I received a message the other day from a friend who lives in Boston. She was searching for a slow cooker cookbook and wanted to know if I had any titles to recommend.
I don’t use my slow cooker that much.
I have no idea why. It’s one of those questions I ask myself every time I do use it because it’s so easy.
Most of the recipes I’ve tried were delicious, the house usually smells fantastic when I get home and clean-up is a breeze. There’s really no downside to a slow cooker, which makes my sporadic use of it odd.
I mentioned all this in my response to my friend, and then included a few tried-and-true slow cooker recipes I’ve used over the years. Her request got me thinking, though, about all the time I could save if I actually looked at the slow cooker recipes I’ve pinned on Pinterest. If I had dinner waiting for my family when we got home, I could:
— Finish my children’s first year scrapbooks. It’s probably time now that the oldest is in high school.
— Learn what to do with the knitting project I started last year and stopped only after I ran out of yarn. It’s been sitting in my closet, still on the needles, ever since.
— Organize the pile of recipes I’ve ripped from magazines.
— Choose a title from “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die” and improve my reading list.
— Find a volunteer opportunity in my community.
— Participate in National Writing Month or begin training for another half marathon.
— Or, and this is probably what will happen, I could binge watch “Breaking Bad” and finally understand what all the fuss was about.
Before any of that happens, though, I need to commit to using the slow cooker more often. Here’s one recipe I’ve tried and will send to my friend. It’s a keeper.
MEXICAN BEEF STEW
Mix beef, tomatoes, frozen onions and chili powder in a 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low setting 9 to 11 hours, or until beef is tender.
Stir in taco seasoning mix, using a wire whisk. Stir in beans and corn. Cover and cook on high setting 15 to 30 minutes, or until thickened.
Source: Betty Crocker More Slow Cooker Recipes: by Betty Crocker (Betty Crocker Books; 2003)