As Rob mentioned a few days ago, the cooler weather we’ve had over the past few weeks has kicked us into “domestic mode” and we’ve been doing more cooking & baking. I’m even getting into the swing of things and, thanks to a recommendation from Ryan, we replaced our battered old crock pot just in time for some Fall cooking.
The Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6 Quart Slow Cooker we bought at (dare I say it?) Wal-Mart is awesome! This crock pot was definitely made with traveling in mind with a glass lid that has canister-style clips to keep it secured, large grippy handles that keep your hands away from the hot stuff, and it even comes with a serving spoon that clips onto the lid handle. And of course, the crock removes for easy cleanup.
But what makes cleanup even more of a breeze are the ingenious Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners that Ryan also tipped us off about. These are very similar to the heat-resistant baking bags you use for turkey on Thanksgiving. You just line your crock, add ingredients, & cook as you normally would, but after you’re done, you simply toss the liner! No muss, no fuss. No cleaning. Genius! (Did Steve Jobs have something to do with this too?)
And as if it couldn’t get any easier, here’s one of our favorite, oh-so-simple crock pot recipes:
Dede’s Taco Soup
1 lb. ground beef
2 15 oz. cans beef broth
1 15 oz. can Mexican-style (a.k.a. Rotel) stewed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
Brown & drain the ground beef, toss everything into the crock pot, & you’re set. You can dress this up with all sorts of extras like diced onion, shredded cheese, or sour cream, but we usually just serve with some corn tortilla chips.