Slow Cooking for a Slow Winter

My desire to cook has finally returned. It took me well over a year to feel that desire again to meal plan and cook (it’s been a stressful year of food changes), but alas, it has returned and thank goodness not a moment too late.

The past two weeks I have spent a good portion of time using my slow cooker to accomplish new meals and make life easier as we continue on our somewhat busy schedules both working two jobs and taking care of the kiddos. We did pick up a smaller slow cooker, but I am not pleased with how hot it gets as opposed to my 10+ year older version. Split pea soup was boiling! Agast!

So, I may use that more for chicken dishes or ones where I know the recipe process better than making something entirely new in it. If anything, I’ll cook more on low for longer (it only has a few button options) or add more water to any recipe to make sure nothing overcooks by drying out.

This past week, I made a nice spinach and artichoke dip from Damn Delicious in my old larger Crock Pot.

I don’t use recipe bags often, they creep me out with plastic being cooked even though it’s ‘safe’, but it is super helpful at times to skip over cleanup and then get the next recipe ready to go.

In just a little over two hours, I had a delicious dip to bring to a family dinner.

Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker?

I had been debating getting an Instant Pot, but when I started to watch recipe videos and found there were various parts to getting that meal on the table, I loved the idea of just embracing my slow cooker and it’s ease of dump and cook.

The core issue of my lack of cooking was preparing ahead of time (defrosting meats and whatnot), so I dedicated myself to planning my meals each week and taking out food ahead of time to defrost. Once I got back over that hurdle, the slow cooker and I were back in the game.

Plus, my friend who loves her Instant Pot said it’s a great device for those who don’t plan and just need to get food out in a quick amount of time. Her knowing me for a decade, she suggested I just start to plan again and I’ll have no issues getting my act together.

Going down that rabbit hole though was a blessing. It led me to homemade kefir which I will share more about in an upcoming episode of The Lifelong Learning Podcast.

Embracing my slow cooker and focusing on it has been such a delight in my life once again. It’ll make life easier the days Chris isn’t home around dinner time, and also hopefully give me a little more freedom to jump on that treadmill after school while dinner just takes care of itself.

Life is all about getting back to running these days because I have become super lazy (although I attribute some of that to being glutened against my wishes and knocking me down for the count some days) and running has taken a back seat. My body feels a difference, and I don’t like it. Not one bit!