Stephanie O'Dea is a freelance writer and blogger. Following her New Year's resolution she is using her crockpot every single day during 2008 and blogs about it at A Year of Crockpotting
. Stephanie lives in San Francisco Bay Area with her husband -- her high school sweetheart - and their two kids, ages four and seven.
1. You made a New Year's resolution to use your crockpot every day of 2008 and blog about it. That's just awesome, tell us how this came about.
I entered 2008 knowing that I wanted to start a blog. I had begun working from home for BlogHerads.com, and knew in order to answer the bloggers’ questions properly, I’d need to maintain a blog of my own.
I had written a housekeeping journal/planner for moms, and was waiting for it to be published. (It's titled Totally Together: A Planner for the Busy Household and will be released by Running Press in March of 2009. 3/09.) I knew that it wasn’t a good idea to put the ideas presented from that book for “free” on the web and I also wasn’t thrilled with the idea of sharing too much personal information with the world.
On December 23, 2007 I joked with my husband that I should start a Crock-Pot blog, and post a new recipe every day.
He didn’t laugh, and the blog was born a few days later.
2. What's been the best thing about staying true to your resolution? The hardest?
The best thing about the blog is that we are eating meals at home. In previous years, I found that hectic afternoon schedules gave an “excuse” to eat out or pick up take-out far too often. I like the way crockpot cooking can save money, and I like knowing what is going into the food that my family eats.
The hardest thing is cooking every day. I am used to making a big pot of beans or soup, and then picking at it throughout the week. I look forward to going back to cooking every 2-3 days, and having my husband barbecue or cook more of the meals.
3. How has your family reacted to eating crockpot meals daily?
My kids are hard to please, at times. They are good sports at trying new food if they are in the mood for it, but like all small children, prefer eating food that they are used to. This adventure has certainly expanded their palate, but there are nights they only try a bite or two to be polite.
4. What's been the most surprising thing about cooking daily crockpot meals? Are you sick of it yet?
I am blown away at some of the things that have worked in the crockpot. I never would have thought to make falafels, tofu, or fresh fish before this year. I wouldn’t have attempted to cook a loaf of gluten free bread, and that experiment has actually been one of my most successful triumphs. The bread rose beautifully and was moist and light---a result that is difficult to achieve with traditional gluten-free baking.