Before I share the recipes with you, though, I want to show you something really wild.
I was given some old family cookbooks, a few of which belonged to my grandmother Gigi. She had some pieces of paper stuck in one of her cookbooks that had Crock Pot recipes jotted down on them. Here's a pretty standard looking recipe from her.
Besides the fact that the recipe calls for oleo, it's not too crazy. Well, maybe the fact that you assemble the recipe in a coffee can or shortening can and then put the can in a Crock Pot, surrounded by water. That's maybe a little unconventional.
But flip over the piece of paper it's written on, and you see this:
By the way, how did that term get so outdated? It makes me laugh. Seriously, I'm giggling as I type this. Crack cocaine. That is just funny to say.
I was pretty appalled to see this -- a blatant reminder of the fact that in my grandmother's generation of working, the females basically served as the receptionists and the only people stopping by for a visit or calling were assumed to be males!
I'm glad things have changed now, but I'm also so proud to say that my Gigi was a policewoman during this very time. Convention and tradition were not her style.
Okay, back to my three favorite Crock Pot recipes. I'm going to keep the descriptions for these quick and simple, because that's why cooking in a slow cooker is so magical.
Mexican Crock Pot Chicken
6-7 chicken tenderloins, frozen or thawed
2 cans black beans, drained (I often use 1 can black beans and 1 can pinto beans)
1 can Rotel (I use one can of Rotel and 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1/2 package taco seasoning
Place chicken at the bottom of the Crock Pot and sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Add in beans and tomatoes. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Stir when done to shred the chicken.
Serve on top of a bed of rice and/or shredded lettuce (we omit the rice). Top with desired ingredients such as shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and black olives.
Crock Pot Applesauce
8-10 large cooking apples, peeled, cored, and cut in chunks (Gala apples work well)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients in your Crock Pot. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Serve warm with or without cream.
Crock Pot Barbeque
... the main reason Ian thinks I hung the moon ...
(adapted from the culinary maven Puttin' On The G.R.I.T.S.)
Pork butt shoulder
2 liter bottle of root beer
Barbeque sauce - We use the H.T. Trader's Eastern Style BBQ Sauce bought at Harris Teeter
Place pork in your Crock Pot and cover with half of the root beer. Cover and cook 6-7 hours, turning once halfway. The pork will shred easily when it is done cooking. Drain off most of the remaining liquid and pour your BBQ sauce of choice over the shredded pork. Toss to coat, and continue cooking for about a half hour more.
(note: I've only made this with vinegar-based barbeque sauce because that's what we love)
You will have half of your root beer left over -- keep in the fridge for your next batch of BBQ. If you're anything like us, that will occur sooner than later.