The Little House Living Show – Episode 011 – Simplifying the Holidays With Your Crock Pot
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What’s In This Episode?
0:36 – Introduction
1:00 Heidi’s Intro
3:06 – How a slow cooker can simplify the holidays
6:25 – How a slow cooker can save money during the holidays
9:47 – More ways a slow cooker can save money
10:28 – Heidi’s favorite holiday recipes
12:41 – A few extra tips
14:28 – Where to find Heidi online
15:00 – Wrap up
Links Mentioned in This Show
- Submit a Question for the Show
- Crock-Pot Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding
- Crock-Pot Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- Crock-Pot Green Beans
- Crock-Pot Pecan Praline Dip
- Crock-Pot Baked Pineapple Ham
- Crock-Pot Easy Green Beans and Bacon
- Crock-Pot Roasted Turkey Breast
- Crock-Pot Au-Gratin Potatoes
- Crock-Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Crock-Pot Pecan Pie Bread Pudding
- Crock-Pot Brussels Sprouts
- Crock-Pot Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
- Crock-Pot Cheesy Potatoes
- Crock-Pot Apple Cider Ham
- Crock-Pot Sweet Potatoes With A Hint Of Orange
- Crock-Pot Bacon and Garlic Sweet Green Beans
- Crock-Pot Sugar Carrots with Ginger
- Crock-Pot Thick & Creamy Hot Chocolate
- Crock-Pot Cranberry-Orange Chutney
- Crock-Pot Snowman Poop
- Crock Pot Ladies Pinterest
- Crock Pot Ladies Instagram
- Crock Pot Ladies YouTube
- Crock Pot Ladies Twitter
- Crock-Pot Ladies Recipe Club (Facebook Group)
- Crock Pot Ladies Facebook
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I’m so glad that you decided to join me today because I’ve got a really fun interview lined up for you. I know that you’re going to enjoy listening to Heidi as she talks about saving money and saving time. As we are getting ready to start cooking for the holidays here soon, she has a lot of really great ideas and really great recipes. So again, I’m so glad you’ve decided to join me again today as always. If you have any ideas for future episodes of the podcast, please let me know.
You can always email me at [email protected] and without further ado, here is my interview with Heidi from Crock-Pot ladies.com. I would like to introduce you guys today to my friend, Heidi, Heidi runs the blog crockpot ladies. And today she’s going to talk to us more about using our slow cookers over the holidays and how that can make our life a little bit simpler. And I’m hoping she has some really yummy recipes to share with us. So welcome Heidi. Hi, thank you for having me. Yeah. Do you want to start by just telling our listeners just a little bit more about what you and what you do?
Well, I, like you mentioned, I run the blog, Crock-Pot late fees and basically all we post is Crock-Pot recipes. And now we’re also including some recipes for the Crock-Pot express, which is like the Crock-Pot brand of an Instapot or an electric pressure cooker. So we’re starting to slowly incorporate more of those recipes into our site. But basically, if you’re looking for school cooker recipes where that’s all we do, that’s what exactly we do.
Yeah. Well, and that’s good because slow cooker recipes are much needed for those busy days and days. When you have time to sit here and cook for an hour or two for supper or breakfast or dessert or anything,
Any meal. And we like to press push the boundaries sometimes with some things like things you wouldn’t know, you could make an, a slow cook for we’re all about like, let’s see if we can make it in our slope. If you’re just, just to see if we can do it.
Yeah. I’ve seen like the posts that you’ve made on like baking bread and your soul cooker. I didn’t know that was something that was possible until I saw a, of baking bread.
Cheesecake cake, people didn’t know you could make a cheesecake for the longest time. It was slow cooker, but it’s actually pretty easy and they cannot really get. Cool.
So we’re getting really close to the holidays. And I know that I’m slow cookers, you know, they simplify kind of our daily lives when we don’t want to have to have all that meal prep. But what are kind of some specific ways that you think that you can use a slow cooker to help simplify the holidays?
Some of the ways that I like to use my slow cooker to simplify the holidays is really like using it to make things ahead of time, as much as possible. For example, I might go ahead and cook up whole sweet potatoes in the slow cooker a couple of days ahead of like Thanksgiving or Christmas. And then on the holiday, when I’m cooking, all I have to do is like peel them and turn them into a sweet potato casserole. Or another thing you can do is like, make your Turkey broth using the, the interns, but come inside the Turkey, you know, the neck and gizzards and stuff. Yeah. I just throw those in the slow cooker, add water to cover, add some carrots, celery, onion, and just let that cook. And you can do that days ahead. And then you have Turkey broth when it’s time to make your stuffing or dressing, depending on what, how you do it as well as like your gravy.
So, you know, things like that. And then the other big one for me is it just frees up space? Cause I’m I cook, I go all out for the holidays. I have a big family and this year with COVID-19, you know, we’re not going to have company coming to our house, but just my family won’t have five kids at home. And then two kids that don’t live with me right now, but they’ll come, they live here in town, they’ll come for dinner and maybe even a friend or two, but we won’t have a lot of people, but I still like to use my slow cooker just to free up space in my oven and on my stove top. So I might use it to make some of my side dishes like mashed potatoes and green beans and Brussels sprouts, whatever it might be, you know, so that I’m not trained to like that time management thing when you’re cooking a big meal, you know, starting to put the Turkey and it’s time to put the, start, the mashed potatoes. I can do a lot of that either ahead of time, or I can just do it in my slow cooker. And if you have a small kitchen, you know, I’ll throw a slow cooker on the kitchen table alone or somewhere else out of the kitchen. So it’s out from under my foot and I have multiple slow cookers because Crock-Pot late example, like 10 blocks, but not everyone has that many. I get that.
But you know, you might have a lot of people have at least two, you know, but you can just put something to the side and let it do its thing while you’re working on the things that take more hands-on time.
Yeah. Well, I, so before, like for other holidays, I’ve used my slow cooker to like make part of the meals. So it’s not all cooking in the oven, but it’s never occurred to me until you just said it to use it for meal prep, like ahead of time to work on making that gravy or cooking the sweet potatoes. Like that’s a really good idea because it’s going to save me time when I’m ready to make that meal and
Just ahead of time. Yeah. Yeah.
Well, and that’d be a good idea. Like I only have one slow cooker. One of those people, I don’t have a ton of kitchen appliances, but I do have one. And so like if I used it, you know, for the meal prep, I could actually get a lot more done in advance versus only being able to make one thing on the day of, so that’s a really good idea. I’m sure you know, that my listeners are all about saving money and living frugal and stuff. So do you think that there’s ways that using a slow cooker can save money during the holidays?
I do. I think there’s, I mean, to be honest, holiday meals are not usually placed that I personally tend to be super frugal even though I’m a frugal person. For sure. Yeah. Cause I like to go all out with like a ton of side dishes, a ton of desserts. I mean, I put on a spread, which I can bite you all over and have some dinner with us, but you know, I like really liked to cook, but I think, I definitely think making your own broth is definitely frugal and it tastes better than like store-bought bra. I know that you can broth. So, you know, you probably have bra in your, in your pantry or something that you’ve made yourself, but I like to use the Turkey parts. I don’t like to eat those parts, but that’s something my mom always did with, with the giblets or whatever the recall.
And then definitely there’s like some side dishes that are frugal in nature, just because of the main ingredient. So potatoes potatoes are cheap. Carrots. Stuffing is mostly bread, dried bread, you know? So those are, those are cheap main ingredients. You can make all of those in your slow cooker, so you can make mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes. I have some, a recipe for some like carrots with ginger and those are really yummy. You can definitely cook. You’re stepping, I guess when it’s in a dish it’s called dressing and not stepping cause you’re not stuffing it in the bird, but I definitely make all of those in my spoke of her. And those are frugal. And if you make plenty of them, then they’re, they kind of stretch out the more expensive parts of your meal.
Yeah. Well it makes sense because I mean, even though you’re using your slow cooker, you’re still cooking from scratch and cooking from scratch is generally cheaper than buying whatever the pre-made item is. So you’re still saving time because you get to use the slow, but you can save money because you’re cooking from scratch. So
Absolutely. Yeah. I definitely cook from scratch on all of those. I mean, I think one year I tried making like a box to stuffing mix and everyone went, that’s dumped. I did not want to eat that, but I definitely try to go, you know, pretty much from scratch. So definitely. Yeah. I think, I think there’s ways that you can use your slow cooker to save the money.
Yeah, for sure. That, that makes a lot of sense. Well, If you’re cooking everything from scratch, like say you just want to like your recipes, your family recipes are in the stove top or the oven. You can still use your slow cooker to keep things warm. You know? So if you’re setting out like a buffet, you can put, put something in the Crock-Pot and it keeps it warm until
One other thing that we’ve done kind of along these lines is I know people frown on this, but sometimes when I host Thanksgiving, I like to have people bring stuff and it’s so easy for somebody to bring something in the Crock-Pot and then it doesn’t have to be heated up at your house and stuff like that.
You don’t have to come with a dish and go when this be cook 30 minutes before, and then your host is like, got her or his, you know, they’ve got their schedule of when does this need to go? And they have a, when does this need to go on? And then all of a sudden here’s a dish that they’ve got to somehow squeeze into their oven. Yeah. Definitely bringing something in a Crock-Pot is so nice.
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. It’s, it’s handy for the host and it’s handy for you too. So I know you’ve mentioned a couple of things already, but what are some of your favorite recipes to make in your slow cooker during the holidays?
Well, I definitely like to do sweet potato casserole. I think we have several recipes and I’ll I’ll hopefully we’ll give you some links to some of those. Yeah.
Yeah. You can send me any links and we’ll make sure they’re in the show notes so everybody can find the yummy things.
Awesome. So we have like sweet potato casserole. You make mashed potatoes in your crock pot. We, that ginger carrot ginger carrots are really good. You have some stepping recipes and then can cook a whole Turkey in a Crock-Pot, but you can cook Turkey breast. So if you’re cooking for smaller, just maybe you and your husband or, you know, you can definitely do that. And then we have things like brussel sprouts, several kinds of green beans dishes that would all be great at Thanksgiving or Christmas. And then you can cook a ham right in here in your slow cover. You don’t have to have that in the oven. So yeah, those are some of my favorite recipes. And then we have some fun things. Of course there’s appetizers like meatballs and things like that. And then we have like for Christmas, we have this really fun recipe it’s called Crock-Pot snowman, poop the kids for some reason, this is a favorite with the kids because first of all, little kids love the word poop.
But really it’s Cheerios and it’s coated in like melted white chocolate and powdered sugar. And it’s just fun. It’s a fun thing that little kids can make. They can measure the ingredients and shake the Cheerios and then they just love the name. You can call it whatever you want. I have some readers have maple baggies of it and given it a little gag gifts at the holidays or his stockings and it’s, it’s just a fun thing. I mean, you can even make things like fudge cheesecakes, all your quick reds. If you set out a spread of banana bread and things like that, you know, you can make all of those things in your slow cooker.
That’s awesome. I learned something today. I mean, I’ve seen your, I’ve been on your site before and stuff, but there’s just so many things that I am not a big experimenter with my slow cooker. So I think I feel, I feel hungry right now and I feel inspired to try some of those. I’m excited to check out the recipes. Yeah. So did you have anything else that you wanted to add or you want the listeners to know or anything like that?
I, I don’t know. Maybe you can keep your rolls warm in your slow cooker. How about that? I mean, even just store bought rolls, you can just throw them in there, put them on the warm setting and it just ones them up. Lovely. And then you have warm rolls for dinner and you don’t have to like, do anything, just throw them in a Crock-Pot. I mean, if that’s the only thing you do in your crock pot, it’s one less thing that, you know, and I like my role’s warm. So the butter melts and gets all yummy.
Yeah. It should not be lunchtime right now because I’m just really hungry. Well, that’s awesome. That’s I mean, there’s so many different ways that you can use the slow cooker and there’s so many ways it can help simplify and help save money. Yeah. That’s awesome.
It’s just another tool in your arsenal, you know, of how you can cook. And I, I love cooking. I love sharing food with everyone and I love, it’s just fun to me. And I love the challenge of a slow cooker. It’s like, I’m limited to this one, a plants. Let’s see what I can do in it,
For sure. I’m always up for a good challenge with something in the kitchen. So that kind of sounds fun to me, but yeah. Well, I appreciate you coming on here today and sharing everything with us. Do you want to just remind the listeners again where they can find you,
You can find her blog at Crock-Pot ladies.com and we are Crock-Pot ladies on all the social media channels and putting Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, we’re just at [inaudible].
Okay. And I will make sure to get all those links from you so we can put that in the show notes. So the readers can just click over and find you and find all your yummy recipes and hopefully make of them for the holidays. And yeah, I just appreciate you coming on here today. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.
Thank you so much for joining me today for the Little House Living show. I hope that you enjoyed this interview with Heidi and that you found some great ideas that are going to help you through the holiday season either to save time or to save money or both be sure and check out Heidi’s website at Crock-Pot ladies.com and I will leave the link to her website as well as some of the yummy recipes that she mentioned in her interview in the show notes. So be sure and check those out. I hope that you find something really yummy to make this holiday season and something that will make your life simpler. If you have any ideas for future podcasts episodes, be sure and email me at [email protected] or if you know of someone that would make a great interview that you’d like to hear on the show. Let me know that too. I will talk to you guys next time and I hope that you will have a great time preparing for the holiday