Top Slow Cooker Recipes

Who doesn’t love their slow cooker?  If you don’t have one, I would highly suggest you get one ASAP.  You can just throw all of your ingredients in, turn it on, and when you get home from work or just a day out having fun with friends or family, dinner is ready!  And as an added bonus, your home smells amazing.

The Nesco 6 qt Porcelain Roaster with Non-Stick Cookwell and Glass Lid is perfect for any size meal.  You can slow cook, cook, roast, bake and steam in this guy.

Non-Stick Cookwell Roaster

Nesco Porcelain Roaster

 

The Hamilton Beach Portable Slow Cooker is perfect for the holidays or anytime you are making something to take to a party or potluck.

 

Portable Slow Cooker

Portable Slow Cooker 

 

I’d like to share with you some of my favorite slow cooker recipes.

 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes

1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles

1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth

1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tb dried cilantro

2 cups water

1 Tsp cumin

½ Tsp chili powder

1 Tsp salt

¼ Tsp pepper

1 bay leaf

Dump all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on high 4-5 hours.  Remove bay leaf and discard.  Lift out the chicken pieces and shred.  Put shredded chicken back into soup.  Serve with tortilla chips and grated cheese, or your own favorite toppings!

 

One Pot Bean Dinner

1 lb ground beef

12 oz package of bacon, fried and chopped

1 chopped onion

2 cans pork & beans

1 can kidney beans

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 Tb white vinegar

1 Tsp salt

Dash of pepper

 

Brown beef in skillet and drain fat.  Put in crockpot.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Stir together well.  Cover and cook on low in crockpot for 4 hours, or high for a shorter time.

 

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 (16.5 oz) can crushed pineapple

1 (16.5 oz) bottle archer farms Hawaiian style barbeque sauce (found at Target)

 

Place breasts in crock pot, pour pineapple on top of chicken and then pour sauce over all.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

 

Mexican Crock Pot Tacos

2 frozen chicken breasts

2 cans black beans, rinsed

2 bottles salsa

 

Throw above ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.  Shred chicken and stir together.  Serve in hard or soft shells with taco toppings (lettuce, sour cream, etc).

 

Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese

4-5 boneless chicken breasts

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans

1 (15 oz) can corn

1 (15 oz) jar salsa, any kind

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

 

Well, writing this made me hungry.  Good thing it’s almost lunchtime.

I hope you’ll give these recipes a try.  And if you do, please let me know what you think!  I’d also love it if you’d share your favorite crock pot recipes.  Just leave a comment below!

 

 

Slow Cooker Recipe: Whole Chicken & Vegetables

slow cooker chicken

If there is one thing that I love when I want to prepare a no hassle meal, it is having a slow cooker.  Many people I know just use their slow cooker for making queso or other dips for parties and never realize the full potential of what you can prepare with them.  Slow cookers can cook just about anything from soups, stews and chilis to whole chickens, braised lamb and roast duck.  More often than not, you are able to just throw in your ingredients and let your slow cooker do all the work.  It’s definitely a way to impress your family and/or guests and let them think that you spent hours in the kitchen cooking, when really the only thing that was cooking for hours was your slow cooker.

My go-to meal in my slow cooker is chicken and vegetables.  I use a whole chicken and whatever vegetables I have on hand at the time.  It’s so simple and the chicken is so tender when it’s done it falls right off the bone.

Whole Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients

2 cups broth or stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 8 oz package of mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika

Directions

1. Add a layer of vegetables to the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Combine all spices.
3. Rinse the whole chicken and rub with spice mixture.
4. Place chicken in slow cooker on top of the layer of vegetables.
5. Add the remaining vegetables and garlic into the slow cooker.
6. Pour the broth into the slow cooker. As the chicken cooks it will add more liquid as well.
7. Cook on low setting for 5-8 hours.
8. Use a kitchen thermometer to check if chicken is done before serving. (The internal temperature should be 180 degrees in the thickest part.)

What’s your favorite recipe to make in a slow cooker?

It’s Wedding Season: What to Give the Happy Couple

White Wedding Gift

If you’re anything like me, your fridge tends to be covered in “save the date” postcards this time of year. And while I’m excited to spend my summer celebrating my friends’ and family’s wedded bliss, I’m kind of freaked out about what to get the Mr. and Mrs. (there are 5 couples!)

Then I realized that I work for a company that sells appliances for smaller living spaces. Putting that into the equation, along with the fact that my friends getting married are just starting out and buying their first homes, I knew I was golden. So without further hesitation, I give you my top five wedding gift recommendations.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer

If the couple you’re buying for doesn’t already have one these, I’m willing to bet that they want one (and it’s on their gift registry). This thing is a kitchen essential for people who like to bake or cook. It comes with attachments for preparing homemade pasta, ice cream, fruit juice and, of course, mixing among other things.

I’m getting this for the people that treat me like their child and have me over for dinner every now and then. I figure the menu will only expand once they get my gift…

Nesco Roaster2. Nesco 6 Qt. Stainless Steel Roaster

I have some friends that practically live at restaurants and seem to have never used their kitchen but swear they want to learn to cook. I’m getting them this roaster. Call it a crock pot, a slow cooker, a roaster – whatever you want, but this thing is the perfect tool for those aspiring to cook.

It goes like this: buy food, put in cooker, set cooker and voila! Dinner is ready when you get home from work. This is the perfect gateway cooking device!

EdgeStar Mini Kegerator3. EdgeStar Deluxe Mini Kegerator

One of the couples is having an open bar at their wedding, so naturally, the mini kegerator is a perfect wedding gift for them. They like to entertain and the groom is a bit of a beer snob. And for the nights they’re not entertaining, it can easily be placed in a closet due to its compact size.

The mini kegerator holds a 5L mini keg, which more breweries are starting to produce, and it’s the perfect size for two people to enjoy.

 

Portable Propane Grill4. Keg-a-Que Portable Propane Grill

Tailgating brought the couple I’m buying this for together. I find it’s only fitting to get them this as their wedding present.

It’s compact enough to fit in the trunk of a car and has handles on the side for carrying around to wherever their favorite teams take them. Plus, the fun football shape makes it perfect.

 

EdgeStar 18 Bottle Wine Cooler5. EdgeStar 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Nothing says love quite like wine… or a wine cooler for that matter. The last couple I’m giving a gift to is going to have their honeymoon in Napa, so what better gift than to give them a unit to properly store all of their new favorite wines?

This unit isn’t over the top big and has two different zones so they can chill both their reds and whites at the proper temperature.

 

If you’re in panic over wedding season this year, don’t fret – there’s something out there for everyone!

Let us know in the comments what wedding gifts you are planning to give.

 

Must-Have Products for Holiday Entertaining

Tis’ the season to entertain!  Many of us love entertaining and the holidays but entertaining during the holidays can be downright stressful.  As a child you enjoyed all the festivities had to offer whether you celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah or, for some, maybe even Festivus! As we become adults we get to see the behind the scenes of it all and unless you have super powers you have had your challenges.  So here is a helpful guide on must-have products to make your entertaining season full of cheer!

Slow Cooker:

One of my favorite must-haves is the infamous slow cooker. This is a great product for even those nights when you have to fit in some holiday shopping and still manage to cook dinner for the family. The options are endless: you can make a wonderful, warm apple cider, an amazing dip for Christmas Eve, baked applies for dessert or, on Christmas, a hearty soup as an appetizer. Growing up every Christmas, we had Escarole and Bean Soup, super delicious and super easy!

Simply any appliance that allows you to get all of your other duties done while it does all the cooking is a life saver. There are some great options to choose from depending on your family/guest size. I typically have small get-togethers and find the perfect size for me is a 3.5 qt, like the Cuisinart 3.5 Programmable Slow Cooker, but if you have a larger family a 6.5-7 qt might be right for you. Check out the Cuisinart 6.5 qt Programmable Slow Cooker or the Kalorik 7 qt Slow Cooker for larger groups.

Knife Set/Food Processor:

Whether you are a purist or practical, you need a great tool to help with food preparation.  For the purist who really takes cooking to a higher standard, a great knife set is key. I highly recommend any knife set from the Ginsu Knife Collection as they are the epitome of high quality! For the amateur chef or the professional, you have a range to choose from. A couple of my favorite knife sets are the Ginsu Chikara 5  Piece Bamboo/Stainless Steel Set and Ginsu Shoku Ebony 8 Piece with Magnetic Strip.

For the practical chef who doesn’t have enough hands to keep up, a great food processor can help out a lot. Preparation is half the battle and these are some of the great options available: Cuisinart 4 Cup Food Processor, Cuisinart 7 Cup Food Processor and, for the budget-minded, Black & Decker Food Chopper.

Gravy Boat:

My father (who is a chef, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about) always said a good gravy boat is essential to a holiday meal as the gravy ties the entire meal together.  There are many wonderful gravy boats on the market today, but I have a new favorite.

What is better than a regular gravy boat? A heated gravy boat with a wide handle and nice design, the Next Level Gravy Boat.  Not only is it great for serving gravy, but it can also be used for morning brunch as a syrup warmer!  You could probably use it for many other sauces as well. I believe anything that warms something dear to your heart is a great product and a must-have!

Wine & Beverage Refrigerators:

If you are the type of entertainer to throw big lavish dinners, cozy get-togethers or rowdy parties (so pretty much, any type of entertainer), then enjoying a holiday beverage is key. Whether you love a cold beer, tall glass of wine or some bubbly, a great beverage or wine cooler is a big convenience. There are so many different options available that you are sure to find the right product for your needs.

Here are some wonderful units for all of you different types of entertainers:
– Cold Beer: EdgeStar 84 Can Beverage Cooler
– Cozy Get-Together: Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler
– Red OR White Wine: Koldfront 30 Bottle Wine Cooler
– Red AND White Wine: EdgeStar 46 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Coffee Makers:

Lastly, but definitely not least, is a great coffee maker!  Coffee is many things for different people. Some use it as their alarm clock to wake up, it’s what keeps others going throughout the day and for people like me, it is just nice to sit and enjoy a lively conversation over a hot cup of coffee.

If you’re going to be hosting a crowd this holiday season, then make sure you have enough joe to go around! Get a large coffee machine like the Cuisinart 12 Cup Coffee Maker or the Cuisinart Grind & Brew 10 Cup Coffee Maker. And don’t forget about the tea drinkers in your family, the Kalorik-JK31099 Dome Jug Kettle will help them feel right at home.