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Back to School Bootcamp: Rock the Crockpot

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On Wednesdays, my kiddo will have piano class. Thursdays, it is yoga. Add in a few afterschool playdates, and it seems we will be walking in the door almost every day right as we should be sitting down for dinner. As you guys know, I am not a great cook, let alone a good cook. Whipping up a meal is just not part of my DNA.

Which is why I love love LOVE my crockpot. Did I mention I love it? Seriously, I can chunk in some ingredients at 10 in the morning, work, run errands, pick up the kid, do whatever we have to do after school and walk into the apartment with dinner ready to go. A perfect timesaver for every mom. Here are a few I'm going to try this fall:

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (From Young Married Chic)

What you need:

One red onion, chopped, one 16-oz can black beans, one 16-oz can kidney beans, one 8-oz can tomato sauce, one 10 oz package frozen corn kernels, two 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies, one packet taco seasoning,
1 tbsp chili powder,
Salt and Pepper to taste,
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts

What you do:

Combine beans, onion, tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, and taco seasoning.
Place chicken on top and cover with a thin layer of the sauce and beans.
Cook on high for 6 hours.
About a half an hour before serving, remove chicken and shred in a separate bowl. Place shredded chicken into the slow cooker and stir in to combine with beans etc.
Cover and place slow cooker on "warm" setting for 30 minutes to allow chicken to soak in the chili flavor.

Tex-Mex Beef Casserole (From The Simple Skillet)

What you need:

1 pound ground beef, extra lean, 1 onion(s), medium, chopped, 1 zucchini(s), optional, 15 ounces black beans, canned, 1 cup corn, frozen white kernels, 14 1/2 ounces tomatoes, canned with green chilies, 6 tortillas, corn, 2 cups cheese, cheddar or jack, shredded, 1 cup salsa, 1 avocado(s), Haas or any, 2 teaspoons cumin, ground, cooking spray

Preparation:

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until browned. Add onion and cook for 2 more minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chopped zucchini, corn, salsa and cumin. Mix well. Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Place two tortillas in the slow cooker. Spoon one third of the ground beef mixture over that, then a half cup of grated cheese over that. Continue with two more layers, reserve the remaining cheese in the refrigerator for later. Cook in a slow cooker for 3 hours on low. When done, top with remaining cheese and avocado slices. This would also be good with a dollop of light sour cream on top.

Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms (From Taste of Home)

What you need:

3/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms, 1 large onion, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste, 3/4 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup merlot or additional chicken broth, 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, Hot cooked pasta, optional

Preparation:

Place the mushrooms, onion and garlic in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with chicken. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, broth, wine, tapioca, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with pasta if desired. 

Apples (From WiseBread - okay, this one isn't really for dinner, but perfect for that PTA potluck!)

What you need:

2 bags of Gala apples (18-20), 1.5 sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (or use fresh cranberries), 1/3 cup each of brown sugar and regular sugar (though my friend tells me that you can use Splenda instead), 1/4 cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of apple pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Preparation:

Core and chop the apples (peel if desired) and toss them and the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook for several hours on low, stirring occasionally.

Do you have a crockpot/clow cooker? What is your best school night dinner you fix with it?  

©iStockphoto.com/robynmac          


by on Aug. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (41-50):
Lisha77
by Alisha on Aug. 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I only use my crockpot to make meatballs! I need to learn how to cook some meals in that bad boy!!! Thanks for the recipes!!!!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
suziejax
by Suzie on Aug. 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I use my sometimes

Stevensmomma
by on Aug. 15, 2012 at 2:37 PM

yes we have one and use it a lot during the winter we do chicken soup a lot

MDWife12
by on Aug. 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM

I love my crockpot as well - don't use it as much as I should. Thanks for the meals - they look delicious! I will have to try some of those as well. I can't just 'whip' up a meal either lol :)

MDWife12
by on Aug. 15, 2012 at 7:58 PM

oh yum! how do you make meatballs in the crockpot?

Quoting Lisha77:

I only use my crockpot to make meatballs! I need to learn how to cook some meals in that bad boy!!! Thanks for the recipes!!!!


MDWife12
by on Aug. 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

does it taste bbq-ey at all? my husband hates bbq sauce (not sure why - he is odd :) )

Quoting KLove_Mom:

4-6 chicken breasts (frozen if you have more than 6 hours, thawed if only 4 hours)
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1 can Coca-cola (Coke zero or Dr. Pepper work too)

Wonderful sweet, moist flavor to the chicken. I serve with a pot of rice and plate of veggies (raw or roasted)


Lisha77
by Alisha on Aug. 15, 2012 at 8:33 PM
Ok...I cheat. I buy a huge bag of frozen meatballs and BBQ sauce from Sam's and dump them in the crockpot. They are always a hit at my parties. :o)


Quoting MDWife12:

oh yum! how do you make meatballs in the crockpot?

Quoting Lisha77:

I only use my crockpot to make meatballs! I need to learn how to cook some meals in that bad boy!!! Thanks for the recipes!!!!



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
MDWife12
by on Aug. 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM
1 mom liked this

haha I love it! :)

Quoting Lisha77:

Ok...I cheat. I buy a huge bag of frozen meatballs and BBQ sauce from Sam's and dump them in the crockpot. They are always a hit at my parties. :o)


Quoting MDWife12:

oh yum! how do you make meatballs in the crockpot?

Quoting Lisha77:

I only use my crockpot to make meatballs! I need to learn how to cook some meals in that bad boy!!! Thanks for the recipes!!!!




KLove_Mom
by Member on Aug. 16, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Well, it's more like a BBQ marinade at this point. My daughter and husband who don't really like BBQ chicken from restaurants like it this way. It stays moist and has the flavor without being saucy. 
I love BBQ chicken, and still end up  dipping this chicken in extra BBQ sauce, cause I like the saucy part.
So you might just have to try it to know... 

Quoting MDWife12:

does it taste bbq-ey at all? my husband hates bbq sauce (not sure why - he is odd :) )

Quoting KLove_Mom:

4-6 chicken breasts (frozen if you have more than 6 hours, thawed if only 4 hours)
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1 can Coca-cola (Coke zero or Dr. Pepper work too)

Wonderful sweet, moist flavor to the chicken. I serve with a pot of rice and plate of veggies (raw or roasted)



MDWife12
by on Aug. 16, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Gotchya! I will definitely have to give it a try :) I also like to dip my chicken in BBQ sauce! Yum yum!

Quoting KLove_Mom:

Well, it's more like a BBQ marinade at this point. My daughter and husband who don't really like BBQ chicken from restaurants like it this way. It stays moist and has the flavor without being saucy. 
I love BBQ chicken, and still end up  dipping this chicken in extra BBQ sauce, cause I like the saucy part.
So you might just have to try it to know... 

Quoting MDWife12:

does it taste bbq-ey at all? my husband hates bbq sauce (not sure why - he is odd :) )

Quoting KLove_Mom:

4-6 chicken breasts (frozen if you have more than 6 hours, thawed if only 4 hours)
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1 can Coca-cola (Coke zero or Dr. Pepper work too)

Wonderful sweet, moist flavor to the chicken. I serve with a pot of rice and plate of veggies (raw or roasted)




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