Now that the weather has turned chilly I’m in the mood for crockpot cooking, but many of the recipes I find to try only require 6-8 hours  which is much less than we are away from the house thanks to daily commuting. I considered getting a new crockpot with a built in timer, but the one we have works great and we really like it. So I figured out a work around – a timer plug!  We have a couple of these for our holiday decorations so I dug one out and and tested it the last time we made something in the crockpot.
It took a few minutes to make sure I had everything set just right and I left for work afraid I’d come home to find it never clicked on, but it was a needless worry because it worked perfectly!  I felt pretty clever for figuring out a solution that would be beneficial all winter, but it wasn’t until I was telling a co-worker about it and she declared it genius that I realized just how smart it was.
Although her commute is significantly less than mine, she is away from home longer than the recipes she was using called for, so she would often request her husband run home during lunch to start the crockpot. Now she has a simple, no cost solution that won’t require coordinating a run home to start dinner mid-day. So I’m sharing the idea here in case it helps others as well.
As for what’s in that pot?  Our current favorite is a six ingredient turkey recipe that only requires five minutes of prep, just in time for Thanksgiving!
Even though I have a Pinterest board full of them, I’m still in the hunt for more crockpot recipes so if you have a favorite please share it below.

Simple 5 Step Veggie Pizza

1It’s been super hot the last here few days, as in 80’s and 90’s!  That’s melting temp to those of us who are used to negative temps for half the year.  For me, warmer weather causes a reduced appetite and a distinctive change in palette.  I now find myself craving veggies and fruits rather than the starches and salts that typically make my mouth water all winter.  Luckily, I have a few recipes to satisfy that desire thanks to my previous life in the lower 48’s hotter climates.  One of my favorite such recipes is veggie pizza.

I learned how to make this dish from my Aunt Diane who lived in Florida and has now passed on, so it has a bit of sentimental value to it as well.  It’s super easy and quick to make which causes me to like it even more.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Boboli Pizza Crust
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Provolone or Muenster cheese slices
  • Fresh veggies for toppings

I like the thin crust works best for veggie pizza, but you can use a regular crust if you prefer that. I often consider this a ‘garbage meal’ where I use up whatever I have in the fridge – tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc.


I’ve convinced the hubs to like this dish by adding chopped ham as a topping so the carnivore in him isn’t deprived.  And honestly I like ham on my pizzas too, so it’s a bonus for me as well.  Notice how ‘my’ half is loaded with yummy toppings, while his is fairly sparse?!  LOL  Here’s how it all comes together:

  1. Give pizza crust light coating of olive oil.
  2. Rip spinach into small pieces, enough to cover crust.
  3. Top spinach with cheese slices.
  4. Add whatever toppings you want/have.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350, or until melted.

And that’s it!  Just five simple steps to a delicious light summer meal.