New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Slow Cooking in the Summer Months

The weather has warmed, and we're spending more and more time out in the yard. 

I love it.

But I STILL use my slow cookers more often than not for our family dinners, and I urge you to, too.

Slow cookers take up very little electricity to run when compared to your stove or oven, and they do not heat your kitchen up the way those other appliances do. You're not going to notice that your AC is struggling to keep the kitchen cool, and you're not going to be standing over a hot stove, trying not to drip into your pasta sauce.

(ew. that's really gross, steph.)

I've listed my favorite ways to use the cooker below --- if you've got a family favorite, add it to the list!

Love, love, love fish packets in the slow cooker. The fish steams perfectly in a foil or parchment-paper packet and you get a beautiful, flaky finished result without stinking (or heating!) up your kitchen.


Lemon and Rosemary Chicken
We make this chicken pretty often, and I like to use the leftovers on top of salads or in chicken sandwiches. If you don't want to mess around with a whole bird, dump in a bunch of your favorite frozen boneless, skinless pieces and then add the seasonings.
lemon rosemary chicken

Pesto Spinach Lasagna
This lasagna rocks. It's vegetarian, so it's automatically lighter than most lasagnas, and because you've got pesto layered in it each and every bite is absolutely bursting with loads of flavor. Put your basil crop to good use this summer!

pesto spinach lasagna

Lentil and Kale Super Food
Kale is good for you. Lentils are too. And together they work to create a great casserole that will keep you swimsuit-ready the entire season. (an added bonus? this tastes good. PROMISE.)

Hot Dogs
And let us not forget that you can fit 60 HOT DOGS INTO ONE POT!
and that there is pretty darn impressive.

Basil Chicken with Feta
More basil! This Mediterranean-inspired dish that will keep all the picky people in your house happy.

Cowboy Beef and Bean Sandwiches
although cowboys might not actually eat their sandwiches on rice cakes....?
beef and bean sandwiches

And while I certainly have quite a few desserts you can make in the crock, my favorite not-too-sweet dessert in the summer is Applesauce. We eat it both hot or cold --- and the kids love to add whipped cream and ice cream to their bowls for an even more decadent treat.

If you're like us and your playroom or household art area has more broken than whole crayons, no worries! You can melt them down in an aluminum muffin tin to make recycled crayons!
This is a great summer time playdate or girl/boy scout activity.

Enjoy your summer time months! Keep the slow cooker out --- you'll be thankful that you did!

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Andy-N-Erika Wasielewski said...

Those Cowboy Beef and Bean Sandwiches were amazing! I did add a few dashes of worcestershire sauce to the pot as well, but it was a great combination of flavors. Adding the pickled peppers and cheese totally took it over the top- and even my kid who doesn't care for beans ate it. They kind of disappeared in the beef. Thank you for pointing that one out again. It's a keeper!

Marius @ Kitchen & Life said...

I personally think slow cooking has a place at any time of the year. Love the recipe ideas you've put together will give some of these a go on the more busier days :)

Tania said...

Stephanie, I'd also nominate your slow cooker falafel as a great summer slow cooker dish. Pair falafel with minty tabbouleh or some green salad, refreshing yogurt sauce or hummus... it's perfect.

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