Tricks for make-ahead and slow cooker recipes for our busy lives

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Once and a while I’ll make a reference to a slow cooker recipe to some foodie and they will snarkily come back with, “oh, like ‘set it and forget it’?” As though your cooking cred just dropped through a sinkhole. Well, to everyone that’s ever said that, I say back, “screw you.” Slow cookers are AWESOME. I’ve had the same one for ten years and I’ve used it dozens and dozens of times.

Here’s why I like it. Slow cooker recipes are easy. As already established in this blog, I am lazy. Score one. Crock Pots make lots of food that does really well as leftovers (as do pretty much any slow cooked dish). Score two (especially if you don’t want to cook every night!). Lastly, you make your dinner the night before when you have a little time (maybe after you’ve finally stopped checking your email or your kids have gone to bed) and then you don’t have to do SHIT the next evening, when you’re tired and crazy and past-the-point-of-consolable because you ate a block of cheese and some Kit-Kats for lunch (not that this has ever happened to me, of course). Big score three.

This time of year is stellar for slow cookers. They’re perfect for making cozy, filling meals and they feed an army (otherwise known as the extended family that’s descending on your 900 sq. foot apartment for the holidays – oh, sorry, I was projecting there for a second).

One friend told me that she plans to cook a batch of chili in her Crock Pot and just keep it on low all Christmas day. That way, as random friends and family drop by, she always has something warm to serve them. Brilliant. I am totally stealing that. She also mentioned that it’s great for the 20-something cousins that show up hung over. Makes perfect sense to me.

So, if you’re freaking out over all of your cooking duties this hectic time of year – or, if you entire life is nothing but one continuous series of chaos and madness (see: my life), these recipes are just what you need.

Asian-style pulled pork

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Crock Pot Chili

Moroccan Meatballs and Spicy Tomato Sauce

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Peasant Stew (One of my all time favorites.)

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Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

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