Crock Pot Success

Before returning to work I prepared and froze seven meals ready to drop in the crock pot for an easy meal on a busy day. The first week back to work I cooked the Mediterranean Pork Chops. A disaster. On a scale of 1-5, I’d give them a 1. The meat was tender, but I could only stomach two or three bites.

This experience made me reluctant to try another meal, but on week two I selected the bag labeled Teryaki Chicken and set the crock pot for eight hours. More disappointment. The meal was gray. Gray chicken. Gray pineapple. Gray onions. Gray broth. Only the carrots avoided the gray color of the other ingredients. The flavor was a major improvement over the previous week’s pork chops, but I’d only give it a 2 1/2. I did eat most of the meal, but I wouldn’t eat it again.

I’m beginning to dread Tuesday since it’s the day designated as the crock pot meal night, but this week things went much better. The package with Taco Chicken Bowl scribbled on the bag made its way to the slow cooker. Finally, a meal I’ll make again! Chicken breasts, black beans, corn, salsa, and a variety of spices…a tasty meal served over rice. I’d give this one a 4, and even without freezing in advance it’s an easy meal. IMG_0813

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can shoepeg corn (drained)
  • 16 oz. salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (Great substitution for spices and speeds up preparation.)

We served over yellow rice, but I ate leftovers with white rice. Yes, we actually ate the leftovers! It definitely made enough for 4 servings.

I’m still a little leery of the four remaining bags in the freezer, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s crock pot dinner; but at least I have a little more hope after success with the Taco Chicken Bowl.

Dinner Disappointment

I jumped on the Crock Pot meal bandwagon recently. After seeing many recipes posted or pinned on Pinterest, I decided that preparing meals and freezing for later would be the perfect way to insure we ate at home more often now that school’s starting and I’ll be returning to work.

I searched Pinterest for recipes, selected several that sounded appetizing, and then purchased ingredients last Friday. That evening I labeled Ziploc bags with lists of ingredients and cooking directions. Then on Saturday John and I got to work. He chopped and opened cans while I measured spices. After a couple of hours we’d put together seven meals. The freezer was well stocked for the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, I opened the bag labeled “Mediterranean Pork Chops”. Eight hours later we cooked rice and made a salad for our quick and easy dinner.

Seven slow cooker meals ready for freezing.
Seven slow cooker meals ready for freezing.

While the meat was tender, the flavor was terrible! John was a good sport and ate it all, but I could only handle about three bites. This is a recipe I will NEVER make again…very disappointing.

I still have six additional meals in the freezer waiting for the crock pot. I’m sure we’ll have better luck with others, but I must admit that much of my enthusiasm for my time-saving dinners has diminished.

Nevertheless, I’ll take the Teriyaki Chicken bag out of the freezer on Tuesday and give this another try. I sure hope the results will be better. If not, I may have found another way to drop a little more weight.

Crock-Pot Cobbler

IMG_1210When John told me he planned to cook an apple cobbler in the Crock-Pot I was skeptical. He saw a recipe that called for basically dumping a few ingredients in the Crock-Pot, cooking for four hours, and viola’…apple cobbler. The end of the year luncheon and recognition of retirees called for a Crock-Pot apple cobbler attempt.

Wednesday morning he opened a can of apple pie filling, a box of yellow cake mix, a stick of butter, and quickly prepared the apple cobbler. Four hours later, it was ready to serve. This may be the perfect recipe for those pitch-in luncheons at work since it can actually be put together on site and ready to eat a few hours later. It also makes a great summer dessert when the thought of heating up the house by turning on the oven seems less than desirable. Even better with a little ice cream!

Crock Pot Apple Cobbler

2 cans apple pie filling

1 box yellow cake mix

1 stick butter

cinnamon (optional)

Pour 2 cans of apple pie filling in a Crock-Pot that has been sprayed with Pam or covered with butter to prevent sticking. (We use Crock Pot liners which make clean up a snap.) Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the pie filling. Cut the butter into thin slices and distribute over the cake mix. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Set the Crock-Pot on high and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Our Crock-Pot seemed to cook a little faster than expected.

Serve warm.

We’ll be testing other cobbler recipes in the weeks to come!