Well, the first month of my challenge to use my Crock Pot everyday to make Weight Watchers friendly recipes is now complete!
How quickly time flies when you are having fun 🙂
I thought it would be a good idea to do a monthly recap of the month's favorite crock pot recipes while they are still fresh in my mind.
I've also included some things I learned about crock pot cooking this month...
What I Learned About Crock Pot Cooking this Month
Traveling with your Crock Pot can save you money. I took my crock pot with me when we traveled to Flagstaff for our anniversary. Making hot drinks like cider and lattes can save you from paying coffee shop prices. You can also eat a lot healthier and save money by making crock pot oatmeal in your hotel room for breakfast.
Most crock pot recipes are done a lot sooner than old cookbooks suggest. Today's crock pots cook hotter and therefore faster than those of yesteryear. But not all crock pot recipes reflect this. Many of the recipes I made were done in significantly less time than the recipe suggested.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts are easy to overcook in the crock pot. I cooked chicken breasts a few times and they were done in about 4 hours. When cooking boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot, check them sooner than the recipe suggests. And consider using a meat thermometer so you know when they reach 165 and are done.
If I worked full time outside the home I would want a Programmable Slow Cooker, like this one that I've added to my Amazon Wish List. Lots of recipes are done in less than an 8 or 10 hour workday. Programmable slow cookers let you set the cook time and then automatically switch to a Keep Warm mode so your food doesn't end up overcooked.
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
Uncooked pasta doesn't cook well in a slow cooker. It swells excessively and gets mushy. When making recipes that call for pasta in the slow cooker, it's best to cook the pasta to just underdone and then add it to the slow cooker.
I like baking in the slow cooker. This slow cooker apple cake was the first thing I ever baked in the slow cooker. It turned out so well, I've become a bit slow cooker baking obsessed.
I love that baked goods turn out moist and dense when cooked in the slow cooker. And because you are using moist heat, you can get away with lower fat baked goods that still taste good.
Now onto my Favorite Crock Pot Recipes for October...
Most Favorite Crock Pot Recipes of October 2013
My top 3 Crock Pot Recipes for October are:
1. Slow Cooker Apple Cake Maybe because it's the first thing I ever baked in the slow cooker? Maybe because I love apple season and apple cake? Or maybe because this cake turned out moist, sweet, and flavorful?
I'm not sure. But it's clearly takes the top prize in my most favorite crock pot recipes list for October. (Though this pumpkin pie pudding is a close runner-up.)
2. Slow Cooker Artichoke Chicken Of all the easy slow cooker dinner recipes I made this month, this was my favorite.
I loved the combination of flavors.
It didn't hurt seeing my beautiful grandson enthusiastically gobble it up either. This dish was provided me maximum reward with minimal effort.
3. This slow cooker kielbasa sauerkraut potatoes dinner takes the prize for tastiest easiest slow cooker meal I prepared this month. And it was so perfect for October too.
Least Favorite Crock Pot Recipes of October 2013
There were only 2 things I made this month that I wouldn't make again. My least favorite crock pot recipes of October were:
1. Light Creme Brulee
2. Acorn Squash with Mango Chutney and Coconut. I loved the squash and will make it again. But neither Rod or I liked the chutney/coconut topping. (11/7/13 Update: I now know why this had an "off" taste. The coconut had gone bad! I'm going to try it again with a fresh bag of coconut.)
Now, onward to November 🙂
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