Hey Beach Cottage dudettes, let’s get some crock pot, slow cooker lurve going on here this fine day in Beach Cottage land shall we?
I have been absolutely, mind-boggingly into my slow cooker at the moment, more than I ever was before, that is because I am pretty busy with lots of stuff at the moment…and so I haven’t got too much time to fuss around with cooking, but I still like to read about cooking and try a few new things every week, keeps this old brain from rotting – trying out new recipes in one’s slow cooker is like experimenting without really playing the game – you don’t often come out with a fail…
…and it seems that some of you who read here are also new converts to this little beauty who sits on your counter all day long doing all the work for you and filling your house with old-fashioned comfort, so I thought I would do a round-up post on why I love it in my little life and some of my favourite, week-in, week-out keeper recipes for it.
I don’t need to convert to this appliance – in this old cottage it is an essential part of our lives and I mean essential – it means one of my kiddos gets to do some serious sport and gets a home-cooked, nutritious dinner when arriving home every single night, it means my other kiddos get to eat at differing times as to their commitments, it means I can spend time blogging without worrying about the dinner – if I haven’t done dinner and those sorta things in this old cottage, I don’t blog, simple as that, it also means that my husband, aka Mr Beach Cottage thinks I am doing a fairly good job at my end of this thing they call marriage and kiddos and I am more than happy to continue with him continuing with that assumption ;-)
The best thing I ever did with the crock pot / slow cooker after the initial Honeymoon period when we had some version of stew or another every night was to think outside of the box and start trawling the internet for recipes…that is the best way I have found to get ideas for different things and get a feel for what goes in there well – old-fashioned forums are really good too, because you get real girl feedback on what works and what doesn’t…
…books are good too, but in my experience a LOT of the books out there are the same recipes for some variation on a stew – be it French, Hungarian or Indian, or that type of meal. And there is nothing wrong with that, but I have found that experimenting with it has meant it can produce dinner for us most nights, whatever the meal.
Beach Cottage Crock Pot / Slow Cooker 101
Benefits of Crock Pot / Slow Cooker cooking
1. Saves Time
This is the main reason for me – I actually like cooking dinner and quite enjoy it on good days, but day in day out, 3 kiddos and one husband gets mind-numbingly borning – utilizing the labour of this old girl on my counter saves me a bundle of time and brain power…
Once it’s in you don’t need to stand around stirring and foofing or monitoring it…the most you have to do is taste it and adjust the seasonings and I can about handle that.
Using my crock pot is just easy, you don’t need to be a culinary master to get this right… as you know I like shortcuts in my life and this is one of them…throw stuff in, turn it on, put on the lid and wait – it’s my kinda cooking.
I set up my slow cooker at about lunch time and the rest it just does itself, put it on and forget it, it really is as simple as that!
Clean up with a crock pot / slow cooker is too easy – my slow cooker has a removable insert and gets thrown straight in the dishwasher and comes out the next morning as good as new, ready for another day of life in Beach Cottage Land.
Crock Pot / Slow cooker cooking makes you look, feel and actually be organized – this is an amazing feeling and a kinda secret one too – I have found myself on more than one occasion thinking OMG thank you thank you that I put the dinner in the slow cooker before I left for a busy day with school stuff or sport or to go to a blogging thing – no sinking feeling of oh no what to cook or ahhhh we need to stop and buy food (that my kiddos won’t like) – no when you get home it’s all there, hot, done and dusted.
Cooking the slow cooker way is also great when you don’t have the motivation or inclination to cook anything and the last thing you want to think about is ‘what’s for dinner’ – I keep a few handy long-life things in my fridge (like chorizo, bacon & ham hock) so that if the cupboard is bare and I have no energy to do little more than chop one or two things, I still know that at Arsenic Hour in our house there will be dinner for everyone and a broomstick riding occasion may well be avoided.
(hopefully one day I will improve at Roast Chicken Photography, seeing as it is for sure my fave meal in the world)
You know what exactly goes in the crock pot and just a few simple, natural ingredients are turned tasty by this cooking method – throw in a piece of meat with some wine and veggies and the result is always lovely (the beef roast above works exactly like this), add a chicken and some garlic and let it work its magic (garlic chicken above) and even the humble baked potato shoved in this little wonder is divine (recipe just below)
Popping on your dinner in the slow cooker is power efficient and better than heating up your oven.
I would love to hear your reasons for using the slow cooker / crock pot and if you have any other tips, hints or tricks or recipe to share, please leave them below
…any questions just add them in the comments, I am writing a guide, on my experiences with this way of cooking and what to look for when buying one and would love to include anything you want to know or of course, any of your advice!
See you tomorrow lovelies
(all beach cottage recipes are tried and tested by a real girl with a real life, that’s me and four very good testers ;-) )