Dorm life can be a struggle, especially when you’re already tackling a thousand other things. Sometimes, you just need a little help every now and then. That’s where the crock pot comes in! You’ve probably seen this thing moping around your grandma’s kitchen, cooking up something that resembles moldy chicken covered in ketchup. However, this device is actually something that can make your life a whole lot easier. From delicious dinner to homemade candles, after reading these crock pot recipes, your crock pot will be your new best friend!
1. The Hangover Breakfast Casserole
*Recipe and image from Betty Crocker
Sometimes, Greek Yogurt and Granola bars get a little too basic and bland day after day. Sometimes you just want a hot meal that reminds you of home cooked breakfasts prepared by your mom. A steamin’ breakfast served right out of your crock pot is sure to fill the void. This is a great solution for those who know they’ll be waking up early for class and don’t have time to make a nutritious meal. However, this also works great for those who know they’ll be waking up hungover.
- 1 lb of bulk cooked sausage
- 9 corn tortillas
- 8 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1 jalapeño chile
- 1 chopped red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup of sliced green onions
- 2 cups of shredded pepper Jack cheese (8 oz)
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup of chunky salsa
- Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. Place 3 tortillas in slow cooker, tearing if needed to cover bottom.
- In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and chile with whisk. Reserve 2 tablespoons chopped bell pepper, 2 tablespoons green onions and 3/4 cup cheese; set aside.
- Top tortillas in slow cooker with half of the sausage, remaining bell pepper, green onions and cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 3 tortillas, tearing if needed to cover mixture. Pour egg mixture over tortillas.
- Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 to 5 hours or on High heat setting 2 to 3 hours or until temperature reaches 160°F and center is set.
- Sprinkle with reserved cheese, bell pepper, green onions and the cilantro. Remove foil before serving by loosening edges with table knife. Serve with salsa and avocado slices, if desired.
2. Ooey Gooey Dinner
Another great way to use your crock pot is by making dinner! For those of you who just can’t wait to eat when they get home from class, prepare your meal at the start of your day for a delicious entrée ready for you by your final class. If you miss pasta, slow cookers are an easy remedy because you won’t need a boiling pot of water since it will cook in the crock pot!
- 2 boxes (8 oz each) of elbow macaroni
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cans (12 oz each) of evaporated milk
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz)
- Spray bottom of 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Line side of slow cooker with foil.
- In large bowl, mix cheese sauce, and milk.
- Stir in macaroni Spoon into slow cooker.
- Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 hours.
- Stir; sprinkle with cheese.
- Cover; let stand 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
3. The Perfect Midnight Snack
No day would be complete without the perfect sweet ending! Use your favorite cake box mix, throw in the ingredients required, and cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. If you’re up for an insane midnight munchies, cut the baking time in half; you’ll be left with a gooey topping to pour over a heaping scoop of ice cream for a sinful treat after a night out. Your friends will thank you later.
4. A Candle Without The Burn
You won’t be able to burn candles in your dorm room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it smell like your favorite candle! Try mixing 1 sliced lemon, several sprigs of fresh rosemary, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 cups of water. Keep the lid off and cook on low for 8 hours. When you return, it will smell like you’re taking a stroll through a lovely garden!
5. Homemade Soap
*Recipe and image from Heat-Hands-Home, with some alterations.
If you’re looking for a more creative way to use your crock pot, turn it into a DIY project by making your own soaps! This recipe is a little more in-depth, definitely requiring some time and patience. BUT, if you’re into DIYs, this is definitely one you’ll want to check out!
- Cold coffee
- Olive Oil
- Palm Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Ground coffee (not instant)
- Almond or Castor oil
- Lye* (found at the hardware store)
- Stainless steel spoon (not aluminum!) -you can use a wooden spoon, just don’t use it for food when you are done
- Glass jar for mixing lye
- Wooden skewer for mixing lye
- Phenoolphthalein or litmus strips (in the pool supply aisle)
- Soap Mold (I used a Pringles can!)
- Slowly add lye into coffee (DO NOT add the coffee to the lye, it will erupt and can cause burns!), stirring with a wooden skewer, until lye is dissolved. Then set aside.
- TIP: DO NOT breathe the fumes. This is going to get HOT!
- Add 18 oz. of olive oil, 8 oz. of coconut oil and 6 ounces of palm oil into your crock pot, set on high.
- When the oils are melted, pour in the lye mixture and stir to incorporate. Keep stirring constantly until mixture resembles thick-set pudding. This will take approx. 15-30 min.
- Once you have reached this stage (called trace), put the lid on the crockpot and let it cook. Check back in about 10 minutes. The outsides should be boiling and it should start to look like a gel.
- Stir and put the lid back on for another 5-10 minutes. Check and stir every 5-10 minutes. After about 15 minutes your soap should resemble applesauce, it will be gelled and chunky looking.
- Keep stirring and checking your soap, it will start to get smoother and will eventually resemble mashed potatoes. Once it has reached this stage, take a small amount and cool it on a plate. Rub it between your fingers, it should feel waxy.
- Once your soap is ready, add in any essential oils you’d like to scent your soap with!
- Place the finished soap into the Pringles can.
- Slice soap into approx. 1/2 inch slices.
Enjoy using your homemade soap to wash off the griminess of communal bathrooms and long nights out!
Featured image source: wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com and allthingsmama.com
Abby Murphy is a Freshman Telecommunications major at the University of Florida. When she’s not trying to become famous for her to-die-for-brownies or underrated travel blog, you can find her pretending to exercise at the gym or hanging with her sisters. She hopes to look back on her college days as the beginning of an adventurous life filled with travel, memories, and lot’s of ice cream.