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If you don't own a crockpot, go buy one. A crockpot is the busy family's best friend. What could be easier than putting a few ingredients into the crockpot in the morning, turning it on, going out and having fun and then coming home to a fully cooked dinner? Well, take out maybe, but it won't be as good.

Plus a crockpot won't heat up your kitchen. And when your air conditioner is already struggling to keep up, this is a real bonus. Oh, and coming home to a great smelling house isn't too bad either.

There really isn't any limit to what you can cook in the crockpot…from main dishes to desserts. But most people only think of stews and soups. Here are three recipes to get you going on the crockpot bandwagon. Two main dish recipes and a wonderful dessert recipe that the kids or anyone else is sure to love. Enjoy!


1 chicken, cut up
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. flour
2 T. vegetable oil
1 (6 oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. vinegar
3 T. catsup
2 T. cold water
2 T. cornstarch
Hot rice

Combine flour with salt. Coat chicken thoroughly. In a skillet, brown chicken pieces on all sides in hot oil and drain. Transfer chicken to crockpot.
Stir together lemonade, brown sugar, catsup and vinegar. Pour over chicken; cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Remove chicken from crockpot.
Pour cooking liquid into a saucepan. Return chicken to crockpot; cover and keep warm.
Skim fat from liquid. Blend cold water slowly into cornstarch. Stir into hot liquid. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Serve chicken with gravy over hot, cooked rice.


1 (1/2-inch thick) round steak,
cut into 1-inch strips
1 C. onion
2 C. green bell pepper
2 ribs celery
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 T. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. beef bouillon

Brown meat in oil until brown. Put meat into crockpot. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook overnight or for 8 hours on LOW. Serve over rice.


4 large tart apples, cored
1/2 C. apple juice
8 T. brown sugar
12 red-hot candies
4 T. butter or margarine
8 caramels
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Whipped cream (optional)

Peel about 3/4 inch off the top of each apple; place in a crockpot. Pour juice over apples. Fill the center of each apple with 2 tablespoons sugar, three red-hots, 1 tablespoon of butter and two caramels. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours or until the apples are tender.
Serve immediately with whipped cream, if desired. Yields 4 servings.

Culinary Trivia

Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau opened the first restaurant in Paris in 1766. The earliest restaurants specialized in cuisine that seemed very progressive at the time: strong broths that, by extracting all the nutritive virtues of various meats and vegetables, offered nourishment without any of the hazards of solid food. There was no fiber to chew no fat to digest. But by the early 19th century, bouillon sipping was falling out of fashion and in its place, restaurants offered rich, decadent foods.

After the French revolution the French launched on an eating binge so excessive that they felt compelled to justify their hedonism by turning food into a field for specialists. The creation of "gastronomy" transformed the restaurant from a social phenomenon into an object of aesthetic analysis -- into art as distinct from life.( from The Invention of the Restaurant by Rebecca L. Spang/ Harvard University Press)

Cool Recipe Site

It has been a while since I have given you a cool recipe site to check out so here is the latest in what I have found.

Back of the Box Recipes ( is a really neat website that has gathered up recipes listed on the backs of boxes, bottles and cans. Back in the 1980's there were a few cookbooks that had these recipes but most are out of print and hard to find. A stray copy will show up at a garage sale every now and then.

So until you find a hard copy check out this website. Whether you are looking for McCormick's Lady Baltimore Cake or Kraft's Cheddar Broiled Tomatoes it's all here. Maybe you lost that recipe you cut off a box years ago, well chances are you can find it at Back of the Box Recipes. Surf on in and see what you can find.