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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Putting Gifts to Good Use

I used a gift card from my grandparents to invest in a new crock pot for the Hayley House.

And, because I'm not a saver, The Boy (strongly) encouraged me to keep my old, functioning perfectly well 12-year-old crock pot. (By nature, I am a throw-it-away-or-freecycle-it kind of girl. Let me tell you, it took everything within me to keep that old crock pot!) But, as The Boy noted, there are often times when you might need a second crock pot for parties and such.


Part of my new New Year's approach to keeping a decent balance in life is finding a way to continue cooking healthy meals at home without running around like a mad woman after getting home from the gym.

I got to thinking that a crock pot that's horizontal, rather than vertical (like my old crock pot), would allow me more flexibility in cooking - especially if I had a roasting rack. And you can bet the new crock pot I purchased has one!

My first attempt at a new type of crock pot cooking was roasting a fryer. We had friends over (what better time to try something new??) and I wanted something that I could fix and forget during a busy day at the office.

Into the crock pot went 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth, followed by the roasting rack. I surrounded the outer edges of the rack with large diced potatoes and baby carrots. I rubbed the fryer with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. I also filled the cavity with diced onion and plenty of garlic.

Then I left the crock pot to do it's business for six hours on low temperature.

It browned up nicely and the meat practically fell off the bone!

Just make sure that your resident clean up crew is handy in case some of the meat does fall off the bone and onto the floor.

As for the broth in the crock pot, mixed with a bit of flour (we didn't have cornstarch), it made a really wonderful gravy to pour over everything.

So how did it taste? Well, I think it must have been pretty good...

I think I'm well on my way to delicious, lower-stress cooking in 2010!


  1. I hate to say it, but Kelly's right.

  2. You and Sheryl are killing me with these delicious-looking meals!
    Yes, I bet you'll find use for two crock pots .... I had the larger one plus a smaller "2-person" pot. Used them both.

  3. I think you're both right! The new crock pot is 6 qt, while the old one is 4 qt. I'm quite sure that we'll find it helpful before too terribly long. I've downloaded several new recipes to try out and found that I can make desserts in the crock pot as well.