Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Learning to Love My Slow-Cooker

After two months at home with a new baby and a busy toddler, I have found that being at home all day doesn't necessarily make getting dinner on the table any easier.  One solution to this problem is a renewed effort to make use of my slow cooker.

Savory mushroom bread pudding in the slow cooker, inspired I believe by @tacomaki or @clairuswoodsii
Photo by: Chuck B.

Mornings are definitely the calmest hours at our house. The baby usually nurses and sleeps, and the toddler is much more capable of entertaining herself than she is during the "normal" dinner prep hours. So I have been using my slow cooker at least once or twice a week to make use of these quiet hours to prepare a hearty dinner.

The easiest so far has been taking out a bag of my frozen vegetable chili from Fix, Freeze, Feast (thawed of course), and dumping it into the cooker. After simmering all day this chili is really tasty. Add some tortilla chips and shredded cheese and you are in business!

I also tried (and loved) a lamb stew that I found on AllRecipes called Rogan Josh. I substituted to lamb chops for the shank, left out the cardamon, and used fresh vegetables instead of canned. Served over brown rice it was really delicious.

The third slow cooker meal that has entered our rotation is Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore from MyRecipes.
Photo by: Lee Harleson
We really liked this recipe as well, the only thing I substituted was fresh sliced mushrooms for the canned called for in the recipe.  David said this recipe reminded him of traditional Mexican Mole. I thought it was just a bit too oily, so I think I will skin the chicken next time before cooking. We served it over whole wheat egg noodles, though David preferred his in a tortilla!

I am keeping a running list of Crock Pot recipes to try out on my Pinterest board - Please let me know if you have any great ones I should try!

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