Winter is right around the corner, and it’s time to get into your cooking frenzy! However, when you just don’t have enough time to really wait for your dinner to cook, planning ahead can really help you out. Use your crockpot to make various meals and desserts, without having to wait after a long day of work! We personally love our crockpots, and they take up an almost permanent space on our counters during the winter. These are some of our favorite things to make in our crockpot, and are worth trying out! The recipes are easy to find and can be customized to your personal taste with just a couple of small changes.
One of the more obvious options, besides soup, is to make a roast. Whether it’s a slab of beef or pork, you’ll benefit from a famously seasoned roast that’s been slow cooking all day. All you need is the meat, some water, and a few spices to make dinner an event. Our favorite recipe for a roast has salt and pepper to taste, chopped vegetables, about a cup and a half of either water or broth, and thyme, basil, parsley, and allspice to taste. Cook on low while you’re off to work, and come back home to a wonderful smelling house and a pot roast ready to eat! Serve with some easy-to-make mashed potatoes for a fulfilling warm meal that will satisfy you, no matter how cold it is outside.
Love chili? Make your own! Combine pork shoulder, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper, bay leaves, chopped tomatoes, pinto beans, and a ham hock for amazing pork chili. It only takes five hours to really cook the chili into a good simmer, blending the ingredients together in a perfectly tasty chili. Dress it up with some salsa, cilantro, or lime to give it an extra dimension of flavor and serve it hot! Our personal favorite is to serve it as a side to a decently cooked steak, or in a fresh bread bowl.
For a great Cajun spin to any weeknight, why not try out our fantastic jambalaya? You need onion, celery, water, Cajun seasoning, thyme, chicken, andouille sausage, diced tomatoes, green chiles, shrimp, and cooked rice. Cook everything but the shrimp together for about six hours, and add in the shrimp as soon as you get home. By the time you’re ready to serve it, your jambalaya is perfectly cooked and has just enough spice to keep your mouth watering!
For those of us who enjoy having a dessert on a cold winter’s night, there are plenty of sweet recipes for your crock pot. Take this classic recipe for a great rice pudding. All you need is uncooked rice, sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and about two hours. Let everything cook up as soon as you get home and mix the ingredients together, and take your time eating dinner and relaxing. By the time you’re ready for dessert, dessert will be ready for you! For a shorter cooking time, used pre-cooked rice instead of uncooked.