Stock The Crock (or I Hope This Gets Me Back On Track With Cooking)

As much as I want to be an awesome cook, it’s something that has been very difficult for me to get into. It’s always tough to cook when it’s just for you because you know you’ll have a bunch of leftovers for a while. Also, I hate buying a ton of ingredients for just one meal and it seems like many recipes call for things that I just don’t have at my house all the time. But I’m trying to be better about cooking especially since I can use my slow cooker on days that I’m not going to the gym after I’m done with work.

So when I was offered a chance to get a copy of “Stock The Crock” I immediately said yes!

I’ve gotten a few slow cooker cookbooks since I got my slow cooker, but this is the one I wish I had gotten first! So many of the cookbooks I have involve too many ingredients or they require you to cook things before putting them into the slow cooker (I’ll admit, I’m lazy). But this one has an amazing mix of recipes that are simple and basic (but not boring) and the more involved recipes that I haven’t really been doing yet.

When I was looking through the cookbook, everything looked great to me. But one recipe stood out. It was the recipe for chicken with salsa.

This is a basic recipe, but that’s what caught my attention. This really only requires 2 ingredients; chicken and salsa.

The original recipe called for chicken thighs, but they were much more expensive at the store so I used chicken breasts instead. But what’s awesome about “Stock The Crock” is that there is a section for substitutions at the bottom. There are a bunch of different options for how you can change the recipe to fit different dietary restrictions or tastes. And it gives the directions on how to use those substitutions so you don’t have to worry about what to do.

I’m aware that I’m a bit skittish when it comes to cooking. I’ve tried some recipes that sounded delicious and ended up pretty much going immediately to the trash. But most of the time, that happens when the recipes are too complicated or need me to use ingredients I’m not used to using. But since salsa and chicken are both things I’m familiar with, I was excited to try this recipe.

It couldn’t have been easier. Put the chicken in the slow cooker and cover it with a jar of salsa. Then set it on low for about 4 hours (it was a bit faster with the chicken breasts). Once it’s done, shred the chicken and you can use it however you’d like. I decided to make a bowl with rice, some pico de gallo, cheese, greek yogurt (I use that instead of sour cream in most things) and avocado. It was the perfect dinner bowl!

And I have a ton of leftover chicken to use for more bowls or other things. I might see what else I can do with shredded chicken so I don’t waste any of it.

I’ve said this before, but each time I successfully make something I gain more cooking confidence. I don’t know how long it will take before I feel totally comfortable trying to cook new things from time to time, but I have a feeling that this cookbook is going to be a big part of that journey. Even the more complicated recipes are on the easier side. And if they are too complicated, there are enough modifications I can make to make it something that I can do and not need to buy too much stuff.

But I’ve also been inspired by some of the recipes in the cookbook to try some more ambitious things. I know that you can bake using your slow cooker and there are some recipes that I might want to see if I can do it. And getting this cookbook reminded me of how I should be using my slow cooker more often. I don’t think about using it as often as I should because it always seemed like slow cooker recipes were big deals. But this has reminded me that I can make simple and delicious meals. And this is the perfect way to cook when it’s too hot to think about using any other appliances.

I’m so grateful that I was given a copy of “Stock The Crock” because I have a feeling that I will be using it all the time. I have so many cookbooks that only have one or two recipes that I want to try and they just take up space. But this one has inspired me to try lots of new things and I’m getting excited about trying out each recipe and seeing what becomes new favorites of mine!

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