Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crock Pot Love

First of all, let me say how happy I am that Shannon from Rocks in My Dryer is back from her blogging hiatus, and therefore we have the return of Works for Me Wednesday! Hooray!

Now...on to my current life hack...
Right now life is hectic. Chip and I both work until almost (if not after) 5:00 every day. By the time we pick up Patrick from school, it is at least 5:45 when we get home, so that is a terrible time to start cooking a nice dinner most nights. Sure it works for some quickies like tacos and such, but for the most part, there are not a lot of meals to prepare, cook, and serve that we can finish before 8:00.
Suddenly I had an epiphany...we own a crock pot. Of course I was limited in the recipes that I had, and although I love my super duper easy pork chop recipe (chops in crock, cover with Italian dressing, add chopped onions, cook, add green peppers 45 minutes from end), we certainly can't have them every night.
What did I find? This super blog called A Year of CrockPotting. Stephanie has made a new year's resolution to use her crock pot everyday of 2008. It's awesome. There are a lot of things you can make in a crock pot that I was unaware of (like meatloaf!). So this last week we have tried the following recipes: Peppercorn Steak, our beloved pork chops that I mentioned above, Bacon and Cheese Chicken (which I messed up by my own error! GRRR) and tonight is Chicken Cordon Bleu. Yummm.
The site has details of the preparation, ingredients, pictures of prep and finished product, and a review of each recipe via her family. She is a health nut, so you can guarantee if the recipe isn't to her personal standard, she will give you an alternative to make it more healthy. She carries a lot of ethnic choices as well, such as Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, TexMex, Mexican, and others and even some vegetarian you can find something to spice up the evening and fit any taste!
Seriously...go check her out. I am loving this site!
So at our house, the prep work is done in the morning...none of which has taken more than 15 minutes yet, the last person out the door for us turns the crock pot on low, and we arrive home to a meal that just needs a side or so added. It's wonderful and with our current schedules, leaving a healthy meal followed by time to do stuff as a family before bedtime. So right now, it really works for me! Thanks, Stephanie!