I'm late to the game, but I finally got a slow-cooker this year and ever since I've been making up for lost time with it! I've made chili, stews, pot roast and even dessert in it. Today I am taking dinner to some friends, so I have the slow cooker going while I work. The thing is, I associate slow-cookers with cold weather and comfort food. And today is going to be one of the first spring-like days this year -- sunny and upper 60s. Fortunately, the cranberry-chipotle beef I am making is served with lime and tortillas, making it a bit less wintery.
Slow-cookers make it easy to take your hospitality on the road. Mine comes with a locking lid, so I can just unplug and go. I've probably taken my crock-pot out more than I've used it at home, delivering meals to the sick, the busy, and the pregnant among my friends and family. It stays warm a long time and easily heats up upon arrival.
Earlier this year, I bought a Better Homes & Gardens slow-cooker specialty magazine and I've been testing the recipes in there. The cranberry-chipotle beef recipe BHG has online is similar to what's in the magazine, but not exactly the same as it is served over brown rice instead of tortillas. The magazine edition recommends garnishing with lime wedges, salsa, and (de-seeded) jalapeno peppers over tortillas. That's what I'm trying today.
My favorite dish to make is the gingerbread pudding cake. It fills the house with a wonderful aroma and takes less time to make and cook than the typical slow-cooker recipe. Served warm with vanilla ice-cream -- yummy! Makes me feel like I am back in London for some reason.
What's next to try? Well, though magazines and cookbooks are helpful for finding new recipes, I'm more excited when people I know post online what they like and recommend. My friend, Rebecca, is an excellent cook and her latest series on her blog about her favorite slow-cooker recipes has my mouth watering. I am eager to try a few of her recommendations, too!
(Images from the Better Homes & Gardens recipes.)