Saturday Snackin': Need More Crock Pot Tips?

The Pin: Here is my crock pot. It was a wedding present. I didn't really want it, but my grandmother convinced me to keep it. She said I would use it someday. Because of Mama, I kept the crock pot, but I didn't really use it for 19 years.

Two years ago, I served as Lead Speech. That means I volunteered to be the go-to person for our speech therapy team. This involved monthly meetings. I know one meeting a month doesn't sound like a whole lot, but when school and departmental meetings also factor in, the speech meeting is difficult to schedule in. We were all on different campuses and had to clear our schedules and travel to one spot. So I bribed them with lunch. The easiest way to do that? Pull out the ole' blue Rival! Mama was always right. I miss her terribly.

Along the way, I learned a few things. Tip #1: Always use a liner.

I found these at my local HEB for $1.94. It's a little expensive for 4. I think that as recently as last year, I could buy a package of 5 with twisties, but I love them. They are on the aisle with baggies and foil. The liners are made for bigger crock pots, but I just smush it in. It makes for super easy clean-up, as well as no-spill transport.

Tip #2: Any 13 x 9 casserole will work in a crock pot. Two years ago, Pinterest and its multiple crock pot recipes didn't exist. I used several casseroles: Chicken and Ritz Crackers, Baked Spaghetti, and even Chicken Enchiladas from Rebecca Rather. Most of these recipes will fit into layers in a 13 x 9 pan. I just double the layers in the crock pot.

Last night, I made my mom's King Ranch casserole recipe. The layers are: corn tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese, and repeat. I used three layers instead of two in the lined crock pot.

My crock pot is on the small side, about 3 1/2 quarts. The 13 x 9 recipe fits nicely, and there is room at the top.

Tip #3: Twisties go well with liners. I made the King Ranch last night for lunch today. I just tied the liner with a twistie because the lid is loose, and I wanted to store the casserole in the fridge.

Twisties also came in handy when I took my lunches to the speech meetings. No fear of spills in the car! This especially worked the day I made Taco Soup. I'm a little disappointed that the twisties no longer come with the liners, but luckily I have a few stocked away.

For casseroles or soup, now that the liner is tied up, just put the whole thing in the refrigerator, store overnight, untie the liner, and turn on low the next morning for lunch.

Use liners for easy cleaning, use casserole and soup recipes to expand your crock pot's repertoire, and stash twisties for no spills!

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