We’re well into the school year and I don’t know about you, but it seems like half the time, I’m so busy with chauffeuring here and there, plus doctors appointments for physicals and vaccinations, etc, etc, that I end up saying “it’s snack night!” to my kids when they ask whats for dinner. Then I feel guilty because what happens is they eat cereal (they’re thrilled with that; me, not so much) for dinner and everyone ends up spread out chowing down on foods that I normally prefer not be served. One will be in his room, eating sandwiches. Two will be parked in front of the TV, watching Uncle Grandpa (Lord, I loathe that show) while my husband and I will be sitting in front of our computers. NOT exactly a family friendly eating experience and NOT how I want my kids childhoods to be. My husband working third shift exacerbates the problem because half the time, after getting the kids to school, I’ll come back and lay down with him and before I know it, half the day is gone and no dinner prep was made.
So what do I do more often now? Yep; you guessed it. The trusty slow cooker comes out. I own about 5 of them. The problem is, most of them are either too small or too limited on their usages (high or low, that’s it for settings) , so I let them sit and gather dust. So when I was contacted again as a Hamilton Beach Ambassador and asked if I wanted to try out their Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid I was thrilled. Finally, I would have a slow cooker that I didn’t have to babysit.
This cooker is pretty awesome. You can either manually set it for how many hours you want the food to cook and set for high or low. Then once it has timed out, it automatically clicks over to warm. That way the food doesn’t overcook or get too cold to serve. Another option is, if you’re cooking, say, a roast or a whole chicken or maybe a turkey breast, you can use the included temperature probe. You insert it through a hole in the top of the lid right down into the meat, set the cooker for the temp you want the meat to come to and when it reaches that temp, it shuts off. Again, no overcooked dry chicken breast meat or stringy pork roasts because you forgot them.
I can honestly say I love this slow cooker. Yes, they sent me one for free, but my opinion is still honest. So much so that I’ll mention the ONE thing I didn’t like about it. The outside tends to get really hot, so you need to make sure this isn’t in reach of little ones.But other than that, I love it and have used it multiple times already.
Guess what else? Hamilton Beach has graciously offered to let me give one of these slow cookers to one of you. This is a $59.99 value and it’s just in time for colder weather (or as a great Christmas gift to someone, maybe?) Plus, as the holidays get closer, we’re all going to be busier and you know darn well that having dinner on the table every night can be a hassle. So this is the perfect time to win this.
All you need to do is enter down below by commenting and using the optional methods in the rafflecopter box. Tell me what would be the first thing you’d make if you won this and there is one entry!
If you need an idea, I have a fantastic chili recipe for you. This is spicy, but not so spicy the kiddos can’t eat it. My six year old loved it. It uses chorizo sausage as well as the typical ground beef and some other ingredients that all add up to a warming, comforting, soothing bowl of chili. Serve this with some sides of fresh onions, cheese, sour cream and maybe crackers or tortillas and you’ve got a wonderful meal as well as some leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow. You know the drill…
Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili
- 2 lbs ground chuck
- 1 lb chorizo (removed from casings and crumbled if link style)
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 14 to 16 ounce can of chili beans (your preference on heat)
- 2 16 ounce cans kidney beans, well drained
- 1 16 ounce can pinto beans, well drained
- 1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes (regular or chili style; your choice. I prefer the chili style)
- 2 whole jalapenos in adobo sauce, finely chopped (store the rest in a container in the fridge) (use more or less as desired)
- 1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
- 1/4 cup hot sauce (I use franks because I like that is has flavor along with the heat)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 to 2 ounces chili powder (I use Bloemers)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- In a large pan, crumble and saute the ground chuck until brown. Drain and toss into the slow cooker. Brown the chorizo. Don’t drain this when done; just scoop it out and put it in the slow cooker.
- Toss the onions, green pepper and celery into the drippings form the chorizo. Stir to mix, cover and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are soft and limp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir once or twice during the cooking.
- Add the veggies to the crock pot; stir to combine.
- Add all the other ingredients, in order given (makes stirring easier), then stir to combine.
- Set your slow cooker for 4 hours on low.. Halfway through cooking, open it up (make sure you’re quick; slow cookers lose heat quickly and can take quite a while to reheat back up) and give it a good stir. Re-cover it and let it finish cooking.
- When done, stir it well and serve. This is excellent served with sides such as cheese, sour cream, green or red onions and cilantro. I also love mine wrapped up in a tortilla. My family, on the other hand are firmly in the cracker camp. Do what makes you happy.
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I was provided with a slow cooker as compensation, but all opinions in this post are 100% my own!
To enter the giveaway, just scroll down to the raffle copter giveaway form!
- Three (3) choices for easy, automatic cooking: program, probe and manual
- Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat or for recipes that require food to reach a certain temperature
- Thermometer probe reads the actual temperature of food as it cooks; the temperature is displayed on the slow cooker control panel
- Travel-friendly design secures contents en route to parties, potlucks, family gatherings and tailgating
- The lid securely seals in place with sturdy wire clips on each handle
- 6 quart removable stoneware crock fits a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast
- Wraparound, even heat cooks food evenly and consistently
- Full-grip handles make carrying heavy meals easier
- Power interrupt protection keeps slow cooker on during a brief power outage
- Questions are supported by a toll-free call center located in the U.S.
- Backed with a one-year warranty