There's one thing that's great about summer. It's warm. It's almost too warm some days, and the last thing that you might want to think about is working in the kitchen. The stove puts off heat, the oven is even worse, and although grilling is a popular summertime option - you can be very warm standing over the grill as well.
If you are anything like me, you are tempted to just call off cooking for the summer and live off of cheese cubes, whole wheat crackers and a fruit tray. This isn't a bad option at all, but ti's probably not one that your family will approve of more than once or twice a week. Especially if you have big eaters in your house, and if some of those big eaters happen to be of the male variety that believe that every meal must include some meat - you may find yourself longing for the weather to cool off.
This is when it's a very good idea to have a crock pot.
This winter time kitchen staple has many, many uses for the summer time as well. This amazingly versatile piece of equipment can cook an entire meal slowly, over the course of a day, possibly while you are lazing poolside. Think about it - you could spend the entire day away from home, at the water park or beach, and arrive in time to open a crock pot full of deliciousness. If you have the forethought to pack the crock the night before (keeping in the refrigerator overnight!) and use a disposable crock pot liner in order to avoid cleanup - well, you will probably feel as if you've cheated. How could dinner be so delicious, so easy and clean up free?
Shhh. It'll be our secret. I'll never tell.
Want to feel like an even bigger rock star of a parent? Make a fondue in that lined crock pot - there's something magical to kids of all ages about fondue and many a wonderful family memory has been created dipping bread into cheesy sauce.
Even my grown up children come running when I say that fondue is on the menu.
It's a good night to feel like a great mom. Pull out your crock pot, slip in a liner, and get started!