I was so eager to try some new recipes in the crockpot after being inspired by A Year of Crockpotting that I did a little online search and came up with this highly recommended stew: Crockpot Chicken & Quinoa. It looked soooo good in the photograph. The instructions were easy. I even shocked myself by having on hand in my cupboard a box of quinoa and in the freezer, chicken breasts. And some carrots, which is normal. And celery, which is sometimes in the vegetable crisper, sometimes not.And, of course, I had a crockpot.In a rush of culinary enthusiasm, I hastily decided to take the risk and make the stew. I threw it together to burble while we went to church last Sunday.When we got home, the kids set the table while I whipped up some corn muffins and made a salad.I brought out the stew, which smelled wonderful to me, and the kids started making gagging sounds. One of them pulled her napkin up to cover her nose and mouth and stared at the food with horror.Isn’t it motivating to cook for such an accommodating crew?They are fairly picky eaters, but even they don’t normally react with such drama, so this was an especially bad sign.The Belgian Wonder and I took a helping and served the kids a tiny spoonful with huge chunks of chicken, which we expected them to eat without complaint. This time, however, some swirly quinoa persisted in clinging to the chicken. This, in the eyes of the children, made the chicken inedible.I tasted and enjoyed the stew, though one’s enjoyment goes down considerably when everyone at the table is experiencing some degree of misery brought on by the very dish I created, served, and was consuming. The Belgian Wonder preferred the Sweet & Sassy Crockpot Chicken. The kids begged me never to make it again.Verdict: A crock-flop for kids. Too bad. It was so easy and healthy….As it turns out, my kids like food about as simple as it can be made. When they smelled something cooking in the crockpot a few days later and asked what it was, and I said it was ham, they breathed a sigh of relief. Ham. They can recognize that. I tossed in a tiny bit of water, and during the last hour or so, the ten-year-old daughter and I made a glaze to put on top made from the juice of some mandarin oranges I tossed on a salad, brown sugar, and some dry mustard.The ham was delicious, if you like ham and eat ham. And simple.The glaze caused no emotional anxiety at the table, either. The ham and its glaze were consumed with carnivorous pleasure.Another night, I made beef. Just stew beef tossed into the crockpot with a little water, a little bit of instant bouillion, maybe a splash of Bragg’s (soy sauce alternative), and a splash of wine.What was I thinking, tossing in all that fancy stuff?I should have just thrown it in with a splash of water, because the sauce always throws off the kids. But they ate it in spite of the suspiciously stew-like sauce–not as voraciously as usual, but they ate it without eyes widened and a napkin shielding them from taking in the aroma.Verdict: Relative success. Need to simplify even more.I’m still looking for a crock-hit that would please the entire family.Any ideas?Any sure-fire crock-hit recipes in your repertoire?