I have owned a slow cooker for a few years now. I purchased one after years of my mum telling me how handy they are etc. Apparently I could come home from work to a waiting cooked meal! So I caved in and bought one (also after finding this blog many moons ago I must admit!) but the so called time saving device did not really fit in with my lifestyle and working hours.
I used to wake up at 6.15am-ish then catch my bus to work at around 7.35am-ish, in order to start work at 8.30am. Then get home each night at around 6.30 – 6.45pm. Meaning I was out the house for nearly 12 hours, when most slow cooker recipe cooking times are for around 6 – 8 hours. Plus I could not be doing with preparing a meal first thing in the morning. And if I did bother to do so, it meant I would be home to a very overcooked meal.
Trust me this is not nice experience, I once cooked a curry in my slow cooker while Rob and I met our friends down the pub, thinking it would be ready when we got home. We *ahem* got held up *cough* at the pub and came home to a burning smell (yep you can burn stuff in a slow cooker – who knew?) and then had to fish out the chicken thigh bones of our dinner of charred slop. Eww! – Yeah we ate this meal, we had spent our kebab money on beer, waste not want not!
Saying that, not being a microwave owner, my slow cooker comes in handy for those “I cant be bothered to cook” days. These days I currently work two part time jobs and now have more time at home. So I have the option of using my slow cooker more.
I have eaten some really tasty meals from my slow cooker, and then made some really bland, terrible meals in it over the years. So I have decided to make a little feature on here and share some of my more successful recipes on here from time to time. Its called – you got it! Slow cooking Sunday!! It took me all of 5 seconds to think up that catchy little title! – Yep it shows!!
Here are a few little tips I want to share with you first, from what I have learnt over the years using my slow cooker:
• Do stick to the times stated on a recipe. If its on the slow setting use the slow time, not the fast setting time. Duh, obvious! But I have served pink chicken thighs to a dinner guest. Whoops!
•Do not use bay tree leaves picked from your garden. I once made a sausage casserole and used two bay leaves from my bush♥ in my garden to use as the recipe stated. Unfortunately they made the casserole taste like I had pored some cheap pine toilet cleaner in it! It was so overpowering, bleugh! A word to the wise here – slow cookers do not like fresh herbs, use dried supermarket herbs wherever possible. In fact I think you are meant to dry out bay leaves first for any recipe to make them more palatable! Whoops!
•Do not use your slow cooker to reheat leaftovers. My meal tasted luke warm and gummy. Its not safe apparently. We lived to tell the tale though.
•You can bake bread in it apparently! I cant wait to try this recipe out!
•Finally If you are like me, you are best to follow an existing recipe rather than making up your own one.
Coming up on sunday – an actual recipe!
♥ Not funny. Stop sniggering.♥