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family crockpot recipes

We get it. You're stuck in the house with your family and you're wondering how you can stretch your food while making it interesting enough that your kid will actually eat it. While you're practicing social distancing, it's time to get creative in the kitchen. But don't fret, mama—we're in this together. The good news is that we'll have plenty of time to spend with our little ones and even more time to perfect family recipes.

Here are five crockpot recipes to help you make the best of pantry ingredients when you're low on ingredients:

1. Crockpot mac + cheese

Serves: 8 to 10 servings

Total time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated grated Parmesan
  • 2 12 oz cans evaporated milk
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely chopped chives, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine macaroni, butter, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan, evaporated milk, whole milk, garlic powder and paprika in a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook on high until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 2 to 3 hours, checking after 2 hours, then every 20 minutes after.
  3. Garnish with chives before serving, if using.
Recipe from Delish.

2. Slow-cooker chicken noodle soup

Serves: 6 to 8 servings

Total time: 5 hours + 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 3 large carrots)
  • 6 oz celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 5 large stalks)
  • 1/4 small onion, peeled and root end intact
  • 2 large sprigs parsley, plus 1/4 cup chopped leaves
  • 2 large sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 oz wide egg noodles (about 4 cups)
  • 1 to 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Toss the carrots and celery together in the slow cooker. Add the onion, sprigs parsley, thyme, bay leaf and 1 tsp salt.
  1. Rub the chicken thighs all over, including under the skin, with 1 tsp salt total, and put them on top of the vegetables. Add the chicken broth. Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken and stir in the noodles.
  2. While the noodles cook, remove and discard the chicken skin and bones and shred the chicken-it will mostly fall apart on its own. When the noodles are done, turn off the cooker, remove the parsley and thyme stems, and add the shredded chicken and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Taste, and add more lemon juice and salt as needed. Stir in a good amount of pepper and the chopped parsley and serve hot.
Recipe from FoodNetwork.

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3. Crockpot santa fe chicken

Serves: 6 to 8 servings

Total time: 5 hours + 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz or 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast
  • 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine chicken broth, beans (drained), corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top.
  3. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. 30 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred.
  5. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning to taste.
  6. Serve over rice or tortillas and with your favorite toppings.
Recipe from SkinnyTaste.

4. Easy Crockpot chicken + black bean taco salad

Serves: 4 servings

Total time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 16 oz total skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup chunky salsa

Instructions:

  1. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and season with taco seasoning and cumin.
  2. Pour the beans over the chicken and top with salsa. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender and easily shreds with two forks.
  3. Shred the chicken and combine with the beans and sauce, keep warm until ready to eat. Makes 3 1/2 cups.
  4. To make the salad, place 1 1/2 cups lettuce on each plate, top with 3/4 cup chicken and bean mixture, 1 tbsp cheese and 2 tablespoons zesty avocado buttermilk dressing.

Recipe from SkinnyTaste.

5. Slow-cooker chicken tortilla soup

Serves: 6 servings

Total time: 5 hours + 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges

Instructions:

  1. In a large slow cooker, combine chicken, black beans, corn, peppers, onion, fire-roasted tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and chicken broth. Cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked and falling apart, 5 to 6 hours.
  2. Shred chicken with a fork, then top soup with Monterey Jack and cover to let melt, 5 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, make tortilla crisps: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add tortilla strips and cook until crispy and golden, 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
  4. Serve soup topped with tortilla crisps, avocado, sour cream, cilantro and lime.

Recipe from Delish.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Comforts Baby Lotion

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Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

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This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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