The cold and rainy weather here in Maryland this morning makes me want to yank my crock pot out of hiding and blow the dust off. I just can’t bring myself to use it in the summer, with our BBQ grill right outside our patio door, it just seems wrong! Like wearing gloves to the pool.
So I think today is a perfect day to officially start crock pot season. And I think this year I will take my crock pot uses to a whole new level!
Did you know that a crock pot can…
Make pot roast? Well, duh.
It would literally be a crime against nature if I didn’t state the most obvious (and popular) use for crock pots: a tender pot roast that’s been simmering all day, swimming with potatoes and carrots and intensely flavorful broth that can be whipped into heavenly gravy…and biscuits… and… I think I just gained 5 pounds, I better stop.
So while it’s not the most enlightening use for your slow cooker, I thought I’d share a recipe to get your crock pot juices flowing. This pot roast recipe by Sandra Lee from The Food Network is easy to throw together before you head out for the day. You could even throw in cubes of butternut squash if you want to add a touch of sweetness.
Make baked potatoes?
Sometimes microwaved baked potatoes just won’t do. And sometimes making baked potatoes in the oven is too much of a hassle. Enter: the crock pot baked potato. A simple set of instructions found here at Food.com will get you on your way to perfectly cooked potatoes in no time. The best part? You can let them bake away for up to 4 hours. Just enough time to clean the house… or take a nap.
Use a liner for easy clean-up?
I’ve had great luck with these slow cooker liners made by Reynolds. You can find these and several other brands in your local grocery store, Walmart or Target.
This is a total game changer in the crock pot world. No longer do you have to wait for the crock to cool down and then use every last arm muscle you own to lift the thing into the sink and pray that you don’t drop it into a million pieces while washing off the 8 hour cooked on pieces of beef. If I could, I would line EVERYTHING.
Make the most delicious brownies you’ve ever tasted?
Trust me on this. You will be SO glad that you made these. Seriously, just make them. Don’t share if you can get away with it.
Yeah, this is probably a dangerous one too, just like it’s sister: the fudge brownie. There just isn’t anything quite like the smell, taste and feel of freshly baked bread. Check out this tutorial on how to make crock pot bread by Busy Mom’s Menu Plan and make sure you have plenty of butter to slather on.
Make breakfast for you?
As a mom, I sometimes think there would be nothing better than to be able to wake up in the morning and drink my coffee in peace. Instead, I usually end up brewing and then neglecting it while I make bowls of cereal or toast waffles or scramble up a pan of eggs. By the time I get back to my once steaming mug o’ joe, it’s lukewarm at best. I tell ya, this breakfast thing is for the birds! Luckily for me (and you!), I stumbled across this gem of a recipe for a crock pot breakfast casserole by Crock-Pot Ladies and haven’t looked back. If you prefer a sweeter breakfast, try these crock pot cinnamon rolls from Just a Pinch.
And, finally… Make play-dough?
This one is a little off the beaten path from your typical crock pot uses, but your kids will be so happy you decided to try it. This super simple crock pot play-dough from Repeat Crafter Me is sure to bring hours of fun and you could even have the kiddos help you make it. Now that’s my kind of rainy day fun!