Friday, May 06, 2011

The Slow-cooker: A homeschooler's best friend!

Growing up my mother use to rave about her slow cooker.  I still remember her bright orange one humming along in our very brown wallpapered kitchen.  She tried to convince me of the wonders of the slow-cooker and the thrill of knowing dinner was taken care of early in the morning. I foolishly just smiled at her, but  now I thank her for her wisdom as I plug in one of my 3 slow-cookers.
I want to describe to you my cooking style, or lack of cooking style. I often joke I am a food arranger  and not a much of a cook.  I do things like put yogurt and cottage cheese in bowls, arrange vegetables, put hot dogs in buns. . you get the picture.  My college roommate Sue told me her goal in this life is to never cook a Thanksgiving dinner, and to that I replied Amen!  So when I talk about how I love my slow-cooker, you know this is remedial cooking. 
My   favorite cook  books are The Make it Fast, Cook it Slow, and More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow.  Stephanie O'Dea, the author, also has a blog with many slow-cooker recipes.  Her recipes are gluten free, but can easily be switched if you can eat gluten.  I would recommend starting with the book from the  library and moving forward if you like it.  We have many picky eaters in our house  and  like that the recipes do not have many ingredients.  But, that may not be your thing. Currently, we are partial to her Sloppy Joe recipe,since every single person in our house actually eats it.  We also like her Coq Au Vin,  and spinach casserole recipes.  She has a section on slow-cooking to taste like take-out.  You gotta love that!

So to end, I want to share with you why I love my  slow-cooker.  You may hum a happy tune as you read.
1. In the summer it does not heat up my whole house.
2. I dump the ingredients in and they magically come out OK.
3. I smell dinner all day as I homeschool and know that it is taken care of.
4. It makes me feel like a better person in preparing healthy meals for my family.
5. It is not very messy.
6. Lastly, it is as close as a food arranger gets to serious cooking.
Happy Cooking! 

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