We hope you've enjoyed this week's closer look at Slow Cookers, Casseroles & Skillets...it's sure to be one title you'll want to add to your collection.
Still not convinced? Here are just a dozen of the hundreds of handy time-saving tips inside this week's Cookbook of the Week. Enjoy!
Slow cookers are a super budget helper! Cheaper cuts of beef like round steak and chuck roast cook up fork-tender, juicy and flavorful...there’s simply no need to purchase more expensive cuts.
Convert your favorite stovetop soup recipe to fix & forget in a slow cooker. Most soups that simmer for one to 2 hours will be done in 8 to 10 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high. Wait until the last 30 minutes to add dairy ingredients like sour cream and tender veggies like peas.
Save time with double-duty slow-cooker recipes by saving half for another meal. Use extra roast chicken as the start of a yummy noodle casserole, simmer shredded beef roast with barbecue sauce to serve in crusty buns...even spoon extra chili over hot dogs or into taco salads. The only limit is your imagination!
Here’s how to check whether a slow cooker is heating to the right temperature. Pour 8 cups of water into the crock, cover and heat on low setting for 8 hours. Uncover and immediately check the water temperature with an instant-read kitchen thermometer. If the slow cooker is working properly, it will read 185 degrees.
A handy chart in case you don’t have the exact size pan or dish called for... 13"x9" baking pan = 3-quart casserole dish
9"x9" baking pan = 2-quart casserole dish
8"x8" baking pan = 1-1/2 quart casserole dish
When packing a tomato-based casserole to share with a friend or neighbor, tuck in a small can of tomato juice too. Add a note to drizzle the juice over the casserole just before reheating. The casserole will be extra moist and flavorful when it’s reheated.
First aid for casserole dishes with baked-on food spatters! Mix equal amounts of cream of tartar and white vinegar into a paste. Spread onto the dish and let stand for 30 minutes to an hour. Spatters will wash off easily.
A slick trick when you don’t want to leave a favorite casserole baking dish in the freezer! First, line it with aluminum foil, bake your casserole, wrap and freeze. Then lift out your frozen casserole and return the dish to the cupboard. Later, when you’re ready to enjoy your casserole, simply unwrap, place it back into the same dish and bake.
Lots of skillet recipes call for chopped onion, green pepper or celery. Whenever you’re slicing & dicing enough for one meal, take a moment to chop some extra veggies for later in the week and tuck them away in the fridge. What a time-saver!
While the main dish simmers, turn leftover mashed potatoes into twice-baked potatoes. Stir in minced onion, crumbled bacon, sour cream and shredded cheese to taste. Pat into mini casserole dishes. Bake at 350 degrees until hot and golden...scrumptious!
Make crunchy toast cups to fill with a favorite saucy skillet dish. Trim the crusts off bread slices, flatten slightly and brush both sides with melted butter. Gently press the slices into ungreased muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until toasty and golden.
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