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SOCDIRECTOR's Recent Blog Entries

SparkTeam for the Slow Cooker Enthusiasts

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A few days ago I posted a blog about one of my most favorite kitchen appliances: the slow cooker. There were many comments with personal experiences, recipes and tips on how you use your slow cooker.

Well, would you believe that there is a SparkTeam for quick meals preparation called "Cooking for Fast Lives" Here's the link:

I joined today and hope some of you will follow me there, too. That is if you aren't already one of the 50,000+ members!

In that group under the Method Cooking Forum, there are feeds on Crock Pot and Slow Cookers. There are lots of Recipes, too. Happy exploring, SparkerFriends!

Spark on...
~ Lynn

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGING-VICKI 7/25/2012 1:10PM


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SGTSUNNY 7/25/2012 12:45PM

    I have been a member for a while, love my slow cooker

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EVIE4NOW 7/24/2012 11:15PM

  Love my slow cooker.

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What Do You Do with Fresh Fruit That's In-season?

Monday, July 23, 2012

They had a great sale on peaches last week at each of our regional grocery stores. They were all locally grown on farms not far from here so I felt good about my "green" footprint when I came home with almost 6 pounds of fresh peaches.

Last night and today I spent some time figuring out what to do with all these sweet, juicy, delicious peaches.

So far I've used up 5 cups to create a So-Simple Fresh Peach Cobbler in the Crock Pot. Then I kept a half dozen in reserve to eat the old fashion way--by hand. I froze two cups in 1/2 cup containers for future smoothies. And the most delightful was this morning waking to a fresh peaches on top of my cereal. There are still 2-3 cups left for ice cream topping, add-ins to my Greek yogurt cup and mix-in with cottage cheese.

Do you have suggestions on other ways to each fresh peaches, or any fruit in season?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGING-VICKI 7/24/2012 2:27PM

  I make preserves out of any fruit like that. Just keep it natural and it's great for the morning English muffin.

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HEYITSLISA 7/24/2012 12:19PM

    you could try these. Wouldn't use up a ton, but they are tasty!


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NO_SUBSTITUTE 7/23/2012 8:18PM

    You could also make up a peach compote to add in to oatmeal (also good on top of ice cream and waffles)

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One of the MOST Useful Kitchen Appliances EVER!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

If I were a poet, I would write an Ode to the Crock Pot!

Today--and at least twice a week--I whip up two or three meals in one of my most favorite small kitchen appliances: the Crock Pot.

It's so simple and easy to throw all the ingredients into one cooking pot, plug it in, set it for hours, and forget about it until it's time to dig in at the dinner table. Plus, the house smells like someone's been cooking all day when we return home.

Recently I purchased the "Cook Once, Eat Twice Slow Cooker Recipes" cookbook at a used sale. Now THAT makes using my Crock Pot even more practical. Two different meals -- not just leftovers -- out of one cooking cycle.

Now if I could only get it to clean itself, that would make it the ultimate small kitchen appliance.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOCDIRECTOR 7/24/2012 3:22PM

    Thank you all for taking time to share your thoughts and experience with slow cookers. It's great to hear others love this small kitchen appliance like we do. [I'm trying to call it a slow cooker because Crock Pot is a brand name.]

As far as favorite recipes, any roast: beef or pork is the easiest in a slow cooker.

My DH loves the homemade bbq sauce I put in with a roast for pulled pork sandwiches or toppings on baked potatoes. My DS loves sloppy joes. My favorite is any creamy recipe that includes chicken breast.

When we want a hot meal and cool home (anything to keep from firing up the gas oven), the slow cooker is the most economical alternative.

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TALLGIRLX3 7/24/2012 11:58AM

    I use my crockpot a lot more often in the winter than the summer (think hearty soups & chili). But I wouldn't do it half as much if I had to scrub it down every time.

I use the crockpot liners and they work great. You still need to rinse it out - but they are a life saver. I just stock up on them when they go on sale.

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TISTEN23 7/24/2012 11:19AM

    We wouldnt have a healthy dinner very often if it werent for the crock pot!!! What are some of your fave recipes?

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CHANGING-VICKI 7/23/2012 5:49PM

  I love my crock pot too. Use it all the time.

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WAYSOFGRACE 7/23/2012 1:02PM

    I had never used my crockpot for more than beef stew when I was married. Even that I only made once in a great while. When I had my hysterectomy, I had plenty of time to cook, but no strength to stand in front of a hot stove. That's when I pulled out my crockpot, pulled up my laptop, open the freezer and looked up recipes!

Now I make all kinds of things in my crockpot, and even upgraded this year to a bigger one since mine was so little (it's over 20 years old!). I even had my daughter pull out the meat fixins for a favorite of hers and my fiance. I'll put it together for a crock cook on Wednesday!

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LAURAAT 7/23/2012 9:24AM

    Love love love my crockpot!
That recipe book sounds right up my ally, too. I'm definitely going to have to check it out!

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LAURELSPARK 7/23/2012 9:08AM

    I'm a crock pot fan also.......we eat lots of soup.

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GAYLLYNNE 7/23/2012 7:00AM

    I left my crock pot behind when we moved. I'm so sorry I did because it would come in so handy right now. Think I might invest in a new one!!!

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LASKIE2 7/23/2012 6:41AM

    I used my crockpot all the time. I love the idea of putting dinner in the pot at night, then waking up to the various food aromas! YUMMIE.

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STITCHINGNAN 7/23/2012 2:10AM

    I mainly use mine in cold weather for casseroles, I must look st how to use it more for lighter summery meals, ideas welcome? Irenr

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ANDYLIN90 7/23/2012 1:39AM

    I liked your enthusiasm for this kitchen appliance. I have to admit, I've never used one, but after reading your blog and all the comments, I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for posting.

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MEDDYPEDDY 7/23/2012 1:10AM

    Aha, so now I get that a crockpot comes with a switch that makes it turn it self off, thatīs handy! Will go looking around for it.

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JANTWO 7/23/2012 12:54AM

    I used to have one, but I don't now. They are sure popular again!!!!

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A-NEW-TARA 7/22/2012 11:53PM

    I can't live without my crockpot!

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SOCDIRECTOR 7/22/2012 11:12PM

    Thanks for chiming in, ladies!

I'll have to check out these cookbook suggestions.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 7/22/2012 11:02PM

    Crock pots are the greatest!!!!

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SMURFETE09 7/22/2012 10:54PM

    A great cookbook for slow cookers I found a few years ago for like $7 is Taste of Home Slow Cooker Recipes. I LOVE IT! So many delicious recipes. They might not all be the healthiest, but dangit, they're delicious!

The Spark People cook book has some great slow cooker recipes too!

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FITGRANDMA120 7/22/2012 10:53PM

    It is my favorite cooking device and Iuse it often. The "fix it and forget it - lightly" is also another good crockpot cookbook.


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Will Power Thanks to

Friday, July 20, 2012

Today a colleague brought into work boxes of chips and crackers. He was gifted these treats from his sister, an employee of the chip company, who could not place the product in stores due to the near expiration date. Had he not shared these chips, they would have been destroyed per company policy.

So, I graciously accepted the gift -- two grocery bags full of chips and crackers -- and brought these "treats" into our home.


[Please Note: I NO LONGER spend our family meal budget on such things in the store.]

One of the snack bags is Ruffle Potato Chips. We all know "no one can eat just one."

I wish we had never opened that package!

So, I removed myself from the kitchen and came here to for motivation and inspiration. Thank goodness I have somewhere to go, someplace to run, my wellness rock, my healthy refuge.

Thank you SparkPeople for teaching me that I can escape, get away from that poison. Reading congratulatory messages from SparkFriends are my restraints to help keep me from putting that poison into my body.

I am on this new life health and wellness journey and my spark is flaming. No more delaying my progress!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSET09 7/22/2012 2:53PM

  That's what it's all about as you made the bold steps necessary to overcome the objective! What a way to go! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Whew! You made a great choice once that bag was opened!

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SOCDIRECTOR 7/21/2012 10:14PM

    Thanks for all your positive remarks, SparkFriends.

In reply to the Food Pantry suggestion... I do work closely with a food pantry in the City and that was my first thought. However, because there are some fraudulent people out there who have been known to return the unopened packages to stores for the cash, donating to a food pantry is no longer allowed. The person who gave these snack items to me could lose her distributor's job with the company. Had I taken these items there, I would have had to open each and every package before leaving them behind. I know, it is so sad that some greedy people have ruined it for so many!!

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CHANGING-VICKI 7/21/2012 11:19AM

  Take the boxes to the nearest food pantry in your area. They'll appreciate the gift and you'll get them out of your house!

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LASKIE2 7/21/2012 6:34AM

    emoticon emoticon I often refer to non- nutritional food as posion to the nody to, you have great will power!

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FUSIONFITNESS3 7/21/2012 5:01AM

    Incredible! That's will power at work.
I have to admit that when an open bag of chips is there I dive in. Haven't been as strong as you. I will remember your wisdom and seek Spark People next time I am in that situation.
Chips is the one thing I do not bring into the house because of my extreme weakness or them.


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JANTWO 7/21/2012 12:34AM

    You made the right choice coming here!!!! emoticon

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LHLADY517 7/20/2012 10:04PM

    Awesome. Well done. It is really great to have a place to go isn't it?

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Hidden Treasure on Reports

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sometimes I'm astounded at all that has to offer and it is STILL totally free. Since sparking my flame within, I've found to be a vital tool on my health and wellness journey.

Well, having been employed in the Information Systems or Information Technology industry, I know it takes a great deal of time in staff hours to put together a seemingly simple graphic user interface such as what we experience here on The average everyday user tends to take it for granted because it always works and is ready at a beckon call 24 hours a day 7 days a week whenever you signon.

With that said, I encourage you to use the many tools available here for free. One I only recenlty discovered is the Reports link under "My Tracker". There are SOOOO many options to help you see where you are and just how far you've come since becoming a Sparker.

Try Reports one day. Test out a few of the many Reports, any you may find appealing by title alone. I bet you'll be back again and again to run more Reports because your curious and it's fun to see our accomplishments. Plus, you can print it, post it and refer to it daily for motivation.

Spark on...
~ Lynn

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOCDIRECTOR 7/21/2012 10:15PM

    Thanks for reading and commenting.
These reports are even easier to read on the SparkPeople mobile app. This I discovered today as I tracked what I consumed at a party earlier in the day. So cool!

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LASKIE2 7/19/2012 8:57PM

    Thanks for the information!

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DOROTHYBERO 7/19/2012 12:12PM

    I do agree - there reports are awesome! The whole site is awesome!

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