Monday, January 11, 2010

The Joy of the Rice Cooker

DH gave me a rice cooker for Christmas. I know, I already have way too many kitchen gadgets, but I have been using this rice cooker and find it really useful. Of course, there is basic rice. I made some for lunch today using chicken broth – great for when I don't feel like cooking. But I am trying to be more creative with it.

I steamed carrots and parsnips with the rice cooker, and everyone enjoyed them! My rice cooker has a steamer attachment with large holes; I wasn't sure how small carrot pieces would work. Surprisingly, they did not fall through, and I wound up with very nicely steamed vegetables.

My new favorite, though, is oatmeal. I am excited about new grains, and I made oatmeal in the rice cooker and steel-cut oats in the crock pot. The steel cut oats were nice, toasty warm on a cold morning last week. But I really liked the oatmeal in the rice cooker. I prepared it at the same time as I made the coffee: oats in the rice cooker, then I added water and some cranberries. (I threw in some brown sugar too.) Turned the rice cooker on to the "white rice" cycle, and voila! Hot oatmeal while I could shower (or watch DS play, which is probably what I was doing at the time. Anyway, I didn't have to stand over the stove.

I got a book on cooking with the Rice Cooker at the library, and it's giving me more motivation to be creative. The next recipe I want to try is flank steak (yes, in the rice cooker!)

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