Crockpot Dilemma

So you see, I never really wanted to own a crockpot, but then again I never really wanted to work while the kids were still living at home either.  But… since I do work and some nights it means I’m not home at the dinner hour, I have a crockpot now so that I can be sure they eat something relatively healthy.  Though they did finish that bag of peanut M&M’s yesterday, so they got some protein.   😉

The crockpot I have had for several years is the one that I acquired from Camp Lycopodia when it closed.  I was the last troop to camp there and since my mother’s troop had provided a good portion of the cooking supplies when they re-did the kitchen for their Silver Award, I brought home most of that stuff and put it in my camping supplies.  That crockpot is a Rival crockpot, small, and the pot is permanent – cannot be removed for washing.  That is fine, I learned about the crockpot liners thanks to the Cloverleaf Band moms who used them in the crockpots during basketball concessions for sloppy joe.

So, that is what I have been using for a couple years.  It works, it is just small-ish.  So, I don’t ever cook anything large.

My mother went to an auction recently and got me a LARGE crockpot.  A Wolfgang Puck crockpot.  The pot is removable.  It has a digital touchpad (instead of a dial) and is all modern and stainless steel.  Whoo-hoo.

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So today, I try the new crockpot with a pork and bean recipe.  I’ll share that recipe later if we like it.   🙂

Problem with the new crockpot…. it gets hot!!  Very hot!!  The metal outer pot gets too hot to touch.  In fact the handles are almost too hot to touch.  It is only set on low but WOW!  I definitely cannot leave anything close to it on the counter.  The old, rinky-dink crockpot… cooked on the inside only, the outside did not get hot to the touch.  Not sure I’m happy about this.

I still used the liner because, let’s be honest, it is still easier to clean up and if you know how dishes work in this household, you know why I use the liners.    I am thankful that dishes are not in my realm of responsibility, so I don’t mind using the liners to ensure that I can cook again next week if the pot doesn’t get washed.

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Miner’s Chicken

Yesterday on Facebook I mentioned that I served my family Miner’s Chicken in the crockpot.  Here is the recipe.

 

5 lbs mixed chicken pieces.  I just used boneless chicken – usually breasts and probably only 2 lbs.  This time I used the precooked chicken diced tenderloins from Market Day to skip step 1.

5 oz Worcestershire Sauce

1 TBS garlic powder

Large onion – chopped

8oz French dressing

12 or 16 oz jar of APPLE jelly

3 cups minute rice (though in the crock pot, next time I will use long cooking rice, because the rice got really mushy after 8 hours)

2 cups water

salt & pepper to taste

 

dutch-ovenBrown the chicken and onions.  Put them on the bottom of the dutch oven (or whatever cooking dish/crockpot you are using if not doing it on the fire).  Mix everything else together and pour over the chicken.   Cook for 6-8 hours on low in crock pot, 20 minutes or so if in the fire – however long it takes for the rice and chicken to be done in the oven.   If you think you need to add more water for the rice to absorb, do so.  The original recipe only calls for 1 cup, but that is not enough for the rice to cook properly.

 

Looking at my recipe it is officially titled “Miner’s Rescue Chicken” and has a story about a boy scout being rescued and eating this every night to ensure safety.  I’m not sure I could eat this every night, but it is tasty and great for campouts.

 

My girl scouts made this at a campout once and my co-leader had a friend who was camping with his boy scouts.  She sent him a photo because it was so yummy and impressive.  The boys were eating broasted chicken from the grocery store and the girls were cooking awesome meals on the fire!  Go Girls!!   🙂

 

 

Menu?

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Do you menu?  I don’t usually, but since I know that last year I seemed to not be able to cook many decent meals for my family because of my job and we always seemed to be scrounging, I decided to try something different.

So… I asked the kids for their 4 favorite meals and I would incorporate them in to a months worth of meals.  Some of the meals I will prepare, some (on days I’m not home early enough) others will have to prepare or finish.  September is done.  I have figured out what items I needed and went to the grocery store and got all necessary ingredients.  Only a few “fresh” items will need picked up at the beginning of some weeks to complete the meals.

There are some blank days for leftovers or for when we are at the football games/band shows.  Or maybe we’ll go out.

Best laid plans….  If September works, I’ll do it again in October.

The menu starts on September 3 after we get back from the weekend of camping at Wanake.

Sept. 3:  Parmesan chicken, mashed potatoes, corn

Sept. 4:  crockpot beef and noodles (someone else will make the noodles)

Sept. 5: pasta and meatballs (someone else will make)

Sept. 6:  football game

Sept. 7:  Italian Chicken, rice, and brocolli

Sept. 8:  blank

Sept. 9: Pancakes/Waffles and bacon (someone else will make)

Sept. 10:  Hotdog rollups & beans (someone else will make)

Sept. 11:  Crockpot

Sept. 12: Chicken Fries & Fries (someone else)

Sept. 13: football

Sept. 14: Cavalcade

It seems like a lot of “someone else will make” on there, but most of those days I’m not getting home till after 5pm.  So by telling everyone what is for supper, they can make it.  If they wait for me, it will be late and I will be crabby and tired and maybe not as likely to want to cook (oh, yeah, that is what happened most of last year).  The “someone else will make” meals are very simple and even the 11 year old could make them, so one should be able to assume that between the 17 year old, 14 year old, 11 year old, and 51 year old, “SOMEONE” will make dinner.  My money is on the 11 year old.   🙂