General conference weekend is an ideal time to pull out your slow cooker and put it -- not you -- to work. Cooking with this versatile appliance requires little time and will free you up to hang out with your family and listen to talks by leaders of the LDS Church. We've prepared an entire weekend menu using slow cooker recipes. Don't worry, it's not all casseroles. Everything from desserts to snacks and eggs can be prepared using this no-fuss, slow-heat method. So prepare a dish, put a lid on the slow cooker, and wait for its tempting smells to waft throughout your house.

 

Saturday

Breakfast

  • Poached egg
  • Toast
  • Orange juice

Let's start off with a healthy breakfast this weekend.

Poached Eggs

Serves 4

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups boiling water

Pour boiling water into bottom of large slow cooker. Cover and heat on high 20 minutes.

Spray 4 custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Break one egg into each cup. Place custard cups into slow cooker in single layer; cover and cook on high 12 minutes.

Test eggs for doneness. Eggs are done when white is solid but yolk is soft. If egg white is still runny, cover slow cooker and cook a few minutes longer until whites are set.

• "365 Days of Slow-Cooking" (Covenant Communications, $25.99) by Karen Bellessa Petersen

 

Lunch

Enjoy some melt-in-your-mouth vegetables for this meal. The carrots will add some crunch. Don't you feel so healthy?

  • Cabbage rolls
  • Creamed corn
  • Carrot sticks

Cabbage Rolls

  • 12 cabbage leaves
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 46-ounce can V-8 juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire

Boil cabbage leaves in large pot of water 2 minutes; drain. In large bowl, combine rice, egg, milk, onion and ground beef, salt and pepper.

Place § cup meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf; roll up, tucking in ends. Place rolls in slow cooker. Pour half the V-8 juice over cabbage rolls. Sprinkle with brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in remaining V-8 juice.

Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.

• "Slow-Cooker Cookbook" (Covenant Communications, $17.99) by Debbie G. Harman

 

Creamed corn is such a comfort food, and this recipe is almost too easy to put together!

Creamed Corn

  • Two (14-ounce) cans whole kernel corn
  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in 6-quart slow cooker. Stir well. Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or low 5-6 hours until thickened.

• "Slow-Cooker Cookbook" (Covenant Communications, $17.99) by Debbie G. Harman

 

Dinner

  • Beef & Squash Stew
  • Warm bread
  • Apple crisp 

Enjoy this hearty stew recipe. Squash gives a bit of a twist to the otherwise standard recipe, and tapioca acts as a thickener. The kids will be happy with something sweet at the end of the meal.

Beef and Squash Stew

Serves 4-6

  • 1½ pounds stew meat
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion or 1/4 cup fresh chopped onion
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, cubed (about same amount as potatoes)
  • 10 3/4-ounce can tomato soup
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon quick-cooking tapioca

Combine meat, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, potatoes, squash, soup, broth and garlic in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Stir in Italian seasoning, pepper, parsley flakes, salt and tapioca. Cover and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with warm bread.

• "365 Days of Slow-Cooking" (Covenant Communications, $25.99) by Karen Bellessa Petersen

 

Top this with ice cream for a great dessert. 

Apple Crisp

Serves 6

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 cups apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix flour, brown sugar, ½ cup white sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in bowl. Combine butter with flour mixture using fingers or fork until coarse crumbs form. Stir in walnuts and set aside.

Whisk together · cup sugar, cornstarch, ginger and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Place apples in slow cooker, stir in cornstarch mixture; toss with lemon juice. Sprinkle walnut crumb topping on top.

Cover and cook on high 2 hours or low 4 hours, until apples are tender. Partially uncover slow cooker to allow topping to harden, about 1 hour.

 

Snack

This is a classic snack, but who knew you could prepare it in a slow cooker? You could probably even make it the day before and free up a slow cooker for the day.

Savory Snacks

  • 2 cups Wheat Chex
  • 2 cups Corn Chex
  • 2 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 cups thin pretzels
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

In large mixing bowl, combine cereals, pretzels and nuts. Melt butter in slow cooker. Add seasonings and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Toss cereal mix in slow cooker until well coated. Cook on low 2-3 hours. Pour into large bowl and serve.

• "Slow-Cooker Cookbook" (Covenant Communications, $17.99) by Debbie G. Harman

 

Sunday

Breakfast

  • Breakfast Hash
  • Fruit plate 

Fruit would be refreshing with this rather heavy, but delicious, breakfast dish.

Breakfast Hash

Serves 6

  • 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage, browned, drained
  • 2 cups peeled, diced potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Put all ingredients in a greased slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours. Serve with grated cheese and salsa.

• "365 Days of Slow-Cooking" (Covenant Communications, $25.99) by Karen Bellessa Petersen

 

Lunch

  • Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
  • Sandwich of choice
  • Deviled eggs

Some people have to have a sandwich to dip in their soup. If you love sandwiches, raid the refrigerator and throw something together to serve with this Tomato Basil Parmesan recipe. And why not add deviled eggs to complete the meal?

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Serves 8

  • Two (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil or º cup fresh basil
  • ½ bay leaf
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups half-and-half, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, fresh oregano, fresh basil and bay leaf in large slow cooker. (If using dried oregano and basil, add them in the last hour of cooking time.)

Cover and cook on low 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

About an hour before serving, prepare a roux. In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat; stir in flour. Stir constantly with whisk 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups hot soup and stir until smooth. Pour roux-soup combination back into slow cooker.

Add Parmesan cheese, warmed half-and-half, salt and pepper; stir well. If using dried oregano and basil, add them now. Cover and cook on low one additional hour until ready to serve.

• "365 Days of Slow-Cooking" (Covenant Communications, $25.99) by Karen Bellessa Petersen

 

Deviled eggs are perfect for special occasions like General Conference. Be forewarned: They disappear fast.

 

Deviled Eggs

  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cup-plus mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika

Place eggs in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover, remove from heat and let eggs sit in hot water 10-12 minutes. Put pan under faucet and run cold water over them. Add ice cubes to cool down the eggs. Dry off eggs and refrigerate overnight.

Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and combine with mayonnaise, mustard (if using) and salt and pepper. Mix together until smooth. If too dry, add more mayonnaise. Taste test along the way to see if more seasonings are needed.

Refill each egg half with yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Place on decorative plate, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

• Adapted from www.allrecipes.com

 

Dinner

  • Spicy Holiday Ham
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Fresh veggie tray including broccoli, carrots, celery, etc.

What's better than ham and potatoes for Sunday dinner? Preparing ham in a slow cooker is easier than it sounds. Put it all together and forget about it until it's time to eat! 

Spicy Holiday Ham

6-8 pound bone-in country ham

  • 2 cups maple syrup
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • peels of 2 oranges

Score top of ham in diamond pattern. Place ham in large slow cooker. Pour maple syrup over top. Press whole cloves into cross points of scored ham.

In mixing bowl, combine apple cider and spices. Pour over ham. Grate orange peel over ham. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

• "Slow-Cooker Cookbook" (Covenant Communications, $17.99) by Debbie G. Harman

 

I like to play around with mashed potato recipes. Sometimes I cut up some carrots and toss them in with the potatoes to cook together. Other times, I'll saute some chopped onions and garlic in olive oil and throw them into the potatoes while I'm mashing them. If you have sour cream or cream cheese on hand, add a couple tablespoons of one or the other for extra taste and creaminess. Who doesn't like mashed potatoes? 

Traditional Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6

  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper

Place potatoes in saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to boil; cook 20-25 minutes. Drain well. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash until light and fluffy.

 

Snack

Artichoke Caesar Dip

Makes 16 servings

  • 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup creamy Caesar dressing
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 18 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Spray small slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low 2-3 hours or on high 1 to 1½ hours or until hot.

Stir until dip is well blended and smooth. Serve with bread or crackers. (Dip can be held on low heat setting as long as 1 hour.)

• "365 Days of Slow-Cooking" (Covenant Communications, $25.99) by Karen Bellessa Petersen

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