Fix It and Forget It with a Crock Pot

Fresh carrots, potatoes, and meat cooking in a crock pot slow cooker.
Photo Credit: GrowNYC Facebook

In the spirit of Blizzard Stella which New York City had the pleasure of meeting, it’s easy to tell when busy body New Yorkers have a case of cabin fever. But fear not – take this down time and stir up something new in the kitchen. In fact, all you need to do is purchase and prep ingredients when using a crock pot!

Just imagine: throw ingredients into the pot before heading to work, and by the time you get home that night, boom! Dinner = done.

Here are 5 ways to make sure your crock pot game is turned up and on!

A stainless steel crock pot with fresh food sitting on a wooden kitchen counter with plates and cup nearby.
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Step #1: Get a Crock Pot

If you already have one in your cabinet, skip this step. But if not, head to NYC’s local kitchenware store Sur la Table and pick one up. Whether you call them crock pots, multicookers, or slow cookers, you’ll find a variety of brands, sizes, fun colors, and price points to choose from. If stopping at Sur la Table is out of your daily route, they do provide free shipping!

The Cook’s Tip: If you’re feeding 1-2 people, a smaller version of the traditional large crock pot will work just perfectly, and take up less space. Win and win!

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Step #2: Load Up on Recipes

It’s time to start cooking! There are countless recipes both online and in good old fashioned cookbooks to give you inspiration, but where does one start?!

Right here, of course! We’re big fans of the BuzzFeed community and have tried several of the below suggested recipes. They don’t disappoint!

Breakfast: Using a slow cooker isn’t just for dinner recipes. In fact, one of the best ways to wake up in the morning is to the smell of your delicious breakfast that has been simmering on low all night long. These 19 breakfast recipes couldn’t get any easier!

Dinner: We love that BuzzFeed rounded up the 19 most popular Crock Pot recipes from Pinterest into one easy to read article. You’ll notice that these are pretty heavy on meat, so if you’re a vegetarian, try these 21 delicious dinners – all without meat.

Dessert: Our favorite, and most surprising, way to use the crock pot? Dessert! These 23 mouth watering recipes cover everything from hazelnut cheesecake, to lemon berry pudding cake, and good ol’ fashioned fudge. Mmm!

Fresh and brightly colored vegetables at an outdoor farmers' market in NYC.
Photo Credit: GrowNYC Facebook

Step #3: Go Shopping For Food

Now that you’ve figured out what your first meals will be, it’s time to head out to the farmer’s market! The market allows you to stock up on fresh and organic veggies, fruits, and meats for your crock pot recipes – all at a good price while supporting small farms from Upstate New York! Your meal just got a lot tastier!

Remember, seasonality impacts available ingredients.

There are over 50 Greenmarkets and 15 Youthmarkets in NYC, so there’s something sprouting close to home for everyone. You can find one closest to you here!

The Cook’s Tip: Head to the market with an exact list of ingredients from your crock pot recipes. This way you avoid over buying and wasting food and money. They also sell excellent bread at the market, so grab a loaf of that to go along with your meal!

A brown wooden bowl filled with freshly chopped vegetables ready to be put into a crock pot.
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Step #4: Cook and Share!

Okay, social media lovers… We mean share it with the world figuratively!

There’s nothing better than creating an easy, and delicious meal you and your family loves. As any good cook would do, be proud of your dish and snap a photo for your Instagram!

Add the hashtag #NYCeeeeeats, and who knows, maybe you’ll grab the attention of the duo behind the website NYCEEEEEATS, which prompts followers to take photos of their favorite meals consumed in NYC. Getting a repost on an account with over 230k followers… Your Mom would be proud!

The Cook’s Tip: When you are not cooking with your crock pot, you can still put it to good use by having it make your NYC apartment smell amazing. Combine 2 sliced oranges, a few cinnamon sticks, 1 cup of cranberries, 2 teaspoons of nutmeg, 2 sprigs of rosemary, cover it with water, and have it simmer uncovered on low for 8 hours. Heavenly!

Do you cook with a crock pot? Share your favorite tips and recipes on Facebook and Twitter!

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