Ode to my Slow Cooker

Years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I received a crockpot and I thought it was the stupidest thing ever. In my ignorant but so clearly all-knowing manner that only people in their 20s can assume, I thought it smacked of — I am really going to sound like a jerk here — the Midwest and all that meant to my obviously snotty Northeast ways.

I was  an idiot.

When I think of the ways in which a crockpot, or slow cooker as they’re now more commonly known, could have made my working mother-with-three-young-children life easier, I just want to cry. What was I thinking?

slowcooker, chili, crockpotI’m not sure what prompted me to see the error of my ways other than, oh I guess I’m in my 50s and so much wiser now, but I bought a slow cooker a few weeks ago. And. My. Life. Changed.

Is there anything better than coming in the house after a long day at work and having the smell of dinner waft through the air as you open the door and knowing that all you have to do to take advantage of this is to get your plate out and sit down to eat?????? Why was I such an idiot? The irony that I have discovered this time-saver after all our children are grown and my life is actually slightly simpler is, well, probably just exactly what I deserve.

Anyway now I’m on the lookout for a good slow cooker cookbook. If you all have a favorite to suggest, I would love to hear your thoughts.

White Chili

makes 6 servings

ingredients

1/2 pound white beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

4 cups chicken stock

1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup salsa verde (I bought some but if you’ve got your own recipe, go wild)

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon coriander

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded and minced

1 cup corn

method

Soak the beans overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse.

Lightly coat the interior of the ceramic pot of the slow cooker with cooking spray. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about five minutes.
Place the stock, beans and chicken in the slow cooker. Add the onion/garlic mix, salsa, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, pepper and jalapenos.

Cover and set timer to 3 hours on high. Once the slow cooker switches to warm, set the timer for 4 hours on simmer. Thirty minutes before serving, turn to high and add the corn.



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