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Thursday, September 4, 2008

What a Crock Pot!

Confession: I have a crock pot in my basement that I have never used. GASP!

I know, some of you love your crock pots and use them on a regular basis. I've always been a "dinner at the last minute" type of gal. Right about 4:00 or 4:30 each day, I say, "oh, I guess I'd better think about what to make for dinner! What can I throw together quickly?" Needless to say, this coincides with kids getting up from nap, hungry, sometimes crabby, and always wanting my attention. Throw in there a baby who wants to eat right now and what you have is a recipe for disaster, not dinner!

I've decided to bite the bullet and dig out the crock pot. The scenario listed above is one of the reasons, but the other reason I decided to try it is from an energy standpoint. After talking to my brother who is single about all the things he cooks in his toaster oven, I started to think about how much less energy he uses in using the toaster oven instead of heating up an oven and then having to pay to cool the house in the summer. So I started to think about buying a toaster oven. However, in an attempt to be frugal and wise with our finances, I decided I should start using things I already have instead of buying more things. :-)

So this morning I went to the basement and found the crock pot, washed it out and then had to find a recipe to make. I went to my favorite recipe site,, and typed in that I wanted a recipe with ground beef as an ingredient with "crock pot" as a keyword. I surfed through the ones that came up. Meatballs, meatloaf, and stew aren't favorites in our family, so I skipped those. I wanted a main dish for dinner, so I skipped the dip and baked beans recipes, too. I already have easy and fairly quick recipes for chili, lasagna, and black bean soup, so I wanted to try something different. I decided to try a Tamale Casserole, substituting black beans for black olives. I had all the ingredients, it looked easy, and I thought there was a chance my kids would eat it. It's cooking right now...I'm skeptical but we'll see how it turns out!

So here's where you come in: Do you have a slow cooker recipe that your family loves? I'd really like to give this crock pot thing a try, but I need some good recipes to get me going. Please leave a comment at the end of this post if you have a good recipe for me to try!


Connie said...

Either I am hungry or it really looks delicious!!!! Hope it was good.

Jennie said...

Easy pulled pork:

* 3lb pork butt
* 1 cup brewed coffee (leftover from the morning pot... whatever) - (if you don't ever have coffee in your house, then use a cup of rootbeer)
* 16oz can beef broth
* BBQ sauce

Season the pork with some salt and pepper. Place in the crock pot with the coffee and broth. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. The biggest effort involved in this meal is pulling the pork apart after it's finished cooking. After doing so, mix with your favorite BBQ sauce and serve on hamburger buns.

(I have a 6qt crock pot and like to make a larger one. This leaves a lot for freezing. I mix it with the BBQ sauce and freeze in ziploc bags. Then you can just microwave some when you need it. It's also a great thing to pull out of the freezer to make a meal for someone who just had a baby. But please don't do that for us anytime... we have plenty!). :-)

Jessica said...

From Staci-

Sloppy Joes

2# ground meat
1 medium onion
1 egg
(mix three together)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Form patties, brown in frying. Put in crock pot and pour sauce over
1 green pepper
1 bunch celery
Sautee in butter (I usually just sautee in pan after making patties not adding extra butter)
½ cup water
½ jar ketchup

Serve with Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Ribs

3-4 # Boneless Country Style Ribs
1 can (20 oz) Pineapple Tidbits
1 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
½ cup thinly sliced onions
½ cup thinly sliced green peppers
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup tomato paste
2T worchsteshire sauce
1 garlic clove minced
Salt and pepper

Place Ribs in ungreased slow cooker. In a bowl combine ingredients. Pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or until meat is tender. Thicken sauce if desired

Jessica said...

From Beth:
i have a recipe i use in my crockpot, which collects more dust than food.

use at least 2 lbs of chuck roast, (the more it weighs the more leftovers you'll have)
dump 1 pkg of lipton onion soup mix over roast
cover with 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
you can add water or some marsala cooking wine
if you use a frozen one 2 hours on high then 6 on low, otherwise low for 6 hours, refer to your manual to double check. mine seems to have run pretty hot. I do turn mine occasionally.
for the last 1- 2 hours you can put in chunks of potatos, celery, carrots or even fresh mushrooms.
then right before serving i make a gravy from the juices.

Oh, and don't ever forget to spray your pot first. you'll soak it forever.

AJ King said...

Crockpots rock! I don't use mine nearly enough, but it so nice to have something cooking all day and ready at suppertime! Here are a couple of my favorites:

Creamy Celery Beef Stroganoff
2 lbs stew meat
1 can cream of celery
1 can cream of mushroom
1 med onion, chopped
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 tsp
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
Hot cooked noodles or rice

Combine all ingredients except sour cream and noodles/rice in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hrs. Stir in sour cream. Serve over noodles/rice. Yum!

Southwestern Pork Wraps
1 pork roast (~3lbs)
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup BBQ sauce
3/4 cup salsa
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin (I usually skip because I don't keep it on hand)
Mix all ingredients and cook in crockpot for 8hrs on low. Shred meat. Serve in tortillas (or buns) with cheese and any other desired toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, etc).

Joel and Jenn said...

I am a newbie to your blog and am really learning lots. I stumbled onto your crockpot posts and thought I'd share a blog that I find a LOT of great crockpot recipes. It's by a gal who made a 2008 new years resolution to use her crockpot everyday of the year, post her recipes and photos, and give the verdict. I think you'll like it. I've just begun to use my crockpot more and more and am really hooked on how it eliminates the 4 o'clock craziness at my house!

Jessica-MomForHim said...

I was a follower of her blog during the end of 2008--I loved her style of writing! She was working on a cookbook last I heard. You are right--there are TONS of great recipes on there!

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