Today’s slow cookers are not like the Crock-Pots your mom or grandmother rushed out to buy when this hot appliance hit the shelves in the early 1970s. Today some come with switches that automatically turn the heat down at a preset time. Some have inserts that can be used on the stovetop for browning meat or sautéing other ingredients before hand. Still others have inserts pretty enough to go from the slow cooker straight to the table.
What could be better than dishes that virtually cook themselves. Assemble the ingredients, toss in the slow cooker, then off you go to work or play. When you come home, dinner or dessert will be ready and waiting.
Recipes by Jean Kressy, a writer in Ashburnam. Mass.