Wednesday, July 27

What's for Dinner?

Kathleen from Growing Kinders is hosting a recipe exchange linky party. We all know how it feels to teach all day, come home exhausted, and with no more motivation left in us have to figure out "what's for dinner?" Thankfully, I am blessed with a husband who has taken on much of this task for me during the last year. It is probably the best gift he has ever given me...

Before though, I definitely had some favorite easy recipes that I relied on to get me through the week. The easiest fix is to use the slow cooker...just don't forget to put it all together and turn it on before work in the morning! Kids are not always fans of slow cooker all-in-one pot meals...the veggies touching the meat and all. But, I always got away with meats which take the longest to prepare at dinner time anyway. The kids two favorites are pulled pork and cranberry chicken.

For the pulled pork, I throw a 3lb. pork tenderloin in the slow cooker (I've used other cuts and they are terrible to shred later). Premix the McCormick Slow Cooker Pulled Pork seasoning packet, ketchup, brown sugar, and cider vinegar following the directions on the packet. Pour over pork. Cook on low all day. When you get home from school, use two forks and pull the pork apart. We like this on delicious kaiser rolls with some coleslaw.

Cranberry chicken is an old standby. I use boneless chicken breast (but choose your favorite). In the slow cooker, put chicken, a can of whole berry cranberry sauce, a small bottle of Russian dressing, and a packet of onion soup mix. Cook on low 6 hours and serve with rice and your favorite veggies.

I also love baked potatoes and have found that because of the variety of toppings, the kids love them too. But, there's not time to bake potatoes after work when the crowd is famished...the solution? Slow cook them. Wash your potatoes, dry them, prick several times with a fork, rub with oil or butter, and place into your slow cooker. Do not add water. Cook on low 6 to 9 hours (or on high for 3 to 5). They will be ready when you get home...just gather some toppings to serve on top. We like cheese, any chopped leftover meat or bacon, any cooked veggies, salsa, sour cream...even leftover chili. You can't go wrong!

For fancier recipes I picked up a fun book called Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. Many of these take more prep time (chopping, etc.) and ingredients. But, I have had some yummy meals.  So it is nice to have on hand for a change of pace when the family gets tired of having the same things. Now it's your turn...what's for dinner??? Link up HERE.

Happy cooking!


Kathleen said...

I love these ideas! Super simple--that's what I need!

Angela Wageman said...

Keeping it real! If it's not doesn't happen! :o)

S. Parker said...

Baked potatoes....I will have to try that. Thanks for the great ideas. My go to recipe is shredded beef tacos in the crock pot. Unfortunately, I think my husband is tired of it.

Teach Love said...

Love the potato idea!