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December 3, 2008 / allyo

All hail the crockpot

So, the worst part of my day is usually Mon-Fri during that 30-45 minutes between getting home and getting dinner on the table. I don’t think this is unique to me, personally, or being a working mom at all but I do know that being out of the house all day and usually flying solo during this time do exacerbate an already delicate balancing act. Anyway, when I first went back to work (after maternity leave) I tried to turn to my crockpot but at the time I could only find two types of reciepes – the “hunk o’meat” and the “cream o’soup” subgenres. Sure, I found a vegetarian cookbook that is decent but with only one person willing to eat anything containing squash that book’s usefulness was short-lived.

We did invest in a programmable crock pot a few years ago so if I did choose to slow-cook a hunk o’meat it wouldn’t be overcooked to a dry and dessicated state but the crockpot has mostly been collecting dust in our china cabinet. Until recently when Dawn posted a link to the Crockpot Lady (on twitter, perhaps?). Eureka! Not only a site with recipes chock full of actual fresh ingredients, but she has general crockpot cooking tips as well. Like, on how to cook dried beans in the crockpot, something I had googled endlesslessy just couple of months ago unsuccessfully. So far we’ve tried dried beans (pinto, yum!), fried rice (yum, but less butter next time), taco soup (yum) mac and cheese (um, good but has limitations), broccoli cheese soup (yum but texture issues, didn’t bother me), and just last night, African peanut soup. I first heard of this type of soup recently on a food network recipe contest and it sounded intriguing. This is really good, but as the Crockpot Lady mentions, is even better the next day when the peanut butter has had a chance to become fully integrated into the soup. Next time I think I’ll make it overnight so it can sit in the refrigerator all day and I’ll puree it with my stick blender. The peppers and tomatoes and onions are delicious, but texture-wise stick out in an annoying way. I had it with yogurt and tobasco sauce on top and we ate it with grapes. It was a perfect cold night dinner. Yum!

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2 Comments

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  1. LittleWit / Dec 3 2008 1:03 pm

    Oh my gosh I love you. I am off to earmark recipes and maybe find something for tonight’s dinner. 🙂

  2. dawn / Dec 3 2008 1:59 pm

    I liked the salsa chicken recipe a lot! There was another one we tried — oh the rotisserie chicken didn’t go over so great. I was hoping it’d just dry roast it but I ended up with a squishy chicken anyway.

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