Friday, October 14, 2011

7am = Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner time!

With the shift to the school year schedule, I noticed that 4 pm is not the best time to start dinner. We're tired at 4pm. We're in need of a snack. We're about to tackle homework. We're letting the dog out, answering the phone, and getting the mail.

Is 4pm like this at your house?

As much as I love dinners, I would really rather not think about it at 4pm.

So, I think about it at 7am, with the help of my crockpot!

First, I get breakfast going, usually pancakes or waffles (from a giant batch I make on the weekends), or some fast eggs. Then, the boxed lunch. I kiss the older child goodbye, then (ideally) enlist the younger child to help toss dinner in the slow cooker. By this time, it's barely 8am, and dinner is happily making itself.

We've tried several oldie and goodie recipes, as well as some fun, new strange ones. Here's a recap:

Chicken and Rice (before)

(and after, with sweet potato chips). Note: no recipe should be allowed to call for 3 cans of cream of whatever soup.

Beef Stroganoff (before)

(and after, over egg noodles)

Mile High Enchilada Pie (see Comments for recipe below)

We enjoyed saying this more than eating it.

Mediterranean Stew (before, how fun to put a half-lemon into the middle of it!)

Stuffed Garden Peppers (before)

Moroccan Stew (I loved all the flavors here!) (see Comments for recipe below)

And some Spiced Apple Butter. (This was surprisingly too flavorful for me. Next time I'll stick with a traditional apple butter recipe.)

Not pictured, but enjoyed anyway: Cashew Curry Chicken, Ceci/Garbanzo Soup, Black Bean Soup, Shredded Chicken Tacos.

I still hope to try Beef Barley Soup, Sauerkraut, and an Indian Bean Stew.

If y'all have some really great crockpot recipes, I can assure you, I'll try it. Send it my way!


  1. Here you go:

    I just started following her blog, but it is full of recipes!

  2. Requesting recipe for Moroccan stew & mile-high enchilada pie, please. (It's Andrew)

  3. I'm with Andrew...I would love the recipe for Moroccan Stew too!

  4. Hi, Andrew and Elaine, for the Moroccan stew, put all this in the crockpot and cook on high until the squash is tender (4 hours?), then puree a few cups of the stew to thicken it. 1 diced onion, 2 chopped carrots, 1 cut-up potato, 1 small butternut squash cut up, 1 can diced tomatoes, 3 cups broth, 1 small eggplant cut up, 1 can chickpeas drained, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I skipped this), salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to substitute different squash or sweet potato or beans as needed, but don't skimp on the spices! Let me know how it goes. :)

  5. For the Mile-High Enchilada Pie, you need to make hefty strips of aluminum foil in an X formation for lifting the Pie out of the crockpot when it's done cooking. Set the foil strips in the crockpot (with ends accessible for grabbing them later), then layer the following: corn tortilla, your cooked meat of choice, salsa, shredded cheddar, a few canned kidney beans, another tortilla, meat, salsa, cheese, beans, etc until you have at least 4 layers. Top with shredded cheese. Cover the crockpot and cook on low until all is hot and melty (a few hours?). When it's ready, carefully grab the ends of the foil strips and lift Pie out onto a pie plate. Cut into fourths and serve! This is another fun recipe to alter, using whatever ingredients are convenient.