This is Part 7 in an ongoing series on menu planning. If you’ve missed anything, please click HERE.
I am really excited about today’s segment. I am absolutely in love with my slow cooker. I have a Crock Pot brand slow cooker and it works like a champ. Honestly, I’m already looking to get the next size up since I use it so often and want to make larger quantities for freezing.
If you are a busy mom and wife, I cannot recommend slow cooking strongly enough. In about 15 minutes in the morning, you can pop in all the ingredients for dinner, turn your slow cooker on and come home to dinner all ready for you hours later! It is awesome.
OK enough gushing. Let’s get down to business. I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite slow cooker cookbooks and a few tips to get you started and maybe correct a problem or two you might have. If you’re totally new to slow cooking and have questions, leave them in the comments section and I’ll answer you directly.
First off, cookbooks. I’ve said before that I have an insane stash of cookbooks and I do. Several of those are cookbooks specifically covering slow cooking. I took some snapshots of my slow cooker cookbooks. Let’s take a look:
- While it might be tempting, don’t open the lid to the slow cooker unless it’s absolutely necessary. Sure you’ll want to check or stir, but really, don’t. It takes far too long for the temperature to build back up inside the pot once you remove the lid, which means your dinner won’t be ready when you think it will be. If you have a circular cooker, just spin the lid. Ladies with an oval one (like me) can gently tap on the lid to knock some of the condensation off.
- If you don’t currently have a slow cooker, make sure you get one with a removeable stoneware crock. It makes clean up super easy, and we even use ours to store things until they cool down enough to put into plastic containers.
- Generally you’ll see a range of cooking times with each recipe. It might say “Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 5”, either is perfectly acceptable, but I know from experience that if you can wait the 6 to 8 hours you really probably should. Meat is just more tender and juicy when done low and slow.
- Not every recipe requires 8 hours. I was surprised to learn that. Truly. In one of those books up there it suggests mac n cheese in the slow cooker in 2 to 3 hours! So don’t think that you have make a big meal. Sides are great too, especially if you’re cooking for a crowd or a pot luck.
Week 4 Menu –
Italian Burgers RECIPE COMING SOON!
Turkey Noodle Soup
Shrimp Noodle Bowl
Crock Pot Ribs
Steak and Sides
Smoked Sausage and Sides
Roasted Chicken, Stuffing and Veggie