Saturday, March 5, 2016


I love my slow cooker!

I don't remember exactly how I obtained my first slow cooker.  I am tempted to say that an old friend of mine told me about them about 15 years ago and I decided to buy one and give it a try.  I still have that first one and one larger one which was a Christmas present a few years ago.

I was blown away the first time I used one.  I made a beef stew.  I believe I found a slow cooked beef stew recipe online and followed it.  I bought some stewing beef, potatoes, carrots, celery, corn, beef broth powder and some seasoning salt.  I chopped the stewing beef in cubes, seasoned them, chopped everything else up and threw it all into the slow cooker with the beef broth mixed with a cup of water.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

Fresh tomatoes, chopped and added to the mix for Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup!

As it was my first time, I could not help but check on the slow cooker every once in a while.  The world of slow cooking sounded too good to be true and my main concern was throwing everything in raw, including the beef, and letting it cook.  So I kept checking.

After almost two hours, it seemed like everything was cooking.  An hour so so later, it SMELLED like everything was cooking.  As the 8 hours started dwindling down, I grew more excited, not because of what I was seeing through the glass lid because the steam and condensation didn't leave much to see, but because of the smell.  And it was everywhere in my tiny one bedroom basement apartment.  My landlord came down to do laundry because the washer and dryer was in the basement, and she even acknowledged that it smelled really good down there and it could be smelled upstairs!

Building awesomeness!

Needless to say, I was beyond surprised with the results.  I was in love with my new slow cooker instantly and began searching online for more ideas, but in the beginning I would mostly stick to the beef stew, because I'm a man, and man love meat!

I love that, "set it and forget it" feel of the mighty slow cooker!  It wasn't until I recently took my cooking more seriously that I finally expanded my slow cooking world to more than beef stew.  I started relying less on searching online for ideas and more on simply picking up ingredients on instinct, prepping them and tossing them in.  And it has come out perfect every time.  It's like the slow cooker cannot go wrong.

Everything added and ready for a slow cookin'!

My slow cooker has never let me down.  I will still cruise the slow cooker aisle every now and then at department stores just to see what latest fancy functions have been added to newer models.  Despite the fact that I have two of them, I am always on the lookout for one with a built-in timer.  I have come close many times but then I stop myself as my oven has a built-in timer on it which I use.  But I still can't help but be tempted.  I sometimes fantasize about having at least 5 slow cookers going at once, but as a single guy, that's not really logical at the moment unless I'm cooking for others.  But I am always on the lookout for the next member of my slow cooker family.

Who knows.  Maybe it will be bigger than my big one.  Or maybe it will be one of the itty-bitty single portion ones which I have seen on shelves.  Have one nice slow cooker family in my collection!  That's not crazy, is it?

8 hours later!

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup!



1 lb ground beef (or vegetarian crumble)
3 cups of beef broth (or vegetable broth to make vegetarian)
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB dried parsley
1 TB dried basil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1, 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes because that's how Chef Nairby rolls!)
1, 6oz can of tomato paste
1 cup V8 (or any vegetable drink)
2 cups uncooked shell pasta
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of water
Optional topping- shredded cheese

1. First mix together the can of tomatoes, and tomato paste in slow cooker.
2. Next add broth, beef, garlic, parsley, basil, onion, V8 and salt/pepper.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
4. When 30 minutes are left of cook time, add in the 1 cup of water and noodles. Stir to combine. Put lid back on and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

Chef Nairby

No comments:

Post a Comment