by Sue Bond
Crockpots – also called slow-cookers – are enjoying recent resurgence in popularity. The item that was a necessity in every kitchen in the 70s is being pulled out of mothballs and new ones are flying off the shelves as people are striving to give their families a hot, healthy meal for less money and without spending hours in the kitchen. Old crockpot recipes are resurfacing and new ones being created.
The new economy has made it necessary to work more hours – or more jobs – and save money wherever possible. Crockpot recipestend to make life simpler by letting you combine ingredients in the morning and let the crockpot do the work while you’re off to a job or extracurricular activities.
When you arrive home and open the door, your mouth will water in response to the delicious smells coming out of the kitchen. Your dinner is ready and waiting, just as if you had a chef working for you.
The new crockpots have some bells and whistles that the old ones didn’t – and crockpot recipes are designed to deliver a healthy, well-cooked meal that isn’t mushy or overcooked.
Here are some tips that will help you turn out crockpot meals that will delight your family and save money:
• Use seasonings freely. Some crockpot recipes call for all-day cooking and that can dilute the flavor of some foods, so use those delectable seasonings like seasoned salt or pepper or any herb or spice that you enjoy cooking with.
• When cooking a crockpot recipe that calls for meat, be sure that you trim excess fat and that it fits nicely into your crockpot.
• If you’re using a crockpot recipe that calls for vegetables requiring extra cooking time (such as carrots), place them at the bottom of the crockpot and put meat or other vegetables on top of them.
• Sometimes crockpot recipes tend to take the color out of your meal. If that happens, use garnishes freely to pump up visual appeal.
Crockpot recipes can be especially nice when you’re entertaining – the crock pot keeps food warm until ready to serve – and many cooks choose to serve the meal right out of the crock pot.
Crock pots can be found in abundance at online websites. They range in price from about $20 — up, depending on how many extra settings you want or how you intend to cook with it. Before you choose one, look over some recipes and see what they require.
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