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The Benefits Crock-Pot Cooking + Two Delicious Recipes
by Monica Resinger 

A lot of us have a very efficient and time saving appliance sitting high on a 
kitchen shelf collecting dust. What is it? It's the crock- pot! I have taken 
mine down from that high shelf and have actually purchased another one because 
I have found them to be so helpful. How are they helpful? Read on. 

There are a lot of days that it's very hard for me to get a meal on the table 
either because I lack the motivation or because we are busy. Lacking 
motivation stems from being tired at dinnertime; I have had an active day and 
by 5:00 
p.m., I'm just plain worn out and am not in the mood to cook. Because of this, 
we end up eating fast food more often than we should or we eat a meal that 
tastes like there was no effort put into it. 

I have found a solution to this problem and that is the crock-pot! In the 
morning when I am ambitious and creative, I prepare the basis of our meals by 
adding meat, liquids, seasonings or other ingredients to the crock-pot. Then at 
dinnertime, all I have to do is prepare side dishes such as heat and serve 
rolls and a green salad. Sometimes I even prepare the side dishes early too so 
that way I have hardly anything to do at mealtime when I'm lacking energy. If 
have two crock-pots, use them both at the same time with the main dish in one 
and a side dish in the other. 

Another benefit of the crock-pot is that it doesn't heat up the kitchen. This 
can be valuable in the summer but don't limit it to summertime cooking. It's 
an any-season appliance. You'll be pleased smelling the delicious aroma of 
your food cooking all day long in the fall, winter and spring. You can even 
desserts in them such as apple dumplings. 

For those of you that work away from home, the crock-pot is safe enough to 
leave turned on low all day. When you get home, most of your dinner is cooked 
and ready to eat! 

You can buy crock-pots at any retail store for around $30.00 for the average 
size and more or less for a bigger or smaller one. But why spend $30.00 when 
they are abundant in thrift stores and yard sales? I purchased my second one at 
a thrift store for $2.99! If you decide to purchase one at a thrift store or 
yard sale, be sure to plug it in and see if it heats up. 

Here is one of my favorite crock-pot meals. 

Pork Ribs and Kraut 

Brown desired amount of pork spareribs in a frying pan over medium heat; 
season with seasoning salt and place in crock-pot. Stir sauerkraut juice into 
pan you browned the ribs in and stir with a fork to loosen brown bits. Add 
this juice to the crock-pot along with desired amount of sauerkraut. Set 
crock-pot to low and cook 6-8 hours. 

For a side dish to this meal, I make homemade rolls using the bread machine 
to make dough, or I just serve plain old bread and butter. A crusty loaf of 
French bread would be good too. 

Chunky Applesauce 

This would make a great side dish to the meal above. Peel and cut desired 
amount of apples into 1/2 - 1 inch chunks. Place the chunks in your crock-pot 
add about 1/2 cup water. Set the crock-pot to low and cook 4-6 hours or until 
the apple chunks are very soft. Mash with a potato masher to desired 
consistency and add sugar to taste if desired. 

If you need crock-pot recipes, I have published an e-cookbook called 'The 
Slowcooker E-cookbook' that has tons of scrumptious recipes for your crockpot 
easy-to-print format!  For more information, click here:

I hope this article brings you the inspiration to dust off your crock- pot! 

Get Monica's FREE e-zine for homemakers that includes delicious recipes and 
fun & informative home and garden articles 3 times per week!  To subscribe, 
just send a blank e-mail to:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Get FREE home and garden e-books at Monica's website, 'Homemaker's Journal 
E-publications'; Click here:


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