I learned to cook from my mom and my grandmothers, and they all cook enough in one sitting to feed an army. I also grew up in a house with at least five people in the house at all times, so we cooked quite large amounts of food. That carried over into my marriage, and when Tyler got tired of eating a week’s worth of chicken and dumplings or yankee doodle (cheesy spaghetti with chicken and rotel), I knew I had to figure something else out.
I went to my go-to planning site, Pinterest, and started searching for quick and easy but hearty meals. My husband is what you’d call a “meat and potatoes” kinds of guy. He likes a meat in some kind of gravy or sauce over a starch (potatoes or rice) with two veggies. That type of meal wouldn’t be that hard to whip up if I wasn’t gone twelve hours a day. We both grew up eating those types of suppers, cooked by a mom who started dinner at 3:00 to have it on the table for our dad when he got home. My mom was a stay at home wife and mother of three kids until I was thirteen years old. My mother-in-law worked full time, but she made sure she was home before Tyler got off the bus and had supper waiting. So, how to get that “home- cooking” type meal done in less than an hour? Ladies and gents, let me introduce you the best invention ever to grace a kitchen:
A crock pot.
A slow-cooker, as some may refer to it.
Yes, this simple machine saved me many hours of slaving in the kitchen and had my husband fed and happy within an hour of being home from work. After finding numerous recipes from Pinterest solely for crock-pots, I started inventing recipes of my own! The night before, I’d defrost whatever meat I was planning on serving for dinner the next night. The next morning, I’d throw the meat in the crockpot, add my seasoning and enough water to cover the meat (if it’s a roast, you definitely need to cover it completely!) and set it on low. By the time we got home that evening, the house smelled DIVINE and all that was left to do was cook the rice and side veggies and dinner was on the table! Tyler was shocked the first night I did this, because it was usually 8:00 before we were even getting to eat. But now, supper is waiting on us instead of us waiting on dinner to finish!
Seriously, you working ladies who have hungry mouths to feed as soon as you get home, if you think crockpots can’t cook anything but the occasional soup or chili, think again! I have cooked anything from football game dips to a whole pork butt in what seems like no time. Crockpots come in several sizes, I have a medium-sized one, and its perfect for meals made for two people to eat dinner and take for lunch, and of course there’s leftovers for the occasional begging pug or pitty that want some scraps. And most grocery stores have this awesome line of slow-cooker seasoning sauces that you literally open and pour into the crockpot when you first put your meat and veggies and a tiny bit of water. They look like this if you decide to try them! My favorite is the Tavern Style Pot Roast.
Check out my Pinterest page and on the FOOD! board and you’ll find all of my quick recipes for crockpots, or even just something simple to snack on…I probably have it all pinned!
Link to my page is below!
What is your go-to easy busy-night recipe? Leave me a comment below!