Or maybe…How a crockpot could save my life if I could figure out what to make in it….
So, in 2009, I forced John to go black friday shopping with me. We got a crock pot for $5 and promptly forgot about it.
A couple years ago (I think) John made chili in it once.
I finally made use of it a couple weeks ago… and now I’m lightweight in love.
Mornings are easy for me. (And you know this, man.) I can get up early and get tons done. Evenings….notsomuch. I’m still really hurried with getting home from work, getting Ro from daycare, getting Kai from family (which can either take 10 minutes or an hour depending on the day), getting them all unloaded into the house, then getting something cooked without them ripping the house apart, spending some quality time with them, getting them bathed, fed and put to bed.
I realized I was starting to be that mom that relies on the TV to babysit while I cooked. (No shade to those moms, I get it, and the struggle is really real. I just don’t want that for us right now.) I would try to have Roey help me, and actually get annoyed at Kaya being between my legs fussin’ and trying to get picked up, instead of including the poor child or spending time with her.
John gets in about an hour after I do, and needs a minute to decompress before jumping in to daddy mode. This would add to my frustration because I’d love for him to just come home and immediately take both of them so I could finish cooking….or him finish cooking so I can play with the babies.
Note: I don’t even like cooking.
These frustrations build and build and I’m hating our evening routine and stopping at McDonalds once a week to throw a cheeseburger down Ro’s throat instead of having to cook and deal with the annoyance. (And sidebar: I’m halfway obsessed with the Southwestern Salad…and now the new Asian Salad with ginger dressing. So good! but that’s a separate story.)
So I’m looking for my big frying pan one day and checked in a cabinet I never look in…and find my new savior.
The Crock Pot was sitting there all shiny and un-used just waiting to make my life easier. (full disclosure: I still haven’t found the big frying pan…John ended up buying one at Costco.)
I added the crock pot prep to my morning routine and I came home to a hot entree ready for my family! I just had to throw some veggies on, or put a salad together and boom. (If we weren’t low carbing it would be even easier, I could just put rice or pasta or something in the pot and have a one-pot meal all done for me.)
It freed up about an hour of my evening!!
Bonus: During the time I was cooking, it was easier to have Roey help me out with an easy task (ex: taking craisins out of bag and putting into salad), and I could even have Kaya on my hip cuz I wasn’t cooking anything that would pop oil on her, or required two hands or knifework.
YAY!!! Slow Cooking For The Win!!!!
I told John my plan to use it at least twice a week. He was totally down with it and said he’d use it once a week, and I figured we’d have leftovers to help us make it through.
We made it about a week and a half into that plan.
I didn’t prepare properly.
We ended up trying just two recipes:
BBQ Chicken Breasts: Chicken breasts, onions, garlic, italian dressing, salt, pepper
Mushroom Chicken Breasts: Chicken breasts, onions, mushroom slices, can of cream of mushroom soup, salt, pepper
Both were simple in flavor profile, but still pretty yummy. I need to find some proven delicious crock pot meals that will work for all four of us. I became mini obsessed with allrecipes.com for a hot second trying to find easy slow cooker recipes for my family.
I don’t do traditional meal planning all the time, I do more of a….general meal “guide” if you will… but with the newness of slow cooker use, I’ve got to meal plan a bit more thoroughly.
That said, I need your help!
Do you use a slow cooker?
Any great recipes or tips to share?