Crock Pot Meals – Bible Time

Discussion starter: I cooked our meal tonight in the crock pot. Did you know God is like a crock pot?

Read:  Philippians 1:1-9, Acts 16:11-15

In Philippians, Paul says that God, “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Do you know how long God had already been working in the Philippians’ lives?

The first mention of Philippian Christians is in Acts 16. There’s a lady named Lydia who converts to Christianity during one of Paul’s missionary journeys.  That particular incident happened at least 12 years before Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians. Twelve years. For twelve years, the Philippians had been, in Paul’s words “partners in the Gospel.” Twelve years while Paul traveled to Thessolonica, and Athens, and Corinth and Ephesus. They were faithful, and loving, and learning, and the end of Philippians says they were still taking care of Paul, sending him gifts and help. But God wasn’t finished with them.

The Philippians were still a work in progress, and God had not given up working on them. Sometimes in church we talk about how the devil doesn’t leave you alone when you’re doing God’s work. The good news of Philippians is that God doesn’t leave you alone either. As hard as you’re working, and as much good as you’re doing, God is still working in you to bring His work to completion. And he’ll continue working in you until He comes back to collect you. His plans are long term. He knows that no matter how hard you work or how faithful you are, you don’t look quite like Him yet.  But you will. Philippians tells us at the end of chapter 3 that He will return to “transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

The other good news is that He doesn’t just continue His work in those who are working for Him.  The flip side of this message is that He longs to bring us back when we are far away, to “forgive us our sins” and be “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(1 John 1:9).

And when we do sin, He is again concerned with His long term plan for our lives rather than any short term emotion. Way back in Exodus 34, He introduced Himself as “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” And this was just after His people had built a golden calf to worship!

How long ago did you become a Christian? Have you seen God work in your life? What things has He changed in you? What things is He still working on? What if we told our families what God had worked on in us? What if we became vulnerable and accountable to our husbands and children about what God is still working on in our lives? Do you think that would change the degree to which we began to look more like Christ?

Michael Pollan has this incredible documentary series on Cooking that is on Netflix right now. It’s four parts and the first part is called “Fire.” It’s about our ability to cook food and how that changed us as people.  He, of course, is looking at it from a different worldview, but there are some valuable lessons in it for us as Christians. In one part, he points out that we are the only species that cooks our food.  The only species.  If you really think about it, fire sets us apart from all the other animals. It gives us a different place in the universe. It was part of letting us “rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s part of Genesis 1, where God is explaining how to make us in His image.

Every time we exercise dominion over the animals (by using them for food) and demonstrate that we are made a little higher than the animals (by using unique gifts like fire to cook), we look a little more like the image that God intended for us.  I’m not saying we become like gods every time we break out a box of Hamburger Helper. I’m saying that we can make cooking an act of worship and learn the lessons God has for us even in this simple act of service.  And one of those lessons is taking our time.  The crock pot teaches us to be patient. To put in the time required to finish good things.  To put in the things we have to contribute and then to give them over to an outside power and let go. In cooking, that outside power is whoever made your crock pot. In life, it should be God. Put in what you have to contribute, give it to God, and let him make something that tastes and smells amazing.

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Alisande’s Chocolate Cobbler Instructions

I used to complain about having three older sisters. It seemed like someone was always telling me what to do. Now when they’re telling me what to do, it seems to be “you have to try this recipe.” I don’t mind that so much. This one came from my oldest sister, Alisande.

  1.  Mixing bowl: 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup Bisquick, 3 Tablespoons of the cocoa. Mix.image
  2. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. In a second mixing bowl, combine the butter with 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.image
  4. Mix the two bowls together.image
  5. Spread the mixture in the bottom of your crock pot.
  6. Sprinkle with a cup of chocolate chips.
  7. Eat some chocolate chips.
  8. In a small pot or in the microwave, boil 1 1/2 cups of water.
  9. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 Tablespoons of cocoa.
  10. Pour in crock pot over the other batter.  DO NOT stir.
  11. Cook on high 2 1/2 hours.
  12. Serve over ice cream.

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Crock Pot Lasagna Instructions

  1. Brown 1 to 1 1/2 pound of hamburger meat in a skillet.  Sneak some veggies in if you want. Minced carrots, onions, bell peppers and spinach can all be mixed in here.image
  2. Add your spaghetti sauce to the pan. I use one jar of Prego, but any kind your family likes will do.image
  3. Add Italian seasoning.image
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine 16 oz of cottage cheese OR ricotta cheese with one cup of shredded mozzarella and an egg. Mix in some more Italian seasoning and some garlic salt.
  5. Put your liner in your crock pot. Don’t forget to spread out the bottom.
  6. Now start your layers! Ladle in enough meat sauce to cover the bottom. Then a layer of UNCOOKED lasagna noodles (this is the time saver) and then a layer of cheese mixture. Continue until all your materials are used up.image
  7. End with a layer of the meat sauce mixture (it may take some finagling to get this to happen).image
  8. Cook for three hours on low. Don’t cook any longer, or those noodles will get soggy.
  9. The last few minutes, add the rest of your mozzarella and some parmesan on top.
  10. Eat!

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Beef Stew – Instructions

1. Put the crock pot liner in the crock pot and push it down all the way around the bottom. I’ve never used these, but my O.G. Sheri assures me that they will change my life forever, so let’s experiment together, shall we?

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2. Put whatever meat you’re using in the crock pot. I used about a pound of beef round chunks. You can also use a whole chuck roast or pot roast. Just know that this recipe makes such a tender roast that it will probably not stay in one piece when you take it out.

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3. Sprinkle with black pepper. I don’t salt the meat until later, if it needs it, because our soups have salt in them.

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4. Cut some red potatoes in bite-sized chunks, wash them and lay them over the meat. I use about two pounds (1/2 pound per person).

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5.  Carrots. I use a one pound bag of baby carrots and just drop them over the potatoes. image

6. Slice some onions (or buy them already sliced if your name is Kristen) and place a layer over the top.

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7.  Now for the deliciousness. Get out a mixing bowl. One can of beef broth goes in first. Then whisk in the Lipton soup mix until fully combined. Then the cream of mushroom soup.image8.  Resist the urge to pour the deliciousness straight into a glass, and pour it over the veggies in your crock pot.image

9. Put the lid on and set on high for 3-4 hours.  At the two hour mark your whole house will start to smell delicious and you will wonder why they don’t make Glade plug-ins with a beef stew scent.image

10.  Serve and eat. Wait until your family leaves the kitchen, then remove the crock pot liner and lick it. You know you want to.

 

Crock Pot Meals – Shopping and Equipment

Beef Stew

Red potatoes (I buy the 5 lb. bag) – Produce section

Baby Carrots – 16 oz. bag – Produce section

Sliced onion – produce section

Beef round chunks -meat section

Cream of mushroom soup – Aisle 3

Beef broth – Aisle 3

Lipton Beefy Onion Dry Soup Mix – Aisle 3

Black pepper -Aisle 4

Equipment

Crock pot

Crock pot liner

Knife

Cutting board

Whisk

Mixing bowl

Teaspoon

Can opener
Lasagna

Italian seasoning – Aisle 4

Lasagna noodles – Aisle 5

Prego spaghetti sauce – Aisle 5

Grated Parmesan – Aisle 5 

Ground round (1 lb – 1 1/2 pounds) – meat section

Cottage cheese or ricotta (12 oz) – dairy section, Aisle 16

Mozzarella (2 cups, shredded) -dairy section

Equipment

Crock pot

Crock pot liner

Skillet

Spatula

Mixing bowl 

Spoon

Alisande’s Chocolate Cobbler

Bisquick -Aisle 2

Brown sugar – Aisle 4

Dark Cocoa powder – Aisle 4

Vanilla extract – Aisle 4

Chocolate chips -Aisle 4

Vanilla ice cream – frozen foods, Aisle 11

Milk -dairy section, Aisle 16

Stick butter – dairy section, Aisle 16

Equipment 

2 Mixing Bowls

Mixing spoon

Measuring spoons

Measuring cup

Small pot

Ice cream scoop