I Heart My Crockpot

When I used to think about crockpots I would remember my mom putting pot roast or some type of soup or veggie in there.  I also remember seeing them at almost every church of family potluck I have ever been to. It seemed like they were mainly used to just keep things warm for the potluck.

Today things have changed. I received my first crockpot as a wedding gift. I didn’t embrace using it early in our marriage.  I just didn’t use it a lot because of what my preconceived notions about its uses.  I don’t know if I ever took it out of the box for several years.

In the last few years, I have embraced crockpot cooking.  There are so many ways to use it now thanks to Pinterest and cookbooks. It frees up time in the kitchen and allows me to have great meals for my family with not a lot of effort.

Some of my family’s favorites are salsa chicken, jambalaya, barbacoa beef, chocolate fondue, and sometimes potato soup. Here is my crockpot – it is battle scarred and worn.  Her nob has fallen off and she has one handle that is hanging on.  She also has a dent in the side.  She is still cooking along. I am considering getting a new one, any suggestions? What is your favorite thing to cook in your crockpot?

IMG_0952

despite her looks – she is still cooking along

The Suburban Gardner

We ventured into 4H again this year and one of the things we were doing as a group was to try our hand at gardening. Many in the group already were, but we were newbies. I have a brown thumb, and hubby turns his nose up to any plants that come to our home. For our group project we were to prepare a meal from locally grown foods.  The little one has been begging to grow tomatoes, so I obliged her this year. This past spring we looked at what pots we had, because we did not have a place to put anything in the ground.  While on the internet we saw these pod seed packs where all you had to do was put them in the pot – easy peasy.

We picked a day and headed to the store to get our pods and seeds. We purchased 2 kinds of tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, basil, peppers, onions, and spinach.  We actually started our jalapenos and spinach from seeds in a small shelf greenhouse.  It was fun to watch it come in.

After Mother’s Day here in Ohio is when we can put our seeds and seedlings in the ground.  It was very fun getting everything planted. Now the hard part started – the waiting.  Our first vegetable that came is was the spinach. We were able to harvest enough for a couple of meals.  It was very exciting to eat something we started from seeds.

As of this week we have more and more getting ready.  We are very excited to see the tomatoes and jalapenos almost ready for salsa.  Emily has really enjoyed taking care of our little suburban garden.  She is already planning for next year.  We are definitely looking forward to eating them all.

2015-03-21 13.45.18

our supplies

2015-04-09 09.17.59-1

our window greenhouse seedlings

2015-06-06 15.17.05-1

it’s growing

2015-08-05 10.05.12

Rae’s cherry tomatoes

2015-08-05 10.04.35

Emily’s tomatoes

2015-08-05 10.04.13

jalapenos