Friday, February 08, 2013

Simple Suppers

Life gets busy for everyone. Sometimes work keeps you late or your child refuses to nap or you have after-school/work activities planned and so a fresh, homemade dinner just doesn't get made. Or, let's be honest, some nights the thought of having to prepare dinner is more than you can bear. On those days, I have a secret weapon. It's my Slow Cooker

slowcooker

I'm a bit of an obsessed person when it comes to my Slow Cooker. It seriously saved Scott and I from many nights of bad take-out when Molly was born. Her morning naps have been pretty consistent which means I can prep dinner at 10 a.m. but not so much at 5 p.m. Over the past year, I've really simplified my Slow Cooker meals. I have some great complex ones where you brown the meat, saute the veggies and then the meat slow cooks all day and is so tender but I also have ones that take all of 5 minutes to make. The only catch to these meals is a bit of planning. 

Today I'm going to show you my short cut to a quick, delicious Slow Cooker meal. I'm apprehensive to call this a "recipe" because it is not one at all. It's just my way of quickly making a meal when I don't have the time or the energy. I can promise you that I will share some of my favorite Slow Cooker recipes with you soon.

Frontera Sauces

I was in Whole Foods one day and noticed that the Rick Bayless Frontera Sauce Packets were on sale. I've always loved his enchilada sauce packet so I decided to branch out and try the Red Chile Barbacoa Slow Cook Sauce. Scott and I are so glad I decided to take this shortcut! 

Onions

It's incredibly simple. You cut up an onion and put that in the slow cooker. Then place your meat (I've used both beef and pork and I bet this would be great on chicken) on top (Rick says to brown the meat but sometimes I do not have time for those shenanigans!), pour the sauce over and cook for 8 hours. In fact, Molly helped me put this together this morning. By which I mean that she hung on my leg and whined at me for the entire 5 minutes it took for me to put it together. Then when I was done and tried to hold her, she ran away laughing. 

sauce

Anyway, once the meat is cooked, I pile it on a bed of lettuce and top with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, green onions and black olives. Sometimes if I'm feeling kind and generous, I put some tortilla chips on Scott's plate. 

What are your meal short cuts? How do you get dinner on the top when you'd rather not? 

         


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