Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#5Faves: Slow Cooker Meals

We've been having some non-NFP related Peak Days up here in Michigan lately. DTE, our electricity provider, designates "Peak Enegy Use Days" for energy usage and encourages us to conserve energy on those days during certain hours. For example, last Friday was a "Peak Day" and we were one of their top 100 customers for conserving energy during the Peak Day's Peak Hours. Pope Francis would be proud.

We had another "Peak Day" yesterday, so I tweaked the A/C so it wouldn't run as much, put on the ceiling fan during Lizzie's naptime, and kept the kids outside in the pool during that time so they wouldn't watch TV or turn on lights. I also prepped our dinner in the morning, so I would only have to re-heat it instead of cook it entirely during peak energy usage time.

I think if I know about DTE's Peak Days with enough notice, I can modify our weekly meal plan to use the crock-pot instead of an oven meal (or better yet - use the grill!). The slow cooker doesn't heat up the house like the oven does (causing the A/C to run more in addition to all that gas & electric use by the stove/oven).


I can't even express how delicious this meat is. It is so tender and perfectly seasoned and I could eat the whole thing by myself. I love to make my own buns to go with them too.

This one is straight-up comfort food. I've packaged this one up as a freezer meal for my SIL when she had a baby...I just combined all the ingredients (except the pasta, cornstarch, and water) in a gallon sized baggie, placed that sealed baggie into a freezer bag. Gave her the cornstarch in a small baggie and the pasta in another gallon sized baggie, put both of those in the freezer bag too! Then I wrote out quick instructions for her. Her family loved it - including all 4 of the big kids!

This is another easy one that is a crowd pleaser. My kids love it, my husband loves it, my parents love it. It's miam-miam-miammy. This is another one you can prepare ahead and stick it in the freezer (without the pasta) and pull it out to throw in the slow cooker on a busy day. It is very hearty and really fills up the belly.

I LOVE this pulled pork. And this from a girl who does not like pork other than bacon. Extra crispy. Please and thank you.

When I find a pork roast on clearance or on sale, I grab it up and stick it in the freezer so I can put this on the menu plan. It is so easy and delicious and there is a million ways to eat it. I like to make tostadas & quesadillas; Mr. Amen likes to make soft tacos; I eat it straight out of the slow cooker; I make homemade buns to enjoy it on.

This soup is also another stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. Crazy filling and delicious. You can use 1/2 the meat without the recipe suffering at all (and saving money!) or eliminate it all together in favor of adding some bacon as a garnishment.

Linking up with both Jenna of Call Her Happy for this week's #5Faves and Dwija for her Easy Slow Cooker & One Pot Round Up.

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