Friday, December 08, 2023

Your December assistant, the slow cooker


Seems I just have to write a post about this every few years!  If it sounds familiar, I apologize, but I think you will thank me for the reminder.  I will do a similar post, with different recipes, on my Christmas blog.  I rely on my slow cooker during any busy season, but I find it invaluable in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  I can put supper in the cooker on any busy day, even if I plan to be home all day.  I can then spend my day crafting, cleaning, decorating, or whatever happens to be on my agenda, while supper cooks all by itself.

If sides are needed, I might -- depending upon what the main course is --  use a bagged salad mix, scrub and pierce a few potatoes or sweet potatoes and bake them,  or quickly cook a bag of frozen vegetables in the microwave.  But I tend to use recipes that are one-dish meals, to keep things really simple!

I'm just going to share a few links: Slow-Cooked Pork Ribs. To make baked potatoes to serve with it, scrub and pierce several baking potatoes and place them on top of the ribs.  Cook for the same amount of time and remove to a serving dish before adding the barbecue sauce to the ribs.  Cole slaw from a bag would be good with this.

  Easy Crockpot Chili.  Again I need to add a quick note that I tweak the recipe by cooking the spices and onion with the ground beef first.  It seems to add a very measurable depth of flavor to the chili.    Even though this is a super simple recipe, I usually get many comments about how good it is.  I also use much less meat: a pound or less rather than the 3 pounds called for.  I often add an extra can of beans too -- usually kidney beans.  And I'd forgotten about this, but I usually cut down on the water and sometimes on that large quantity of tomato sauce as well.  It all depends on how many people I'm serving, the size pot I use, and whether or not I'm transporting it somewhere. An easy side with this would be to just open a bag of tortilla chips.  Or if you have time you could bake a pan of cornbread. 

.Slow Cooker Clam Chowder.  This chowder recipe is one that my daughter and I made one time in Nevada and it is SO good.  It tastes just about like the chowder at our now-defunct favorite local seafood place.  You could maybe bake some biscuits to go with this, or make grilled cheese sandwiches.  

Rosemary Chicken with White Beans.  This is one of those great recipes that is an entire meal in a bowl.  I change this recipe up slightly in that I use less rosemary than called for, less Italian dressing (I used about 1/3 cup of homemade Italian dressing), and I use more carrots and celery than called for -- probably at least twice as much.  I don't usually brown the chicken, but I will if it's for company and I want it to look as appetizing as possible.

Creamy Sausage Stew is another favorite that's a meal in a bowl.  I've changed this recipe up a lot over the years, but it has great flavors that we really enjoy.   Everyone I've served this to has liked it, and many times people will ask for seconds.

If you need more inspiration for slow cooker recipes, please do click the "Slow cooker recipes" link in the label cloud at right.  You will find pages of good ideas!

I seriously hope that many of you will get out your slow cookers and put them to work for you in this busy, festive season.  It really will make life easier! 


  1. These recipes sound really good. I think I am going to add the chicken to my menu list for next week.

  2. I just bookmarked the clam chowder recipe! Thank you!

  3. Anonymous4:29 PM

    Thanks for these great suggestions and the reminder to use my crockpot!

    Deanna Rabe


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