Crock-Pots Are Back and I'm Lovin It!
Remember the Crock-Pot Meal From Yesterday
How many of you remember that Harvest Gold, or Olive Green round Crock-Pot sitting in the corner of your Mom or Grandma's counter? I can remember many afternoons coming in from school to the amazing smell of a roast or chicken simmering along with carrots and potatoes in that pot. Ohhh how my tummy would rumble, ready to eat!
New Appreciation For The Slow Cooker
Crock- Pot Love
Who wouldn't love such an invention as a slow cooker that allowed you to dump in a few ingredients before you headed off to work, and then sat working all day to gently simmer a meal that greeted you at the end of a hard day with an aroma that sent your eyes rolling to the back of your head and was right ready to serve onto your plate, piping hot.
I loved it then, and I love it now!
I admit that my Crock-Pot sat in my way-back lower cabinet for many years before I ran across it and had a notion to pull it out, clean it up, and give it a run for dinner that night. I had the day off, and figured if it didn't work after all those years that I had time for plan "B". Let me tell you, it worked to perfection, and my hubby was right impressed with the tender beef with vegies that I served up that night. I was, once again, hooked and have used it at least 2-3 times a week ever since.
The New Crock-Pot - New Items Bring the Traditional Crock-Pot a New Look
Now this is something I see myself using a lot.
Replace the Relic Rival Crock-Pot?!
At this point, we were so enjoying our Crock-Pot meals that the issue of replacing the "ole boy" with a newly upgraded model came up. It was truly a hard decision. Here we had the slow cooker that was giving us the truly lovely meals at the end of the day that we craved; then, there were the new-fangled models with programmable controls that opened up a whole world of Crock-Pot cooking.
After some pretty intensive research, we decided to stick with the company that started the whole Crock-Pot craze in the 70's due to the steady track record of quality slow cooking.
Here's what we decided on . . .
I would love to have had one of these when out working in cold weather!
Crock-Pot or Slow Cooker, or Both
The Crock-Pot Name
While many people use the term 'crock pot" and "slow cooker" interchangeably; the fact is that a Crock-Pot is a slow cooker, but not all slow cookers are Crock-Pots . . . follow me?
Crock-Pot is actually a brand of product that started as the Bean Pot Slow Cooker by Rival. In 1971 the Bean Pot was re-introduced as the Crock-Pot and quickly became their best seller. Eventually Rival products were acquired by Jarden's Sunbeam Products, Inc., and Crock-Pot became it's own brand, no longer carrying the Rival brand name and logo.
Therefore, a Crock-Pot is a slow cooker, but not all slow cookers are Crock-Pots!
How cute is this! So similar to our Crock-Pot designs of yesteryear.
My Crock-Pot Progammable Cook and Carry
Overall, I feel this particular Crock-Pot is a great choice for several reasons.
- It has a 6 quart capacity, which is sufficient for most families
- The locking lid with gasket makes it perfect to travel with, without the contents spilling
- The programmable digital control allow you to program cook times anywhere from 30 minutes to 20 hours
- The unit automatically shifts to the Warm setting once the cook time is done
- The stoneware that sits in the heating base also looks nice on you table as a serving dish so you don't dirty another dish
- The lid and stoneware are dishwasher safe
- The stoneware can be used in the microwave, stovetop and in the oven (not on the broil setting)
The main reason I love using my Crock-Pot so often is that it is so easy to use! I can make up an easy two ingredient meal or a complex work of art, depending on my mood, or the time I have available. We can be gone all day and come home to amazing, mouth watering aromas, or be home all day relaxing as the smells build throughout the afternoon, and sit down at the table to a great, home-cooked meal.
For any of you who have never used a slow cooker, there a three basic steps:
1. Place your ingredients into the stoneware serving dish and cover with the lid.
2. Plug in your Crock-Pot and select the temperature and the time settings.
3. Once done cooking, your meal will sit on the Warm setting until you are ready to enjoy your meal!
Not sure I could do without the programmable feature anymore.
This pot roast recipe is one I fall back to when we are really craving a Sunday-type pot roast dinner, but I don't have a lot of time to put a complex recipe together.
This makes a delicious gravy that can be spooned over potatoes, rice or noodles.
- 5 -6 pound pot roast
- 2 (10.75oz) cans Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1 (1oz) package dry onion soup mix
- 1 1/2 cups water
- -In the Crock-Pot stoneware, mix the cream of mushroom soup, the dry onion soup mix and the water.
- - Place the pot roast in the slow cooker and spoon the soup mix over the top of the roast.
- - Cook on High setting for 3-4 hours, or on the Low setting for 8 hours.
336 pages of slow cooker recipes with ingredients found at the local grocery store.