What a crock!

Ok, so I love to cook, but like many women, the last thing I feel like doing after some days at work is prepping an interesting, healthy meal.

For Christmas 2005, I received a Crock Pot from my father - and I love that damn thing. It's red, for starters. Matches my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer, the microwave, my colander and my favorite dishtowels ever.

Tonight, I get off late, and when I get home, dinner will be waiting.

I don't get too caught up in recipes - there's one that came with the pot that I like. Modified slightly:

Velvet Chicken

2 10 3/4-oz cans cream of mushroom soup (fat-free works fine)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup white wine
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 package onion soup mix
6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix the cream of mushroom soup, milk, wine, rice and onion soup mix. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.

Cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours.

But tonight, we're having Southwest Surprise (I named it myself, just now) - which is a bastardization of a chili recipe I found in a cookbook:

1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 packaged turkey tenderloin roast, cut into medium cubes
cumin, to taste
1 can Rotel (generic is OK)
1 can corn, drained
1 can beans (your favorite) drained and rinsed
1 small can tomato sauce

Put first three items in pot, toss with cumin.

Pour remaining items over the turkey, peppers and onion. Cook on low for at least eight hours.

Goes well with sour cream, cheese and chopped cilantro for garnish.

You can use just about any meat that's out there - I've used pork tenderloin, chicken breasts, stew beef, whatever. It's all good.

My final crock pot recommendation is going to sound narsty, but just trust me on this...

Party Meatballs

1 bag frozen meatballs
1 jar grape or strawberry jelly (make sure it's jelly and not preserves or jam)
1 bottle chili sauce

Place in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bon appetit!