Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cook It Wednesday - How I Love My Crockpot!

Many of you may not know it but I am in love with my crockpot. If I can adapt a recipe to be made in the crockpot rather than on the stove or in the oven, you'd better believe that I will do it. It's just so easy!

To wax silly, let me list some of the ways I love my crockpot:

- For me, with having two little ones under foot, the hour before dinner can be really hectic. It's the end of the day, we're a little hungry, a little antsy, a little bored - so it takes Mommy's undivided attention to keep us happy! Very hard for Mommy to give when she's in the middle of preparing the evening meal. When I can plan ahead and use the crockpot, I have the time to give the kids the attention they need at this time of the day.

- When I worked outside the home fulltime, or even now when I'm out and about running errands all day, the LAST thing I want to do when I get home is start preparing dinner. When I had put everything in the crockpot earlier in the day, I didn't have to!

- What about cleaning up after supper? Let's say that I actually got through the kids being needy and clingy - cooked everything up while holding the baby and walking around the kitchen with the toddler hanging on my leg - and we've enjoyed our delicious meal. Now, it's time for clean-up and my sink is full of dirty pans and dishes. All I want to do right now is sit back and enjoy some time with my hubby and the kiddos before they have to go to bed. Well, I can do that now and then wash the dishes after they're in bed or just leave the dishes until the morning but neither of those ideas are very appetizing either. When I use my crockpot, I've washed many of my dishes earlier in the day when I put the food into the crockpot. All I have is that one pot to wash!

- Being able to prepare ahead of the meal with the crockpot has saved us a lot of money on eating out. Since dinner is ready at home already, we don't end up going through the drive thru as much because Mommy is too worn out to even think of breaking out the pans to make supper.

- There are SO many things to make in the crockpot that are easy and quick to fix!

These are few of the things that I love about my crockpot. And to whet your appetite to use yours , I'll include one of our favorite cool-weather meals below. Enjoy!

Crockpot Shepherd's Pie
Serves 4

3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tsp. dried chopped onion
1 can (10 3/4 ounce size) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon beef broth powder
2 cans (14 to 15 ounce size) green beans, drained
shredded cheddar cheese, for topping

Brown ground beef with onions, drain. Spray crockpot with cooking spray and layer potatoes on bottom. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Layer beef on top of potatoes. Mix soup with beef broth powder. Drain green beans and layer over beef. Pour soup mixture over the top of the beans. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Turn to low and sprinkle cheese on top; cook for another 30 minutes and serve!
Check out another of our favorite crockpot meals here!


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