16 February 2008

crockpot comeback kid

just another reason why i love the internet and blogs, to be more specific. back story: my cute friend is highly professional and leads a busy lifestyle with the most packed social calendar i've ever known. she never has time or energy to cook dinner. i don't blame her. i hardly cook dinner myself and i lead a pretty normal life. but taking the high road, i took it upon myself to become the bff who knows all. so i've been singing the praises of crockpot cooking to my dear friend, advising her it would be a wise investment if she got one. i've done my research and tasted a whole bunch of recipes and have gathered my favorites. megan thinks i am making these every sunday night for a fantastic feast. the truth is, i dust off of my crockpot every month for our Birthday Fiestas at the office, wherein i have been deemed to forever and always bring the marta's meatballs. i am more than happy to be the hero and oblige and allow my fellow co-workers to indulge in my 'cooking'. especially because marta's meatballs are made up of only three easy ingredients that are perfect to tote to work and whip on the very same desk the printer sits on. the recipe is so easy, i texted it (and i am no expert texter, mind you) to a friend on superbowl sunday morning. however, i must admit, this recipe was once upon a time abby's meatballs, but abby doesn't know these people, so i took it upon myself to name it something more familiar, more tasty, more alphabetically sound: marta’s meatballs. and it just stuck; sorry abby.

back to the story at hand, so i needed some legit, easy, fabulous & delicious recipes quick. what kind of know-it-all bff would i be if i didn’t supply some tried and true recipes? dear friend megan actually went ahead and followed my gourmet advice and bought a fancy large stainless steel crockpot a few nights ago. i am somewhat jealous because my crockpot is small and from the eighties and has vines and flowers all over it with a forest green interior. remember when everyone and their dog had ‘forest green’ for their wedding colors? it seems like forest green was really big back in the day. we had forest green wallpaper borders in my old house. anyway, i’m not complaining, i do love my crockpot and am mostly just happy dear friend meg finally got one for her very own. (on a side note, she is also only two years into her marriage and i’m sure none of her measuring cups are bent or lost or have the measurements rubbed off. i have a set of those lame plastic kind, which are now only good for scooping at random, because you can no longer make out what measuring cup you are actually using – big, small, or smallest. there is nothing precise about them anymore. people please, buy the good silver measuring cups right off the bat.)

so i surfed recipes from blog to shining blog to find the bestest crockpot recipes out there in your archives (thank you kelly!) and i emailed meg all of the ones that made my mouth water (and have decided to post it on my blog for safe-keeping).

Dear Meglet,
Congratulations on your new crockpot. You are about to embark on becoming the new crockpot queen. I wanted you to start off your slow-cooking with a bang! Here are my favorite recipes that are both delicious and simple to make! Have fun in the kitchen with your new best friend.

xo. Marta

Marta's Meatballs
1 huge bag of frozen Costco Italian meatballs, any brand will do
1 medium jar Salsa
1 medium jar of Grape Jelly (sounds strange, i know.)

Dump a whole bunch of frozen meatballs into your crockpot, enough to feed a crowd of boys. Because, believe me, they will come a'runnin. Follow that up with one part salsa, smother over meatballs. Add to it, one part grape jelly. Stir that up good. If you want to be super crockpot cooker of the year, you could mix the equal parts to make up a sauce in a separate bowl, and then pour over the meatballs. Heat on low for six - seven hours. Heat on high for four hours. For some reason this random recipe has become the biggest hit of 2007. Everyone keeps asking how in the world did i make these amazing meatballs. I think the trick is to start with a tasty meatball in the first place, then the contrasting sweet and savory sauce adds the kicker!

Chicken Salsa Tacos
Frozen, boneless chicken breasts (at least 1 per person)
1 medium to large jar of salsa (I love the chunky kind)

For Tacos: Tortillas
Your preferred taco/ burrito fixings

Place the frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot. Cover chicken really well with jar of salsa. Cook all day on low. Just before serving, use two forks to shred the chicken, while in the sauce. Serve it with your favorite fixings (I prefer sour cream and guacamole) for tacos or burritos. You can also use it for a taco salad!

Zesty Crockpot Chicken
4 boneless, thawed chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg Good Seasons zesty Italian salad dressing mix
1 c. water
1 tsp. parsley
1 pkg cream cheese

Place chicken in crock pot. Blend soup, dresssing mix, water and parsley, add to crock pot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. One hour before serving, add the package of cream cheese. Serve over rice or noodles. Egg noodles are our favorite!

Café Rio Sweet Pork
3-4 lbs pork roast (can substitute chicken)
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups salsa
*Mix ingredients in a crock pot and let cook for 10 hours on low.
Add to salads or burritos. Mmm..

Coca-Cola Roast
1 beef roast
1 can of coke
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg of dry onion soup mix

Place roast in pan, or in a crock-pot. Mix all other ingredients together and pour over roast. If your cooking in the oven: cover tightly with foil and bake at 325 degrees for about 3-4 hours. In the crock-pot you can cook it on low all day long. Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
2 1/2 pounds pork roast
1 bottle (14-ounce) of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium onion, chopped
8 hamburger buns or hard rolls

In the crockpot, add the pork roast. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours. Remove the pork roast from the slow cooker. Pull the meat into shredded pieces. Throw away any liquid in the slow cooker. Add the pulled pork with the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and onion. Cook on HIGH in crockpot for 2 hours. Serve the barbecue pork on hamburger buns or hard rolls. Feeds a crowd!

A few more recipes that might be good:
Pork n’ Sweet Potatoes
Sour Cream Bacon Chicken
Mexican Dinner

while i am writing this, dan is at the store picking up a pot roast (small enough to fit into said crockpot) and one can of coke. he just called me to ask if a 2 liter bottle would work, since it's cheaper and they don't sell one cans of coke. so therefore, this blog post did me good. i plan on making dan a manly sabbath supper of coca-cola pot roast. mmm. mm. happy weekend everyone. enjoy.


Christie said...

God bless you, crockpot queen. This is right up my alley.

Christina said...

I had that same crockpot of which you speak- forest green and all- and then it stopped cooking one day. Since it was a hand-me-down from my grandma, I couldn't be too shocked, but it was heartbreaking. I pull out my new one that has a lot less personality with a little bit of sadness every time. Thanks for some new recipes- excited to try them out!

Michelle said...

You are a good bff. Crockpot cooking is the best! Thanks for posting those yummie recipes, they made my mouth water too.

btw congrats on your pregnancy!

swell.life said...

Yum! I, too, stand by the crockpot that I praise more than I use. I can't wait to try a few of these awesome recipes!!

Chelsea said...

I just noticed the post about you expecting- congrats! that is really exciting! stop by babinski's sometime and say hi! it's a great place to get advice about baby products and pick up some cool things! we have a blog now too- you can see what's new, on sale, and get discounts! babinskis.blogspot.com

KJ said...

I am in love with my crockpot. Relied on it frequently when I was working full time +. And, funny thing kindred Marta: I've made all of these recipes! I have a few others that are super yummy if you'd like them. Just send me an email from my bloggity blog sassypiggy.blogspot.com

Ashlee said...

How funny! I have a beef roast in my crock pot as we speak. Shredded Beef tacos are on the menu for tonight. Hubby's mouth is already watering.
Crock pots are so great! Easy dinners that make you look like a fabulous overworked chef. :0) Thanks for these recipes!

Anonymous said...

Oh yum, thank you! I just started using my crockpot again and could use some new recipes. I had that same forest green lined crockpot, but lost it in the big earthquake in 2001. It was our only damage, lol, and I was secretly happy because it meant getting a new, "cool" one as a replacement.

Kristi said...

Hooray! I love crockpot recipes. I'm so glad you shared as I am not a huge fan of preparing dinner myself :)

{natalie} said...

thanks! we are planning on getting a new crockpot at costco this week. we have had ours for almost 7 years and it's time for an update. thanks for the new things to try. and i love the chicken/salsa one. so easy and good.

bbird said...

Holy Cow these are great recipes.. no fancy smancy just plain ole food made great. thank you. bbird

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love cooking with a crockpot. Thanks for sharing!

love.boxes said...

Oh I think I better go purchase a crockpot now. :)

Unknown said...

those look yummy. i make the zesty crock pot chicken one all the time, or one almost like it and my husband calls it dreamy chicken instead of creamy chicken.
gotta love the crockpot!

Heather said...


all over the map said...

ode to the cp.
nothing like it.
love it.
grew up with delicious creations my mom made.
yummy goodness.
funky coloured, eighties versions make the food taste better.
bet you didn't know that? ha!
i do a meatball version with chili sauce and grape jelly, but must confess i make my meatballs. turkey balls usually.
thanks for sharing all this goodness.

Dansie Family said...

those sound great. my favorite crock pot recipe is kalua pig:
roast pork
liquid smoke
course sea salt

serve over rice with panipopo.

Laurie said...

Always good to find new crock pot recipes! Thanks for this post. I'm glad I found your blog through a series of clicks....

Tell me, what do you serve with your meatballs?

Stephanie ODea said...

an ode to the crockpot! I love it!

I totally made those crockpot meatballs. Not for a while though..
anything with grape jelly rocks, however.

Tales From the Land of Motherhood said...

Oh thank you so much for posting these. I stumbled across them and was just what I was looking for. I have 3 kiddo's and always need somthing easy for dinner as school is back in session! I enjoyed poking around your blog, love it!!

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