I can sum it up pretty quickly. I believe crock pots were invented for those people that do not hang out at home the whole time the food is cooking. This is the second day in a row that I have made dinner in it. My children come home from school and announce how good dinner smells. This is the reason I hate it... I have to smell it all day long. I am starving by the time the food has been in there for about 2 hours, because it is so aromatic that I just want to eat. I then have to wait 4 to 6 more hours until I can actually eat the food. I have also found that adding onion soup mix to anything with meat in the crock pot makes it taste exceptionally delicious. This is true, even if some people (namely my children) don't like onions. They enjoy the food and don't even know that any kind of onion touched it.
I have been making up my own recipes and throwing them in the crock pot to cook. There is something about food that cooks in a crock pot for several hours that really makes it taste good. I think it is better than if I put it in the oven for a few hours. If only there were a crock pot big enough for a turkey!
Last night, I put in stew meat, several different vegetables, onion soup mix and water. I let it cook most of the day. My 8 year-old made brown rice. I put my crock pot mixture over my brown rice. My children had it on the side. This morning, I put in chicken bratwurst with some onion soup mix and water. I cooked it for about 7 hours, until the kids and I had to eat it because we couldn't stand how good it smelled anymore. My daughter, once again, made brown rice. We had it on the side with shredded cheese.
It was really nice to go shopping for the week. I went on Tuesday with my sister. I used to go several times a week and then try to decide daily what we were going to eat. This week I know what we will be eating which makes things a lot easier.