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When life’s moving fast, turn to a slow cooker

The perfect dinner after day holiday shopping! Put slow cooker hit mall - then return this aromatic hearty meal!

The perfect dinner after a day of holiday shopping! Put the slow cooker on and hit the mall - then return to this aromatic, hearty meal!

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Updated: August 21, 2013 10:45AM



Judging from mail, many Swap Shop readers rely on slow cookers during these hectic holidays, especially when the method permits cooks to prepare foods while juggling other responsibilities. It also allows for additional cooking outlets when ovens and stove tops are occupied. It’s no wonder S.P. of Hanover Park, D.J. of Palatine, and M.A. of Chicago requested slow-cooker recipes for stuffing, beef stew, and baked beans.

The busy kitchen staff at Spice Islands helps out with easy recipes for Slow-Cooked Chicken (or Turkey) Stuffing plus Slow Cooker Beef Stew. One of Swap’s favorite recipes for Crock Pot Baked Beans, with its four varieties of beans, comes from Diana M. Cherry of Chicago. While perhaps not cost-effective, a rotisserie chicken from a supermarket deli will be time-effective for the stuffing; and the beef stew recipe calls for frozen stew vegetables, eliminating the time-consuming chopping of the vegetables.

To make Slow Cooker Beef Stew: In small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon rosemary, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper (fine grind). Place 16-ounce bag frozen stew vegetables in bottom of slow cooker; sprinkle with flour-spice mixture. Add 1 pound beef stew meat (cut in 1-inch cubes), ¼ cup red wine or water, 1 bay leaf, and 14-ounce can diced tomatoes. Place lid on slow cooker; cook on high 4 to 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Requests

Does anyone have a recipe for blondie brownies made with macadamia nuts?

J.J., Wheaton

I would love to make breakfast cereal bars for my very active teenage grandchildren.

W.P., Chicago

I need a recipe for pinwheel date cookies for a holiday cookie swap.

G.B., Kankakee

Send recipes and requests to: Swap Shop, Chicago Sun-Times, 350 N. Orleans St., 9th Floor, Chicago 60654 or by e-mail, swapshop@suntimes.com. Please include a daytime telephone number.



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