Posted by: thefitacademic | February 5, 2011

Crock Pot Meal x 2

Wowza! Yesterday I ended up being so busy I just never had a chance to post! Remember the other night when I said I had busted out the crock pot?PICT3093

Oh yeah! It happened!


I did 1 whole chicken, a bunch of carrots & a few quartered potatoes. I covered the chicken in about 1/2 of this can of soup (I’d never seen this flavor before)


Chicken Cheese Enchilada

I also added some of my own herbs for seasoning – all just stuff I had on hand in my spice rack shelf. It was so nice to come home in the afternoon & already have dinner DONE! I also made a big waldorf-style green salad for the side, so my finished plate looked like this


I had a little BBQ sauce for the chicken (it was super moist and really didn’t need it, but I love me some BBQ sauce!) and just a simple oil & balsamic vinegar dressing for the salad (that’s in that white container – great way to mix a single-serving of salad dressing). Best part = since I made dinner, the boys did the dishes! Open-mouthed smile

That night (Thursday) was another freezing one! I busted the down comforter out of the closet – it had already been packed away for the season! It’s a huge, thick one, so I can’t use it during summer or I wake up all sweaty, but it was PERFECT for these frigid nights we’ve been having (I may or may not have slept in a full sweatshirt on Wednesday night!)


Rocky loves the down, too!


(always with his ball somewhere close!)

Friday was super-busy! I had a full day at school, then rushed home to start preparing for our friends to come over. Thankfully, the boys had done a thorough job of cleaning the house the night before, and I had another crock-pot meal planned, so I didn’t have to do a lot for the main dish! This time, we were having chicken carnitas tacos! I was inspired by a meal at a local Mexican restaurant that I LOVE – carnitas fajitas from Guadalajara Grill. But, I knew instead of pork I wanted to do chicken, so I searched the internet for recipes until I found one that I liked & I rolled with it.

I rarely measure things (I do the eye-ball test), but I filled the crock pot in the morning with a ton of chicken breasts (like 5 pounds worth!), some soy sauce, some orange juice, brown sugar, a little water, and the juice from 2 limes and 1 orange. I also diced up a bunch of onion, garlic, and green chilis, and I cut some bell pepper into strips. I sauteed all these veggies and then they got thrown into the pot, too.PICT3104

When I got home after work, all I had to do was shred the chicken with a couple forks, and let it soak up the juices! Unfortunately, all picture-taking totally flew out the window once people were over (so weird, right – don’t most people take MORE photos when they are with their friends? Fail! I’ll have to work on that!) But, I did get some nice photos of set-up just before people started arriving.


My kitchen: On the burners we’ve got Spanish rice, refried beans, and mulled wine (LOVE), on the side we have a crock pot with the meat, and a side platter with toppings to choose from.


limes, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro


served with plastic spoons because we’re classy like that!PICT3113

The meat just marinating in all its goodness


The wine being mulled (that giant ball is a cheese cloth that I stuffed with a bunch of mulling spices…sometimes you gotta get creative, ya know?).

A couple horrible pictures of the mini kitchen table topped with food:


Since you totally can’t tell from the pictures, I’ll tell you the set up:  We’ve got a stack of paper plates (again – super classy!) & plastic cutlery on the left. 2 stacks of tortillas: corn & flour. The big white bowl is full of chips. The mini-crockpot has queso and the round cheese-covered dish is a layered dip (refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, and 1/2 with green chili on top). The giant white bowl that is sitting there empty was filled with rice & beans before serving the food (1/2 rice, 1/2 beans)

We had a whole beverage station setup: 1 container with lemonade & the other with water (with fresh orange slices inside) and some sweet tea vodka + other liquors for the hard-drinkers in attendance (we also had a fridge full of beer)


And finally, a little snack tray was set out on the dining room table for munchiesPICT3118PICT3117

The bottom was full of kumquats (a big hit!) the middle had grapes, and the top had salty pretzel snacks. It was a good mix.

Review of the Night

People showed up (11 people total) and first thing we did was EAT!

Then we made our way outside to enjoy some fire-pit action in our own backyard! (Here’s some old pics so you can get an idea)




We stood/sat around the fire (which kept us surprisingly warm! – I was worried we may be forced inside due to weather, but it was good!!) We roasted marshmallows over the flames and made smores. Then, later in the evening some people were ready for food: round II, so I busted out a bunch of turkey dogs (no one knew the difference!) and roasted them all up. They disappeared in minutes, so I guess they were a big hit! (I didn’t have one – I was still full from tacos!)

Then, we got a heated game of Apples to Apples going back inside! We had talked about maybe doing a friendly poker game, but I think by this time in the night we all wanted something a little bit “easier” and Apples to Apples certainly requires very little explanation for those who have never played before (Texas Hold’em, by contrast, can get pretty complicated).

The night was a total Success! I was really happy it worked out so well, because I was nervous about how small my house is that we wouldn’t all fit, and then I was worried about the temperature being so cold that it would ruin our outside fun, but all-in-all, things worked out pretty beautifully!

Today I’m going to spend most of the day getting down & dirty with some school work. I am absolutely DETERMINED to make it to a Super Bowl party tomorrow, which means that I’ve got some serious stuff to do TODAY!

Also (Just FYI), I’ve got a new edition of ipod downloads coming your way next post! In case you haven’t noticed, Itunes is doing a TON of “love songs” for 69 cents each! Yes, I get it – I get it. Haha. Funny. But really, though – that’s like half price! And some of the songs are just regular songs – stuff I really wouldn’t classify as “love” songs! So that’s it – just giving you a tip in case you want to get over to itunes and get yourself some new music for half price!

Question of the day:  Do you have an ipod?

I just assume EVERYONE has one these days – but I have to remember that I, myself, didn’t even get my first ipod until just barely a year ago! Can you believe it? Before that I was running shorter distances and I just never had music! Now I’m basically attached at the hip arm(band)! I love the thing!!!

Alternate Question: Have you ever had a kumquat? What did you think?



  1. everything looked great ash!! i’m glad you guys had fun!!! 🙂 you’re so cute!

  2. Looks delicious!! I have an ipod..It is completely necessary for gym workouts! Or I guess any type of music player would work, as long as I have some entertainment 🙂

    You should totally do a vlog! Secret: I filmed mine on my phone, I dont have a camera on my laptop either! I was holding my phone out with my arm the whole time. You gotta do what you gotta do right? 🙂

  3. I just adore my crockpot! It’s so nice to throw together a meal in the morning and come home to dinner!

    It looks like you had a great line-up of food for your party last night. So fun!

  4. I just got an Nano for Christmas and it’s the best thing ever. It’s so light and teeny, but even has a touch screen!

    I’ve only had canned kumquats and I wasn’t impressed.

    • I’ve never tried the canned variety! The batch I’ve got now are super tart (like more than usual), but I still love the little things!

  5. Damn girl, you are the hostess with the mostess, that’s for sure!!! And now I’m totally craving some water with oranges in it! (Is that a weird craving to have? Probably!)

    • who cares? Love water with a hint of citrus – so tasty & refreshing!

  6. I do have an ipod but actually barely use it! The ear pieces always fall out so I find it more of a pain to carry around while running!

    Oh and to answer your question – the snickerdoodle flavor has actually been my favorite! I probably still prefer a more traditional “chewy and dense” cookie, but really liked it!

  7. I love the glass beverage containers you have on that stand, neat!
    Love the firepit too, I love wood burning fires best!
    I do have an ipod, it’s old, but still works like a gem. But now I have an iphone, so it does the same thing as my ipod.

    • SOOOO jealous! I want an iphone so badly, but I’m on T-mobile. Maybe when my contract is up I’ll switch…

  8. i love the color scheme in the bedroom 🙂 brown and blue are so calming.
    i do have an ipod, but haven’t downloaded any music in so long.

    • thanks! blue has been my favorite color….like forever! And I love neutral tones, so it was just kinda natural for me to pick those colors : )

  9. I’ve never had a kumquat!
    Crockpot meals are the best-and easy! Looks delish!
    I have an ipod-so necessary for workouts!

  10. Your crockpot meals look great! It makes cooking and having dinner ready so much easier!
    And yes, I’ve had kumquats (they’re the tiny little orange things, right?) but wasn’t impressed.

  11. your party food looks great! 🙂

    i have an ipod, an ipod shuffle, and an iphone…. a little bit of overkill i guess! each one has its purpose though.

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