Who says crock pots are for winter?!

Perhaps you’re like me and you originally thought your crock pot (slow cooker) could only be used in the winter? In hindsight, thinking that I could only use my slow cooker in the winter seems silly. It’s a delicious meal when I get home from work (especially since I don’t have a barbeque at my apartment), it prevents me from having to turn on the oven, and it allows me to eat well when I’m feeling lazy OR when I’m feeling energetic and wanting to spend my time outside rather than inside slaving over a hot, hot, hot stove on a hot summer day.

I think it was the summer before last when I commented to my mom that I couldn’t use my slow cooker in the summer. Imagine my surprise when she questioned why, and I had no good answer. Since then, I’ve tried to find slow cooker recipes I can use year-round. I wanted to share three of my favourites, and two more recipes I hope to try this summer!

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My favourites:

1 – Chili! Now hold on before you start to think that chili is a winter food. Imagine taking your favourite chili recipe, spreading it across nachos and then adding some cheese and sour cream. If your mouth isn’t watering – you clearly haven’t tried it! We love snack foods and anything salty is a favourite of mine. Combine that with oh-so-yummy chili and some simple toppings thrown on top and I’m in heaven!

2 – Pulled Pork! What can I say about Pulled Pork sandwiches other than YUM! I will admit, I often just buy the packs from the store. It whips together in literally a few minutes, cooks all day while I’m at work, has the most incredible aroma ever when I get home, and then the taste – incomparable! I’m literally drooling just thinking about it…

3 – Mac and Cheese! What could be more comforting on a rainy day than a big ole’ bowl of mac and cheese? It seems that we’re going to have a lot of rainy days this summer so I will definitely be taking advantage of mac and cheese recipes for the crock pot. I love to add things to my mac and cheese (like broccoli and bacon) to add some extra flavor and then I drizzle some sriracha on top. Yum!

To Try!

1 – A frittata – I’ve yet to try anything like this in my slow cooker (winter or summer) so I am looking forward to trying to make a frittata in the slow cooker this summer. I love eggs and it’ll be a great way to have a protein-filled meal after headed out hiking or swimming for the day.

I found this recipe I hope to try: http://www.thefoodiecorner.gr/en/slow-cooker-en/slow-cooker-frittata-courgettes-zucchini-tomato-feta-recipe/ although I can definitely see me adding in some mushrooms!

2 – Salmon – I haven’t, for no reason other than that I hadn’t thought to before, cooked fish in my slow cooker. When I started looking for summer slow cooker recipes, I stumbled on a slow cooked salmon. We love fish and especially salmon in our house so I definitely think I’ll be giving this one a try this summer.

Here’s the recipe I found: http://www.5dollardinners.com/slow-cooker-lemon-dill-salmon/

Stay tuned this summer as I warm up (without overheating) some of my favourite summer slow cooker meals and try out these new tasty recipes. My mom will be writing this week to share some of her favourite summer slow cooker meals also.

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