Using the slowcooker…

October 8, 2010

Common…everyone has one right?? We all got one as an engagement or wedding gift.

If yours in anything like mine, it probably sits in a cupboard collecting dust because it is always forgotten. By the time I think to use my slow cooker for dinner, it’s already past noon, and I no longer have enough time.

In the past few weeks this has all changed. With the cooler weather of fall, and a desire to be motivated and stay on track with my freezer/pantry cleanse, I have pulled it out. Here are a few of my slow cooker successes!

Chicken and Bean Burritos
-Add 2 1/2 cup salsa, 1 can (540mL) black beans, 4-6 chicken thighs to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours (every slow cooker varies…so keep an eye on it. Mine was done closer to the 4 hour mark). When it is almost finished fish out the chicken and take off the bone, and give it a rough chop, throw it back in the slow cooker. Depending on the consistency of the sauce, you may need to add some corn starch to thicken it up a bit. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, on warmed tortilla shells. Serves 4-5 people.

Hashbrown and Sausage Casserole
This is a good hearty side dish, or the perfect comfort food on a cold dreary day. Mix the following ingredients and place in crockpot:

Brown 1lb Italian sausage (sliced into coins)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1 kg frozen hash brown potatoes
1 cup grated cheese.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Make sure you taste before serving…mine looked perfectly done and smelled delish, but the hash browns were still a little bit undercooked.

Baked Potato Soup
…need I say more. This will warm you all the way down to your toes on a cold dreary day. The last time I made this, I didn’t have any bacon in the house, so I substituted Farmers Sausage. So yummy…made the whole soup heartier!!

Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs and Drums
Several times, motivated completely by price, I have bought the big pack of chicken thighs, or drums at Superstore. However, up until now I had failed miserable at cooking them. I tried the BBQ, and in the oven, but I never seem to cook them long enough; ending up with a flopped meal, and a whole bunch of chicken ending up in the garbage.

I admit, at that point dinner was already an after thought. My toddler is screaming “I want something to eat!” is usually the culprit of trying to eat quickly instead of waiting the extra 10-15 minutes the chicken needs. Children, I am learning are not very patient, especially when it comes to food. I have found a solution. Fool proof chicken in the slow cooker. Ready…??

Dump it in, cover with your favorite sauce (BBQ, Sweet n’ Sour, Teryaki), or even just some chicken broth. Sprinkle with a little bit of seasoning salt, or S&P and set on high…and walk away!! It is that simple. You will have delicious, fall off the bone chicken in 4-5 hours! Yum!! Plus your budget will love you because bone-in chicken is WAAY cheaper than chicken breast.

This past week I used BBQ sauce, and when it was finished, I fished it out of the slow cooker and threw it in my oven, 400 degrees, for 3-4 minutes just to crisp it up a bit. I served it along side some cheater rice (Uncle Ben’s Chicken and Herb wild rice) and steamed veggies, and voila dinner was served.

So…pull out your slow cooker and get cooking. It’s so easy and your hubby will be super impressed when he comes in the front door and the house smells deliciously yummy. He’ll think you were cooking up a storm all day!


4 Responses to “Using the slowcooker…”

  1. debbytorenvliet Says:

    I don’t have a slow cooker, but now I wish I did! I am just checking your blog to go back to your apple recipes, but now I will have to also try the pumpkin muffins since I am just about to roast two pumpkins to make puree. Love getting cooking ideas from you, thanks Alicia!

    • I’m glad you enjoy Debby! Whenever I cook or bake something, I can’t wait to share it with someone. Watch the Can Tire flyer/Walmart, a lot of the time they go on sale for super cheap. Especially the smaller ones (which I have) perfect for our small family.

  2. rianne Says:

    Mmm…thanks for the slow cooker ideas. I’m going to have to try a couple of those. I love fall and fall food 🙂

  3. yummy! i actually use mine quite abit but these are new ideas for me 🙂

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