Slow Cooking in the Summer Months

Slow Cooking in the Summer Months

I know, I know ... slow cooker seem synonymous with Fall and Winter cooking --- but I am here to suggest that you put your crockpots to work this summer and spring when the weather starts to warm up.  For reals. I'm not joking. :-) The weather has warmed, and we're spending more and more time out in the yard.  I love it. But I STILL use my slow cookers more often than not for our family dinners, and I urge you to, too. Slow cookers take up very little electricity to run when compared to your stove or oven, and they do not heat your kitchen up the way those other appliances do.  You're not going to notice that your AC is struggling to keep the kitchen cool, and you're not going to be standing over a hot stove, trying not to drip into your pasta sauce. (ew. that's really gross, steph.) I've listed my favorite ways to use the cooker below --- if you've got a family favorite, add it to the list! FISH Love, love, love fish packets


Top 10 Slow Cooker Potluck Dishes

Top 10 Slow Cooker Potluck Dishes

We're approaching a 3-Day weekend, and many of us will be attending barbecues, picnics, and family events. Don't arrive empty-handed! Remember, all you need is an outlet -- be creative and bring an extension cord. It's so much nicer for the host to know she doesn't need to give you refrigerator or oven space! :-) Instead, load up your slow cooker with one of the following crowd-pleasing dishes. I've listed the  recipes in countdown order--- if you have a favorite, please chime in below.    10) Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup . This is filling, delicious, and is different enough to gain lots of attention on the buffet table. Easy to stretch by serving rice, and fixen's like sliced avocado and tortilla chips. 9) Lima Bean Casserole Cassoulet. I love serving this to guests and listening to the conversation. "what type of beans are these?" "I'm not sure. some sort of large pinto beans or some


Slow Cooker Baked Bean Round-Up

Slow Cooker Baked Bean Round-Up

I blinked, and now it's the end of the school year.  It's full-on summer mode in our house, which means that any sort of schedule or sense of parental control has gone completely out the window.  I was good for about a week --- I kept the TV off between 10 and 4 and we were outside more than in, and the kids were cooperating with me and each other. it was blissful. and then it ended. I now have a sore throat from all the yelling... We're trying to camp as many weekends as we can this summer.  We're  not doing anything spectacular -- just staying close to home and testing out different campgrounds within an hour or two from the house.  We are the proud new owners of a tiny pop-up tent trailer, and we love it. I must admit that I'm not the best camper in the world, but I'm really trying to get better.  I love the idea of unplugging for a bit here and there, and I think it's important for the kids to get dirty and not freak out when they com


Crockpot Camping & Meal Ideas

Crockpot Camping & Meal Ideas

I didn't always like camping. I much preferred hotels or motels with maid service and a restaurant and clean towels. And then I had kids.  Don't get me wrong, I still love maid service and clean towels, but I hate spending lots of money and I hate having to get kids to sit still and have "restaurant behavior" when we are on a long trip. 


Lazy Chicken CrockPot Recipe

Lazy Chicken CrockPot Recipe

Sometimes the very best dinners are the ones where there really isn't a recipe. Lazy cooking is my most favorite way to use the crockpot slow cooker. For this particular recipe I used frozen chicken pieces and a jar of pasta sauce, but you really can use anything jarred you'd like -- in fact, they even now sell simmer sauces in the grocery store just for this reason. Put the meat in the pot. Add the sauce. Plug in the pot. Turn it on. Leave house to go do your thing, and come home to dinner. #youarewelcome Day 20. This is the easiest crockpot recipe ever. All you need is frozen chicken pieces and a bottle of marinara sauce. For this recipe: --frozen chicken pieces (rule of thumb is 1/2 pound per person) --bottled marinara sauce cook on low for 8 hrs, high for 4. Shred chicken with forks; serve over hot pasta. Other Variations: use bbq sauce!  or your favorite salad dressing!  or any of those ready-made marinades or sauces


Easter Recipes for the Slow Cooker

Easter Recipes for the Slow Cooker

If you're hosting, or bringing along something to share this year, I've got you covered. The crockpot slow cooker is your friend. Use it! And enjoy your family.  here are 25 plus ways to use your crockpot this Easter as you entertain your family and friends. There are ideas here for appetizers, side dishes, main course, and even dessert. ENJOY!   Happy almost-Easter!  We host Easter each year (except for when I'm pregnant or have a newborn, which means we haven't done it for the past two years.  But that's not my fault because other people have offered, and I'd just be an idiot to not accept the offers.  So, I still stand by my declaration that we host Easter every year...) and I love it. Adam usually puts something on the barbecue, our family helps out by bringing side dishes or beverages, and I line up a bunch of crockpots on the countertop.  There are too many of us to all sit around the table, so we kind of eat in shift


Mongolian Beef CrockPot Recipe

Mongolian Beef CrockPot Recipe

Mongolian Beef is one of those classic Chinese food dishes you just can't get enough of.  I like to make it at home, in a "Take Out/Fake Out" way to save us from extra oil, fat, and (in our case) gluten. This crockpot recipe uses a homemade Hoisin sauce but if you have a bottled favorite you can use that instead. Originally posted in 2008 during my Year of Slow Cooking . How to Make Homemade Mongolian Beef from Scratch [scroll down for printable recipe card] Day 157. Ever since I made Chinese Lemon Chicken , I've wanted to make Mongolian Beef.  Yesterday, I gathered enough guts to give it a go. The results were phenomenal. I gave myself a pat on the back. This is an excellent crockpot meal. Since we are gluten free, I needed to play around a bunch of sauces and flavors because we can't use packaged Hoisin sauce.  If you can use hoisin sauce, you might want to simplify. But my concoction worked, and surprised Adam and the kids-