I’m a Crock Pot Newbie!

Thanks to the recent Crock Pot craze, I am the proud owner of a new, shiny kitchen appliance that I have to figure out how to use. I owned one years ago before slow cookers were popular, but I’m still a slow cooker newbie.

I was a cooking novice who purchased a slow cooker based on a coworker’s advice. She knew that I didn’t know my way around a kitchen and often offered tips on meal preparation. I must admit that most of what she told me seemed impossibly simple.

At the time, my family was slightly smaller and my children were infants and toddlers who loved a handful of foods and needed nothing fancy. The slow cooker meals were more for the adults in the house. Well, sadly, after just one meal, the apliance was history. My eldest child tripped over the cord, the slow cooker crashed to the floor and shattered, and I gave up on trying to be a creative cook. So much for trying to use fresh ingredients and seasoning to create masterpieces. Back to boxes, cans, dry mix, and frozen foods!

Now, with a family of six that includes four tweens and teens, what passed as a meal 10 years ago doesn’t cut the mustard today. Everyone in my house expects me to be a chef, and not of the Boyardee persuasion.

Like most modern moms, I struggle with finding time to do everything that I think needs to be done, and that includes making meals using fresh ingredients. I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen whipping up new culinary pleasures for my increasingly finicky crew, but the slow cooker would make them think that mommy spent all day preparing meals.

My hope is that if I spend a little time on preparing food on the front end, the slow cooker will do the rest. I am dreaming of a world where dinner is ready at a decent hour, I won’t have to stand over the stove, and I won’t have to clean multiple pots and pans!

Wish me luck as I put this new toy to use on Sunday! Any ideas that you have would be greatly appreciated!



During my research trying to find a slow cooker, I discovered that Crock Pot is a name brand (proper noun) and not the general name (common noun) of the appliance. Who knew?

1 Comment

  1. CC Says:

    My first slow cooker meal was a complete disaster. I’m working up the nerve to try again soon.

    A friend shared this recipe with me today and it looks like a likely candidate for this weekend’s attempt.

    Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

    3 cups water
    1 cup dried red kidney beans
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 cup chopped green bell pepper
    3/4 cup chopped celery
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 teaspoon paprika
    3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 (14-ounce) package turkey, pork, and beef smoked sausage, thinly sliced (such as Healthy Choice)
    1 bay leaf
    5 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
    1/4 cup chopped green onions

    Combine first 12 ingredients in an electric slow cooker. Cover with lid; cook on high heat for 5 hours. Discard bay leaf; stir in salt. Serve over rice; sprinkle servings evenly with green onions.


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