I broke out mine last week, and then I literally broke it. However, it is still functional, and I will be using it repeatedly throughout the next several months.

If you haven’t ever used a Crock-pot, you are missing out on a great way to have delicious, hot food ready at dinnertime! Frequently, we are eating dinner on the run between activities, and if the meal is already finished, we can sit down and eat a home cooked meal that we wouldn’t otherwise get. Another benefit to using the Crock-pot is being able to make a lot of something that makes great left-overs!

Typically, Crock-pot meals take between 5-8 hours to finish, so you could get everything into the pot in the morning before you leave for the day, or stop in at lunch and get it going. There are countless recipes for Crock-pot meals, everything from lasagne, to chili, to yogurt and cobbler. I like this blog, but there are many other sites to check out.

Here’s my favorite Crock-pot recipe. It can be made in a vegetarian (vegan?) version as well. I make it all winter long, and my husband is already complaining about it… I, however, could eat it every day and not be sick of it! Try it with sour cream, cheese, and corn bread! YUM!

Taco Soup

6 cans of beans, any kind, drained and rinsed. I like to use a mixture of black, red, white, pinto… or whatever you have

2 cans of diced tomatoes with liquid

1 can of broth, beef or vegetable

1 can of corn with liquid

1 packet taco seasoning

1 lb browned ground beef, if desired and/or you can afford it (saute an onion with it, too, if you want)

That’s it. Dump it all in the pot, turn it on to high for 5 hours or so. (Don’t forget to recycle all those cans.) This soup makes the BEST leftovers!

[Image by Flickr user janineomg and used under a Creative Commons license.]


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