Miracle Worker, a.k.a. the Crock Pot.
Before Alice was born, I spent a lot more time in the kitchen. Cooking. Baking. Even cleaning! But now, with a baby, comes much less free time (what did I do with all that time before?!) And, with what free time I do I have, I spend it running or blogging or photo-taking or sleeping. We still manage to eat most of our meals from home, they've just been very simple and have included a lot of salads and wraps and omelets. Kind of boring. And we're both ready for some new menu items.
With the cooler temperatures and changing leaves, I am itching to cook again. Stews, sauces, and casseroles just sound so delicious this time of year! Unfortunately, Alice's most needy time of day happens right about when it is time to cook dinner, making intricate or lengthy recipes a bit difficult to execute. Enter the crock pot! Maybe most of you reading this yawn when I mention this awesome cooking aide as you may have been using one for years (or decades, even!) but I just got on the crock pot bandwagon and I am definitely not getting off. I have only made one dish so far but it was a smashing success.
Coffee-Braised Brisket with Carrots and Potatoes.
Yep. It was unbelievable. Tender meat. Soft vegetables. Rich broth. And it took less than 10 minutes to prepare. Since it needed eight hours to cook, I was able to put it all together while Alice was content and then, by 7PM, she was in bed and my husband and I were enjoying a delicious dinner together. And it didn't come in the form of a wrap or a salad or an omelet!
This recipe turned out perfectly and I wouldn't change a thing. I did, however, have a much bigger piece of brisket so, in order to fit in in my crock pot, I trimmed about a quarter off and froze that piece to use another day. And that piece will most definitely be cooked in my crock pot sometime in the near future.
Do you have any favorite crock pot recipes? I feel like the possibilities are endless! RealSimple.com is loaded with what looks like amazing crock pot recipes. And I am sure there are a bunch of cookbooks dedicated soley to the art of the crock pot. That is, if you consider putting a bunch of stuff in a pot, pressing 'On' and walking away art.