Just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do its thing...It should be easy peasy, right?!

I may have forgot to mention that I got a crockpot for Christmas from James.  It was on my Christmas Wish List.  I'm really happy with it, it's the perfect size and has good reviews. I have to get used to the fact that it’s meant for slow cooking, though, since I’ve never been accustomed to that before.  But I thought it would be a good thing to get into, because this way I can prepare meals without having to be at the stove slaving over whatever is cooking.  I can do that, but sometimes I wish I didn’t have to every day, because the kids always seem to need me when it’s at a crucial point where I really can’t leave the stove.  I find that so frustrating, and by the time we actually end up eating dinner I feel like it’s already past its prime (because I sometimes have to cook our meals when it’s not actually dinner time yet).  I’ve started pinning recipes on Pinterest and I think once I get the hang of the cooking times, we’ll have some yummy, nutritious meals to look forward to.

Unlike the very first meal I attempted to make in the slow cooker, on Boxing Day.  We were low on food that would make sense to use in the crockpot, and I also wanted to make something that in my mind should be foolproof.  So I went with a homemade mac ‘n cheese recipe that we happened to have all the ingredients for, right down to the cream cheese and even evaporated milk!  I didn’t think it would be possible to screw it up, but I don’t think I could have been more wrong.

The recipe said to put the slow cooker on ‘Low’ temperature, but I’m thinking if it had been on high it would have been better.  Eventually I switched it to ‘High’ but by then it was too late.  When all was said and done, it took about 4 hours (it should have been 2, which still seems really long for mac n’ cheese, although again I know I have to get used to the idea that it’s a slow cooker, so obviously it’s going to take longer than the usual method!) and the noodles were so soft that when I stirred it, they blended in with the cheese and it was just a big starchy goopy mess.  It would have tasted amazing as a cheese sauce, but the noodles just gave it such a starchy flavour (yet with zero texture) that it was downright disgusting.  Andrew was very diplomatic about it, and said, ‘I don’t NOT like it...but I don’t really like it, either!’  LOL

I felt a bit dejected but I know it’s a learning curve, because I may have not had the same size crock pot as what the recipe was made in (I couldn’t find any info attached on that) and the low setting on their machine might be a higher temp than the low on mine.  I also have to remember that recipes on Pinterest aren’t necessarily accurate, because it’s not like I’m getting them from an actual recipe book.  Still, though, an epic fail with mac n’ cheese is kind of sad.  Time to step up my game!  (I will say that I did make chilli in it for lunch for the day James' dad was over, and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so there is hope!!) Next up I’m going to try a Mexican Casserole.  We love Mexican food at our house, so hopefully I have better luck with this one!


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