Sunday, November 4, 2012

Slow Cooker Tips and Recipes

Easy Crockpot Recipes and MenusI had the opportunity to preview this book and was amazed at it's contents.  It contains 173 pages total, of recipes, tips, and quotes to lift your day.  This is not just another cookbook, nor is it just another crockpot cookbook, each recipe for a meal has a recipe for a dessert and suggestions for side dishes, if a side dish is needed.  There are also sections for; Desserts, Appetizers Sauces and Dips, Side Dishes, and Misc Recipes.  I'm not easily impressed with cookbooks (I have plenty and then some) but this one knocked my socks off.  If I had to keep just 1 crockpot cookbook, this would be the one, not just for the recipes, but the humor threaded throughout, just like my grandmothers kitchen was.

I use my crockpot year round, setting it on the porch or in the laundry room on very hot days, this time of year however, I use it more often, and plan on digging into this book for some new twists on some old dishes.

Slow Cooker Tips and Recipes

Using your crockpot can save you a lot of money, slash the amount of time you have to spend preparing meals, allow you to prepare more wholesome meals for your family and reduce your overall stress. Cooking with a crockpot can also save a lot of energy, because you don't have to heat up the house in the summer when you're trying to keep it cooler. Here are a few tips and recipes from Living On A Dime's new Easy Crockpot Recipes and Menus e-book to help you with your crockpot cooking.

Slow Cooker Tips

Unless the recipe states otherwise, always cook with the lid on your slow cooker. It is best not to open the lid while cooking.
Many recipes that you cook in the oven or on top of the stove can be adapted to the slow cooker. If it takes 2-4 hours to cook in the oven or on the stove top then it will take about 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low in the slow cooker.
If you need to reduce the liquid, take the lid off for the last half hour of cooking. You could also make a mix of 2 teaspoons cornstarch with some of the liquid from the dish and stir it into the rest. Then allow it to cook and thicken.
If you find yourself going out to eat a lot because you hate the clean up, then try using slow cooker liners. It is much less expensive to use them than to eat out. Liners are especially good to use when you have company and during the holidays.
To make slow cooker dishes even easier and faster keep a supply of ingredients like cooked hamburger, sausage, bacon or ham in the freezer. Then you won't have to dirty a skillet or take the time to cook things like hamburger before you toss them into the slow cooker.
Normally you should fill your slow cooker about 3/4 full, especially if you are cooking soups and stews. Add the ingredients and then add liquid to fill it to 3/4 full.
If you have a large slow cooker and a smaller recipe, simply put the recipe ingredients in an oven proof dish (like Pyrex) and set it down inside your slow cooker. Then cover and cook.

Barbecue Chicken

4-6 pieces chicken
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Place chicken in a slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cook on low in the slow cooker about 4-6 hours.

Brown Rice and Chicken

1-2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Combine all ingredients but almonds in a slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on low 4 to 5 hours. Serve with almonds.

Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper are frugal living experts and the authors of the Easy Crockpot Recipes and Menus e-book and the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips and recipes visit , sign up for our free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

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