slow cooker sundays

My cousin Kristen and her adorable partner in crime Nick have "Sunday Funday." She posts photos of them skiing, having a cock-ee-tail, enjoying their relaxing wonderful Sunday with drinks by a fire somewhere up north. As spring enters I am sure there will be more beach photos down on the south shore at his parent's place. It is sweet to see and reminiscent of days gone by for Steve and I. The mornings when we would loaf around, turn on Phantom Gourmet from bed, and I would eventually sing Steve the "Panera Song" at the top of my lungs until he pulled himself up and went to get me a sandwich. Those were the days, right?

Sunday is now the catch up day. It is the fold all the laundry and put it away day. It is the clean the playroom ten times because winter won't go away and let these kids outside & they cannot seem to pick up one thing before moving to the next and the next and the oh my God, what happened back here?!?! It is usually my market day and no one comes with me. That makes me sad until I pop my ear buds in and either a/ lip sync Frozen through all the aisles and ignore the staring or b/ listen to a podcast or two. It is the day we try to do the least because it is our last one together before the new week and no one in our family looks forward to Monday. It is the tidy all the things day because our wonderful helpers come every other Monday to make it look like I have time and energy to care for my home. I swear just having them come accounts for 75% of the tidiness around here because it forces me to remove the piles of stuff and put things away and clear surfaces. Every two weeks, that is good for the soul, but also kind of annoying to people who like to keep their closest in a pile beside the bed. Steve.

Sunday is always and will always be Sports Day. There is always SOME game that the kids will half watch with Steve. They cheer for the Bruins especially hard these days, often racing up the stairs to alert us to any changes. "We scored!!!" "We got a penalty!" "The other team started a fight!" It's adorable and they get really into it. It is exactly as Steve pictured it would be when we started a family of little Boston fans.

It's also Caroline's Learn to Hockey day and as soon as the fields are ready, it will be Learn to Lacrosse day too. Both of these sessions are of course planned for exactly the same time; 5pm. For kids in first grade, on a Sunday night. Are they TRYING to kill me?

About a month ago when this Sunday sports at dinner time (seriously, WHY?) started, I decreed that until this insanity ended (which I am fully aware won't be for another 15 or so years) it would be Slow Cooker Sunday. We like to ALL go to her hockey together, Connor enjoys watching, and it is important to her that we are there for her. I don't want to miss it because I am at home cooking dinner. I also don't want to be frantically cooking for a starving hockey player at 6pm. Slow Cooker Sunday has SAVED us.

I cannot (CANNOT) say enough good things about the America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution Volume One and Volume Two. This past Sunday we made the Volume One Sticky Wings (a huge favorite in this house, we do them with drumsticks instead) and even our "I'm a vegetarian" ate some that we took off the bone. I made a big salad and broiled the chicken with the sticky sauce when we got home. We served up some buttered egg noodles on the side for the kids. DONE. We sometimes go for an easy option for the kids and something we know we will enjoy like the Salmon for Two from Volume Two. That was so good that we called Kiki to tell her about it for salmon loving Papa. I don't think there has been a recipe we have tried that we haven't enjoyed. I tell people about these books all the time and sure, they do require more than dumping stuff into the crock and walking away, but that extra time spent on prep is so very worth it. Following the sad loss of our original crock in the fall during the BC Football Nutella Bread Pudding incident (a great recipe from Volume One), I was without a crock pot for some time. Those were the dark days. Most people have a slow cooker and just never seem to use it. Maybe they think they will have a ton of leftovers they will never finish (recipes for two in second volume!), or maybe they think everything cooked in a slow cooker is a pile of mush (NOT SO!), or maybe they never get around to it, but wish they could incorporate it better into their lifestyle. Do yourself a favor, get these books, and have yourself a little Slow Cooker Sunday. If you are really missing the good ol' days, have yourself a cock-ee-tail too.


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