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New mom: Have Crock-Pot. Will cook.

I heart my Crock-Pot. OK, Crock-Pots. As in plural. I have two big ones and a tiny dip one. And I love each of them. A lot.

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Kira and Asher
Kira Kroboth

I heart my Crock-Pot. OK, Crock-Pots. As in plural. I have two big ones and a tiny dip one. And I love each of them. A lot.

I often share my crock pot favorites with people in passing. I'm all like, yeah, just throw in a roast and some soup mix and whatever 'cream of' you have in the pantry. It'll be awesome. To me, that makes perfect sense. To the rest of the world, those directions could probably stand for more details so that it turns out being edible and every bit as yummy as I intended.

I heart my pot more now as a working momma. It allows me to have the homecooked family meals I insist upon, without pulling me away from my family for long cooking fests.

So, here are my faves. What are yours?

Beef tips or roast - Favorite from my childhood
  • Place beef in the crock pot before work. On low. (I even put in frozen.) These could be tips, a roast of any sort, stew meat, etc. I go with what's on sale.
  • Sprinkle in a pack of Lipton's dry onion soup mix.
  • Add in cream of mushroom soup and enough water to cover the beef. (I've used other cream of soups and they work fine. It's just to thicken up the juice a bit to skip the making gravy part of the process.)
  • Serve over white rice or mashed taters.
Chicken dumplings
  • Throw frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot in the morning. On low.
  • Pour in two cans of chicken broth.
  • Add cream of chicken soup and can of water.
  • Sprinkle in some Lipton onion soup mix (1/3 of the bag).
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • The idea is to have lots of liquid at the end of the day in which to make the dumplings.
  • Come home after work, pull out the breasts. Chop them up.
  • Break frozen Annie's Dumplings (freezer section, old school box) into thirds and drop into hot liquid remaining in the crock pot. Turn up to high.
  • Add back in the chicken. Stir.
  • Wait for dumplings to plump up and cook through. About 20 minutes or so, depending on how you prefer your dumplings.
  • Enjoy.
  • You can also make the chicken like so, and instead of adding noodles, make some rice. Mix it all together for chicken and rice. Comfort foods rock.
Salsa chicken - New favorite from a friend (simplified, though)
  • Put frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot.
  • Pour in about a cup and a half of salsa.
  • Add can of chicken broth.
  • Sprinkle cumin seasoning. About a teaspoon.
  • Cook on low all day. Serve over rice.

OK. These are my current top three. You may notice a pattern: crazy simple. I have some awesome dip recipes for the pot, too. But, I'm currently off dairy for Asher reasons and it pains me to type those out. I love them that much. Later, I shall share. Don't let me forget!

And, I'm going to stop for now. I'm making myself hungry. Tonight we had the roast and I may have to hit up the leftovers now.

Kira is the Raleigh mom of baby Asher. Read more about her adventures on her blog Grits, Grins and Gripes.

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