Tuesday, March 26, 2013


*blows dust off blog*

Wow...it's been... a long time since I've posted anything here...hmmm...must do better!!

Since the last time we chatted, my job has been VERY busy - I am a researcher in fuel science, and I've had loads of projects going on.

In addition, I met my goal at Weight Watchers, and actually, I exceeded it. I am about 13 lbs lighter than my goal. Which is ok. My goal was sort of where "I'd be happy here if I can't lose more weight", not where I'd love to be. I am actually where I wanted to get, but didn't think I'd ever get there again. (I'm 49 peeps, I never thought after 4 kids and 6 pregnancies I'd be the same size I was when I got married.) I am now a lifetime member, and I get all my membership fees and online tools for free, provided I weigh in once a month and stay within 2 lbs of goal.

I am successfully doing that.

I turned 49 in January, registered for my first half marathon (I had a goal to do one before I turned 50), started training, and... ended up getting shingles after the death of my beloved aunt. I am back at the training, albeit not as stringent as I need to be, but I am still recovering from the shingles - the rash is still there, and I still itch or hurt occasionally.


Post for today - crockpotting...

I have always been a one crockpot woman. I never owned 2 or more crockpots - when one broke, I got a new one. If our family expanded, I'd get a larger one, and get rid of the other. My last one had the handle break, so I bought a fancier programmable one (not the top of the line - just one that switches to warm after 4/6/8/10 hours).  It's a 6 qt crockpot, which accommodates my large family quite nicely. I can easily double most soup recipes in it, and have soup coming out our ears.

Not literally. :)

But a few years ago, I had the opportunity to purchase a three crockpot unit. It was when they first came out, they were expensive, but I got it for 50% off. I really only use it for holidays to keep things warm on our buffet (I host a large family gathering almost every holiday). Each crock is only 2 qt. so, it does have limited uses. I have used it for a soup lunch at work a couple times as well, and that's about it. Until I decided to make bean soup in my crockpot from leftover frozen ham from Christmas, and the hubby doesn't like bean soup.

He wanted split pea.

Which, I don't like. At. All.

So, I made a big pot of bean in the larger crockpot, and brought out the three pot unit for the split pea. While it would have been great to just use that unit for both soups, the crocks weren't big enough for my love of all things bean soup.

Don't judge.

So, that got me thinking...would it be beneficial to have a smaller crockpot to use for situations like this? Two quart was too small - they would be good for side dishes, but not for larger meals like soups and such.

So, I decided maybe a cheap, basic smaller crock (like 4 qt) would be worth the investment. And, as luck would have it, our grocery store had one on sale for $25.00 - it was a 5 qt, but it came with a 2 cup Little Dipper - perfect for keeping chocolate warm to dip cake pops (which I had been looking for something like this, anyway...).

And it has been a great investment...I made a triple batch of black bean soup (so I could freeze it) and I made it between the 2 crock pots (the 6 qt and 5 qt). I've attempted overnight oatmeal in it (it was a fail, but not due to the crockpot - I had the wrong oatmeal), and today, I'm cooking up chicken breasts in it to freeze the cooked chicken (and to use a bit for dinner tonight). It's not quite as cumbersome on the counter as the large oval one, and good for simple things. If there is a recipe that I don't want to overcook, I'd definitely use the 6 qt so it'll switch to warm, but this one does do a nice job on some smaller meals/jobs.

Leave me a comment if you are interested in some soup recipes for the crockpot. I made an awesome white chicken chili, black bean and lemon chicken orzo (actually, the lemon chicken orzo is stovetop, not crockpot...haven't tried to adapt it yet...)

I have some craft ideas in mind, as well, that I hope to get to soon...

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