How My Slow-Cooker Made Me Feel Like Martha Stewart

Confession: I hate cooking. Like, I really despise it. So if you’re wondering why we’ve been friends for years and I’ve never invited you over for dinner, it’s because then I would have to cook for you. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t want to do that. You’re welcome to come for coffee though. I do have a Keurig.

The thing with having kids though, is that they want dinner every single night. I could totally live off of Triscuits and cheese with hot peppers but as a responsible parent, I feel like they need real food and stuff. (Something about growth and development.) So night after night, I do the bare minimum to prepare meals with the end goal of keeping my family alive. I’m good at a lot of things – cooking is just not one of them.

But once September rolled around this year and I had two out of three kids in school, I felt like I could manage putting a bit more effort into our meals. Not a lot more, but a small and realistic amount.

I opened the kitchen cupboard where I store the cooking utensils I never use and there I found a dusty slow-cooker. I gave that bad boy a nice wash while I apologized for its neglect and prayed it still worked. My first slow-cooker meal wasn’t my best because I didn’t have several of the ingredients on hand and some of those that I substituted maybe shouldn’t have been used as substitutions. It was pretty salty but two out of three kids ate it and those are pretty good odds.

I invested in some staple spices and ingredients and before long, that slow-cooker was my new best friend and I was trying new recipes that were actually easy, delicious and kid-approved!

I invested in some staple spices and ingredients and before long, that slow-cooker was my new best friend and I was trying new recipes that were actually easy, delicious and kid-approved!

The thing I love about the slow-cooker is that I can put it together early in the day, while I’m still feeling ambitious and motivated. All I have to do is dump a bunch of ingredients in and it cooks slowly all day, making my house smell delicious, which in turn makes me feel like Martha Stewart and Mother of the Year all at once. It’s really good for my self-esteem. Also, the recipes tend to make more than we can eat so there are almost always leftovers, which is an added bonus for me because it’s one less sandwich I have to make.

When my kids get home from school, I don’t have to wonder what I will pull together for dinner. I can give them my full attention while I ask them what they did at school and they tell me, “Nothing.” (It’s OK because their school uses the Seesaw app so I’ve already been stalking them via the teacher’s posts throughout the day. Ah…technology!)

This recipe for Crockpot Sloppy Joes was a huge hit in our house! I didn’t have a full cup of BBQ sauce so topped it up with a bit of Jerk sauce and it was so delicious! (Look at me – I’m already improvising!) My five year old ate it for three days straight and was highly disappointed when there was none left.

What is your favourite kid-friendly slow-cooker recipe?

Megan Daley

Megan Daley

Megan is a warrior mom who has survived postpartum depression and is passionate about talking openly about mental illness. Megan lives with her three children and their pet rabbit, Hopper, in a small town in Ontario. She tends to say inappropriate things and is addicted to keeping it real. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram