I'm Afraid of My Crock Pot

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So I'm sure people will probably gasp in horror over this, but I'm really crock pot impaired.

My mama gave us a crock pot when we moved into our first apartment (about 3 1/2 years ago). I didn't know what to make in it, but when I found a recipe for crock pot macaroni and cheese on Pinterest, I was all over it. Unfortunately, what I got was a giant gloppy mess of inedible mush. I later found out that this was likely because the recipe called for precooking the noodles.

I've always been the kind of person who really doesn't like doing things I'm not good at, and after that, I was a little too freaked out to try to use the crock pot again.

When we were planning on moving to Florida, we got rid of almost all our home stuff. We were only taking what would fit in our car (which wasn't much), so along with all the furniture except our bed, our extra towels and throw blankets, and pretty much all the dishes except the Fiesta, pretty much all of our kitchen things (including the crock pot) got the boot (I kept the Little Dipper though).

In recent months, I've been wishing I could give the crock pot another go. Between my jobs and school, a lot of the time I just don't feel like cooking dinner. As a result, we've had fast food dinners much more often than we should have over the past six months or so, and I've put back on all the weight I'd lost plus a little extra.

Not cool.

I really think that having a crock pot and being able to turn dinner on as I head out the door for work will help me to eat more meals at home like I need to be doing anyway. I've done a little meal prep this week, which has helped, but I'm a little clueless with the crock pot. I found a good deal on one at Target a few weeks ago and picked it up, and since then I've used it twice (once for baked potatoes, and once for Tom's pot roast). I'm planning on getting a chicken fajita recipe ready tonight that I can pop on tomorrow; hopefully it turns out well.

I guess what I really want to know is what tips you might have for using a crock pot efficiently. Do you have any favorite recipes you like to use that aren't too bad for you (especially chicken or vegetarian recipes)? Any favorite blogs or websites you like to visit for recipes or meal ideas (I found the fajita recipe on the Crockin' Girls site)?

I really have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to this whole crock pot thing.

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4 comments

  1. Jessica Goffinet GoekenMarch 26, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    I have a limited crock pot repertoire, but one of my favorites is to use a pork loin, usually half a loin in my big pot (I have 3 different sizes) but you can cut it and use however much you need. I slice it and put the meat in the bottom. Then I chop up onions and green peppers (both of which you can buy pre-chopped) and add a can of stewed tomatoes. If you do it overnight but the time you're ready to eat it you can shred it with tongs and it goes great on a sandwich, or you can just eat it off a plate with a fork.
    Also, I like to put chicken in my small pot with some cream of chicken and/or cream of mushroom soup. Then when I get home I make a saucepan of rice and use the soup as a gravy.

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    1. I'm not much of a pork fan (other than bacon -- I LOVE bacon), but I figure anything is worth trying! Thanks for the tip :)

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  2. I'd go for healthy (veggie and/or bean heavy) soups/stews/chilis. One good batch can easily feed you for a few days, or you can freeze portions for later! Soup-like-things every night may sound boring, but if you keep some fun toppings around (cheese, crumbled up bacon, sour cream, tortilla chips, etc... be creative!) you can change things up a bit. Beef stews/stroganoff can also be served over "baked" potatoes (microwave 3-4 min) or egg noodles.

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    Replies
    1. I've never been a soup eater, but I've been wanting to try more soups to see if I might actually like something other than chicken noodle. Great ideas!

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