It’s cold out, it’s going to stay that way, and everyone is slowly recuperating from the holiday rush. It’s all the more reason to save yourself some time by taking advantage of your slow cooker. The following recipes are easy comfort foods that are quick to prepare, and they will make your house smell wonderful.

Chicken & Biscuits

3 chicken breasts, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

2 C each of chopped broccoli and carrots

1 can cream of chicken soup or (21.5 oz.)

Mix together in a crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours. After 3 hours, take 1 can of biscuit dough, tear it into small pieces and sprinkle across the top of the ingredients. Put the lid back on and cook on high for 1 more hour.

Maple Dijon Chicken

2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 12 oz. bottle of Dijon mustard

1/3 C real maple syrup

Combine and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours

Serve on rice, brown rice or mashed sweet potatoes

Stuffed Peppers

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5 or 6 bell peppers, cored and trimmed

Mix together in a bowl: 2 C cooked rice, 1 drained can of corn, salt & pepper, 1/2 onion chopped, 1 can of drained black beans, 1/2 C diced tomatoes, 1/2 C salsa. Stuff the peppers with the mixture, add up to 1.5 C grated cheddar cheese on top of peppers, and place in the slow cooker. Place 1/2 C chicken stock in the bottom of the pot and cook on high for 4 hours. If you like, add 1 lb. of ground beef, turkey or wild game to the mix before stuffing the peppers.

Herbed Chicken

Cut up potatoes, carrots and an onion and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Take one whole chicken, season with salt and pepper, and a good amount of Herbs de Provence spice mixture (or any other spice combination that you like). Place the chicken on the vegetables and cook 6 hours. The chicken will be cooked through and nearly falling apart. It is fine to eat now, though I like to throw it in the oven for about 15 minutes or so at 350+ to brown the skin. The chicken and vegetables provide plenty of liquid for the bird to cook in. Strain the vegetables and serve. *Be sure to remove giblet package.

Old School Pot Roast

Take a 3-4 lb. chuck or rump roast, season it with salt and pepper, then put it in a ziplock bag with about a half cup of flour. Coat on all sides, then sear the roast in a frying pan or Dutch oven in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Usually 3 minutes on each side will do the trick. Place beef in the slow cooker. Add 2 C baby carrots and 2 lb. chopped new potatoes. Combine 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 1 packet of dry onion soup mix and 1.5 C water, and pour over the pot roast and vegetables. Cook on low 8-10 hours or until tender. Or cook on high for 3-4 hours.

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