What A Crock…Pot!

Happy day after Valentine’s Day, or as one of my Facebook friends cleverly put it “Happy 50% off candy day!”  I know there are mixed opinions about Valentine’s Day.  We should tell our loved ones every day that we love them, not just on February 14th.  However, I am not opposed to taking a day and making a concerted effort to do so, especially when the day ends with me getting flowers!  Thanks honey!!

So, my hubby asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day a few weeks ago.  I thought & I thought and came up with an answer…a slow cooker.  I think he thought I was crazy.  Really?  A kitchen appliance?  As a gift?  He had images of the scene from “Father of the Bride” where the groom-to-be gets his fiance an early wedding present…a blender.  She then goes into a feminist hysteric tirade about domestic life.  In the end, it was just the stress from the wedding talking, but I think from that simple scene, my hubby thought all appliances were off limits for gift giving.

I say no.  We’ve been married for 12 1/2 years.  I am still using the crock pot we received at a shower, but I’ve been noticing some things.  The small, hairline crack in the pot, the stains that don’t seem to come out after washing anymore, the chicken that seems dry, even though it has been cooking in liquid all day long.  Let’s face it…it was time for a new one.

Image

Tada!!  I got my wish!!  And, the hubby did great!! Digital, locking lid, adjustable temp and cooking time, warmer comes on after cooking is done.  I was amazed at all of the bells and whistles that come on slow cookers nowadays!  Back in the day, all I had was low, high and off.  

The reason I thought I would write about this is because #1, I LOVE cooking in a crock pot…uhhh…slow cooker (hard to call it by it’s proper name!!).  I love putting food in it in the morning and not having to do anything else except spoon it out in the evening!!  Plus, most recipes are super easy and super yummy.  #2, I posted the above pic on Facebook and got so many comments & “likes” from other women…how they love theirs, how they have multiples, etc.  

So, I do have a few favorite recipes that I make in the crock pot…slow cooker that I’d like to share.  The first one was given to me by a Weight Watchers co-worker.  I don’t really have a name for it…we call it Mexi-Chicken around our house.  Here it is:

Chicken breasts (I usually use 3)

1 Can of Corn

1 Can of Black Beans (I rinse mine)

1 Jar of Salsa (any kind.  I think homemade would be great!!)

8 oz. cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)

Put your chicken, corn, black beans and salsa in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for about 8 hours or high for about 4.  You can even add the chicken in if it’s frozen.  Just let it hang out.  About 1 hour before you want to serve, shred chicken and add the cream cheese.  The cream cheese will “melt” and you can stir it in.  It makes a bunch, so it’s great to serve if you have company.  It can stand alone in a bowl.  We’ve also served it over brown rice, but my family’s favorite way is in a flour tortilla.  I get whole wheat tortillas for me & the hubby & regular ones for the kiddos.  I’ve also seen the recipe where you add Rotel instead of salsa, but it’s up to you (I’ve never made it with Rotel).

A favorite breakfast recipe is something I make almost on a weekly basis.  Steel cut oatmeal.  If you’ve ever made steel cut oatmeal on the stove, it takes about 45 minutes to cook that way.  During the week, breakfast is really simple, so that isn’t really an option.  About 1 year ago, I found this recipe and it’s wonderful!!

You put everything in the night before and through the magic of the slow cooker, you wake up to yummy, delicious, nutritious oats.  I normally double the recipe and we eat on it all week.  You can go to fast food chains, like McDonald’s, Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, and get their version and pay $2 (or more) for something comparable.  I know this recipe doesn’t come close to that $2 mark & for a little work one evening, you’ll have breakfast for the rest of the week!!!

So, if you haven’t recently, pull out those slow cookers from the appliance graveyard in your kitchen.  Look up some new recipes, try those old ones again.  Make your life easy (and yummy!!).

Happy Friday!!!!!

 

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