So when I got married, I had to have a crockpot....this was 7 years ago and that is probably the number of times I have used it. I actually have two. I have a 6qt and a 4qt. I keep hearing how easy it is to use these electric pots of wonder but still have never taken the advantage of mine. I have also heard they are a must for the busy person and can save a freezer burnt piece of meat. I can fill both of those bills. I have a 2.5 year old and a 10 week old. I also have a busy hubbs who is in the AF and works a lot. He also is going to have shoulder surgery in a few weeks so his help will severely decrease. I am also working on my Masters degree in early childhood education. We also have lots of meat in the freezer including fish, which you can cook in the crock pot. Oh and I hate doing dishes, without the convenience of a dishwasher, I hate them even more. So using this device should take care of all my woes....or so I hope.
Now how do you start? Well what I did was go through my freezer and pantry and write down everything that was in there and how much. This way I can meal plan using what I have as much as possible. Then I picked a cook book. I am using Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'Dea. She used her crock-pot everyday for a whole year and you can see her trials at crockpot365.blogspot.com. I chose this book mainly because the recipes are gluten-free and because the recipes are well written and I love that she has a verdict at the end of most of the recipes from her family.
I am starting this journey by making some bases. I am making chicken broth, beef broth, veggie broth and cream of mushroom soup all from scratch in the crock pot and freezing them in 2 cup portions. Most of the recipes you will find call for some sort of broth so why not know exactly what is in the broth and what is going into your families bodies.
Today is day 1 and I am making a whole chicken in the crock pot. I will save the carcass for the broth, which I will start tonight after the whole chicken is done. The broth can be made using this recipe found on Stephanie's blog or in her book. Tomorrow I will finish the broth (it is a two day process) and then start on the veggie broth. I have to find some beef bones or soup bones to make beef broth so that will wait till later this week. The veggie broth can be found here. Stephanie did not have it on her blog so I found another site I liked. This page also has other variations for beef and chicken stocks.
What am I feeding the family while I make these bases? Well I had frozen some lasagnas in the freezer and we have one left. They will feed us for at least 4 days so we will live off that till I can get started. Oh and what am I doing with the chicken from the whole chicken....I am using it for chicken tacos, ill modify the recipe since it is already cooked. When I get my meals planned out I will post a calendar and let you know the recipes and how they turn out. If you are like me you are nervous about screwing this up but I think that it will be near impossible to mess this up, we shall see.
Thank you for reading and hope you start using your crock pot too!!!