Crockpots and Coolers for a long hockey day!
Amy Colclough mentioned in her article, “Crockpot Commandos” (USA Hockey Magazine’s October 2012 issue), that Crockpot meals and stocked coolers are both a time and money saver for hockey families during hockey season. I thought I would add an assist or two to her two goals by offering a couple of my family’s favorites for both the Crockpot and the cooler.
This is an absolute favorite for my family. A friend of mine who has a family member that is not fond of carbohydrates also found that it pleases her family also.
Tip-in Taco Soup
This recipe is a hat-trick as far as Crockpot meals go. First goal- It is easy to make. Just put your ingredients in the Crockpot and turn it on. Second goal- It is versatile. You can interchange ingredients such as meats or proteins used. Add or remove vegetables to your family’s taste. Choose from a variety of bean types such as kidney, chili, black bean or a combination of beans. Third goal- It is inexpensive. The basic recipe costs only pennies per serving.
So what are the basic ingredients? One pound of ground beef, turkey or chicken, one large bottle of tomato juice, one packet of taco seasoning, one can of beans (kidney, chili, black or a combination), one can of corn. Brown the meat or protein according to basic standard directions. Add all ingredients, including any extra veggies you may want to add, to the Crockpot. Turn on your Crockpot and go to hockey for the day. When you get home your house will smell so good!
My family likes when I line the bowl with tortilla chips, put sour cream and shredded cheese on top. You can increase the ingredients to make more for a larger family or if you would like to have it the next day also. As a matter of fact, it tastes even better the next day!
What do you pack in your cooler? A very dear friend of mine has the essentials in her cooler. Water, carrots and celery, dip, fruit, sandwiches. After a long season of hockey wouldn’t it be fun to mix up the lines a little. Try a few of these suggestions
The Biscuit is the Basket
Instead of boring old sandwiches again, take a shot at something a little different. Take a package of refrigerator biscuits, roll the biscuits flat. Put a little Thousand Island or Russian dressing on the biscuit. Place some ham, turkey, salami on the biscuit, then a piece of cheese. Roll up the biscuit and bake until golden brown. Make as many different varieties as you like. They are good hot or cold and do well in the cooler. Plus they are way more fun to eat than a boring sandwich.
Mixing up the fruit line
Fresh fruit is an awesome thing to have in your cooler. Again after a long season, plain fruit get, dare I say it, boring. What do you do to change up this line a little? Well, remember all those coffee travel mugs you have stuffed in the cabinets? Here’s an idea that might get them some use and make the fruit not so boring. Freeze the coffee mugs overnight. In the morning, cut up your favorite fruit into bite size chunks, place them in the cold coffee travel mugs. Add a little fruit juice such as lemon or white grape juice to help keep the fruit fresh. Close the lid tight and pack in the cooler.
Last 10 seconds of the game
These recipes and ideas are versatile and can be suited to your family’s taste. There are many other wonderful recipes and ideas that ca n help you shutout the need for fast food and pricy restaurants. Just talk to a fellow hockey parent, especially a veteran, to see how they handle long drives and tournaments. A little off-ice prep can save time and money for any hockey family.