I think a slow-cooker is pretty versatile and a good thing to have in the kitchen. It may sound a little retro and fifties-era, but you can do a lot of things with one. For the slow-cooker, I prefer recipes that don't require you to do a lot of prep work or cooking beforehand, because I feel that kind of defeats the purpose, you know? So I choose simple ones. You do the prep work in the morning, plug it in, and let it go, and when you come home, the apartment smells wonderful and your dog is going nuts. Haha. Slow-cookers are good things to have!
Unless you have a big family, you don't really need a large one, and they're not that expensive. I decided to share some of the recipes that I have bookmarked for the slow cooker, as well as some that we've tried and liked. You can make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert in the slow cooker, it seems - I've seen recipes for all kinds of things! If you try any of these, let me know how it turned out!
Ann's BBQ Pulled Pork, from Andrea Meyers
We've made this recipe before, and it is delicious and simple. Sometimes we make BBQ pork sliders, sometimes we just have it with beans and cornbread.
Slow-cooker Chicken Caesar sandwiches, from Sweet Treats & More
This is another recipe I've been itching to have S. make, but I think we'll save it for the summer time. It sounds refreshing and delicious though, no?
Winter Tomato Soup for the Slow-Cooker, from One Perfect Bite
This is what we had for dinner last night! We are both fans of grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.
Slow-Cooker Lentil Soup, from ABC News (Good Morning America)
I hear lentils need a lot of cooking and time and perhaps attention, and with the slow-cooker, at least you don't have to pay constant attention to them. This is another one that seems like a good winter supper!
Slow-Cooker Mashed Potatoes, from The Yummy Life
I'm not much a fan of mashed potatoes (which, my dad insists, makes me un-American), but I bookmarked this one because S. likes them, and I figured it's good to have a mashed potatoes recipe, right? Also, sometimes for big, multi-component meals, you're already using the stove and oven for a lot of other dishes (like Thanksgiving!) so it might be nice to have the option to use the slow-cooker for one aspect.
Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Chicken, from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Simple, probably best served with rice. There are a lot of variations on recipes like this (different seasonings, etc.) so that you could make chicken tacos, enchiladas, etc. All very yummy sounding!
Slow-cooker Orange Beef, from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
Sounds better than take-out, right? Gonna try this one, for sure.
Bananas Foster in the Slow cooker, from Crock-pot.com
I'm not a huge fan of banana recipes, but every once in a while I get in the mood for bananas foster. I've had this one bookmarked for a while, and maybe I'll dig it out at the next dinner party we have.
Slow-cooker Sour Cream Cheesecake, from Food and Wine
Doesn't this sound awesome? It seems kind of complicated - and you need a BIG slow-cooker, but the theory seems sound.
Slow-cooker Tapioca Pudding, from All Recipes
This sounds like the simplest thing imaginable, with a tiny list of ingredients and directions. I need to find some tapioca pearls - I love tapioca pudding!
Yogurt, from A Year of Slow Cooking
I've read about this a few times, though I've never tried it. You need a starter, but you can definitely make your own yogurt. The starter can be something simple, too, like a tub of store-bought yogurt! I think this is next on the list of things to try.
Okay, this has been good for me, too - pulling out all the old recipes I have stored away! I haven't tried all of these, so I can't attest to how good they all are, but hopefully this is a good starting point if you've let your slow cooker collect dust. Or, it may be enough to convince you to get one! ;)
Next time, by popular request, I'll do a Foodie Friday post on yeast breads. It's gonna be wild.