Monday, January 4, 2016

The Crockpot is Your Friend

Sporadically throughout the years, I have used the crockpot.  Just in the past few years, I have used it more often--once or twice a week.  Since I hurt my ankle, I've been re-evaluating how we do things.

When my back was out, Tera took care of everything---cleaning, cooking, etc.  I delegated certain things to her brothers, but realized that their skills in the area of food preparation were lacking.  Since then, I have tried to think of ways to hone their skills a bit.  If Mom can't cook,  pancakes and pizza  for dinner will only fly for a while.  What if your sister isn't around either?

My goal that seemed to be pushed to the back burner now seems more important. 

The goal:

When my children (boys included) leave this home to start their adult lives, regardless of liking to cook will be able to prepare for themselves healthy meals--breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Desserts are extra credit.  I would really like for them to have a couple of simple, yet impressive meals they can serve guests. 

Back to the crockpot....

Our lives have gotten busier as our two older kids are in high school and middle school.  We are out and about at least 3 afternoon/evenings a week.  The crockpot has saved me from eating out more than once.  It's easy to pick up something "on the way home" if there is not a hot meal waiting.  It's impossible to justify that with dinner already made earlier in the day.

I decided over Christmas break to have each of my children choose one crockpot recipe a week to cook for the family.  If we did once a month, we'd forget.  Once a week, might just work!  They are allowed to pick the recipe within reason.   With three kids, that's three nights of the week.  WooHoo!  I'm using the crockpot at least one other time during the week as well. 

The boys are starting easy with basically low-prep recipes or dump recipes. 

Here are some of our recipes for the next two weeks:

Michael will be preparing with help:
Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

Daniel's recipes:
Meatball Subs (with prepared meatballs)
Crockpot Lasagna

Tera's recipes:
Lentil and Rice Salad
Tonight, we are having Taco Chicken Bowls and later this week Cranberry Apple Pork Chops (I scored a great deal on some country style ribs).  Next week, I'll by making my beans with ham.  With pizza the other night, we are covered except for Sunday.  I think I could get used to this new routine!
What are your favorite crockpot recipes that even your kids could make?  Share in the comments below! 


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