very often but certain things are very good in the cooker. I suggest getting one larger than smaller. A nice size for a beef pot roast for carrots, potatoes and onions.

    I tried a Peanut Cluster recipe in the slow cooker last night. Very good . . . so good that I am delivering them to my daughter for her office. I need to get these sweets outta here!

  18. I am having Phil go look at my Slow Cooker, it is put up. Before buying I did a whole lot of research and found out the bad and the good. Mine is great. Stay tuned for my next comment and I will tell you.

  19. Hi there!
    Just wanted to weigh in a bit here, and let you know that I LOVE my slow cookers.
    I use them almost every single day, and there are so many delicious recipes on the internet, and pinterest.
    I have a slow cooker that is pretty generic ... bought at Walmart, and I have an Electric pressure cooker that brown, pressure cooks and of course slow cooks------I love that thing!! The electric pressure cooker, I bought from QVC, although I know that many kitchen stores sell them.
    Hope you find the best one for you, and enjoy many delicious and easy meals with it !

    p.s. On my blog post, there is a slow cooker candy recipe. It might be the one that Lynne mentioned, as we are blog friends too :)

  20. Your green beans look delicious, Bonnie! I've never roasted and will try it.

    After not having a slow cooker for many years, I bought a Hamilton Beach slow cooker. It has 3 cooking vessel sizes and is great. So far, no mushy food and we've liked the results, plus no fussing as it cooks. http://www.hamiltonbeach.com/small-slow-cookers-3-in-one-slow-cooker-blackstainless-33135.html

    Good luck!

  21. Hi Bonnie, I somehow got deleted from your Facebook page.. Not sure when or how... I'm sorry!!! Anyhow --I am now connected I HOPE.

    I used to use a Crock Pot (Slow Cooker) years ago --when I was working full-time. I loved putting something like some chicken or pot roast in the crock pot and having dinner ready when I got home from work. Haven't used one for years though... Hope you enjoy yours.

  22. I have a Nesco Slow Cooker, Bonnie, but they don't make the style I have any longer, which is a nice stainless steel model - probably 25 years old and still works like a charm. I use it mainly to make pork shoulder for pulled pork but I've also used it for beef brisket. You could go on the Amazon website and look at the reviews for the various models. I've never burned my house down :-)

    Those beans look delicious! I love just about any veggie better when it's roasted. I love to throw some fresh thyme over the veggies when I have it growing in the summer too.

  23. The greens look wonderful. Sounds delicious. Blessings, Catherine

  24. The beans look absolutely scrumptious---how did you ever refrain from nibbling up half of them as finger food as you finished up dinner?

    And the pan---now THERE'S a Grand Old Pan---scarred a bit, scoured clean-as-can-make-it-for-its-years, and with a bit of baked-on history which only adds to its charm. Yours has what I think of as the "Wearever Shine," for those pans were scoured with everything from sand to Brillo to Bon Ami, with little telltale browning bits of surface accumulating over long years of use. And the "clear" parts smoothed into a soft shine of well-loved utensils, dear and treasured. Those pans have graced palace kitchens, in the hands of an expert Mrs. Something, and the kitchens of favorite Grandmothers, whose magnificent Thanksgiving Rolls came from the oven on such a humble tray, and when the scent of cookies wafts the house, the pan stands testament to All's Right With The World.

    As cleaning-careful and Kitchen Proud as we may be, there's just something about the little stories in those crevices and corners which bespeak good meals and comforting roasts and good biscuits and sublime fried chicken. You have a treasure there, and I know you'll use it with pride for MANY more years. What an heirloom, full of memories.

  25. My pan looks like that (worse actually) but I must try roasting green beans this way! I don't have a crockpot for the exact superstitions that you mentioned. ;)


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