September 15, 2009 by Shannon
I don’t know if she knows it or not, but Stephanie was instrumental in helping me pull off my first ever Thanksgiving-esque meal. (I say Thanksgiving-esque because I had to anchor and produce a show on Turkey Day ‘08. So I invited family over the next day to feed them a festive vegetarian meal and make believe I didn’t miss out on the actual holiday itself.) I wanted to make Honey Acorn Squash, but wasn’t quite sure how to pull it off in my slow cooker. Steph to the rescue! I think she responded to my email the very same day, and was incredibly helpful and friendly. Her blogs are exactly the same way. She is honest about her slow cooker missteps and is incredibly funny — just the kind of friend you’d want to sit in the kitchen and dish with over coffee.
So without further ado, meet Steph!
Why did you start your blog? I started my blog as a New Year’s Resolution for 2008. I had begun doing some work for BlogHerads.com, and needed to start a blog in order to understand my job correctly. I already did some freelance writing, and loved to write, but was intrigued by the instant feedback blogging provided. My husband and I are pretty private people, and weren’t crazy about the idea of sharing too much personal information with the Internet, so I thought a food blog was a good way to write online. I am not the best in the kitchen, though, but I knew I was quite good with the slow cooker. After a quick google search, I decided that a slow cooking blog was the right way to go. I’ve had an absolute ball with this project, and am thrilled that the recipe book comes out this fall. Make it Fast, Cook it Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking will contain 338 of the very best recipes from my year long challenge. Due to a family intolerance, all recipes are gluten free.
What do you love about cooking? I am not the best cook. I tend to wander off from the stove or the oven and come back to burnt offerings. I really enjoy the wiggle room the slow cooker provides. I can taste and tweak throughout the day to adjust spices and ingredients, or I can put on a frozen hunk of meat in the morning and come home 8 hours later to a perfectly tender meal. I’ve learned how to bake and roast in the slow cooker, and have prepared non-traditional slow cooked food such as homemade yogurt, falafel, dolmas, and tamales.
What is your favorite thing about fall? I adore everything about the fall. I love pumpkin spice lattes, and crunching through fall leaves. Halloween and Thanksgiving are my absolute favorite holidays. I love when day light savings time kicks in and I can “trick” the kids into going to bed at 7 pm. I love the crisp air in the morning and the dew-covered grass. I like wearing boots and jeans and breaking out the sweater collection. I like to decorate the house with pumpkins and gourds, and sit by a fire reading. My birthday is also in November, which I tend to turn into a month-long celebration.
Jamaican Pumpkin Soup CrockPot Recipe
- 2 cups of fresh pumpkin, or 1 can (15 oz)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 yams, peeled and chopped
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (this was the first time I bought turmeric, and I do think it’s a necessary spice)
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon per family member (optional)
- garnish with chopped green onion (I totally forgot to do this)
- Empty it (the pumpkin) into your crockpot, and add the chopped vegetables. Add the spices and sugar. Stir in the vegetable broth and water. I really don’t think it matters one whit what gets added first. It’s soup. It’s going to cook together all day long.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Carefully use an immersible blender to blend about 3/4 of the soup. If you have littles in the house with texture issues, feel free to blend it all.
- Serve with a bit of cream to stir in.
I can’t wait to try this soup — I was intrigued by Steph’s verdict on this recipe last year (she called it a “gorgeous soup”) but didn’t get around to making it. It’s definitely going to make a meal plan or two this fall. Thanks for sharing, Steph!