I bought a crockpot back before Christmas break with the hope that having one would help me batch-make food for lunches and dinners.

Batch-made food means healthier food, because the meals are planned at a time when I’m not hungry (a problem for me). It also means more consistent food, as it’s easy to forget to make my lunch in the rush of morning if I have to do anything other than shovel something into a container. And since forgetting my lunch means I either go hungry (see above about foolish decisions made while hungry) or eat fried crap from an on-campus location, remembering to take a lunch becomes even more crucial for my general health.

So I bought a crockpot. Shortly after getting the crockpot, WO bought me a little recipe book for it: 101 Things to Do with a Slow Cooker.

Best. Cookbook. Ever.

Well, that’s an exaggeration. I’m sure there are better cookbooks, but this one is great for me. It’s very practical–it doesn’t call for a lot of fresh ingredients (which are often impractical to buy, since they spoil relatively quickly). It doesn’t call for a lot of chopping or mincing (which is good, because I sliced up my finger cutting an onion this very evening), and the food it produces is good, and will be better once I get used to how long I should let my crockpot run so that things don’t overcook.

Before work tonight, I tossed together makings for a chili that smelled divine before it even started cooking. Of course, I have a thing for the smell of chili powder.

Oddly enough, that was the very first time I’d ever cooked ground beef in my life. Weird. I’m pretty sure I succeeded in a manner that won’t kill me.

Last week I did a cheddar broccoli soup that was good, if over-cooked (mushy broccoli–kinda ick). There’s not much to overcook in this chili, so my hopes are higher.

The only downside to the crockpot is that the cooking times aren’t as long as I’d like them to be. Most of the cooking times are 4-8 hours, and I’m often away from home for 12+ hours a day. So I have to do things like go home after class and start the meal before going to work in the evening. WO also suggested letting some things cook overnight, since I don’t get an excessive amount of sleep.

I’m lovin’ this crockpot thing, though. A college girl’s dream.

Addendum: The chili came out amazing.