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July 21, 2013

Recipe for slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas

Slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas. So easy!

Some dishes will never win a beauty contest. These slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas may not take the swimsuit competition, but oh, they are good. And, like real Sloppy Joes, they're sufficiently messy to eat. You can cook the meat ahead of time, in your slow cooker, and freeze it in portions to fill quesadillas, tacos or burritos, whenever you want them. Add something green -- chopped avocado, lettuce, cilantro leaves -- or serve them with nothing more than melted cheese, and a bit of salsa on top. Summer should be just that easy.

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July 2, 2013

Recipe for slow cooker sweet coffee flank steak nachos {gluten-free}

Slow cooker sweet coffee flank steak nachos.

In the house where I grew up, there were no nachos. In fact, I can't remember ever having nachos until I went off to college, where my favorite near-campus bar served ooey-gooey-drippy-cheesy nachos with beer and free movies a couple of nights a week. I've eaten my share of nachos since those college days, but I don't make them at home, for the same reason I don't bake brownies every day: much too tempting. However, I've been experimenting a lot with coffee syrup while working on the Rhode Island Recipes cookbook, and when I made this slow cooker sweet coffee flank steak, I couldn't help turning it into these unusual nachos. The meat is so flavorful that you really don't need a lot of toppings, but who am I to stop you if you want to add some guacamole or sour cream?

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May 9, 2013

Slow cooker turkey breast recipe for sandwiches, salads and pasta {gluten-free}

Slow cooker turkey breast stays moist, and makes great sandwiches.

In a recent pantry clean-out, I unearthed a frozen "emergency" turkey breast I'd bought last November, in case I couldn't find a fresh turkey breast for Thanksgiving dinner. Six months later, I decided to defrost it and give it a go in the slow cooker. The goal: moist, flavorful turkey to slice and use for sandwiches and salads. The result? Spectacular success, and it couldn't be easier. In fact, the hardest thing about this recipe will be finding a boneless turkey breast. The solution: buy a bone-in turkey breast and ask the butcher to break it down for you. Save the bones and wings and make a soup stock (also in the slow cooker), and use the two breast halves in this recipe. I like this Greek seasoning from The Spice House; you can substitute with your favorite brand, or a mix of kosher salt, fresh black pepper, dried lemon peel and dried oregano. Use the cooked turkey in dozens of ways -- stuffed into sandwiches, chopped in salads, or shredded and tossed with pasta and vegetables.

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April 14, 2013

Recipe for slow cooker coffee-chipotle pulled chicken roll-ups

Slow cooker coffee-chipotle chicken roll-ups (The Perfect Pantry).

Until I moved to Rhode Island, I'd never heard of coffee syrup. (It's like Hershey's chocolate syrup, except made from coffee. If that helps.) The state drink, coffee milk, combines coffee syrup with, well, milk, and the favorite iced treat, a coffee cabinet, is a milkshake made with coffee ice cream and coffee syrup. Sweet, sweet, sweet. When I met up with my friend Jen of Savor the Thyme at Dave's Coffee, in the opposite end of the state, I bought a bottle of their all-natural coffee syrup, and couldn't resist experimenting with some savory recipes. I packed this slow cooker coffee-chipotle pulled chicken into a piece of oat-bran lavash bread with some lettuce and this smoky spicy cole slaw. That's a lot of Rhode Island goodness rolled up into one great sandwich. Not to worry: you can make this in your own kitchen even if you don't have our coffee syrup. Or you can come to my kitchen and I'll make it for you.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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