Tarpin! How to say "super duper" in French?
Le quignon - is it your favorite part too?

Un mijoteuse: a must-have for cool weather comfort!


No picture of a crock pot to illustrate today's word. How about a windowsill, which is sort of in theme with the corresponding story (the first sentence anyway). P.S. This snapshot was taken in Ménerbes.

une mijoteuse (me-zho-teuz)

    : slow cooker

Also: crockpot, crock pot, or cocotte

Audio file / Example Sentence: Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence (he's recorded it for me while harvesting grapes at Chateau Pibarnon... you can barely hear the vendengeurs in the background :-) Download MP3 or Wav file

Une mijoteuse c'est un "appareil électroménager fonctionnant comme une casserole chauffée à feu doux, permettant la cuisson durant des heures quasiment sans risque de bruler la nourriture." (-Wiktionnaire)

A slow cooker is an electric appliance that works like a casserole heated over slow fire, allowing for hours-long cooking, practically without risk of burning the food.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

Slow Food

An upcoming visit from my dad and my belle-mère has motivated me to dust the windowsills and dig out the crockpot, two things I don't think about doing very often.

Oh, I like the slow cooker alright. If I didn't tend to complicate things I might use it more often. But after learning that some ingredients need to be sauteed first--and that all food must be room temperature before adding to the crockpot, I realize one-pot cooking is too detail-oriented for me!

That's sure not how Dad made it sound--years ago, when he was a bachelor once again. Back then he raved about the one-pot method of cooking. "Just toss everything in, put the top on, and set the timer. Nothing to it!" Dad would then leave for his 8-hour work day at Boeing, and return home to the warmth and comforting aroma of beef stew.

"You've got to have one of these!" Dad urged, offering to buy me one if I didn't mind carrying it on the plane back to France. Back then I must've preferred to bring back loads of peanut butter, Carmex, 501 jeans, and any number of things besides a 13-pound crockpot!

Meantime I discovered France's version of the one-pot cooker: la cocotte minute! Funny how it works in the reverse: meals are ready in 30 minutes instead of 8 hours. I soon discovered that no matter what you put in a pressure cooker it tasted like a French grandmother's secret prized recipe! What a wake-up call. Anyone could cook!

But I never felt completely comfortable using the cocotte minute (having read about a female athlete who received 3rd-degree burns after the pressure cooker exploded). So when my cocotte minute bit the dust after 10 years, I began wishing for Dad's slow cooker. 

Certain they didn't exist here (never having seen them anywhere in France) I almost gave up, until my dear friend Doreen (remember The Dirt Divas?) brought one back from England for me. It was huge! "How did you get it here?" I asked.

"Dave drove it back in our station wagon!" (I see, the English use crock pots, too!)

While it wasn't as big as Dave's station wagon, it was large enough to make chili for our entire harvest team. I think that's what Doreen and Dave had in mind, after noticing me panic before each harvest season.

They even offered a lengthy cookbook along with it! And therein lies the problem: l'embarras de choix. But it isn't the "embarrassment of choices" that's disheartening, it's all the ingredients and steps! Specifically, it's that bit about having to precook stuff. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a "one-pot" meal? The thought of all the splattering and extra equipment led me to use le four for last night's one-pot meal: gigot de 7 heures. But it's a shame to heat the entire oven for one medium-size casserole. 

Yesterday, in a last-ditch effort I googled "Do you need to fry meat before slow cooking?" and realized I'm not the only têtu, or stubborn mule, out there!

And today I'm googling "do you really need to follow a recipe when slow cooking?" I think if I could just cook au pif--or by guesswork--then my crock pot would earn a permanent place on the kitchen counter.

Meantime, if you can offer any inspiration -- some very basic delicious recipes for the slow cooker --then I'll quit kicking my hooves in the ground. After all, this mule is hungry for some comfort food! 

P.S. crockpots do exist in France! They're called mijoteuses :-)

Comments or Recipes
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Jackie and Grandpa Kip

Jackie and Grandpa Kip. Favorite picture of my dad and my daughter.


Photo of Jackie taken last night, in front of the fig tree. The kids love it when we have visitors--for the savory meals that suddenly appear on the dinner table! (Max, if you are reading, come home from Aix tonight. THERE'S FOOD!) 

... come to think of it, this 3-quart crockpot is half the price and perfect for my fledgling for his studio apartment.

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I have a crockpot with a French plug, which I bought secondhand, so they must be available. Here's a good place to start for recipes: http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/slow-cooker-favorites

Leslie M. Ficcaglia

Kristin, try this one. Kids love it; it's vaguely Mexican and it couldn't be easier:

Crock Pot Chicken w/ Black Beans and Cream Cheese
I use whatever cuts of chicken I have on hand - we don't care much for breasts. And I don't bother with boneless, either. I also add a second can of beans because we like beans! AND I use sour cream instead of the cream cheese and add it at the end. Cream cheese didn’t mix as well for me, but you can always try it that way and see if it works for you. This is very good, very easy, and most people love it.

4 hours | 3 min prep
4-5 boneless chicken breasts
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can corn
1 (15 ounce) jar salsa, any kind
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot.
Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained.
Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked.
Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.
All done and enjoy!

Leslie M. Ficcaglia

Here's another one; haven't tried this but it looks equally easy and good:

Crockpot Lemon Chicken
Mijoté de poulet au citron

2 onions, cut in eighths
3 cloves garlic, peeled
8 pieces of chicken, skinned
salt and pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1/2 cup chicken bouillon
4 sprigs of tarragon (ok, if you have to, use 1 teaspoon dried tarragon)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the onions and the garlic in the crockpot.
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then slather them with the mustard and place in the crockpot.
Pour the lemon juice and chicken bouillon on top and then finish with the tarragon sprigs (or sprinkle on dried tarragon).
Cook on low heat for at least four hours, giving it a stir, if possible, along the way.
Before serving this crockpot lemon chicken recipe, remove the tarragon and discard. Remove the chicken, which should be falling off the bone, and set aside. Stir the cream into the sauce and then return chicken to the crockpot to serve.
Serves 6.
Note: For extra lemon flavor, place a couple of slices of lemon on top along with the tarragon before cooking.

Jane Govatos

I have found the best sow cooker. Cook. Book. Recipes excellent. Found on amazon "Slow Cooker Revolution" volume 1. Great for every day and company. Food tasty and fresh. Boeuf bour wonderful. Bon chance et Bon Souper

M Meagher

I think any recipes that work for a Le Creuset dutch oven can be successful in a crock pot. So soups, stews, spaghetti sauces, briskets and meats that need hours to tenderize are perfect to try. I have two cookbooks that have great recipes, by Judith Finlayson. Look on Amazon for her slow cook books. What I like is the use of fresh ingredients and not just a can of this and a can of that added to a pot to simmer all day long. I also own a book called The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone which includes recipes for Duck Confit! This maybe one cookbook that could resonate with your being in France and cooking in France. good luck.


Your daughter is gorgeous, Kristin!! Love the photo of her with Grandpa!

Crockpots. I brought mine from the US long ago and used it with a transformer. However, I was never as comfortable with it, fearing overheating. It seemed to get hotter here, with the 220 current "transformed". I was thrilled to find a French mijoteuse at DARTY one year. I am with your Dad (probably his age too) in thinking you can put about anything in it and it will come out great at the end of the day. I appreciate the chicken with black beans recipe above! Am preparing to do apple butter now in it, with all the apples coming ripe. Simple simple, recipe at cut, chop, add sugar, cinnamon, cloves. Turn on the machine, get the jars ready and go profit from the last of summer heat!

Melisa Strait

Cher Kristen,
My roommate and I make a chicken tortilla soup that is to die for! Here's the shopping list & recipe:
Taco seasoning
3 boneless chicken breasts
3 cans black beans
1 can corn
8 oz tomato sauce
2 cans Rotel tomatoes (the diced kind with jalapeños)
Cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Place all ingredients in the pot, turn on low for 8 hours (or 4 hours on high).
Remove chicken breasts, shred them & return to soup.
Add a dollop of sour cream to each serving, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and tortilla chips on the side.
Savoureux et remplissage!
Bon appetit!

Christine Prost

your post had me taking out my crock pot this morning to make lentil soup. here is a recipe I found online years ago which had won rave reviews:

3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 onion, shopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
8 cups of water or vegetable broth
2 cups lentils, rinsed
1 tsp dried thyme
all ingredients in show cooker, set on low all day. 10 minutes before serving, add:
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 bunch of Kale, washed/chopped

you can add tomatoes (14 1/2oz can) or potatoes at beginning of cooking if you want more bulk. can't wait for dinner.


I was brought up on slow-cooker food in the UK and must admit that generally, I just chuck everything in without browning the meat. The only time I would brown the meat is when using mince for a chilli. My main tip would be that this method of cooking creates lots of sauce so I cut down on wet ingredients. In fact, sometimes I put cubed lamb in with dried appricots, chick peas, courgettes, onion, mushrooms, pepper, carrot etc. with dried cumin and coriander and leave it to sort itself out! The meat juices create the sauce and it's yummy. If you want to thicken the sauce, add cornflour and allow plenty of time for it to do its magic, or mix it with a bit of the juice, warm it in the microwave and add to the slow cooker. This speeds up the thickening.

My mum often has parties where the food is cooked in this way and it's so much easier. I have seen recipes for a cooked breakfast, where you leave everything cooking overnight and I have been known to wake up to the smell of curry because we put it on at midnight and everyone's coming round at 12.30pm.

Enjoy it!

GiGi Marie

One thing I have learned is to never put wine in the slow cooker. It doesn't get hot enough to burn it off, and your food will taste like rusty, leftover booze.

The food doesn't have to be room temperature, it just can't be frozen. I toss in some chicken and vegetables, a little moisture, and call it good. If you have a big one, you can toss in a ham, a turkey breast, or a large cut of beef. Just add a bit of water, and the slow cooker is great for slow moist cooking of tough cuts.

And yes, you can just toss in random stuff. I use the recipe book to give me an idea of how hot, and how long, based on the size of the thing I am cooking. Brisket? always on low. Poultry? always on high

Nancy Stilwagen

The easiest recipe I know for the crock pot:

Take 1 can of sauerkraut, and put it in the crockpot. Add one coarsely chopped onion, a bay leaf or two, and one apple, cut up. On top of it, place 1 kielbasa, cut in half if needed. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Voila! So tender, you can cut the kielbasa with a fork!

Marie La Salle

Il ne faut pas trop compliquer la vie. Moi, je jete tous les ingredients a la fois. Apres 8 heures qui le diable sait s'ils etaient tous ajoutes a la fois et a la meme temperature.

OK. Achetez les ribs. Jetez-les dan la mijouteuse. Ajoutez la sauce bar-be-que favorite. Laissez-les, 6 h? 8 h? Enlevez la matiere graisse qui flottent. Et voila! On est au Texas.

Nancy Stilwagen

Oh, and one more! Overnight Oatmeal

8 cups water
2 cups steel-cut oats (Steel-cut oats, sometimes labeled "Irish oatmeal," look like small pebbles. Do not substitute regular rolled oats, which have a shorter cooking time, in the slow-cooker oatmeal recipe.)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1. Combine water, oats, dried cranberries, dried apricots and salt in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Turn heat to low. Put the lid on and cook until the oats are tender and the porridge is creamy, 7 to 8 hours. Serves 8.

Wini  Moranville -- The Bonne Femme Cookbook

Kristin--I wrote an entire article on adapting French recipes for the slow-cooker. Hope it helps!

Debbie Poulin

Any advice on finding one in France? My daughter lives there and would love to get one for her. Thanks,


Dear Kristen,

I enjoyed your last post. I think I will take out my little crockpot to cook my lunch meals.

I found some recipes for slow cooker that call for fig :-)
Follow the link below. Enjoy!




Ha! Totally understand about the pre-cooking undermining the point of the thing. Here's one we eat regularly in the fall and winter and NO PRE-COOKING required:

Roast Beef French Dip Sandwiches

Rump roast (3-4 pounds)
1 pkgs. dry Lipton onion soup mix
6 c. water
1 T minced onion
fresh sliced mushrooms
grated mozzarella cheese
french bread

Combine onion soup mix, water, onion and mushrooms in crockpot with roast. Cook all day on low. Slice roast beef and place on bread. Top with mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. Serve with a cup of juice to dip.

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm

I giggled picturing the look on your face at the craziness of packing a crock pot home to France verses those coveted essentials. Now I bet you’d go for the crock pot as I would! So very thoughtful of Doreen to bring you one. I was anti-slow cooker; it just seemed so non-chic perhaps? I love the one my ex-husband left behind many years ago. One of my favorite recipes is a curried split-pea soup found in the magazine County Home from Jan/Feb 2009. The article shared many recipes which could each be prepared via Dutch oven, slow-cooker or pressure-cooker method. I want to try the Moroccan chicken stew and the chipotle-coffee pot roast.

Beautiful Jackie! Hope Max makes it home for dinner; the sight of your children at your table surely must warm your heart. Say hello to your dad and enjoy the comfort of food and family.

Catharine Ewart-Touzot

wow all kinds of cooks and recipes..7I think I have a couple of specific cook books, but I have used them for years and everything just goes in..never heard or considered that everything had to be room temperature, and I bet your father didn't either! As to a pressure cooker, my Mother was a major fan, and I use them (I have 2 sizes) too..even the though the stem idea is a bit scary, I guess, my daughter will not touch them.

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

I think you can cook au pif in a crock pot. In fact, how else would you do it?

Cooking items in advance of a day's worth of cooking, or overnight, that defeats the purpose.

Go for it!

Hope the visit is wonderful.


Are you spying on my kitchen? Just brought the CrockPot out and I've been looking or recipes!


I so enjoy your blog!
I cannot believe that it took me four years to fine you. I gave you a shout out today!

Karen from Phoenix

I used my crockpot so much when the boys were little. Put the ingredients in and go to work to come home to the great smells of dinner. I don't use it as much now, especially in the summer here in Phoenix, don't want to heat up the house!! But now that fall is arriving maybe I will bring it back out.

What a beautiful picture of Jackie.



Bonjour! One of our family's favorite recipes is for authentic
1-5lb. Bone-in pork loin center rib roast(or picnic or we've used shoulder or boston butt) ,
2TBS BBQ seasoning, divided,
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided,
1 15 oz can no-salt added diced tomatoes,
1/3 cup cider vinegar,
1/4 cup no-salt added tomato paste,
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
, 1/4 cup brown sugar,
2 Tbs spicy brown mustard,
1 tsp. black pepper
, 2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper, 12 buns.
(1). Combine 1 Tbs BBQ seasoning & 1 tsp sal; rub evenly over pork roast. (2) Stir together next 7 ingredients & remain 1/2 tsp salt in 6.5 qt slow cooker. Add roast; cover & cook on LOW for 9 Hrs, or until meat shreds easily. (3) remove roast; remove and discard bone. Shred meat using tines of 2 forks. Return meat to slow cooker, and stir together with sauce. (4) spoon onto buns for BBQ sandwiches.
Bon appetit! And thanks to you and readers for great ideas and inspiration!!
Teresa from NJ

Linda Boyd

Beef stew the easy way! For a large 8 quart crock pot.

4 lbs beef cut into chunks
2 lbs small carrots
8 to 10 medium red potatoes
4 to 6 stalks of celery
15 ounces of stewed tomatoes
1 cup of red Burgundy or Merlot wine
1/2 medium size onion
chopped garlic (to taste)
Garlic Salt (to taste)
Italian seasoning (to taste)
1 pkg of lipton onion soup mix
Ground Pepper (to taste)
Put it the crockpot on low for 8 to 10 hours and enjoy!

Tim Averill

Dear Kristin,
My Belgian (French Speaking) colleague at Waring School was delighted to learn this use of the verb "to stew." She told me that another use of the verb was when someone appears to be up to something and we say to them, Qu'est-ce-que tu mijotes? (What are you up to?).
Or when little kids are talking behind the teacher's back, the teacher may say, "Ils mijotent...." (They're up to no good).
Live and learn, I say, thanks to you!

Linda Boyd

Oops should have mentioned, I use a chuck roast cut up for the most flavor. And I chop up the vegetables. I also add in flour and water to thicken the stew. I have a Tupperware shaker that I put flour and water in and shake before adding to avoid lumps. You can also use a salad dressing shaker.

Judi Carpenter-Higdon

Hi Kristi ..
I have used a crock pot since we lived on 25th Ave and never precooked anything .. think I've gone thru three of them by now. one caveat .. if cooking roast, brisket o similar with veggies .. put the veggies on the bottom. Jackie is such a beautiful girl .. every time I see a picture of her, I see you standing on my front porch in Phoenix.
Hugs from Terri's mom in Phoenix


Wow!! I have not used a crock pot in years but all these great sounding recipes have made me hungry. It is in one of these cupboards! Will try some of these this fall and winter. Thanks to all of you. Beautiful people do make for beautiful photos - but the photographer must know what she is doing and you do it well. I think someday you will write a story about how the world of films and or theater has come calling for your children. Have a great day.

Mrs. Sperry

I don't have a recipe, but I do have a reminder. "Alright" is not a word. You need to use "all right."


The timing of this FWOD post is excellent. I have been looking for more recipes for the mijoteuse.

I found the below recipe referenced on a friend's Pinterest page. I haven't tried it but it caught my eye and so
I decided to share it.

Crockpot Honey Apple Pork Loin

Pork Loin, 2.5-3 lbs.
Red Delicious Apples, 3 sliced
Honey, approx 4 T
Cinnamon, 2 T

Lay the apple slices (from two of the apples) in the bottom of the crockpot.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Cut slits in the pork loin (approx 1/2″-3/4″).
Drizzle some honey into the slits.
Then place apple slices into the slits.
Place the pork loin into the crockpot.
Drizzle the top with the remainder of the honey.
Place the rest of the apples on top.
Then sprinkle the whole thing with cinnamon.

For more flavor, you may poke holes in the pork. Then place the pork loin in a bag with honey and
cinnamon and marinate it overnight.

The pork can be served up with steamed carrots and sauteed zucchini.

Cindy  (Rothesay, NB   Canada)

Oh my goodness Kristi ... slow cooker cooking is meant to be SIMPLE and easy ... I have used one for many years and in fact, own three in all different sizes!!! The only 'rule' I have ever read is to put the meat on top of the veggies - and I don't even follow that rule! Yes, if you take the time to saute or brown the meat, I'm sure it adds to the flavor, but so do lots of herbs, fresh veggies and stock of your choice. Fear not the slow cooker! Let your imagination be your guide and heap it full of all your favorite things ... just resist the temptation to remove the lid too often during cooking :o !

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

WOW! I had totally forgotten about pressure cookers! This brought back found memories of my grandfather cooking with one. (Yes, their hiss can be a little scary. I think that is why I remember Gramps using it more than my grandmother. Apparently, it was his job to "un-cork" the thing!)

And, yum, all these delicious recipes. I may have to take out the small, never used crock pot (stored in my mother's shed) and give it a go!

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

"Fond" memories (as you may have guessed)... but I guess I found them, too (smile).


I love this blog, where a woman cooked something in the crock pot every day for a year! She shares all her recipes and reviews from that year, plus new recipes and ideas every so often nowadays. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

Holly K


The crock pot can be used for any recipe that uses the Braising technique (a certain family member may have an inside edge, eh?). Just select a meat, a cooking liquid, veggies, herbs and/or spices and toss them in. Some veggies that don't require long cooking can go in towards the end. Pop on the lid, fire it up and walk away... It's fun to try different mixtures. You can use wine, broth, juice, cider, it's all good! Whatever is going rampant in the gardent that day or what was on sale at the market. I rarely brown my meat before cooking. Crock pot cooking is how our really old, really touch poultry was rendered edible. All day in a vat of wine (sounds like something from Richard III!), really does a nice job of rendering a wild turkey or elderly rooster into a sumptuous meal! You can opt to pull the skin off before serving or even putting it in the pot.


Mais, No, not all Crockpot recipes require the "precooking or sauteing" -- be on the look out. My daughter-law shared with me the best easiest crockpot chicken green chili.
FOUR (4) UNCOOKED chicken breasts,
ONE 8 or 12 oz JAR of green chili salsa (i use organic).
PLACE into the crock pot, COOK ON LOW about 6 to 8 hours.
USE TWO FORKS to PULL the meat apart (like pulled pork) You will have wonderful green chili sauce as well. SERVE chicken/chili on corn tortillas (gluten free) or flour -- Top with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristin,

We are experiencing a chilly, blustery, damp day which is perfect for a crock pot meal. Good timing...and such great tips from everyone!!
A few years ago, I finally replaced our crockpot from 1974...an original that never died. We just gave it away so to finally have a pot with a removable crock! I grew up with many meals prepared in a pressure cooker. My mother cooked au pif, but she called it "by the seat of my pants". She would have loved knowing there is a french term for her seemingly scattered cooking style. My favorite food from the pressure cooker was the artichoke....rendered tender in a matter of minutes. There is nothing like food to bring out wonderful memories and amazing shared recipes. I am taking notes today...

Lovely photo of beautiful Jackie...truly blossoming in Provence!


First of all, Jackie is beautiful! Secondly, I have already printed all the comments with these great recipes -thank you everyone! Thirdly, I just retread your comment/link in the paragraph on going to Amazon to get the crockpot if you wanted and that "no matter what you chose, if you go through 'here' from your site to Amazon, you will get a piece of the amt to help support your blog!!" I have never really read it like that and thought it only meant for the specific item in discussion. Can you explain, because I order stuff all the time and would love to just leave one of your email blogs open and go to Amazon via your "here" link ? Or does it only help you to do that for the particular item you mention in the previous link, I.e. The crockpot or maybe one of your books, etc? Maybe all us Amazon buys could make you rich!!:-)

thelma scudi

Kristin, when I started experimenting with thai curries I was stumbling over the just throw everything in part of the idea. The coconut milk, chicken broth that was added after you briefly sauteed the curry paste in coconut oil. It works, it was my brain that had a hard time.

All cooking uses grease of some kind to carry the flavors of the seasonings; it doesn't matter what country or discipline.

I use le creuset covered (lost the right word) for slow cooking in a 250ºF oven. It's the same theory with the crock pot.

If I were faced with a crock pot I think I would turn the thing on or plug it in, throw the grease of whatever variety in the bottom, throw in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, or curry paste, or whatever seasoning, just don't let anything burn while you are getting the other things in. Then add either the tomato or the coconut milk or water or wine or broth, put in all the meat, the larger vegetables on top, and cover and walk away.

I know it's not a recipe, it's more of an idea or a concept. It's sort of like writing, once you have an idea of the "tell them what you're going to tell them" part, you can get to the main writing, on in this case making up a recipe in your head based on what came out of the garden today. hope this helps, thelma from tucson


Our dear Kristi,
What a wonderful post today and such beautiful pictures! You look like your dear dad and gorgeous Jackie looks like her dear mom!
Crock pots here were really popular starting in the '70's;I think I gravitated more to the cocette minute because my belle mere always used one.It didn't seem intimidating except for the nuisance of clean up(now they can go in the dishwasher but then you had to take everything apart and wash it all thoroughly).Well, I was tired,had worked all day and just didn't feel like fooling with that so left it for 'next time".Next time I had forgotten and when I put the soup ingredients in and started the cooking process,the escape valve stuck open and squirted(literally) a geyser of soup all over the place,including the ceiling,floor,counters(and me!)Wiping the floor and counters wasn't so bad,but the ceiling presented a real problem,standing on a ladder and trying to mop over my head with globs of not yet soup water and seasonings dripping in my face,hair and clothes.(UGH)
The worst was ahead because the smell just wouldn't go away and we ended up repainting the kitchen.
This makes me laugh now (then not so much)--I totally agree with Chris(and from the last post,with You,Kristi,that Chris very much IS a breath of fresh air!)--there is nothing like food to bring out wonderful memories and delicious shared recipes.
Somehow makes us feel like extended family enjoying life together.
Natalia XO

Herm in Phoenix, AZ


You need to bundle all these delicious-sounding recipes into a book.

Maybe call it, "Kristin's Krazy Krock Kollection" . . . . What do you think?


Nothing to do with cooking - thanks for the link to Wiktionaire. I am enjoying browsing through it. And to everyone who posted recipes - wow, they sound great. I've heard that cake and bread can be baked in a Crockpot. Anyone done that?

Love the newsletters, hope you continue for a loooooong time.

joie in carmel-by-the-sea

I gave up on crockpots....they just never worked for me. However do you know what a Romertopf is? The precursor to the crockpot! Made out of clay and you basically use it the same way except in your oven or in the olden times set over the coals. Very cool especially when the electricity is out for several days., or camping, or a beach picnic. About a month ago I found one out in my shed/storage place....it looks new so I think I will give it a try when the weather turns to something other than summer.
Profiter du temps avec votre pere et belle-mere.

joie in carmel-by-the-sea

Oh, the other nice thing about a Romertopf is that you can cook bread or desserts in it and most things cook in an hour or two.


I love my slowcooker. In the fall and winter seasons, I use it to cook soup and stews, and also make roasts (be sure to add Worcestershire sauce to roasts). The overnight oatmeal recipes are perfect and adaptable. I like to make mine with steel-cut oats, chopped fresh apples, coconut oil, maple syrup, and a ton of cinnamon. My husband isn't a fan of raisins, but those would also go great with the overnight oats. BTW, Jackie looks so beautiful!

june Furey

Kristi, what a beautiful photo of Jackie,
how is she enjoying her fashion studies?
Hope she allow you to keep us up to date with her progress, what wonderful challenges she has ahead in her life, wish her all the luck in the world, sorry cant help with slow cooker recipes these days into salads and other instant meals.Sure you will get many ideas from previous letters. June Qld

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for these recipies. Holly and Therese-- love how you explain the process in simple terms. Went to the store yesterday and found blanquettes de dinde or turkey somethings. They were priced well and grain fed so I got them--not having any turkey comments in these comments above. Hmmm.

Debbie, you can get your daughter in France a slow cooker at amazon.fr  -- they have many!

Judi, thanks for asking about how to buy via my associates link. Easiest way is to go to my website www.french-word-a-day.com and use any of the book links (in the side bars) to enter Amazon. Thanks again for your support.

Bon weekend and bon ap !

Kristin Espinasse

P.S. I meant ::Thelma:: and not Therese. So sorry! And,  Thelma, love your blog and your writing!

And Mrs.Sperry, thank you for the helpful edit :-)

Alastair Grant

Good morning Kristin, your article prompted me to suggest cooking in a HAY-BOX. This method conserves energy and your slow cooking continues under a good wrapping of insulation while your cooker is turned off. We like doing rice in the hay box because it doesn't have to be watched. It takes longer (30 - 40 mins) but you don't worry about it while you are cooking your main dish. The rice comes out perfect and cannot stick to the bottom. It's a great way to do casseroles and particularly a lightly smoked de-boned ham. It cooks in a few hours depending on its weight. We do the whole Christmas ham this way in a large steel pot with a lid. It's done overnight. No energy consumed while its cooking itself! If you haven't made a hay box you can use old cushions to line the box but we always wrap the pot in a towel first. Our hay box is insulated with purpose made 'cushions' stuffed with recycled styrofoam broken into small pieces but you can use shredded newspaper or feathers for filling. This idea is catching on here in South Africa where electricity is expensive.

Alastair Grant

Regarding the HAY BOX, I should add that you start cooking your casserole on the cooker (having first browned the meat) but after 30 minutes put the whole lidded casserole pot in the hay box. Rice is cooked very briefly and when it's boiling put the lidded pot in the hay box. It is essential to use the right amount of water - a cupful of Basmati rice is cooked in double the amount of water.
A ham is cooked in water to which you add a bouquet garni, peppercorns, a bay leaf, sliced carrot,onion, pickling spices and or cloves. Good luck!

Adeline Richarson Reunion Island

hummm all these recipes are mouth-watering, I will try to adapt them to... my cocotte minute!! ;-)

Your daughter is beautiful and figs from your garden must be a beauty factor for sure!

I learnt "by guess work" today for "au pif", thanks!

Bon appétit en famille...

Jim Alsip


Tell Jackie that it snowed yesterday in Boulder, CO! She will need to learn to deal with the cold when she moves there.

Nina  Tasi

My crockpot just came out again, as the cool Northern New England winds blow and the leave begin to turn.
One recipe that I love to make this time of year is Creamy White Bean Soup with Smoked Ham Hocks ! A bowl of that with a baguette and a glass of wine ! Mmm!
You can see the receipt here : http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/creamy-white-bean-soup-50400000131777/

I love that I don't have to soak the beans ! And it only takes a little time to sauté' the mirepoix!
Bon Appétit


Try the cookbook "Fix It and Forget It", feasting with your slow cooker. Lots of verrry easy and tasty recipes. A long time favorite with my family and the many I have shared it with is-voila, French dip-LITERALLY takes 5 minutes in morning to put together and makes your home smell soooo good all day-

2-3 lb chuck roast
2 cups water
1/2 soy sauce
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
3-4 whole peppercorns

throw it all in, that's it, cook on high 5-6 hours or low 8 plus. Shred and serve with good rolls. We like to put meat in rolls and put Swiss cheese on top and broil to melt cheese for a second. The au jus is delicious.

Literally, 5 minutes!

Betty Tuininga

Kristin, Jackie is gorgeous. Can't help you out on the crock pot meals. I do slow cooking in the oven with a dutch oven though... but mostly vegetarian dishes. No family to cook for so it i miss the crowd pleasers...

Suzanne Dunaway

From the view of a cookbook writer and cook of over 50 years, crockpots are just another accoutrement in the kitchen, hardly better than a good Le Crueset with a lid and a good recipe.
Kristin, cooking is simple. Really it is.
Yes, to sauté things first will always produce a better taste because you have sealed in their flavors and juices. But then again, you can put greens, an onion, a clove of garlic, broth to cover and salt in a soup pot and steam all for 20 minutes, puree it and serve one of the best soups you'll ever taste. A squeeze of lemon, olive oil and a spoon of (even 3%) fromage blanc and you'll be happy with the outcome.
There are so very many recipes that do not require extensive prep. Shall I send you a few from my eventual cookbook #3? I'd be happy to make your life easier.
And most can be made the day before because they taste better the day after!! Just say the word. Some are on my website, which you know. But if you want to impress your papa and stepmom, make a great osso buco and then use the leftovers over pasta. Amazing. I'll send the recipe.

Elizabeth Rogge


Here is a very easy no fail crock pot recipe my family loves.

1-2 lb. roast
1 packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 package of baby carrots
3-4 sliced potatoes
1 cup water
salt and pepper

Put roast in crock pot. Add salt and pepper. Pour Lipton onion soup mix over roast. Add package of carrots and sliced potatoes. Pour in one cup of water roast and vegtables. Cook 6-8 hours on high. Check periodically and lower temperature if needed.

My son left cold, snowy (at least yesterday!) Colorado to return to ASU (Tempe) a couple of weeks ago and we made this recipe together before he left so he and his roommate won't starve now that they have given up dorm living for a place of their own!


Thanks, Kristin,
I will try to remember to go through your FWAD site to enter Amazon every time I need to buy anything at all from them - which is probably more often than I really should be doing!

I thought you only got 'credit' when we bought one of your books or something for which you had given us a link.

I'm sure many of your readers order things from Amazon - you'll get rich! :-) and then you will always and forever be able to publish your blog - and all your beautiful books!


If a crock pot recipe has any more steps than browning the meat and chopping the vegetables, I pass on it. But they are great for making pea soup or lentil soup which need to cook for several hours - on high. Pulled pork is a cinch. Trim off most of the fat of a pork butt or shoulder and in it goes with your favorite BBQ sauce and a little smoke flavor if you want. Same for baby back ribs. The advantage of the crock pot has always been that you feel more secure leaving it on all day while you're away, than you would leaving a pan simmering on a gas or electric stove.

Jill Switzenberg

Just throw everything in. Works for me!


Thanks for Mijoteuse Kristin!
I spied a typo in the title: un mijoteuse, should be une, as you know.
Also : l'embarras du (not de) choix and têtue (féminin).
I love my op-shop crock-pot and breadmaket. It's so wonderful to be able to include 'real' vegetables as well as herbs and spices (straight from your garden). No need to add any pre-packaged flavourings then.
Other uses for old/battered crockpots is to dye textiles.... But never use it for food after that, unless you have used food dyes...

Audrey Wilson

Wow ! some great recipes here. I still use my slow cooker on occasions & tend to throw anything to hand in & leave it on automatic till needed in the evening.
It was my life saver when I was teaching with three hungry teenagers to feed As your father said to come in frazzled after a day teaching teenagers & be greeted with the delicious aroma was bliss.
I shall be trying out some of these recipes for sure !!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Love all the recipes posted here! I had an extra crock pot that I gave to my son along with a slow cooker cookbook. I figured he could throw everything in and when he got home he would have a meal. They are handy.
Love the photo of Jackie and Kip and the one of Jackie by herself!

Robin Lewin

Hi Kristin,

I enjoy reading your site so much. It's really something to look forward to.

Loved looking over all the mijoteuse offerings. It is such a help in the Winter with the early dark hours and it's the end of the day and you're getting a little tired anyway. Peur Pas, Dinner is all ready!
Robin, Las Veas NV


A friend gave me this recipe-it makes many servings, tastes delicious when served with hamburger buns or rolls. Basically one bottle bbq sauce, a bottle of root beer and a hunk of pork loin. I seared the pork before putting it in the crock pot with the other ingredients. Cook until done. I think it took six hours-but not sure.

Jennifer Coute-Carmellino

Crock pots ARE supposed to be simple.
Get yourself a chuck roast, whatever size fits your pot.
Cut up some onions, carrots, potatoes, whatever.
Pour olive oil into pot & spread it around.
Place all veggies & roast (take the ties off, if there are some. It'll come out more moist that way).
Mix some of the veggies on top of roast if you want, otherwise put the lid on, set it on high for about 8 hours. Walk away.
You'll have a most delicious meal awaiting you!

Jennifer Coute-Carmellino

forgot to mention,...salt the hell out of the roast, as well as pepper.
This is as simple as it gets, and it really is so delicious.
good luck!

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