Crock pot, slow cooker, call it what you will, but this convenient kitchen appliance is hotter than ever. No longer just for pot roast or some goopy dips (though there's nothing wrong with those either), you can make almost anything in your crock pot from breakfast to dinner, drinks and more.
I just recently bought a crock pot because it seemed everywhere I turned someone was talking about something new and delicious they'd just whipped up in theirs. So I took the plunge and bought one. My only regret is that I didn't buy one sooner.
It's so amazing to be able to throw a few ingredients in first thing in the morning then come home to a house filled with wonderful smells and a fully cooked dinner. I'm in crock pot love, and have been collecting recipes for new and different dishes. Here are seven of the best crock pot recipes I've found to date.
1. Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
This was one of the first dishes I made in mine, and it was amazing. My kids loved it, and my husband was in heaven. I combined parts of several recipes I found and served it over whole wheat egg noodles, but you can do so over rice or any other starch you like.
Mix all but sour cream and put in slow cooker (you do not need to even brown the meat first).
Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.
About 10 minutes before serving, stir in sour cream.
Serve over hot noodles or rice.
These flavors in this dish are amazing. It's sweet and sour and garlicky all at the same time -- very similar to sweet and sour chicken from a Chinese restaurant. Serve it over some brown rice with vegetables, and dinner is done.
Taco night is great, but fajitas are even more fantastic. The meat and vegetables cook in an amazing array of spices during the day, then at meal time you simply scoop into tortillas and add toppings.
Here's another great Tex-Mex twist I was surprised to learn could be made in a slow cooker. This recipe calls for plenty of vegetables, and you can use low-fat cheese for a pretty healthy meal.
Here's one you can make at night, then wake to warm, filling breakfast that's ready to be served. This recipe uses steel-cut oats and is perfect for the cooler weather headed our way and makes those busy school mornings a bit less hectic.
Speaking of colder weather, this rich comforting potato soup is perfect for chilly evenings. Served with some warm crusty bread, it's one of my favorite fall meals of all time.
Perhaps the only thing better than coming home to a fully cooked dinner is coming home to warm, ooey gooey cake and the smell of chocolate wafting through the house. This cake is the perfect end to a long day.
What are your favorite crock pot recipes?
Image via whitneyinchicago/Flickr