Thursday, November 15, 2007

Morning Meals

Lately I've found that making dinner in the morning is the only way to insure we are having dinner. I was frustrated that once the kids got home from school I was spending so much time in the kitchen getting dinner ready. It was taking longer than it should with all the interruptions. Now that I'm teaching in the afternoons I don't even have that option. The morning is actually a great time to cook, during the baby's nap and Colin's tv time, I can put something together quickly and just leave last minute preparations for dinnertime. Oh, and I recently re-invested in a crock-pot. We had one in our early days of marriage, but neither of us were big fans; it was hard to clean (no removable crock) and I got tired of putting cans of condensed soup in everything we made, everything tasted the same. Now, there are a lot of great recipes out there and I'm learning how to create my own. Here are my "make in the morning" meals for this week.

Beef Barley Soup
Brown the meat and then throw everything in the crockpot. Add zucchini 1/2 hour before dinner. Serve with bread.

BBQ Beef Sandwiches
I used leftover smoked beef brisket, but you could use any leftover cut of beef. Add water and BBQ sauce and throw it all in the crockpot. Serve on buns with celery and carrot sticks.

Pasta Sauce
Also in the crockpot. This is a vegetarian version, but you could add cooked ground beef or turkey.

Baked Rigatoni
Like lasagna but more pasta and cheese. I put it together then put in fridge until dinnertime. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve with salad.

Chicken Enchiladas
I also assemble this in the morning and then wait to bake it right before dinner. Serve with a can of black beans (warmed up), sour cream and salsa.

I need some more great crock-pot recipes! Any ideas?


Elizabeth said...

I just made a "Hawaiian chicken" crock post recipe that was good. Just throw in chicken breasts, BBQ sauces and a can of pineapple tibbits. Serve over rice.

liz s said...

i have a good beef stew recipe. You throw in (in this order): london broil chunks, idaho potatoes cut into chunks, 1 can of stewed tomatoes, 1 can of french cut beans, 1 can of tomato soup and lots of salt and pepper. pretty basic but it's a ricks family favorite.

R-Eight said...

I only started using a crockpot about 5 or 6 years ago and LOVE it. I use it several times a week or just like you described 6:00pm would roll around and I would be throwing something together that no one was happy with. Our family favs: Chicken, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, cook all day and serve with rice. Pork roast, soysauce, liquid smoke, cook all day serve with rice.

daisy said...

Erin, I feel that exact same way about making dinner. I never feel like it when 5:oo rolls around.
One of my favorite things to make is tacos. I like to put the chicken in the crock pot then cover with salsa. Then right before we eat I get out the sour cream, cheese, corn, etc. and shred the yummy flavored chicken. Easy and good. Oh and I love to use the uncooked tortillas, too.

Wendy said...

Kevin is the crock-pot (no, not crack-pot:) chef in our home. He loves loading up the crock Sunday mornings, so when we return around 3pm, we have a warm, awesome-smelling dinner ready and waiting. He's been brave with new recipes too, and hasn't disappointed us yet!

BTW- the sweet potatoes were so awesome last night- Kevin and I ate them QUICKLY! We always just bake sweet potatoes and eat them like a baked potato, and we NEVER get so creative to add simple sugars...oh, it was heavenly. Thank you for helping the girls and sending the recipe- Grace will definitely be making them next Thursday!

Heather said...

I think I need a crock pot! Maybe Liz will read this.

PetreaMom said...

So many good ideas! I need to use my crock pot more often--it is great for Sunday dinners, but I'm not very creative. Thanks for the suggestions.

MandyW said...

It is great to hear from you again. Wow you must be busy with a new baby and teaching. I am so impressed. I love the cooking ideas. I have a crockpot but I'm still new to using it.

rebecca said...

one of the easiest things I make-- stick a roast in the crock pot and pour a jar of bbq sauce (i especially like TTJ's kansas city version) over. cook on low for about 10 hrs-- or until the meat shreds easily. it's great for bbq beef sandwiches!

Bek said...

I love my croc pot and use it all the time.... in the summer especially b/c you can plug it in in the garage or outside and don't have to heat up the kitchen.

we love to make BBQ chicken salad and do the chicken in the crocpot..

There is recipe for Beef Danube (?) in last month's cooking light that I did in the croc pot.. bascially brown beef stew meat (I use the cheapest cut...) in chunks, put in croc pot, add carrots, red wine, beef broth, onions, etc. It tastes like a really French Beef stew..

Our favorite is called Sunday is creamy...but the kids love it..

Chicken, 1 pkg cream cheese, 1 can cr of anything soup, chopped onion, 1 pkgs dry italian soup mix. Serve over noodles, potatos or rice....

Jenni said...

The one my family loves is chicken breasts, 1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix, 1 bottle Kraft or Wish-Bone Russian dressing, and 1/2 jar or so of apricot jam. Stir it all together with the chicken , turn on the crock pot and go.