Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Crockpot Cooking Tips (especially for working folks)

Do you hate getting up early, but want to use your crockpot while at work? Well then this post is for you. Some crockpot recipes are "dump and go" but most require some prep work. The key here is to PLAN AHEAD. Unless you like getting up early and aren't rushed in the morning, planning is critical!

Once you choose your recipe and have all ingredients on hand, follow the following steps. Often I can do them while preparing dinner!

Step 1: Cut up all veggies. Put them in a big bowl for the fridge.

Step 2: Prepare meat, if needed. Often meat needs to be trimmed, cut up, and browned. Get it all ready to go and put in a container.
Above: Everything I need to make my beef barley veggie soup: the glass container has browned, cut up meat and the white container has chopped carrots, parsnips, bell peppers, celery and mushrooms.

**Tip: You can lengthen the cooking time, if desired, by using frozen meat. I browned the meat for my recipe tonight, then put it in the freezer because it will be cooking a bit longer than the recommended 8 hours. You can also use frozen chicken breasts, saves a lot of time!!**

Step 3: Get out all other ingredients (canned goods, spices, etc) and put them right next to the crockpot. Go to bed.

I  double checked the recipe and made sure I had all spices and canned goods, and even the cooking spray for the crockpot, ready to go in the morning! I am not a morning person so I don't like to leave much to chance!

In the morning just dump it all in and go off to work!

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