For Christmas this year my husband gave me a Crock-Pot cookbook. For some women any kind of cookbook as a gift from her husband would result in one of the following questions: “Wait, does this mean you don’t like my cooking?” “So what are you saying…I don’t cook often enough?” and so on. But since I enjoy cooking and he knows I’m always trying to expand the mental meal database this is a great gift. And he probabaly got tired of me saying “I need to find more things to do with this crock-pot!”
Last Christmas my aunt, upon my request, gave us a fancy crock-pot, with a timer and a temperature gauge for meats. Definitely a step up from the older crock-pot that came with my husband when we were married and merged households. All I used it for were stews/soups, the apple butter I made (and wrote about here) earlier this year, and one attempt at a whole chicken. I know there are more ways to work with a crock-pot than stew thus my wonderful gift.
As I flipped through the book I found you can make desserts, appetizers beyond cheese dip, ribs, cornish hens…so many possibilities. My slow cooking used to be a weekend-only thing, so I could be home when the 6-8 hours were complete. With this new cookbook I plan to take full advantage of my crock-pot’s timer and have a meal ready on a weeknight. Since it’s only the 3 of us I also plan to make meals that can be creatively converted in their leftover form so we have something different from the original dish. Like chicken on Sunday, fajitas on Tuesday and chicken salad on Friday or something to that effect.
I completely skipped the stew section of the book though may go back to it in time. Call it my “cooking resolution” but these next few months I’ll definitely broaden my crockery horizons and discover new ways to put an easy dinner on the table!