Fall is upon us, and there's no doubt it's nice to come home to a warm home-cooked meal! If you let your crock pot do the work for you, you can get dinner ready in the morning and it will be there waiting for you at dinner time. You'd be surprised how many meals can be prepared in a crock pot. Here are just a few:
Crock Pot Lasagna
1 box rigatoni, cooked1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, browned & drained 1 lg. pkg. sliced pepperoni 1 green pepper, chopped 2 lg. pkg. grated Mozzarella cheese 2 lg. cans pizza sauce 1 med. onion, chopped 8 oz. mushrooms Green olives, sliced
Begin with layer of sauce on bottom of crock pot. Stir all remaining ingredients together. Place in crock pot and cook on low for 5 hours.
Crock Pot Pork Chops
6 to 8 lean pork chops1/2 c. flour 1 tbsp. salt 1 (10 oz.) can chicken and rice soup 1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 2 tbsp. oil
Coat pork chops in mixture of flour, salt, dry mustard, and garlic powder. Brown in oil in skillet. Place browned pork chops in crock pot. Add can of soup. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8hours or on high for 3 1/2 hours.
Crock Pot Meat Loaf
2 lbs. ground beef1/2 lb. ground sausage 2 med. onions, finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, chopped 2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 c. sour cream 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 1/2 c. bread or cracker crumbs 1 1/2 c. milk
Soak bread or cracker crumbs in milk. Mix meat, seasonings, and soaked crumbs thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream and mushroom soup. Make meat mixture into loaf and place in crock pot. Pour the sour cream-soup mixture over top. Cook in crock pot 10 to 12 hours on low.
Crock Pot Stew
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes1 envelope dry onion soup mix 1/2 cup beef broth 1 can (10-1/2 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup 1 can (4 oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained (opt.)
Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 12 hours.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, gardening, organizing tips, home decorating, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.