Now that it officially becomes dark at 6:30 pm, it seems like all of my motivation to get anything done flies right out the window. Please tell me I am not the only one who feels this way. The whole concept is kind of funny, because the number of hours in the day doesn’t change at all, yet once the sun goes down I get REALLLY tempted to put my pajamas on, pour a glass of red and watch Gilmore Girls re-runs. But then my guilt sets in as my To-Do list calls to me “Girl, we’re not going to do this ourselves!”, so I settle for a pair of leggings and a tee and bring my butt into the kitchen.
And don’t get me wrong, cooking is what I love to do; whether it’s for myself, my boyfriend or family & friends. I get so much pleasure watching other people enjoying food, especially if it is something I prepared. Growing up, cooking and eating is what my house revolved around. We would take any opportunity, big or small, to celebrate with food. My mother is a Home Economics teacher so my brother and I were taught the importance of how to cook for ourselves at a young age, and for both of us it just stuck and became a crucial part of our lives. Cooking is what calms me down, how I relax, and what I do in my downtime.
I know for many millennials I talk to, cooking for them is a chore, or they aren’t sure how to or where to start. It is easy to forget that not everyone has the same cooking experience that I have so to them, cooking is foreign, but it doesn’t have to be. I started Quoco Now and this blog with the goal to inspire the inner chef in us all, to feel confident in the kitchen, and to provide a toolkit of useful and innovative kitchen tools and utensils.
I’m not classically trained nor have I ever stepped foot into culinary school. I only have lessons learned from my amazing family, techniques acquired from watching cooking shows and following some seriously talented food bloggers and websites. It is my hope to be able to show my readers (or whoever stumbles upon this) that it doesn’t matter what you know, but to simply just start by using what you have. And if you don’t have much, that’s OK because most recipes can be modified to use whatever you have on hand, or what you like or whatever tools are in your kitchen (although we have a solution for that here).
Even I have nights after a long day that I just don’t feel like being creative or having to shop for food or physically doing the cooking. So luckily for us all, we have the slow cooker, a god-sent. When the evenings are dark and there is a chill in the air, the slow cooker is the next best thing next to flannels, Pinot Noir and some Dean vs Jess showdowns (Team Jess alll the way!).
All it takes is a little bit of prep and you are guaranteed to have dinner hot and ready to eat as soon as you walk in the door AND enough for leftovers. There are an endless number of slow cooker recipes online & Pinterest that I honestly believe you will find one that you will love.
I knew this week I would be busy in the evenings so I planned & prepped ahead and made the most delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie. We are on night 2 of it and it just keeps getting better. Before you get scared, don’t worry because this recipe uses biscuits in place of pie crust (which isn’t everyone’s favorite to work with). I threw in all the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and by the time M and I walked in the door that night, we were drooling over the smell. For the most part, this recipe is a lightened up version (minus the biscuits – but a girl’s gotta live!) but JUST as creamy, flavorful and full of chicken and colorful veggies. It’s the kind of meal that you will always be glad you made!
Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
2 – 2 1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs cut into approx 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup milk (heavy cream or whatever you have on hand)
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1/3 cup flour
2 large carrots chopped (can be replaced with frozen)
2 large celery ribs chopped
1 large onion diced
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 teaspoon rosemary (fresh or dried)
1/2 teaspoon parsley (finely chopped if fresh or dried)
1 package of store bought biscuits
salt and pepper
I’ve listed a few of my favorite slow cooker recipes: