The Tuesday Take From a Functional Shopaholic

Tuesday is the day I spill my own little voice into the big crazy interweb vat of everyone else's opinions, sharing my favorite whatnots and whereabouts and why they are so dang awesome to me.

Today's take: Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS 6-1/2 Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker

Lazy cooking is my kind of cooking.  I delight in recipes that call for ten minutes of ingredient prep, six hours of inactive cooking, and at the end Matt and I delve into a delicious dish that makes me look like a housewife hero.  My old slow cooker was inherited though marriage and had been in Matt's collection for quite a while.  I ran it through its paces, whipping up super tasty batches of coconut chicken, braised short ribs, and Kalua pork week after week after week.  Time and use started to take its toll - apparent in a wobbly lid, a loose temperature knob, and extremely hot cooking temperatures.  My food would taste great, but would be finished in half the cooking time I had anticipated.

After an accidental subscription to Cooks Illustrated Online (cancel trial memberships in a timely manner, my friends), I decided to take advantage of their America's Test Kitchen reviews and find out what the ATK recommended for slow cookers.  I could either remortgage the house for the coveted bling of all kitchen bling: the All-Clad slow cooker or I could be practical, thrifty, and get similar cooking results with a Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker.  Remortgage idea was an obvious no go.  Enter my new Crock-Pot!

It's so big on the inside!  (Dr. Who anyone?  Anyone?  <crickets>)  Not only is this slow cooker beautiful and shiny, but it is much bigger than the old one and a lovely oval shape that seems to comfortably invite in even the largest racks of ribs.  I've attempted a few old standby recipes and am thrilled to report they have come out exceptionally tasty and are finished cooking closer to when Matt comes home for dinner, not an uncomfortable four hours too early.

There are options for HIGH and LOW temperature cooking with a programmable timer that can be set in 30 minute increments.  This is a pleasant change from my previous model where I was only allowed to cook on HIGH for 4 or 6 hours and LOW for 8 or 10.  The new versatility is a welcome option.  Once the cook time is expired, the slow cooker will automatically switch to KEEP WARM.  I was used to KEEP WARM translating into "I'm going to keep cooking your food nice and hot so when you come in to serve dinner all your liquid will be gone and the rest of the residue will be caked on the sides so hard that you'll have to soak me for three days.  Minimum."

So far, no caked-on anythings.  Cleaning has been a cinch.  At least that's what Matt tells me.  (Sorry ladies, he's taken.)  And take a gander at the scintillating touch screen control panel.  I feel so high-tech with it in my kitchen.  No cracks or crevices for caked-on anythings there, either.

Overall, I'm thoroughly pleased with my purchase and anticipate many more happy years together.  A large capacity, even cooking temperature, flexibility in programming cook time, and easy cleaning all mean I can now go back to my lazy cooking lifestyle.  A few moments of preparation in the morning (or even the night before) and I don't have to look at the food again until it's time to plate it up and chow it down.  And it looks so stylish on my counter top, too.  Sexy appliances rock my world. 

Looking for a recipe to break in your new Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker?  Give these Coffee Ancho Chile Short Ribs a try.  

Alongside my ribs, I tried the Creamy Spice Market Kale from Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat for the very first time.  Not a slow cooker recipe, but holy kaleo was it incredible!  And I feel it is important to get the word out.  If you are looking for new ways to enjoy kale, give it a shot. 

Happy slow cooking, my darling busy friends.  Get out of the kitchen and trust that with a great slow cooker, dinner will blow your mind!

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