I bought a slow cooker the first year I lived in China and used it... once.
Then Tony and I moved in together late summer 2013 and we started eating at home more often. Partly in an effort to be healthier, partly to save money, and partly because he discovered he likes to cook and even better, he's good at it.
I am not.
But I can take some meat out to thaw, chop some vegetables, and throw it all in a pot. (Honestly, he usually does the chopping, too, but I mix the sauces!)
Now, once or twice a week on our lunch break, we make something in the slow cooker to be ready by the time we come home again that night.
We've become more adventurous with the recipes we'll try, but we have a few that we make over and over. I've had some requests to share them, so here's a roundup of our favourites.
It's safe to say that this recipe is our most favourite and the one we make most often. Summer recommends cooking it in the oven for better flavour, but suggests the slow cooker if you're short on time, so that's the only way we've ever made it. (We only have a toaster oven... and have never used it.) We always have enough for two meals for both of us.
What we do differently: 3 chicken breasts. Whole yellow onion. A few frozen strawberries (or fresh if they're in season.) (We've even made it with blueberries before!)
Can you tell we're a fan of Summer's recipes? Tony was unsure at first, but now he loves chili. This recipe is super easy. After work, I'll walk to a nearby bakery to get a fresh baguette to go with it... perfection. And there's always lots of leftovers.
This one sounds weird, but it's delicious, I promise! We serve it with rice and always have enough for two meals for both of us.
What we do differently: 3 chicken breasts.
The first time we made this, I cried. It's so good.
What we do differently: We half the recipe because our slow cooker is small. We still have leftovers, though! Regular carrots cut small. (And the last time we made it, we used water instead of beef broth; still delicious!)
Comforting and perfect for winter! I find it filling on its own, but Tony likes to have bread to go with it (and really, who doesn't like a good baguette?).
What we do differently: We half it, maybe even reduce it more than that, because of the size of our slow cooker. Again, we still have leftovers! Ground beef instead of chicken. Regular potatoes instead of red.
P.S. You can find more slow cooker recipes on my Pinterest board!
P.P.S. Please, share your favourite slow cooker recipes with me! (Also, do you call it a slow cooker or crock pot? Is there any difference?)
(Image, without text, by Summer Harms)