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BARBARASDIET's Photo BARBARASDIET SparkPoints: (444,974)
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10/29/12 4:57 P

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I will not leave things plugged in when I am not home, so the crockpot is a big waste of time for me. Someone convinced me to buy one a couple of years ago, and I tried and tried to find something that made it worthwhile using--with no luck.

~Barbara~

"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say....Ralph Waldo Emerson"


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LITTLEWIND53's Photo LITTLEWIND53 Posts: 21,517
10/29/12 3:51 P

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When I buy bulk hamburger, I often cook it up, then measure out single portions into zip bags and freeze. I often make meatballs this way too.....

Then when I need a quick meal, I can just take one of the bags and dump into a portion into my quick meal. While it is thawing and heating up, I get the veggies ready and I'm ready to eat.....

Edited by: LITTLEWIND53 at: 10/29/2012 (15:52)
Linda

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BRENDAGAIL9's Photo BRENDAGAIL9 Posts: 15,490
10/29/12 12:26 P

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I buy family size packages of meats and whole chickens and divide into smaller servings and freeze. Then I can take out what I need and cook it without thawing. I buy five pounds of ground beef and weigh 4 oz and make patties. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze. When frozen put them in a freezer bag. Or else wrap each patty individually. I can whip up a meal for myself in no time.

Brenda

Chehalis, WA


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CUISINEEXAMINER's Photo CUISINEEXAMINER SparkPoints: (0)
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10/29/12 12:06 P

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Before the crockpot there was - prep!

My suggestions for a life of cooking ease:
1) Read the recipe - TWICE.
2) Make sure you have all the ingredients in the kitchen before starting the dish: no last-minute running to the store for that onion or the special vinegar ...
3) Clean off the kitchen counters and put away everything you don't need for the cooking session.
3) Do what the well-paid chefs do: mise en place, which is French for everything in place, meaning following the recipe, measure and dish out or cut all ingredients into small bowls.
4) Take out all pots, pans, utensils, platters, serving dishes which the recipe requires.
5) Fill the sink with hot sudsy water.
5) Go to it!

I like cooking this way, and even prep dry ingredients for a baking recipe sometimes as far in advance as a day or two. I can do Steps 1-3 long prior to starting a meal, and having a sink of dishwater cuts cleanup time, also, as I can pop dishes into the sink as I go along, and all the food has soaked off by the time the meal is done.

When you're on the right track in life all you have to do is keep going. - M. Sarafraz

A great obstacle to happiness is expecting too much happiness. - Bernard de Fontanelle


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TEADRINKER7's Photo TEADRINKER7 Posts: 278
10/29/12 3:45 A

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Crock pots or batch cooking seem to be the way to go!

LITTLEWIND53's Photo LITTLEWIND53 Posts: 21,517
10/28/12 10:26 P

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A few years ago I lived in a (then) 90 year old building. Because of the age of the building and the fact that I could see the wiring stapled to the wall way up at the ceiling, and it seemed there was only one breaker for the whole building, I had to be very careful what got plugged in at the same time. or I would blow the fuses....... Discretion was definately the better way to go...... I was very hesitent to use my slow cooker, because I was worried what I would find when I got home in the evening.

I am trying to use the slow cooker more now that I am in a newer building and I am home all day.....

Linda

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CD6145574 Posts: 9,974
10/28/12 9:38 P

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emoticon

thanks , i am great at cooking multiple foods every time.

BRENDAGAIL9's Photo BRENDAGAIL9 Posts: 15,490
10/28/12 9:01 P

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I have a slow cooker and it is currently cooking a pot roast and lots of fresh veggies. The smell is awsome. I live alone and don't like to cook everyday so I do a lot of batch cooking,

Brenda

Chehalis, WA


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WHITEANGEL4's Photo WHITEANGEL4 SparkPoints: (664,054)
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10/28/12 9:00 P

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I use my crockpot regularly. there are some things I never cook in small lots. Any type of soup or stew. I am cooking for 2, but when I cook many foods I make extra for the freezer for the next two to three weeks. We loved roasted veggies and we do them often. We have them with our meal and the leftovers go into a bag and are added to the freezer. This bag collects all left over roast veggies. and then I make a soup or a pasta dish with it. We roast tomatoes, califlower, broccili, potatoes, white, sweet, beets, and any othere that I think will roast well. By cooking ahead and having a backstock in the freezer, we only grocery shop every two to three weeks. I do hit the local farmer's market for fresh veggies 2 to 3 times a weeks, but never spend over 10 to 15 dollars depending on what they have. A 15 dollar trip usually stocks me up for a couple of weeks cooking and stocking freezer.

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SLIMKIM2B's Photo SLIMKIM2B SparkPoints: (149,405)
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10/28/12 7:07 P

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Love my crockpot, mine gets one heck of a workout in the fall and winter.

Kim in Connecticut


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CMFARRELL36's Photo CMFARRELL36 Posts: 16,889
10/28/12 5:31 P

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I have the time, most days, though not always the inclination, to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen preparing the fresh veg and cooking the dinner.

No matter what way I go, I'll end up in the kitchen preparing fresh veg.
So I use Spoken Word CD's and have someone read me a story as I work! Takes my mind off the drudgery emoticon

Christine
in Scotland, UK - BST

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TEADRINKER7's Photo TEADRINKER7 Posts: 278
10/28/12 5:03 P

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LADYIRISH317's Photo LADYIRISH317 Posts: 56,373
10/28/12 4:58 P

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That's exactly what a crock pot is for. I load mine up before I leave for work and when I get home, dinner is ready and waiting.

"...there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

"We're children of a fighting race that never yet has known disgrace." (The Soldiers' Song, Irish national anthem)

"Every day above ground is a good day." (Chef Justin Kennedy of New Orleans, on Chopped)

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TEADRINKER7's Photo TEADRINKER7 Posts: 278
10/28/12 4:57 P

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Hmmmm... but i'm not home during the day... so a crock pot would not work i guess.
I usually cook huge loads and freeze in lunchboxes, that also saves time.

LADYIRISH317's Photo LADYIRISH317 Posts: 56,373
10/28/12 4:48 P

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That's a great tip!

Rachael Ray has a show called Week In a Day. She says spend one day (or even afternoon) cooking, then pack and refrigerate/freeze and you have food for the entire work week.

The crock pot is, IMHO, possibly the greatest time-saver. Sounds weird when a dish cooks for hours, but all you do is load it and forget it for the rest of the day. Use a large crock pot and, again, you have planned leftovers for later in the week. My crock pot is thirty years old, gets used at least weekly, and is still going strong.

"...there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

"We're children of a fighting race that never yet has known disgrace." (The Soldiers' Song, Irish national anthem)

"Every day above ground is a good day." (Chef Justin Kennedy of New Orleans, on Chopped)

Please visit my blog:
www.cuisinequests.blogspot.com/


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TEADRINKER7's Photo TEADRINKER7 Posts: 278
10/28/12 4:45 P

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Sometimes I feel like I spend half my life in the kitchen... To make life easier you can cook two things at one. Here is an example:
www.eatmorevegetarian.com/2-in-1-rec
ip
e-roasted-vegetables-and-autumn-vegeR>table-soup/

Do you have any tips to make cooking more effective?

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