God Bless the Rice Steamer and my Crock-Pot

When DSB and I were together, we (or rather, I) would cook home-made dinner ever night.  There was always meat, there was always a starch, and there was usually a vegetable.  And nine times out of ten, I made gravy from scratch.  When we did actually eat breakfast (maybe twice a week), DSB would whip up pancakes or french toast or who-knew-what.  The point being, is that we cooked much much more often than we ate out.

Now here I am, single lady, and I don’t miss cooking one bit.  I do, however, miss the food.  When I’m not eating fast food (which is far too often), I’m eating pre-made meals and dinner at other people’s houses.  I need to stop eating fast food, for my health AND my pocketbook, so I’ve been scoping around the Internet today and realized that I have really, the only two tools you need to make a fine meal, with minimal effort:  rice steamer and crock-pot.

You also can’t put down the value of a good microwave.  And I’ve had friends say a toaster oven is the way to go.  I am working with what I have and will likely be trying to avoid the microwave, as the things I put in it are generally full of salt, and my lower appendages are swollen like melons.

I’m still having those durn stomach problems too, pretty much no matter whether I eat fast food or dinner at Mom’s or dinner at Dad’s or pre-packaged whatever.  Or even not eating at all.  Doesn’t seem to matter.

But I’m ready for winter-foods that I can put in my crock pots and for things I can steam in my rice cooker, as well as, yes, more rice!  I think I may be over Ramen, although it’s unclear, but I have been so tired and sleepy lately, I think I am vitamin deficient and I think changing the way I am eating could help my budget (definitely), my health (for sure), and my sanity (probably).

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And who doesn’t like a little buttered rice? 🙂

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18 thoughts on “God Bless the Rice Steamer and my Crock-Pot

  1. Rice cooker. Microwave. Toaster oven. My little oven makes great toast AND will cook everything including frozen 12″ pizzas. I don’t know how we lived without it.

    My fuzzy logic rice cooker is my third rice cooker in 20 years. A Chinese friend told me I needed it because, she said, you have NO idea how it will improve your life. She was right. It also works as a slow cooker and bakes cakes. It does everything brilliantly.

    The microwave is a fallback position. Great for defrosting, reheating, veggies and of course, popcorn. Since I bought the oven (which has also replaced my dying toaster too), I don’t use the microwave as much as I did and I haven’t used my big oven at all.

    Cooking for two light eaters is a lot like cooking for one. Buy good equipment. Crappy equivalent won’t last and won’t do the job well. You have bumped into one of my areas of moderate expertise: bargain shopping!

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    • I have had a few different rice cookers. My favorite one was more expensive, but it was huge. I now have a little baby one that I can make two portions in with no problem. Your friend was right — a good rice cooker CAN be life changing.

      I have thought about getting a toaster oven but in the here and now, I’m getting along pretty well with what I have. It is getting to be slow cooker season, which I absolutely love, so I will be looking for more recipes for that venue.

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    • My slow-cooker is my go-to kitchen appliance. There is something about sorting through your fridge and throwing this and that in, and then having a beautiful meal at the end of the day that I just can’t resist! And when you come home after being out awhile, the smell is AMAZING! 🙂

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  2. I’ve gotten to the point where I’d rather eat at home unless I want to celebrate something special. Fast food just holds very little appeal anymore. But I don’t do a full blown from scratch dinner every night either. A lot of times it’s something as easy as chicken on the grill with a vegetable warmed on the stove and either noodles out of a pouch (Knorr makes good ones) or instant mashed potatoes, also the pouch ones with some kind of flavor. Nothing fancy, but certainly cheaper and healthier.

    The toaster over can certainly come in handy, especially for smaller bits. I love making garlic bread, French Bread personal pizzas, and French Dip sandwiches.

    Part of what helps us is making a menu for the week. That way I can go to the store on the weekend to get everything we need and I know I’m prepared for the week.

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    • I need to do better about menu prep because I often find myself lacking key ingredients as I get into the week. I also like the Knorr noodle packets and the mashed potato packets. They are especially good because they’re inexpensive and yummy. 🙂

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  3. allrecipes.com has a killer selection of slow-cooker recipes. And I love putting stuff in the crock pot and then just turning it on. It seems so nurturing! It smells so good and just sits there simmering, saying “I love you, soon I will feed you something yummy.” Don’t you love how I anthromopomorphize the crock pot? 😀

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    • Oh yes I DO love that anthropomorphization! I absolutely love my crock pot and agree that is does whisper little sweet nothings as it is cooking. I will have to check out allrecipes.com. I have my go-to’s, but it would be nice to find something new.

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  4. It’s so difficult to cook for one. When I was single I mostly lived off fast food or use any recipe that has no more than four ingredients. Check out Pinterest. There are tons of recipes there and you get a picture of the dish. I’m sure they have lots of crock pot recipes.

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  5. I need to get that smaller rice cooker. We rarely use the oven in the summer, the toaster oven works perfectly and doesn’t heat up the entire kitchen. Of course, microwave is also the way to go…

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    • Having a baby rice cooker when you’re a single person is definitely the way to go. Since my mom gave it to me, I most definitely eat more rice (because I don’t feel like I’m throwing a bunch of way or that I overeat) and can make just two servings. ‘Tis grand, Sheena…start checking out Amazon! 🙂

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  6. What about cooking in bulk (like 4 or 5 dinners worth) a few days a week and then freezing it in portion sized boxes? On the days you don’t cook anything new, you defrost and warm up whatever you feel like from the freezer. What I also like doing (but haven’t in a while because DB doesn’t much like soup or veggies) is putting together and freezing a few extra boxes of whatever I put in the crock-pot (or slow cooker as they’re known in England). That makes getting it ready in the morning that much easier 🙂 – I am not a morning person. I do have the benefit of a fairly big freezer though, that helps a lot 🙂

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  7. What about cooking in bulk (like 4 or 5 dinners worth) a few days a week and then freezing it in portion sized boxes? On the days you don’t cook anything new, you defrost and warm up whatever you feel like from the freezer. What I also like doing (but haven’t in a while because DB doesn’t much like soup or veggies) is putting together and freezing a few extra boxes of whatever I put in the crock-pot (or slow cooker as they’re known in England). That makes getting it ready in the morning that much easier 🙂 – I am not a morning person.

    I do have the benefit of a fairly big freezer though, that helps a lot 🙂

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