In Praise of the Crockpot

01.11.2007 | 9:57 am

My wife and I have had a crockpot since the day we were married. In fact, I think we might have been given a couple of them as wedding gifts. The only way we’ve used that crockpot, though, is to make my twice-cooked chili (chili’s best if you cook it once, let it set overnight, and then heat it back up — the flavors have time to blend and settle).

In the past week, that’s all changed.

For I have discovered the miracle that is the crockpot.

As you probably know, I’ve gained all the weight I lost over the summer back, and maybe a wee bit more (so I guess not everything about middle age is wonderful). But while I’m serious about losing the weight I need to have a great racing season, I don’t want to do it by eating nothing but celery.

So, last Monday morning, while puzzling over how to eat right without being miserable, I thought about the crockpot. In the mood to experiment, I got out a half-dozen chicken breasts (uncooked) and put them in the crockpot, dumped in a jar of salsa (mild, because if it worked I wanted my wife to like it too), added a little chicken broth, chopped in an onion and a couple green peppers, and turned the crockpot on to low.

Then I went to work.

When I got home, I found that my wife had had the idea of getting out our rice cooker (I’m a big fan of the Zojirushi) and making a batch of brown rice to go with the experiment.

The chicken shredded on contact, making a gumbo that went over the rice nicely. On top of this I added a little fat-free sour cream (how is this possible?) and a dozen shakes of tobasco (for my bowl only).

It was delicious. I mean, really, really delicious. And as far as I can tell, we were being seriously calorie and fat conscious too.

Another Experiment
So I tried another crockpot experiment. This time, I poured ready-made spaghetti sauce over the chicken breasts in the crockpot, chopped in an onion, and threw in a can of sliced olives.

Then we let it cook for eight hours.

Again, delicious (though if I were stack ranking, the salsa-chicken was better).

So I now have this theory that you can throw chicken and pretty much any kind of liquid you like into a crockpot, add an onion and the vegetables you like, leave it alone for the day (or overnight), make some brown rice to go with it (seriously, get a rice cooker to make brown rice; it’s so much easier), and it will come out perfect.

Tonight, we’re grilling teriyaki salmon, but tomorrow I’ve got this notion that I can do a good sloppy-joe-style barbecue chicken in the crockpot: chicken, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, onion, olives, celery, green peppers, liquid smoke, a little bit of honey.

I tell you what: the crockpot may be the best cooking tool a cyclist could ever imagine.

Next up? I’m trying to figure out how I could do a good low/no-fat chicken curry. Or some kind of teriyaki chicken.

Has anyone else discovered the magic of crockpottery? What do you make? (Easy, low-fat recipes only, natch.)


  1. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.11.2007 | 10:11 am

    It’s a little known secret that fat-free sour cream doesn’t actually exist. It’s all a hologram, but trust me, actually nothing in the tub. Same thing for fat-free whipped cream.

    At our house it’s either a Crock Pot dinner, or waffles.

    My wife has a fantastic Chicken Curry recipe for the crock. Remind me in a couple weeks.

  2. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 01.11.2007 | 10:13 am

    My wife loves (and I mean LOVES) the crockpot. She does a lot with lentils, chopped potatoes, peas, basically whatever she can find. She even threw black beans in the latest meal (Sunday, that is). Mmmm, I love black beans.
    Somewhere she has a slow-cooker cookbook with a ton of recipes in it, but I don’t think she even uses it. I think she just grabs whatever she can find and throws it in.

  3. Comment by bradk | 01.11.2007 | 10:16 am

    carnitas. 4-5lb. boston butt pork roast, can of beer, 5-6 garlic cloves, 1 quartered onion, 2-3 jalapenos, entire bunch of unchopped cilantro. cook low 6-8 hrs. remove from pot leaving everything else behind. shred then salt and fresh lime it to taste. good in salads, enchiladas, tacos and even yummy in a bowl of milk for breakfast. sometimes i’ll use the leftover liquid in the pot as aftershave.

  4. Comment by fatty | 01.11.2007 | 10:25 am

    holy smokes, brad. that sounds fantastic.

    note to everyone: brad made the best barbecued ribs i have ever had in my life. his recipes are not to be treated trivially.

  5. Comment by Melvin | 01.11.2007 | 10:43 am

    crockpots are seriously the most useful cooking utensil ever invented. take it from a student living away from home. chuck whatever cuts of meat and veges that are in the fridge. a bit of whatever sauce you have and then leave. come back hours later and you have a good meal. i can even cook soups with it!

  6. Comment by Heffalump | 01.11.2007 | 11:01 am

    Teriyaki Chicken
    2 to 4 pounds of chicken
    Mix up the following in a small bowl:
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    Garlic to taste (I use a couple of teaspoons of the minced garlic you can get in the jars)
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1 1/2 TBSP vinegar (I use the white kind)
    2 TBSP oil (I use sesame oil, but olive oil works too)
    Place the chicken in your crockpot and pour the sauce over it. Cook on low for at least 6 hours- longer won’t hurt it. Serve over rice.
    When I make this I use a whole 5 lb bag of chicken breasts, and I double the sauce. We like to have a lot of sauce to soak into the rice. I usually just put the chicken in frozen too, because I am lazy and it turns out fine. This is a family favorite of ours.

  7. Comment by Boz | 01.11.2007 | 11:02 am

    Pork chops, rice, sliced onion, sliced green pepper, big can of while tomatoes, salt, pepper, cover w/ water. Works for me.

  8. Comment by NickV | 01.11.2007 | 11:10 am

    4-5 lbs boneless beef ribs (like the pack from Costco)
    2 bottles of bbq sauce. Safeway brand works fine. I like the kind with sugar and not corn syrup.
    1 onion chopped
    4 cloves garlic chopped
    Johnny’s seasoning salt.

    Let cook at least 8 hours. Remove meat and shred with a fork. Add enough sauce back in to get the consistency you like. Best on very fresh plain buns, with a fresh tomato.

    Oh, did you say low fat???

  9. Comment by NickV | 01.11.2007 | 11:11 am

    Whoops forgot the most important part. Rinse the bbq sauce bottles with a bit of apple cider vinegar and pour that in as well!

  10. Comment by msk | 01.11.2007 | 11:37 am

    ok so here goes from memory a low fat thai chicken and veg curry
    this makes a massive amount but even better the next day (like chilli)
    change amounts depending on likes / dislikes
    as my hero chef michael smith says –

    “Close your cookbooks, look in the fridge, fire your imagination and let your instincts and appetite be your guide!”

    1 onion
    1 eggplant / aubergine
    1 sweet potato / potato
    about 3 – 5 table spoons thai curry paste (bought or make own – but really who has the time)
    1-2 cups pineapple juice (could use coconut milk – but you did say low fat)
    cup or so water
    some small cauliflower florettes
    some green beans
    1 red pepper
    1 tomato
    lime or lemon juice
    chicken breasts / thighs and legs

    put all in crockpot mix and forget
    at end add some fresh cilantro / coriander and maybe some chopped peanuts as garnish


  11. Comment by monogodo | 01.11.2007 | 11:42 am

    My wife and I just made BBQ chicken in our crockpot:

    Chicken Breasts & Thighs (boneless)
    1 green bell pepper
    1 red bell pepper
    2 bottles BBQ sauce (2 different brands, but same flavor)

    Cook chicken in oven (my wife is anal about cooking chicken)
    Cut peppers into strips
    mix BBQ sauce & peppers in bowl
    Put chicken and sauce mixture in crockpot on low for 8 hours

  12. Comment by LMouse | 01.11.2007 | 11:43 am

    Isn’t it funny how the crock pot and the fondue pot are now making a comeback? Next, you’ll be telling us about the wonders of using a pressure cooker. I haven’t used one of those since the great lentil soup explosion of ‘78. That was a day that will live in infamy, let me tell you.

  13. Comment by BentRo | 01.11.2007 | 11:49 am

    MMMmmmm, crock-pot cooking. I will have to remember to send you my recipe for bolognaise sauce. It is great to spoon over any type of pasta or to use in baked ziti and cheese or for lasagna. I have two cook books just on crock-pot cooking.

    My husband’s favorite ‘experiment’ recipe of mine is:

    4-5# Top Block (or beef roast)
    5 Pasilla chilies, cut in large pieces
    1-5 Habanera chilies, de-stemmed, de-veined, & de-seeded (depends on how much you want to sweat while eating)
    1 onion, cut in large pieces
    4+ garlic cloves
    2 Tbls olive oil
    Cumin and pepper to taste
    2 cups of your choice of liquid to deglaze pan (red wine, broth, beer, water)

    In large frying pan or pot, sauté vegetables about 5 minutes in olive oil, place in crock-pot. Add seasonings (cumin, pepper) to pan and then brown meat on all sides in pan. Place meat in crock-pot on top on vegetables and moving some of the vegetables to the sides. Add liquid to the pan and gentle scrape the crispings from the bottom of the pan. Pour liquid over meat, set crock-pot to low and cook 8-10 hours.

    Remove beef from crock-pot and shred. Add vegetables and sauce to a blender and blend well (you can also add fresh cilantro here). Layer in large casserole dish shredded beef, sauce, top with plenty of Monterey jack cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly. Leftovers are great in a tortilla. I have also used chicken with liquid of a combination of lime juice and beer.

  14. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.11.2007 | 12:08 pm

    Mmmmm… crock pot soup & stew. Lo cal, healthy, hearty, totally filling.

    Brown your meat before you put it in – makes it a little more savory without having to blast on the tobascy.

    Check out the bags of dried beans at the grocery – they make a mondo soup. Basically a pound of whatever meat you have handy – and I’m not kidding, lunchmeat ham or turkey or anything short of pimiento loaf will do – bag of beans, several cups of water, onion, some garlic cloves, chopped celery, carrots, tomatoes, whatever you have handy, handfull of whatever fresh herb was on sale at the grocery (parsley, cilantro, dill) and maybe a couple boullion cubes. Let it cook overnight and during the day. Throw in some cumin, turmeric, crushed red / black / white / cayenne / chili pepper, salt, season to taste, splash a little lime or lemon juice on it, or maybe a dash of vinegar to really bring out the aroma if you like tangy, and then eat the hell out of it. Very easy stuff. We eat a crock pot meal about twice a week. Great stuff.

  15. Comment by Tim D | 01.11.2007 | 12:10 pm

    Universal slow cooker recipe

    Meat (whatever you’ve got)
    Stuff from fridge (whatever you’ve got)
    Stuff from veg rack (whatever you’ve got (spotted a theme yet (good god, nested parentheses)))(takes me back to LISP)
    Stuff from herb rack
    Some liquid, beer, wine, stock whatever…
    Big tin of tomatos

    Chuck it all in the pot & cook.

    The best liquid for cooking meat in is one that is a similar colour to the meat. Rochefort No10 for beef, Duvel for pork. Karmeliet for chicken.

  16. Comment by buzz kill | 01.11.2007 | 12:23 pm

    A word of caution: Prepare all of the wonderful concocktions of meat and sugary sauces just before turning the crock pot on. Do not prepare it the night before and leave it in the refrigerator, put it in the pot the next morning and leave for work. Why? Just three weeks ago my wife and I suffered mightily for this mistake — we both got food poisoning. I got so dehydrated I ended up in the hospital. You see, on low the crockpot never gets hot enough to kill the bacteria that may have had a chance to grow in the surgary medium you placed in the frig overnight… Still, if done properly, crock pot cooking rocks and I WILL be trying some of these recipies…

  17. Comment by Mike | 01.11.2007 | 12:27 pm

    Fix it and Forget It Cookbook – find the recipes and modify to your heart’s desire. A bit of “church basement” style cooking to most of the recipes, but plenty of source material to work with.

    Fancier but more complicated – The Gourmet Slow Cooker – by Lynn Alley.

  18. Comment by Lofgrans | 01.11.2007 | 1:00 pm

    I have that Fix It and Forget It Cookbook. I don’t think I’ve ever actually followed a recipe all the way, but it provides some good inspiration to get a meal on the table.

    The Coach and I use the crock pot to make Brazilian Beans and Rice. Its so cheap, and so tasty. Pretty much fat free as you want.

    Fill halfway with dry black beans, cover with water plus a couple inches and let soak on low overnight. In the morning add chopped whatever; garlic, onions, jalapenos, or peppers, carrots (shred these) season with your favorite spices. Get a tasty sausage (chicken or steak is also good. Don’t use ground beef, it isn’t worthy). So far our favorite is a nice breakfast turkey sausage. Dice and toss in, add more water if you like it runnier (we do) cook all day on low. serve over cooked rice of your choice.
    Add hot sauce when eating to get to your desired flavor.

    This is a truly authentic (Coach lived there for two years) Brazilian dish and so dang tasty.

    One more- this is so easy its sad.
    Throw in however much chicken you want (boneless, skinless)
    Pour a jar or two of spaghetti sauce on top.
    Cook low all day.
    Eat with pasta. Chicken will fall apart. So tasty.

  19. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.11.2007 | 1:42 pm

    To all commenters: Can I come over for dinner? I’m suddenly VERY hungry.

  20. Comment by fatty | 01.11.2007 | 2:07 pm

    this is my very favorite batch of comments EVER.

    i’m going to create a new forum area for great recipes for cyclists.

  21. Comment by fatty | 01.11.2007 | 2:09 pm

    well, except for the laemmler comments. they were just as good. so were the assos ones.

    ok, i’m revising this to: this is my very favorite batch of actually-useful, practical comments EVER.

    doesn’t quite have the same punch, does it?

  22. Comment by KatieA | 01.11.2007 | 2:21 pm

    As a girl who leaves home at 6am and doesn’t get home until 7pm (usually starving), I wholly concur with Fatty’s praise of recipes. These sound great, as I don’t have to cook when I get home!

    However, as a “young ‘un” (according to the car park lady at my gym this morning) I don’t know what a crockpot is, or how you cook in one…

    But you’ve all made me very hungry, and I’ve only just finished breakfast!

  23. Comment by MBonkers | 01.11.2007 | 3:01 pm

    A week ago, my wife and I found a crock pot cupon for Costco, big ol pot for 30 bucks. We were seriously considering it before this post, now I’m not sure she could talk me out of it. I want some homemade chili right NOW!

    Oh, and the best homemade chili I’ve ever had was made with elk. Holy moley it was fantastic. Sometimes it’s good to know some hunters.

  24. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 01.11.2007 | 3:04 pm

    This was one of Ulrich’s favorites after long rides;

    – 6 pounds of blood sausage, sliced on the bias
    – 4 quarts of Danziger Doppelbier
    – as many schupfnudeln as will fit in the crockpot.
    – Slice up an onion if you must

    dump contents into crockpot

    commence crushing of souls(8-12 hours)

    return victorious

    celebrate victory with a feast with crockpot contents, Gundelsheim Sauerkraut, your favorite spicy horseradish mustard, and a few Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbiers

    finish off the meal with some Spreewaldhof Gooseberries.

  25. Comment by sans auto | 01.11.2007 | 3:23 pm

    If I remember correctly, this post started with some comments about weight loss. Well, now that we’ve all read and thought about good food, we have initiated an ever so small insulin spike that doesn’t last very long, but it leads to a transient decline in blood glucose. This decline in blood glucose is one of the body’s signals to EAT… we sometimes call it hunger. So, if weight loss is the goal, this may be your worst post ever… on the other hand, I’m looking forward to digging out the crock-pot.

  26. Comment by Anonymous | 01.11.2007 | 3:38 pm

    ALL of these recipes would be better with some of your Mashed Potatoes and Cake (just a suggestion).

  27. Comment by KeepYerBag | 01.11.2007 | 4:00 pm

    KeepYerBag’s fail-safe crock pot roast:
    1 Eye of the round roast or 6 – 8 eye of the round steaks
    2 cans Campbell’s French Onion Soup
    2 cans Campbell’s GOLDEN Mushroom soup
    (NOT the coagulating Elmer’s Glue that is Campbell’s regular mushroom soup)

    Dump it all in the crock pot and cook 7 – 8 hours on low. You can sear the roast/steaks if you want but it’s not necessary. The roast comes out perfect every time and the sauce can be used as a tasty au jus over potatoes or bread.

    Maybe not the healthiest recipe here (sodium, anyone?), but it’s fast, easy and good.

    LMouse: A similar pressure-cooker event occured in our home–the great pinto bean explosion of ‘76. If yours was anything like ours, I’ll bet you can still remember the smell.

    [Haven't had much time to post lately--my new boss actually expects me to WORK--how silly is that?]

  28. Comment by Capisce | 01.11.2007 | 4:06 pm

    Fatty, fat is not your enemy (well it obviously is, but not when youre eating), but carbs is. They mess up your metabolism. Try some sort of low carb diet. Carbs are the killer. Bottom line is if you want to go down you have got to do calorie counts. There is not way to get around the fat that you only consume so many calories and if you eat more than that each week you will gain weight. I`m currently a fat cyclist myself, but have realised that theres is not wonder scheme, but just cold hard maths. Input/output.

  29. Comment by James | 01.11.2007 | 4:31 pm

    To the young ‘un a CrockPot is a pot that heats up on its own usually at a simmering temperature lower than you can achieve on the stove top…

    I got something better for Christmas…A panini press from Williams and Sonoma I use it like a high end George Forman grill and make all sorts of wonderful meats and sandwiches…mmm

  30. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.11.2007 | 5:24 pm

    KeepYerBag, there is no justice on this earth.

  31. Comment by fatty | 01.11.2007 | 5:51 pm

    capisce – glad to have you here and am looking forward to your comments, but watch the language, k? my kids read this blog and i don’t want any language on it that i don’t let them use. i edited your comment this time, because i figured you didn’t know.

    as far as the low carbs, i’m moderating them, but i’m listening to what my coach says about eating and am seeing good results.

  32. Comment by barry1021 | 01.11.2007 | 6:24 pm

    Hmmm I cooked once. 1988, I think. No, it was ‘87, my bad. It is against my religion to be involved in any food making activity that does include ice cream, and I do not see one darn recipe up there for crockpot ice cream. The device is useless, people!!!

    Dr Fuentes, u one funny guy!!


  33. Comment by barry1021 | 01.11.2007 | 6:29 pm

    Wait what am I saying?? I just remembered that I have my very own crockpot. Not my wife’s, (which she loves) my very own. It’s in the garage on my tool bench. I use it to cook the paint off my brass HO train models when I repaint them. Works great.


  34. Comment by NickV | 01.11.2007 | 6:42 pm

    This all makes me want to buy a new rice cooker. I have an old $15 model. I didn’t know there were ones that could figure out how to do brown rice!

  35. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.11.2007 | 6:42 pm

    Mike, you can do away with that “Church Basement” tinge that a lot of crock pot recipes have, by serving any particular recipe over / in sex toys. I’m rather partial to black bean soup served out of a leather bondage ski mask like “The Gimp” wore in “Pulp Fiction,” though admittedly it’s hard to tell where a really thick bean soup ends, and soaking wet cowhide begins. Warning: you may need to remind guests that if they find one of those big rubber “gag” balls, a riding crop or handcuffs in the soup, they should take it out and politely set it on the side of the serving plate, similar to how they might handle bay leaves or an olive pit.

    Alternately, you can substitute psilocybin mushrooms for shitake. That gets rid of the Church Basement tinge. Well, except for the fact that you’ll see patterns similar to church basement wallpaper on your walls at home, your white painted ceiling, your dog, and the back of your hand if you stair at it for 9 hours after dinner. I don’t recommend doing this unless you’re a professional.

  36. Comment by Born4Lycra | 01.11.2007 | 6:57 pm

    Carbs eh!
    I am currently doing a 12 month study with the CSIRO (Govt Scientific Organization) here in Oz following an eating plan rather than a diet. 120 people in total, 60 doing high carb low protein and 60 the opposite. This is the third annual study they have done so far. I’m on the High carb plan and loving it having lost a considerable amount of weight (I’ve mentioned this often sorry if its boring) so much so that i could not come up with a suitable wager for FC.
    Regards the crockpot we got two for our wedding which went nicely with the two we got for our engagement. My wife prefers her veggies crisp, fresh and crunchy (therefore so do I) and her meat tender, cooked but not well done and mushy (therefore so do I). As a result we have 4 crockpots still in boxes somewhere so at least i now know where i can send them (if I’m allowed to).

    Is my FC Cycling Top that I will have to by ready yet?


  37. Comment by fatty | 01.11.2007 | 7:36 pm

    born4lycra – i will have an exciting announcement to make about the jerseys, but not for another couple weeks. be patient; it will be worth it. i’m dead serious about this.

  38. Comment by Born4Lycra | 01.11.2007 | 8:48 pm

    I’m holding my breath – not dead serious about that.

  39. Comment by Lins - Australia | 01.12.2007 | 12:49 am

    In my teens I used to visit family friends on a sheep station during holidays. The crockpot was in use 24 hours a day. During the day that night’s dinner was in it and overnight the porridge for breakfast was stewing away. Everything that came out of it was brilliant.

    Thanks for the reminder. I must buy one – when summer is over.

  40. Comment by The Weak Link | 01.12.2007 | 3:15 am

    Hmm. These recipes seem to extend across the spectrum from “healthy but tasty” to “guaranteed to calcify arteries on contact”. Who can anybody trust these days?

  41. Comment by bikemike | 01.12.2007 | 5:14 am

    I have one of those Conair foot soaker/massage machines that i don’t use anymore. I wonder if i can use that as a crock pot? I’m thinking the aggitation and whirlpool action would be great for meat tenderizing and generally keeping things well mixed. Any recipes?

  42. Comment by turnonthejets | 01.12.2007 | 5:47 am

    I adapted this recipe to the slow cooker and avoided the frying pan all together. I used bnls sknls chicken breasts, used homemade chicken stock we had in the freezer instead of the mix and away I went. Lentils turned to mush and the chicken shredded beautifully, I added some mushrooms and it was great with a couple of whole wheat flat breads.

  43. Comment by Boz | 01.12.2007 | 6:38 am

    bikemike – I think everything might end up tasting like toe-jam. Mmmmm.

  44. Comment by barry1021 | 01.12.2007 | 6:50 am

    Lins, contact Born4Lycra, he’ll sell you one cheap, and you won’t have to pay for shipping out of Oz even. i should get a broker commission on this one.

    Al, yet another reference to Magic Mushrooms. You didn’t happen to find your copy of “The Teaching of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge” under your bell bottoms, did ya? Ah great memories!


  45. Comment by Lisa B | 01.12.2007 | 11:28 am

    I’m hungry.

  46. Comment by Jan Fan | 01.12.2007 | 11:59 am

    Eufemiano Fuentes: are you the genious behind Kaiser Jan on MySpace? If so, the tipoff was the “crushing of souls” comment. Miss your Jan updates but glad you keep us laughing here. If you are not one and the same, I think you have a soulmate:

  47. Comment by frauvalerie | 01.13.2007 | 7:39 am

    Not sure how low-fat this is, but it’s always good. In fact, after the birth of my daughter, my mom made this but left it at my house. So I sat in the hospital for two days smelling this pot roast, yet never getting to eat any.

    1 roast
    1 can cream of mushroom soup (although almost any cream of… soups will do)
    1 can of water (just use the soup can)
    1 package dry french onion soup mix
    chopped potatoes (I prefer using new potatoes, but whichever)
    baby carrots
    and anything else you would like to add

    throw into the crockpot in the morning and when you get home you’ll smell the roast before you get into the house. My husband LOVES it.

  48. Comment by LMouse | 01.13.2007 | 9:53 am

    Let your coach be your guide, fatty. He knows what he’s doing. I’ve agreed with everything he’s told you so far so in my expert opinion, he must be right.

  49. Comment by Boz | 01.15.2007 | 6:22 am

    The wife is wondering “why the second crock pot ?”. Too many recipes, not enough time. No wonder we’re drawn to Fat Cyclist. BBQ pork, sloppy joes, top round steak, chili, the list is endless

  50. Comment by Steve | 01.15.2007 | 10:29 am

    Can anyone say “Fat Cyclist Crock of a Cookbook”?

  51. Comment by Jmast3 | 01.15.2007 | 8:58 pm

    Big ol’ bag of pinto beans, big ol’ ham bone (with all the leftover meat and fat attached)…bring the beans to a boil and let set for an hour or so. Drain, and put in the C-Pot with said Ham Bone and cover with water. Let it go all night, and then make a batch of homemade cornbread (in a cast iron skillet, of course)…Ah, paradise!!

    I have the ultimate cornbread recipe as well…

    1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 4 tsp baking soda, 1 TBsp salt, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil…mix. Pre-heat 1 TBsp of oil in cast iron skillet until smoking hot…pour batter in, place in oven for 25 minutes…serve with butter!!
    Variations authorized…mix in some ground sage, or some chili powder…um um good!

  52. Comment by Jmast3 | 01.15.2007 | 9:01 pm

    Oops…oven at 425 degrees!

  53. Comment by Jmast3 | 01.15.2007 | 9:02 pm

    Oops, I forgot…oven at 425 degrees!

  54. Comment by FliesOnly | 01.16.2007 | 6:12 am

    Each Spring my wife and I purchase a piglet. He (or she) is raised for the summer, eating a purely “organic” diet. At the end of the summer…well you know…

    Let me just say that fresh, organically raised pork absolutely rules. Nothing, and I mean nothing you buy from the market (or even a butcher), compares.

    Ok, so my lovely wife (who also happens to be an amazing cook) will do a pulled-pork thing. She makes her own secret sauce, finds a suitable pork roast, and then mixes it all together in a crock pot to cook overnight. The next day…heaven. There has never been anyone that did not love these sandwiches. Even people that say they “don’t like pork”, devour my wife’s pulled-pork sandwiches.

    On a related note…I am going to try your chicken breast ideas this summer. My wife is gone from May through August (she a biology professor who spends her summers on an Island doing research…yes, really), and I am a terrible cook. Plus I am at work from 6:30 am till 4:00 pm, and then I hop on the bike for a few miles. Your crock pot ideas would be perfect for me…thanks.

  55. Comment by James | 01.21.2007 | 7:09 pm

    Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
    “You can call this soup or chili, but either way it is wonderful! This recipe is also very adaptable to your personal taste. I recommend using Bill Echols Taco Seasoning from this website. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if you like. I hope you enjoy!”

    PREP TIME 15 Min
    COOK TIME 7 Hrs
    READY IN 7 Hrs 15 Min
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
    • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
    • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
    • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
    • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
    • 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
    • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
    • 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    • shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
    • sour cream (optional)
    • crushed tortilla chips (optional)
    1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
    2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

  56. Comment by Tim K. | 01.22.2007 | 9:58 am

    I need to read better.
    Jar of salsa (forgot chicken broth) 4 chicken breasts, cooked on low for too long (10 hours) = very dry, ugly chicken. Does it count as diet food if it’s so horrible it makes you lose your appetite? My wife said it was edible, but she was being nice.
    Oh, and is it possible to get the settings right to cook just a single cup of brown rice? Or do you just go ahead and cook two? I have never been able to cook a single cup of rice in a rice cooker properly.
    It’s a good thing I didn’t mess up the Black Russian cake, otherwise we would have starved to death last night.
    Great thread though, gets me using that old wedding gift again.

  57. Comment by Angela H | 01.28.2007 | 2:39 pm

    Just a note for those who have pressure cooker stories dating back to before I was born.
    I had the wonderful opportunity to visit my mother’s side of the family in Brazil two summers ago. As a young university student seeking direction in life by better understanding her roots, I learnt that the pressure cooker is the single most important item in a Brazilian kitchen. If you only own one pot, it’s a pressure cooker. Beans and rice are the staple meal eaten twice a day by almost everyone, regardless of social class or economic means. It’s the extras (meat, vegetables) that set people apart.
    I’ll admit, I still have a fear of creating my own “pressure cooker incident of the millennium” but technology and safety must have improved greatly over the past 25 years. I did not hear of a single news story or incident involving pressure cookers during the 6 months I spent in Brazil.
    For now, I have a new slow cooker given to me by a friend who received two at his weeding last summer. I’ve been inspired by your postings and expect that I will be eating a lot of chili and chicken salsa type food over the semester. Has to beat the cafeteria food!

  58. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » 14 Pounds in 40 Days | 02.14.2007 | 12:28 pm

    [...] I am continuing my love affair with the crockpot. About a month ago, I talked about how much I like cooking with the crockpot, and a bunch of you commented with awesome recipes. I have tried out several of these recipes (usually with brown rice), keeping the fat down to a minimum. I feel like I’m eating more delicious food than I ever used to, and so I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself at all. I’m eating great food that is just a lot more healthy. And it’s easy, too. [...]

  59. Comment by Sarah | 02.16.2007 | 8:32 am

    Hi there…. I’ve said it before, but allow me to say it again. I absolutely love your web site. I moved a little over 6 weeks ago and was unable to follow it for awhile, but I’m catching up. I’m hoping you get a chance to read and respond to this comment even though it’s posted on an archived entry.
    My mother adores brown rice (and we do have a rice cooker); however, she is unsure of the ratio of rice to water that we should use to cook brown rice (or even better basmati rice). Can you give me any suggestions of the ratio you use or any literature that would share pointers cooking for different kinds of rice in a rice cooker?

  60. Comment by Leila A. | 02.22.2007 | 12:46 am

    Got to you from my friend bikegirl.

    I learned to use a pressure cooker to make beans and rice from my Brazilian friend who babysat my kids. Then I discovered the cookbooks of Lorna Sass, who makes gourmet pressure cooker recipes. I like the PC better than the crockpot – don’t have to plan ahead so far. You can decide at 5:30 to have beef stew and it’s ready by six.

    That said, I do like to cook lamb shanks per Mark Bittman’s suggestions in the crockpot – with plenty of red wine and garlic for a long while; then when cooked, take out the shanks and grill them under the broiler until crisp. couldn’t be easier.

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  70. Comment by Cindy Cor | 06.20.2009 | 6:45 am

    I’m a late bloomer who’s only now discovering the blogdom. is a blog whose author decidd to use her crockpots every day for a year, and succeeded. Some of her experiments were disastrous, but there are many great recipes as well.

    It’s fantastic – throw in your ingredients, go for an all day ride, and have dinner ready when you get home!

  71. Comment by Eric | 09.24.2009 | 1:40 pm

    Crock Pot Pizza. The kids love it.
    All you need is a couple jars of sauce, mozz cheese, some ziti, ground beef (and/or anything you would enjoy on a pizza) and layer it starting with the sauce. Few hours in the pot…a ton of cheese on top, side of garlic bread and salad- too easy.

  72. Pingback by Posts of Note: Dad Blogs « TodaysMama | 01.21.2010 | 3:56 pm

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