Fresh Summer Ideas for your Crock Pot {Guest Post}

This is a guest blog post written by Jaime-Ann Laidlaw of Family Foodies.

crock pot
The Crock Pot. Many of us remember them from our childhood. Mom would prepare the family dinner in the early hours while the kiddies gathered around the table to eat their Wheaties and dad would read the morning paper. OK so that might be a little farfetched, but whenever the thought of a Crock Pot enters my mind I imagine polyester solid colored slacks on mom and a plaid tweed blazer on dad, and children in turtlenecks. 😉

So where did this thing we have all come to love and adore come from? When did it first appear on kitchen tops all across America? It was about 1970”ish” and was developed by Naxon Company of Chicago. Who? I know, I thought that too. It turns out that Rival bought the rights and perfected what has to be one of the most common housewarming gifts given these days!

There are a lot of really good things that come out of Crock Pots. For example:

• Chili
• Stew
• Baby Back Ribs
• Pot Roast
• Soups

Now if that didn’t get you thinking about food don’t read any further because I am going to show you some yummy summertime crock pot recipes that will have you drooling!
What says summer more than the thought of a picnic table with a spread of all things that do not require cutlery? What about Spare Ribs ? This 2 step cooking process is the secret behind these ribs! Here is a simple recipe for some really awesome ribs borrowed from the queen of kitchen shortcuts: Sandra Lee

Hot Honeyed Spare Ribs

• 4 pounds baby back ribs, cut in 1/2
• 1 tablespoon garlic salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
• 1 cup Catalina dressing
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• Preheat broiler. Line bottom portion of broiler pan with foil for easy clean up. Spray top rack lightly with cooking spray.
• Season ribs with garlic salt and pepper. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes, turn and broil for an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Place browned ribs in slow cooker.
• In a mixing bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour sauce mixture over ribs. Move ribs around to make sure they are all coated. Cover and cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
• With tongs, remove ribs from slow cooker and let cool slightly before cutting into individual rib pieces. Skim grease from sauce. Serve ribs with sauce on the side.

Moving on with things that do not require a fork. I am rather new to this next item and I have no one to blame but myself. The edible green monster; the artichoke. I found this recipe earlier this year and reference it quite often! This is a simple one-pot method to cook these weird looking yummy things. My favorite part is dipping them in oil seasoned with garlic and spices.

5 artichokes, remove stalks and tough leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 peppercorns
2 stalks celery, cut up
1/2 lemon, sliced
2 cups boiling water
1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot.
2. Cook on High 4 – 5 hours.

Ok so I tried to find a really good dessert that did not require a fork or spoon – but I couldn’t. I mean I have some and I found some but they really are not worthy of making this shortlist. So I have concluded that for something to be a FANTASTIC dessert it must require a utensil of some sort! I got the recommendation of this from a friend who loves

Crockpot Baked Stuffed Apples

6 medium tart red apples
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup golden seedless raisins
1 tbsp. grated orange peel
1/4 cup soft butter
2 cups very hot water
3 tbsp. orange juice concentrate

Wash, core and stem the apples, but don’t peel them. Stand them in a buttered mold and stuff them with 2/3 cup of the brown sugar, the raisins and the orange peel. Fill the tops of the core cavities with butter and sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops.

Place the mold in the slow cooker and pour the hot water into the cooker. Sprinkle the orange juice concentrate over the apples. Cover the cooker and cook on LOW for 3 to 5 hours, or until the apples are tender.
Eat up; enjoy; forget doing dishes for hours!

Do you have any yummy crock pot recipes that you want to share? Please do! Insert your favorite crockpot dishes into the comments section and maybe we can all find some new ideas for dinner!

For more great kitchen ideas be sure to visit Family Foodies!
Creative Commons License photo credit: love?janine