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?
Tiffani G says
My friend, have you not discovered Campbell’s slow cooker sauces? Throw it in the pot with some chicken breasts (you don’t even have to defrost!) and by the time you’re home, Moroccan chicken. I get them at Tarjhay. Another recipe we like is Southwest chicken–breasts, corn,black beans and tomatoes. You’re welcome. I even threw some curry chicken in there last week. Get up on it!
I LOVE YOU
Antionette Blake says
I have 4 different size slow cookers and have been using them for years. Have you used any of the slow cooker seasoning packs – they are awesome! Any cut of meat with veggies is a perfect meal to come home too especially in the winter. I made an awesome lemon / rosemary chicken which was awesome! Here’s my link to other meals – http://dedivahdeals.com/product-reviews/friday-foodie-feature/
Awww snap. I gotta get these packs ASAP!!!
I love using it and have recently dusted mine off as well. My favorite (since we’re doing the slow carb diet) is pot roast beef chunks and carrots. I put baby carrots on bottom then either marinade the beef or use simple seasonings and 6hrs later we have deliciousness! I also love cooking beans in it but that is only it you’re in the mood to do the whole pre-soaking the beans step…
Thanks Tiffani G!!! I love my crock pot but didn’t know Campbell’s had slow cooker sauces!!
Hey fellow slow carber!!! Hmmm I haven’t even put a piece of beef in that bad boy yet. Thanks for expanding my miiiind and junk 🙂
I have a great recipe, super easy! Chicken Chili, http://domesticatedwildchild.com/chicken-chili/
Thanks! I’ll check it out
Another blog, skinnytaste.com, has a whole section of recipes dedicated to crock pot dishes. I’ve tried a couple and they are pretty good!
I haven’t even used my slow cooker because….. lazy… but ill be saving this page so that when you get all the good recipe comments ill be able to use some =)
Like you, I forgot about my crock pot for years. I thought it was just one of those appliances that you “had to have” but never really used.
Over the years, I have pulled it out but not as much as I should. I don’t know why I insist on making my life hard by working 10 hrs a day and rushing home to cook, when it can already be done.
Hump…I need to do better!!!
I love the crock pot! I used to use it ALL THE TIME! Then one day I the man said “this tastes like crock pot”. So I made something different and he said the same thing. It’s been quite dusty ever since but I do plan to resurrect it with a baby on the way. Oh, and check Pinterest or some recipes and meal plans.
Julie Wood says
I use the Crockpot a lot this time of year! It saves me so much time and is so easy making recipes. I like making Beef Stew, Spaghetti and meatballs and Pulled Pork for sandwiches!
Holden Humphreys says
We have one but never use it, looking at the other responses for suggestions. 🙂
I don’t have a slow cooker, but I’ve been googling around looking for one. I think that it would be so much better for meal prep, as there isn’t much time at night.