As we near Christmas and New Year’s the hustle and bustle of the holidays can become overwhelming. All the chaos can be stressful and rob us of the joy of this time of year. Sometimes, we need to just slow down and use simpler, more hassle-free ways to celebrate. This is a great time to pull out the slow cooker that is hiding somewhere in your kitchen cabinet or pantry. You can assemble the recipe in the cooker in the morning and then let it cook throughout the day while you go about your other holiday activities. Afterward, you can come home to a meal that is well on its way to being ready to serve. Slow cookers can also be handy for preparing, holding and serving hot items for holiday gatherings and parties.
There are tons of tasty and healthy recipes available on the web. These range from traditional soups, chilies and stews to items you may never have thought about preparing in a slow cooker. In fact, almost anything can be cooked in a slow cooker. You could use it to cook your appetizer, entrée, sides, bread or even the dessert. Check out the links below to gather recipes and be inspired:
Although slow cookers can certainly make cooking a great meal or preparing for a party easier, there are some safety guidelines to follow when using one:
· Take time to read and follow the instruction manual for your specific appliance.
· Thaw meat or poultry properly in the refrigerator prior to placing it in the slow cooker.
· Fill the cooker ¼ to ¾ full and keep the lid on throughout the cooking process to help keep heat in and the food at a safe temperature.
· If the power goes off when you are not at home and you do not know how long it was off, throw the food out even if it looks completely cooked. If you are at home during a power outage, finish cooking the food immediately by some other means.
· Store leftovers within 2 hours of removing them from the heat of the slow cooker.
· Do not reheat leftovers in a slow cooker. If you want to hold food in a slow cooker bring it to a safe temperature on the stove or in the microwave first.
Do you have any great slow cooker recipes for the holidays that you would like to share?