If you have never tried using a slow cooker, you don’t know what you’re missing. It can be your best friend in the kitchen. They now come in many different sizes, from a small dip crock to a 6-1/2 quart crock. You can easily find one that fits your family’s size and appetite. Some of the newer ones have lids that lock in place for more ease in transportation. And some even come with an insulated cover.
When it comes to preparing dinner, especially during the holiday season, sometimes there just isn’t a lot of time. Between school, work, church, sports games and practices, etc., there’s not always a lot of time to run home and fix something for dinner. This is where your slow cooker comes in. Just about anything that you can cook on the stove top or in the oven can also be modified to cook in your slow cooker. I’ve cooked several soups, many different chicken dishes, stews, roasts, BBQ ribs, baked potatoes, etc.
By using your slow cooker, you just have to spend a few minutes in the morning prepping the few ingredients that you will need, place them all in the slow cooker, setting your desired temperature and timer, and then walking away. You can even prep most of your ingredients the night before if you want, or even cook your meal overnight so that you can have some for lunch and for dinner.
There are even slow cooker liners that are divided so that you can cook two things at once. I have one that I love cooking a couple of veggies in when I’m cooking a main dish such as BBQ ribs or a whole chicken.
So, if you’ve never tried using a slow cooker, I want to urge you to give it a try. I can be a life saver during already hectic and stressful times.
Here are a couple of recipes for you to try:
Slow Cooker Chicken & Potatoes
1 whole or cut up fryer
4 to 6 medium to large potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup chicken broth
1 stick butter, cut up
Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
McCormick’s Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning (or other favorite seasoning – another good one is to use rosemary & thyme)
Peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place in bottom of slow cooker. Add chopped onions, salt, pepper, and butter.
Add ¼ cup of chicken broth.
Season chicken to taste with salt, pepper, & preferred seasoning. (I always go very light on the salt.) Place on top of potatoes.
Cook on low approximately 8 hours, or until chicken is falling off the bone.
Hot Apple Cider
1 gallon apple juice/cider
1 can frozen orange juice
1 (2-liter) ginger ale
5 whole cloves
3 whole cinnamon sticks
Ground Cinnamon to taste, if you prefer a stronger cinnamon taste.
Mix juices and ginger ale in a large stock pot. Pour into your slow cooker and add whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. Heat until heated through and then leave on warm. Any leftover cider can be kept in the refrigerator.
This makes a very good party drink, or a good drink to have around for those cold winter days when a warm drink is welcome by everyone when they come home.
Steph Martin is a work at home mom of 3 wonderful children and wife to her best friend. She is the owner and publisher of http://www.busy-moms-online, website devoted to helping busy moms find ways to make daily life a little easier, and http://www.mycountryhaven.blogspot.com, a blog devoted to her life in the country and journey in frugality.