slow cooker success

how the slow cooker became my new best bud..

slow cooker seafood pasta
slow cooker seafood pasta

We are 5 months (and counting) without a house helper (the first time in 8 years!). I never imagined I’d be brave enough to fire, perhaps lay off is more politically correct, our house helper of 4 years. But I got to the point when I decided I needed to be in full control of my household and our family life, and that meant cutting off our dependencies on other people. This whole ‘simplifying our life’ has really gotten to me, that many people might think I’m crazy for letting go of our reliable house helper when other families I know are in dire need of one.

Why we decided to fire our house helper, I’ll save for another post. This time I want to share one of my best kept (sanity preserving) secrets for managing a household with 2 rowdy boys and a 6-month old baby, while cleaning, doing the laundry, cooking, homeschooling, managing a business, and working from home full-time. Whoa! That seemed like a lot didn’t it? But thanks to my handy helpers, we do get by with 3 full meals and clean clothes without trampling down on LEGOs on the floor.

I do have a long list of handy helpers (lucky me): my boys who set the table and clean up after each meal, and Turo who cleans the toilet and takes care of the baby half of the time. Unfortunately, there are days when Turo needs to be out of the house, and I’m left with a baby who won’t be put down, and 2 starving little boys at lunchtime, with no free hands to cook with.

My solution: I bought a slow cooker.

090913_slow_cooker_cuisinart_1

I’ve long been a Cuisinart fan. And I’ve long fantasized about owning a slow cooker. Just before Christmas I got an email for a limited offer of 50% discount on selected Cuisinart products. So while I also wanted a bread maker and a soup maker and a burr grinder, I decided that a slow cooker is what would be most helpful for me at the moment. We have an outdoor kitchen, and it’s nearly impossible for me to cook, even reheat anything at lunchtime when the baby is awake, which he most often is. I hate eating cold food, period. But when it’s just the four of us, me and the kiddos, it’ll take me forever to have lunch at the table.

throw everything into the pot, punch some buttons, and let lunch be ready at lunch time..
throw everything into the pot, punch some buttons, and let lunch be ready at lunch time..

The slow cooker has completely changed the way I cook. Now I prep meals early in the morning, before the baby and the boys wake up, throw everything into the slow cooker, punch some buttons, and peacefully have a cup of tea. By lunchtime, we have hot, freshly cooked food to eat! And when Turo’s not home by dinner time, I simply leave the slow cooker on Warm and we still have hot food for dinner! Can you believe how impossibly simple that is? The best part of it all is that kitchen clean up is a breeze because everything gets cooked in one pot. Easy peasy.

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