The Unprecedented Popularity of The Crock Pot Girls on Facebook—and What’s Really Going On

crock pot girls on facebook

I have been consumed (consumed, I tell you!) with a social media phenomenon this week surrounding the overnight success and explosive viral growth of a Facebook fan page called Crock Pot Girls. In fact, you’ve probably “liked” it and at least a dozen or so of your friends have “liked” it within the last few days.

crock pot girls on facebook

I noticed in my Facebook news feed that three or four of my friends had “liked” it, so I clicked over to see what I was missing if it was something I should “like” as well.

The Crock Pot Girls on Facebook

When I got over to the page, I noticed a rather non-descript photo of three women decked in black holding their Crock Pots (with a couple of Crock Pots on the floor—why did you put them on the floor?). The wall posts were just three- and four-ingredient recipes and lots of people saying, “I love this page!” and “I love my Crock Pot!” and things like that.

Since I’ve been in an “un-liking” mood lately on Facebook and I have gotten rid of at least a couple of Crock Pot and slow cooker recipe books at yard sales in the last few years, I chose not to like the page and move on. I can’t remember at the time how many fans the page had except that it was already passed 100,000, which I remember impressing me but not enough to have me explore it any further.

Fast forward a few days and I noticed another friend’s post about a separate website calling the instant popularity of the Crock Pot Girls page and its viral growth into question (this is a wonderful post, incidentally, and the commenters raise some interesting points). Since Wednesday night (less than 48 hours), this page has jumped from 800,000 to almost 1.1 million fans. Absolutely unbelievable.

After some research on Google through various posts and persons’ hypotheses (another post with excellent comments that you must check out), I have come to my own conclusions about this unprecedented turn of events. Here’s what I think happened (completely my opinion and speculation):

  • Three moms got together and said, Hey let’s put up some Crock Pot recipes on Facebook.
  • They did that.
  • People liked the page and their friends liked the page. (What I can’t account for between August 19 and say, August 28 or so is how so many people found out about the page. Once people were “liking,” their friends saw that and followed suit. But how did that first handful become alerted? Not sure. Several commenters on posts have said that it could have been FB bots working to get followers. Many say they’ve looked through the FB accounts of the posters on the Crock Pot Girls page and they seem to be “fake” accounts. Others say the friends who liked the page originally in their stream are now not listed as “likers” of the page. If you refresh the Crock Pot Girls FB page and watch the counter, I guarantee you it will jump 30, 40, or 50 likes per click! To me, that’s not just crazy; it’s really impossible. Will the counter ever stop, even for 5 minutes?)
  • Then, regardless of how those first thousand folks got onto the FB page, legitimate people joined, something unbelievable happened. At this point, it has become the “perfect storm” of:
    • Women love their Crock Pots (as a friend, who is a working mom of four, said yesterday when we discussed this).
    • Women are incredibly busy and don’t have the time, interest, or skills to make meals every night from scratch.
    • The FB page format capitalizes on the human ego by allowing others to post their recipes, their variations, their suggestions, and their experiences. People love to talk about themselves, even if it’s just about their favorite Crock Pot recipe (which I don’t really get, but whatever—then again, I do have a blog … ha!).

I counter the legitimate, organic nature of the growth, however, with these arguments:

  • You can Google “Crock Pot recipes” and get your hands on any type of free Crock Pot recipe you want. That’s a heck of a lot easier and streamlined than wading through hundreds of wall posts about all types of ingredients.
  • Crock Pot and slow cooker cook books abound. I have gotten rid of several.
  • As far as I’m concerned, Stephanie O’Dea is the consummate Crock Pot girl, but she devoted an entire year to a create journey through slow cooking. Through that, she has become a bestselling Crock Pot cookbook author. But it took her a year to find her fan base and maintain it. And her FB page has only 4400 fans.

The Crock Pot Girls and their “people” should expect a cease and desist letter really soon. Crock Pot is a trademark. I suspect the owners are doing their own investigation into this.

And—for the record, I love my Crock Pot. So, I consider myself one of the target audience. I am a busy mom; I work, take care of home and family. I use my Crock Pot about 3-4 times a month. But I find little value in joining this FB page and posting my recipes (readily available in a variety of places) alongside comments of my undying love for the page and my beloved kitchen appliance. I say, MAJOR disconnect between reality (what’s happening on their page) and my own experiences as a member of the target audience.

What do you think? There’s more to come in this saga and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. I’ll keep you posted.

Oh, and for your Crock-Pot-ing pleasure, I offer you my all-time favorite Crock Pot chicken recipe. ;)

 

Easy Back to School Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast at our house can be a challenge, for a variety of reasons:

  • The kids wake up starving.
  • They could eat a country farmer meal in one sitting.
  • I don’t wake up until I’ve had two cups of coffee or it’s 10 a.m. or whichever comes first.

It’s important, then, I have some plans in place to make the breakfast routine go smoothly. One of the most important strategies for a smooth morning is to think about what I’ll be making for breakfast and the types of pans I’ll need. Key to efficiency is having the saucepans, skillets, or cookie sheets clean and utensils handy. I also want the kids to have full tummies with lots of protein, so they’ll be ready to learn.

Some of our go-to breakfast staples:

  • My Fruit Smoothie All of my kids love this. It’s filling and packed with awesome nutrients. I also make it as an after-school snack, which tides them over until dinnertime.

Smoothie Recipe (amounts are approximate)

  • 1/2 cup Good Belly probiotic juice
    (we like mango flavor) (or your favorite fruit/veggie juice)
  • 1/2 cup Strawberry Kefir (or your favorite flavor)
  • large handful each of frozen blueberries, frozen whole strawberries, and frozen sliced peaches
  • 1 large scoop of Melaleuca’s FiberWise powder (citrus flavored)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla flavored organic yogurt

Blend until desired consistency. Add more juice or Kefir to make it thinner; add more fruit to make it thicker. Makes about 6 cups.

I have also been known to throw in a grated carrot or sliced cucumber (and the taste was not affected at all). I’m going to try fresh spinach and beets next. I’ll let you know.

  • Egg Sandwich This one is easy: buttered whole wheat toast with a scrambled egg inside. Other variations include biscuits, bagels, or English muffins with sliced hard-boiled egg.
  • Grits Scramble I have one child who loves grits. She also likes a scrambled egg mixed in.
  • Sausage or Bacon & Biscuits I can buy a super-large bag of frozen (cooked) sausage patties at Aldi. They heat in minutes.
  • Fruit, yogurt, and cereal I always have fresh fruit (melon, banana, grapes, apples) on hand. My kids don’t typically like their cold cereal with milk on top. But they will eat it dry with a cup of yogurt.
  • Peanut butter sandwich Peanut butter is great to have on hand for a quick sandwich. Full of protein.
  • Frozen waffles or pancakes The boys like to eat these with a little Nutella. It’s better than straight chocolate, since it’s got some protein.

What’s your morning routine like?
What are some of your favorite breakfast recipes?
Share in the comments below.

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Make Dinner With a Look in Your Pantry

One of the most obvious benefits of “looking in our houses” is the ole “shop from the pantry” technique. I’ve found that if I keep a few staples on hand, I can whip up a tasty meal in a few minutes with little to no planning.

Challenge yourself to see your pantry, fridge, and freezer in a new way. It’s amazing what you can create with an onion, olive oil, garlic, a vegetable, and a protein.

Here are a few ideas for the next time you’re staring into the pantry wondering, What’s for dinner tonight?

  • Soup, salad or sandwich or baked potato night.
    Items you need on hand: potatoes, bread, cheese, canned broth or cream soup, milk or water, veggies, beans, and/or protein, salad
  • Crock pot/slow cooker meal.
    Items you need on hand:
    protein, veggie, water, seasonings

Quick ideas: Toss cubed beef, sliced potatoes and carrots, some onion and a bit of water or broth into the Crock pot and you’ve got stew when you get home. Also, wrap potatoes in foil (one for each family member) and put in the bottom of the pot. Put a whole chicken on top. Season generously and add about 1 cup of water. You’ve got chicken and baked potatoes! Here’s another delicious recipe and easy way to season a chicken for the slow cooker.

  • Try a simple pasta dish.
    Items you need on hand:
    pasta, olive oil, veggies, protein, cheese, seasonings

Quick ideas: I make this one all the time, and it’s a family favorite. Saute frozen chicken tenders in a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings (I use garlic powder, salt, and pepper). Quickly stir in sliced asparagus (or other green veggie) and sliced cherry tomatoes. Cook until just crisp-tender. Melt goat’s cheese and Parmesan cheese over the top. Serve meat and veggies with pasta. You can substitute any of the ingredients for what you have on hand and/or what your family likes.

  • Breakfast for dinner.
    Items to have on hand:
    eggs, meat, cheese, milk, flour, grits

Quick ideas: Crack open some eggs and make a tasty omelet for the family. Serve with fresh sliced fruit and a side of toast. Or serve breakfast burritos and a side of healthy turkey bacon or sausage. You can make pancakes, cheese grits, or egg casserole. The possibilities are endless!

(And as an aside: I never buy pancake mix anymore. I just make my own using a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. It’s so simple and costs pennies.)

Satisfying, healthy, and quick meals are at your fingertips with a bit of imagination—and with a quick look in your house!

What are your “go-to” last minute quick and easy meal ideas?

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