Make Dinner Easy! Crockpot Cooking!

A couple years ago a friend of ours gave me a crockpot that they had received as a wedding gift.  They already had one and didn’t know what to do with it.  I was thrilled to take it!  It is one of my favorite kitchen items.   I love making chilli and meatballs in it.   Recently, I’ve been interested in doing different recipes.

Thanks to several bloggers they mentioned  A Year of Slow Cooking.  Stephanie used her crockpots everyday for a year!  I’m so impressed with the number of creative recipes that she mentions.

Here are a couple that I thought are great especially for working Moms.

Cooking Dried Beans in your Crock pot – Talk about saving money!  You can buy a bag of beans at most stores for $1.00 and that equals 3 – 16 oz cans.  Plus no added salt and other things.  You can freeze the extra for other meals.

French Onion Soap in your Crockpot – Yummy!  Looking forward to try this.

Sausage, Cream Cheese and Rotel Dip  in your Crockpot – I had this at a friend’s house a couple years ago and oh my this is sooo good!

Enchilada casserole in your Crockpot – What a perfect recipe after making the beans

I also found another recipe on cooking dried beans.    I would like to make Buritoes tomorrow and I bought dried pinto beans for $1.00 (equals 3 – 16 oz cans or $.33 for 16 oz)  then this recipe would be really cheap!

Click for Laine’s Easy Pinto Beans in the Crock Pot recipe

A staple around here is pinto beans. We use them in so many dishes, since my husband is Mexican. Here is my favorite way to cook them with relative ease:

Laine’s Easy Pinto Beans In The Crock Pot

3 c. pinto beans (washed and picked over)
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
2 T. oil
1/2 chopped onion

Put all in the crock pot with water to within an inch or two from the top of the pot. Set on high for 5-6 hours. ( You can tell when the beans are done as they will mash easily with a fork.) Now is the time to add 1 1/2 T. of salt. It is important to add it at the end of the cooking time, or the beans will be tough. I do any kind of bean this way. It comes out so good.

After the beans are cooked, there are so many ways I use them. Sometimes I refry them and use them for tacos or burritos. To do this I just take some of the beans and the juice in an skillet. Heat til just boiling. Then I start mashing and mashing, turning down the heat to medium. If I’ve added too much liquid, I will let them cook a little longer to evaporate some of the juice. If not enough juice, I will add a little more. Often I will put some shredded cheese over the top to melt at the end of the mashing.