The Convenience of the Slow Cooker - Simple Winter Recipes

Slow cookers are fabulous and they can cook an entire meal for you and save you lots of time in the kitchen. They're especially convenient if you work outside the home...or even if you work at home. Just prepare your main dish early in the day, toss in all your ingredients, select the appropriate setting, and you're good to go. You can even use two slow cookers if you are preparing a side dish.

On a cold winter day, why not surprise your family with their favorite soup or stew and let it cook all day. When they arrive home and savor the delicious aroma of what's been simmering all day, you immediately earn some good brownie points with hardly any effort. And speaking of brownies...since you'll be saving lots of time on your dinner, you'll have more time to actually make some, or perhaps another family favorite treat.

If you have a slow cooker but it's been collecting dust high up on a shelf somewhere, what are you waiting for? Get it down, dust if off...and use it! I can't think of anything better on a cold snowy day than a slow cooker filled with mouth-watering, homemade chili. Doesn't that sound warm and cozy while you're curled up with a blanket by the fire? That is...if you like chili. The convenience of the slow cooker offers incredible time-saving ways to make easy, melt-in-your-mouth dishes without the stress of cooking.

Below are some delicious slow cooker recipes for your taste buds.

Slow Cooker Beef Chili


Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 can pinto beans, drained (15 oz) 1 can enchilada sauce (10 oz) 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 tablespoon instant minced onion 1 cup water
1 cup shredded process american cheese
4 cups corn chips
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded process American cheese

Directions

Brown ground beef. Transfer meat to slow cooker.

Stir in beans, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, 1 cup of cheese, onion and 1 cup of water.

Reserve 1 cup of corn chips; crush the remaining chips and add to the meat mixture.

Cover and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours. To serve, top with sour cream, remaining cheese, and reserved corn chips.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken


Ingredients

6 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
garlic powder, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Rinse chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix undiluted soup and pour over chicken in the slow cooker.

Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Ingredients

3 carrots, cut lengthwise into halves, then cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4-1/2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
3/4 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (about 14 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions

Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the following order: carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, basil, pepper, bay leaf, beef, tomatoes with juice and broth.

Cover and cook on low 8 to 9 hours.

Remove beef and vegetables to large serving bowl; cover and keep warm. Remove and discard bay leaf. Turn slow cooker to high; cover.

Stir water into flour in small bowl until smooth. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid; mix well. Stir flour mixture into slow cooker. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until thickened. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Serve immediately.

If you don't have one of these one-pot wonder cookers, you need to invest in one. You can prepare your meals and conveniently walk away from your kitchen for an entire day and come back to an easy, scrumptious dinner with your family.


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