Crock Pot Liners and Boxed Mashed Potatoes


Every “now and then” I get halfway through our day and realize I forgot to 1. prep the meat for the crock-pot and 2. It's 2 p.m. and there's no time for the crock-pot.  Which is just so frustrating after laboring over menu planning and grocery shopping for the week.  But one time, in the history of all the times I’ve forgotten such a thing, I thought...what could possibly go wrong with putting this chicken in the oven with a little salt and a lot of butter?  

And the answer is nothing.  Nothing can go wrong between you, a chicken and a stick of butter.

From that fateful [read: awesome] night, that deliciously simple chicken has been introduced into our trusty cycle of family meals.  And if you’re looking for a little menu inspiration after all the fluff and frill from Thanksgiving, look no further.  Here is a simple, reusable, and shiftable menu for the week (if you’re like me and make it to Thursday and think “I cannot possibly wash another dish in this house someone order takeout puh-lease”).


Monday: Crock-Pot Chicken* (or Dutch Oven Chicken), mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli and cauliflower

Tuesday: Tacos/Fajitas/quesadillas with the world’s best homemade queso* Tacos/Fajitas/quesadillas are pretty self explanatory, right?

Wednesday: lemon & herb fish*, green salad*, boxed risotto because it’s 2017.  

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Eat out

Saturday: pizza + salad - the four pack of frozen pizzas from Costco saves my week on the regular.

Sunday: homemade chicken noodle soup (with that leftover whole chicken and broth you so stealthily and accidentally made on Monday), loaded grilled cheese (avocado and bacon, anyone?), side salad

*recipes listed below



1 whole chicken

1 stick of butter


If you’re feeling really crazy, add a few slices of lemon on top.  

**If you happen to forget to get that crock pot going, don't worry!  There's still time!  

Step 1: rinse Chicken, take out innards and place in crock pot.  

*I avoided Crock-Pot Liners for the longest time because it seemed so silly and frivolous.  But I am here to tell you I’ve converted and I’m never looking back.  

Step 2: Salt and pepper your chicken generously

Step 3: Thinly slice the stick of butter and use slices to cover the chicken.  

*1 stick tends to add a lot of fat to the broth that needs to be skimmed at a later, so it is ok if you go with a little less butter.

Step 4: Cover and turn crock-pot to low for 5ish hours.  If you're going the "It's 2 p.m. and I forgot to turn the crock-pot on" route, just throw that sucker in a Dutch Oven with a lid on, put it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  

Step 5: Drain broth into separate container and remove thighs, breasts and wings on to plate for serving.  Chicken will be tender and may fall apart.  




1 lb white american cheese (from the deli, one solid chunk or very thick slices)

½ cup milk

2 tbsp butter

1 small can of green chilis

Pinch of cumin

Pinch of garlic salt


Step 1: cut cheese into small cubes

Step 2: Melt cheese in a pot with milk over medium-low heat

Step 3: Stir continuously so it doesn’t burn

Step 4: Add in green chilis and pinch of cumin and garlic salt

Serve immediately



Fish of your choice, rinsed and patted dry

Salt, Pepper, oregano & basil

Olive Oil


Step 1: Line that pan with foil

Step 2: Generously season fish with salt and cracked pepper, drizzle a little olive oil on each piece and then sprinkle with basil & oregano.  

Step 3: Broil for about 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness or until fork-flaky

Serve immediately



Salad - baby romaine leaves (or other leafy green lettuce) & cherry tomatoes cut in half


Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, ¼ cup olive oil.  Pour over salad and serve!


And just for fun...the loaded grilled cheese sandwich.