Charity case needs crock pot recipes

pirulaDecember 29, 2005

Hi all!!

Well, since we gutted, we've been eating out four to five times a week! This has GOT to stop, or I'm going to have to add a new budget line item on my Excel spreadsheet. Which I reeeeeeeally don't want to do.

The problem isn't so much the makeshift kitchen, which isn't bad, as much as just not having TIME or energy to cook between work, the five year old, and working on the house. Oy.

A girlfriend generously lent me a crockpot today. She says it's great, the food will cook itself with just a little bit of prep before hand. You come home from work an dinner is ready (by far the weakest link is that just get home from work time when it's easier to just order take out than to start dinner).

The prob is that I haven't got a clue how to cook anything in a crockpot. So, if you really love me you'll post some nice, easy and tasty recipes for me? So my family can eat at home again? Please? pretty please??


P.S. The GOOD news is that the electricians are here and DH has made new wall frames and framed in the new bay window in the master bath and things are really starting to look like progress vice destruction. When DH made the 8 foot high by 12 foot wide hole in the house, I thought I would die. Luckily, he framed it in the same weekend. Otherwise, well.....


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I'll dig up Sarina's crock pot meatloaf recipe- I make several at a time, freeze them and when they've all been 'crocked', try to find the recipe again.

Pot roast is way too easy. Stick a smallish beef roast in the pot, pour cream of mushroom soup over, add a bit of water, and cook all day. Add cut-up potatoes and carrots when you get home, crank it up to HIGH and it's ready to season and serve in about an hour.

If you'd like to perfume the house with garlic, top roast with a few slivers of fresh garlic then pour a can of good diced tomatoes over the roast. Cook all day.

The best news is - there are now crock-pot liners. They're very heavy-duty plastic and worth their weight in gold. No cleanup.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 8:21PM
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I watch the sales for the breast only portion of a smallish turkey. Add 1/2 tsp of chicken flavoring (I use one from Gordon's), and a couple tablespoons of Kitchen Bouquet to darken it up as the crockpot doesn't brown, and throw in a few sweet potatoes. Or, do the same with chicken breasts or a pick of the chix package of skin on chicken. I do recommend the Kitchen Bouquet for making any poultry in a crockpot otherwise it looks much too anemic for my family to eat. I buy it in the quart container at Gordon Foods and use it in my stirfry's and marinades...just makes things look carmelized. Shhh, don't tell anyone my secret!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:20PM
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Ivette ~~ By all means...start crocking now! I blame the 20 pounds I just lost on the kitchen remodel (the other 25 that need to be lost are mine). I found it too much of a pain to do much other than eat out or MW those MW dinners. Wrong Choice!!!

The first thing that came to mind was already mentioned by Pecan...pot roast. It's awesome. I get a large carton of Swanson beef broth (or 2 depending on the crock size) and put in the meat, potatos and carrots to cook all day. If you put it together before you leave for work, set the crock on low and let it run all day. I make this at the cabin alot because I can set it and forget it til dinner time.

If you want to make a stew...get beef stew meat and the Swanson broth and throw in a bit of pasta, frozen veggies a potato or two. Again let it run all day on slow.

I've found that for making stew at the cabin, I don't like to have to bring lots of flavorings, so I find the pre-made soup/stew section and buy a package of "just add meat" mix. I strain the package so I can pull out the dried yicky vegi's and save just the powdered seasoning. I add the powdered seasoning to my broth and it's really good.

You'll be glad you took the time!

Here is a link that might be useful: Crock Pot Recipes

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 12:51AM
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We sometimes (almost every week) make two six quart crock pots filled with stew. We use the usual, potatoes, carrots, onions, celery and throw in garlic, bacon, frozen spinach, etc to add some depth to the flavor. Don't forget the spices and worstershire sauce. But the biggest enhancement is adding about 1/4 of wine approximately one hour before we unplug the crock pot. Not only do we eat stew for dinner that night (family of nine) but my husband and I eat stew for luch for the next five or six days. We pack the stew into Rubbermaid disposable round containers and stack all ten of them (or so) in the fridge. Lunch is easy, delicious and filling all week long. Plus, I feel that the nutrition can't be beat, that meat is swimming in all those lovely vegetables, and since the meat is trimmed the fat is somewhat under control.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 6:43AM
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Still looking for Sarina's recipe...

KitchenCrazyChris has some great recipes, perhaps she'll chime in.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:30AM
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My favorite crockpot use is for pulled pork. The base is a box of veggie broth, one small pork tenderloin, chopped garlic & onion to taste. Sometimes I add cumin, coriander, chiles and then use it wrapped in tortillas with whatever toppings you like. Sometimes I instead add bay leaf and sage, then thicken the sauce to make more of a gravy and serve with mashed potatoes.

I also use it to make beans... black eyed peas or split peas with ham, veggie chili, cannelini and smoked salmon.

The trick is to have on hand good quality boxes of broth (I use Trader Joe's chicken and vegetable ones). That way you get good flavor infused without tons of saltiness.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:32AM
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To me a crockpot is still way too much work during reno! Get a little microwave and stock up on Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and Amy's. Her enchiladas got me through (you may recall I stayed over even when the bathrooms weren't working). Then all you need is a good take out store that makes chicken and salads.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 11:20AM
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Barbecued beef: 1 brisket, cover with favorite bottled barbecue sauce, cook on low all day or high for 3 hours, shred the beef, put on sandwich buns.

Then there's red beans & rice: soak beans overnight, add onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf, ham or spicey sausage in the morning, cook all day, serve on rice at night.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 12:32PM
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Fatlester, haven't you seen those nifty disposable crockpot liners! I can't wait to try them. I found lots of crockpot recipes at Allrecipes, Pirula. Here's the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crockpot recipes

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 12:43PM
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Liners sound great for a crockpot; easier.

I was thinking of the shlepping and prepping.

We ate so many frozen dinners by the time the kitchen was finished it became a joke: where were the little trays? What no tofu enchiladas? LOL (Fortunately my DH has a great sense of humor and totaly didn't mind).

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 2:24PM
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I like to take chicken parts (I prefer boneless skinless chicken breasts), season with salt pepper and tarragon (or any herb you like), cover them with jarred Alfredo sauce. I usually cook some pasta to serve it over add a salad and call it dinner. Chili is good too.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 2:25PM
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I suggest figuring out something quick. We ate out during the entire remodel and it killed my waistline, not to mention the costs of it.

If we ever do it again I think we'll probably do one of thsoe food prep things where they deliver dinner every night. We did our kitchens DIY so the idea of doing anything other than crashing at the end of the day was imposible.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 3:46PM
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Aw, you guys are the greatest!!! Thanks so much!!


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 11:14PM
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