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crock pot slow cooker

Image courtesy of Amazon

A programmable crock pot or slow cooker is the answer for super busy people who still like to eat in rather than eat out. A  crock pot slow cooker is designed to make life a little easier for the chef on the run, as well as to give meals that savory taste of having been sauteing in their own sauces for hours. So you are going to be busy at work or running errands all day but want to have dinner on the table at a reasonable hour? When you have a Crock-Pot Slow Cooker then this is not a problem except for the times when you can’t be home in time to turn it off.

Thankfully they have now produced the programmable crock pot slow cooker, which not only can turn itself off when you aren’t there but it can turn itself off once the allotted time has expired. The benefits of the programmable crock pot are convenience and perfectly cooked meals. It is common for roasts and other foods to be overcooked because the cook cannot be there to turn it off, set it to low or even to warm setting.

When you work you normally set the pot before you leave but when you get back can be anywhere between 8 – 12 hours later depending on your travel and work time.  If you have a  programmable slow cooker then you can set it to turn itself on, cook for the 6 – 8 hours then turn itself to warm to wait for your return.

You no longer have to plan your day to be home at a certain time or worry that the roast will dry out and the vegetables will become mush. Using a digital slow cooker also gives you the peace of mind knowing that it will turn itself off if left unattended for too long. It is easy to forget you have something cooking in a crock pot slow cooker. With the programmable crock pot, forgetfulness will never be cause to worry about again.

Investing in a programmable crock pot will save you time and stress, while providing your family with a delicious meal that they will think you spent hours slaving over. If you haven’t got one then update to one today. Amazon will give you the best choices and at a competitive price for your new crock pot slow cooker so click on the image in this post to go there now.

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Advantages of the Clay Pot

The Clay PotThe clay pot is not as popular as the slow cooker but still produces lovely meals for your family. I love using clay pots for cooking as they retain the flavor and nutrients of the food I am cooking.  Whether you are using unglazed or unglazed pots you will gt a good result by slow cooking.

Here are 10 advantages of the clay pot for cooking:

  1. Meats cook well and stay moist and tender due to the steaming affect of the cooking process.
  2. You can use your clay baker in the microwave as well as on the stove top and the oven.
  3. Food browns well in the clay even with the lid on (although I do take the lid off for the last 10 minutes for meats).
  4. Unglazed pots should be your choice if using tougher cuts of meat or when microwaving.
  5. Glazed clay pots are perfect for lasagna and baked foods.
  6. Minimal washing up with clay pots as you just need to wash them with a nylon brush or scourer and warm water.
  7. There is a good choice of clay pot cookers on the market.
  8. Clay is a natural product so is safe to use for cooking your food in.
  9. If you care for your clay pot it should last you for years (One of mine is over 10 years old).
  10. No need to add extra fats like cooking oil to your cooking so it will brown so less calories.

In Morocco the clay pot is called a tagine but those available in the US are glazed for easier cleaning.  Also bean pots have become very popular and these are usually unglazed.  Either way the use of the clay pot is the way to go for healthy natural cooking with minimal fat.

Oh and another advantage is that you can use the juices from your pot to make the very best gravy oh yum!  If you have a clay pot get it out and cook with it today.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Rosemary and Thyme

This slow cooker chicken soup recipe is easy to make and has the added flavor of the herbs, rosemary and thyme.  You make the stock while making the soup.  I soften the vegetables before adding them but this step is optional.  If you don’t have a slow cooker you can slow cook this recipe on the stove top in a large heavy pot and reduce the cooking time to 2 hours.  This soup is very good for your health as it contains garlic, rosemary, thyme and of course chicken which are all good for lowering anxiety and stress.  I hope you like it as much as my family do.

slow cooker chicken soup

Soften the vegetables

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Rosemary and Thyme

6 raw chicken drumsticks
Water to cover the chicken (approx 5 – 6 cups)
2 sprigs rosemary and thyme (tied together with string)
Bay leaf
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 medium carrots (diced)
1 stalk celery (keep the leaves)
1 leek, chopped (use only the white part and wash well)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp salt and pepper (to your taste)
2 tbs Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
 

Place the chicken and the water into the slow cooker. Make sure the chicken is covered. Add the rosemary and thyme and the bay leaf.  Note you can also tie the bay leaf with the other herbs but optional. Heat a frying pan and add the olive oil. Add the vegetables to the pan until they are soft but not browned.  Add them then to the slow cooker and add the salt and pepper  and lightly stir through.  Cover the pot and cook on low for 5 hours.

slow cook chicken

Tie together the rosemary and thyme

Remove the chicken from the pot and remove the meat. Add this back to the slow cooker and heat through for another hour. Remove the tied herbs and the bay leaf.  This soup is best cooled and any fat removed before serving. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and the celery tops that have also been chopped up for a lovely garnish and serve with crusty bread and a salad for a complete meal.  You can also add 1 cup of noodles to the pot when you remove the chicken for a chicken and noodle soup.

Note:  See image of tied herbs – leave some string to help you remove it at the end of the cooking cycle.

This slow cooker chicken soup is easy to make and tastes fantastic and has the benefit of being good for you too.  Divide into portions and freeze any left over soup for lunches.

 

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