Friday, January 10, 2014

Hockey Crockpot Commandos

As seen in USA Hockey Magazine

The Crockpot Army Wages War Against Fast Food Pit Stops

   Take two parents who work full time, add hockey playing children, a cup of after-school activities, a dose of volunteer work, a pound of housework and what have you got? The recipe for a nightly dinner dilemma!  What’s a hockey family to do? The crockpot just may ease your hockey season indigestion. By simply dumping everything into the slow cooker in the morning, dinner is ready for your family in time for late-night hockey practices. Bam! You’ve just saved yourself time, money and whipped up a healthful alternative to the fast food pit-stop.
  It wasn’t hard to recruit Baldwinsville, New York hockey mom Jackie Waldon to the crockpot army. With four boys to feed, she presses the crockpot into service weekly, cooking everything from pulled pork to chicken stew and even breakfast, “I think for working single mothers like myself, it is one of the best tools to have for a hot cooked meal. When I work nights, I’ll put oatmeal, sliced apples, cinnamon and sugar and water in the crockpot and breakfast is ready for them in the morning.”  

   Crockpot meals can turn a profit at your tournament table too with delightful dishes like pulled pork and macaroni and cheese. Syracuse Nationals hockey mom Kim Tretowicz uses it for team dinners. Her chicken wing dip scores big, “Although not the healthiest choice, the boys love it. It’s a quick and easy appetizer. We had a team dinner in between two games in Rochester. I put it together in the morning and it was steaming ready after our first game with chili, a big tossed salad and pizza. The kids were able to rest, eat and then head back to the rink for the 2nd game.” 

   Lysander, N.Y. hockey mom Jennifer Grinnals turns to the crockpot to save money during tournaments as well, “Rather than eating out all weekend, we make meals with the crockpot. Most times the kids would rather spend time in the hotel than be in a restaurant, so it’s a win-win for everyone.” Jennifer’s tip when cooking ground beef?  Brown up a few pounds when time allows, then freeze in one pound packages for a quick crockpot meal without the prep work.”
   No question it works for hockey families by adding the much needed ingredient of comfort to a long, cold and sometimes stressful season. 

Share Your favorite recipes for a chance to see them published in the March 2014 issue of USA Hockey Magazine. Send an e-mail to
Hockey mom Christie Casciano Burns  is the author of The Puck Hog and Haunted Hockey in Lake Placid, The Puck Hog volume 2

Recipes by Syracuse Nationals Hockey mom Kim Tretowicz
Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

2 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese
3-4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 cup Frank’s hot sauce
1 cup ranch dressing
1 cup blue cheese dressing
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3-4 stalks of chopped celery ( add to dip or serve on the side)

1.       Combine all ingredients into crock pot
2.       Reserve some cheddar cheese for the top
3.       Cook on low for 2 hours
4.       Just before serving, add the reserved cheese to the top and allow to melt

Pot Roast:

31/2-4 pounds of Chuck Roast
1 onion quartered and sliced
6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 medium potatoes, quartered and halved

1.       Brown roast over medium heat on top of range. Season if desired. Transfer to crockpot
2.       Place onion, carrots, & potatoes around roast. Add ½ cup of water. Season with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, etc.
3.       Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours

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