One of my resolutions this year is to be more organized with my menu planning so I'm not taking countless trips to the grocery store for just one or two items! Along with that I'm also trying to use my crockpot at least once a week!
Crockpots are wonderful for many reasons:
1. They do all the work for you. You can leave the house without worrying about catching something on fire or things overcooking. You just come home to dinner ready... almost like having a personal maid (but they don't do laundry...sadly).
If someone would create a crockpot that would do laundry...well, they'd be a rich person that's what!
2. If you love doing dishes as much as I do (insert dripping sarcasm) - they're ONE POT cooking... yes people, just one dish to clean up at the end.
If someone would create a crockpot that would self clean, and then do my laundry... you get where I'm going with this?!
3. They're practically fool-proof. You just throw your ingredients in and turn the machine on and *poof* dinner's ready. Turning the crockpot on is key... just ask my sister who has been known to find out at dinner time that it never got turned on and therefore, has not cooked anything... that is a sad day.
Yes, crockpots are wonderful. And that is why I'm so sad I did the following to mine a couple years ago:
|Hello sad deformed handle... I'm so sorry I did this to you.|
Word to the wise - even if your slow cooker brags that the removable stoneware insert is oven-safe, do not assume that applies to the lid - because the handle is not, and I repeat NOT oven safe!! "What's that burning plastic smell?... why it's a melting piece of hot lava plastic that used to be a handle." Sigh. I was able to remold it to a usable form with oven mitts and then stuck it in the freezer to re-harden the plastic. It's not pretty, but it works.
But I digress.
Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. day and both the hubby and I had the day off work. We slept in, had a late breakfast, played with the kids - and then this afternoon I ran over to a friends to watch a movie, while the boys took naps and Dave worked on his car. Before I left, I threw dinner together in less than 5-minutes and it was ready to eat when I got home - and smelled delicious!
CROCKPOT PORK ROAST
|Cast of characters: 1.5 lb pork sirloin roast. Cream of mushroom soup, onion, garlic, baby carrots, potatoes, steak seasoning.|
Start by seasoning your roast. I used Montreal Steak seasoning today, but you could use anything - good ol' salt & pepper, poultry seasoning, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, italian seasonings... it's all good.
Once it's seasoned... normally I would braise it in oil in a stockpot to seal in the flavors... but today I was lazy and didn't. I told you it was the 5-minute version!
Next dump in a can of cream of mushroom.
Peel and chop a couple large baking potatoes and chuck them on in.
Then dump in baby carrots, or chopped carrots depending on what you have, and a roughly chopped onion (I used half an onion).
Then I used my garlic press (because I love it so) and added in three cloves of garlic...but I like garlic. You may want to use less if you fear garlic.
Then just because I had leftover from breakfast... I chopped up some cooked bacon and tossed it in there to add some more flavor.
|Hello dinner... I'm going to go have fun now... you just cook away!|
I threw on the lid, turned it on high for 6 hours and left the house. When I came home it looked like this and smelled divine!
The cream of mushroom soup creates a tasty gravy for the meat and the vegetables! The potatoes & carrots were cooked just right, the meat was tender and juicy...so I called my family to the table and served it up with some green peas on the side because I can't handle food that's all one color, it's a sickness in me...that and I like peas.
And then we ate it...ALL.
And my guys loved it, which made me happy.
And because I'm a words person I'll admit, I went ahead and took all the credit! (Sorry crockpot.)
This recipe also works in a regular dutch oven or roasting pan (with lid). Just cook at 300'F for about 2.5 hours (or until internal temperature reaches 160'F). Add your vegetables in during the last 1.5 hours and toss them in the gravy before replacing the lid.