Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Crock Pot Cooking:

When I was in my younger years and worked in the retail industry, I had little time to cook a dinner before it was so late that it was too late to eat it. I learned very quickly to use my crock pot. In the morning before I would leave for work, I would put something in the crock pot, turn it on low and when I got home from work, dinner was ready. I started with simple meals.

Cut up one chicken or chicken parts and place them in the crock pot. Sprinkle a little of your favorite seasoning on top. Open a can of cream of mushroom soup or Lipton Onion soup mix and cover the chicken. You don’t have to add water because the chicken will provide its oven juices for a nice gravy. If you must add water, just add about ¼ cup. If you would like, you can put a few potatoes and some carrots on top of the chicken and have a complete meal. When you get home from work, make a quick salad and you can put dinner on the table almost immediately.

One thing that I did was invest in a few crock pot cookbooks. You can get them at the half priced book store or in any bookstore. One of my favorite books I purchased last year from Sam’s wholesale club. It is called “Fix-It and Forget-It Recipes”, and they have some awesome recipes.

My sister is a single mother and she was always complaining about being too tired to cook when she got home from work. I taught her how to use her crock pot and now she cooks almost everything in it. Anything you can cook in the oven can be cooked in a crock pot.

Here’s a recipe for “Slow Cooker Lasagna”

1 –lb. ground beef, browned
4-5 cups spaghetti sauce, depending upon how firm or how juicy you want the finished lasagna (Pre-bottled sauce is easy to use if you wish)
24 oz. container cottage cheese
1 – egg
8 -10 lasagna noodles, uncooked
2-3 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1) Combine ground beef and spaghetti sauce.
2) Combine egg and cottage cheese.
3) Layer half of the ground beef mixture, the dry noodles, the cottage cheese mixture, and the mozzarella cheese in the slow cooker. Repeat layers.
4) Cover. Cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 6-8 hours.

My sister bought me a new crock pot for my birthday this year and it is a fancy one. It is preprogrammed to cook either high or low. At the end of the cooking period, it will automatically turn off. I’m not sure I like that feature, but I’m getting used to it. Sooo…
Drag out that crock pot and give it a whirl. If you are a busy person, you will enjoy the ease of crock pot cooking.

If you have a favorite crockpot recipe that you want to share, post it in the comment section.


At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Linda said...

Taking notes. Thank you, Lucy!!! Keep 'em coming, 'cause we're all reading!


At 8:37 PM, Blogger Brad Warbiany said...

Yep, keep it coming. I'm sending the link to my wife, because I know she's always looking for ways to cut back on expenses (to save up for extravagance elsewhere, of course!)

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Jahn said...

Do you use a crock pot or a slow cooker for this? Crock pot I have, but no slow cooker. :-(

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Lori said...

I adore my slow cooker, couldn't live without it. I have tried the lasagna before and it is tasty. There is a "Company's Coming" series of cookbooks that is fantastic and has a slow cooker book with it. Great stuff.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Jahn, A slow cooker and a crock pot are the same thing. It just depends what part of the country you live in as to what you call it. Give the lazagna a try, it's easy to put together and it's good. If you have leftovers, just put them in the frige for another meal or you can freeze it for later.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Petunia McGillicuddy said...

GET OUT!!! I had no idea you could make LASAGNA with a crock pot! I've made chili, stew, chicken, etc, but I never guessed you could stick uncooked noodles in there. Thanks for the tip!

Good idea for summer, too, when you don't want your whole kitchen to heat up from using the oven.


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