Tag Archives: crockpot

It Cooks While I Sleep…

 I’ve always loved cooking…but I have a secret to admit: I have never been great with the crockpot! I know, I know. It’s supposed to be the simplest way to cook ever, but I seem to fail with this method. I either cook it too long or add too much liquid or it doesn’t get all the way done…. It’s a curse!

But desperate times call for desperate measures. And I am in a season of life where there isn’t much time for meal prep between when I get home from work and when Kyle goes down for bed…and we both need to eat sometime in there. And then there’s the part about kids waking up in the middle of the night…especially (it seems) when you’re already at your tiredest. So, I’m taking the plunge and attempting to cook with the crockpot! I even started a Pinterest board just for crockpot recipe ideas: Crockpot Meals (aka Working Mama Nom-Noms!).

Thankfully, I’ve stumbled across a few keepers (which I’ve modified or merged a couple of recipes together).

The Roast: 5 red potatoes (quartered), 1 small bag baby carrots, 1 onion (peeled and cut into 8), 3 cloves garlic (peeled and minced), 1 box beef broth over veggies, salt-pepper-cornstarch rubbed on the 2 pound roast and seared for 1-2 minutes on each side, then topped with fresh rosemary, basil, parsley, and sage, 1-2 Tbsp. each of honey, soy sauce, and worchestershire sauce. 10 hr. on low.

The roast I made for a friend who’s had sick kids and been discouraged recently, and I literally prayed over the crockpot! (Maybe that’s the real secret.) The recipient commented: “Well my plain ol roast will never taste the same. Delicious!” Great. Now I want pot roast. :/

Peaches ‘n’ Cream Steel Cut Oats: 1 small bag frozen peaches, 1/4-1/2 c. brown sugar,
Pinch salt, 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 c. steel cut oats, 4 c. whole milk.
Do not stir; cook on low for 8-9 hr. in slow cooker. Top with coconut butter or cream and a drizzle of maple syrup or fresh berries.

Breakfast Casserole: 1/2 bag frozen hashbrowns (so 15 oz.), 8 oz. block pepper jack cheese (shredded), 8 oz. breakfast sausage (cooked and crumbled). Sprayed crockpot with oil, then mixed the above ingredients in crockpot. This basically filled my small/med crockpot…but…Then I whisked the following together and dumped it over the top and it filled in all the nooks and crannies…12 eggs, 1 c. milk, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, fresh basil, rosemary, and sage (torn by hand and tossed in). Covered on low for 8 hrs.

Both breakfast dishes were super simple (though they made 3x the amount we need, but at least there’s leftovers). And Kyle loved it all too! They all turned out good enough to repeat! And I am very thankful!

What are your favorite crockpot recipes?

Recipe Experiment: Crockpot Cobbler

Problem: I had some fruit that was on its last leg and I needed a way to use it before it expired. I hate throwing fresh produce away!

Goal: Make an all-natural crockpot cobbler recipe with no added sugar that still tastes great.


  • 1 large organic mango (peel and discard pit)
  • 4 organic peaches (discard pit)
  • 6 small organic apples (peel and discard core)
  • 3 c. (1 box) Earthfare Organic Vanilla Cranberry Granola
  • 4 Tbsp. organic Almond Butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions: Spray or lightly butter crockpot. Peel and chop fruit and add to crockpot. Mix in granola. Top with almond butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Up Close: Pre-Cooking

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or overnight)

The Finished Product: Another Successful Experiment

Success! This was really yummy! Great for dessert or breakfast! I might try using regular butter instead of almond butter next time, but I actually ran out of butter and didn’t have a chance to go to the store, so we went with the next best thing.

Homemade Yogurt (Feb. 19, 2010)

I knew a girl in college who did this as one of her Advanced Food Prep class experiments. I’ve wanted to try it since but have never been brave enough. Well, the courage has grown and I am going to try this. I eat yogurt all the time and would love to save money on it!

Here are three sites on how to make your own yogurt. I’m trying the one using my crockpot!

Make Yogurt in Your Crockpot (http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html)

An Illustrated Guide (http://hubpages.com/hub/How_to_make_your_own_yogurt_-_An_illustrated_guide)

Make Your Own Yogurt – PDF available on this website (http://www.makeyourownyogurt.com/)

Here’s a note from my cousin’s wife, Rose, who makes her own yogurt:
Hi Melissa,
Here’s the comment that I was trying to post. Thanks for posting it for me.
I’ve experimented with a bunch of different methods but here’s a few things that I’ve learned. The basic method as you can see from other sites is to pasteurise your milk, cool it to within the lacto-bacteria happy range (90-120F), add commercial yoghurt, keep at happy range for 4-8 hours.

I’ve found that the microwave is much easier to use than the stove top for the pasteurising. The first time around you’ll have to watch that it doesn’t overflow but after that you’ll know roughly how long to put it in for and you don’t have to worry about burning the milk.

I like to use low-fat milk but I add skim milk powder before I heat it up. I add the powder as though I was reconstituting it with water so my end product is about double strength.

I usually add about 1 tbsp commercial yoghurt to 1 cup of milk but I don’t measure, I just guess.

I like to incubate my yogurt in jars, submerged up to their neck, in 120F water in a small cooler. I usually don’t have to heat the water at all but I do check it half way through the incubation and some hotter water if necessary.

These days I’m using a rice cooker on the “keep warm” setting for incubating. I have to keep the lid off or else it gets too hot. Because of that, the yoghurt develops a skin. I just pull it off and throw it out when it’s done. I just like how easy the rice cooker is.

You can freezer the commercial yoghurt in ice cube trays so that you have some healthy starter whenever you feel like making yoghurt. You simply thaw it in a little milk while your milk is cooling.

Yoghurt cheese is wonderful. When your yoghurt is finished dump it all into some cheese cloth (or a clean tea towel), bring the corners together, tie some string around the corners and hang it from a cupboard handle. In a few hours you have wonderful, low fat cream cheese substitute. It’s great on bagels.

I’m surprised how popular h.m. yoghurt is compared to sour cream. Sour cream is super simple because the ideal incubation range is room temperature. To make sour cream you dump about a 1/4 cup of sour cream into a litre (~4 cups) of cream. Twelve hours later you have sour cream. If you start with milk instead of cream you end up with buttermilk.

I find it so sad how nobody knows any of this stuff any more. My mom didn’t teach me this stuff. I’ve just made it a bit of hobby to pick up old skills.

Thanks for the tips, Rose!! I’ll let you know how it goes. ~Melissa