As we head into this very busy season of the year, I think it’s a great time to put your Crock-pot to work. I love that a dish can be cooking, with little/no attention, while preparing the rest of the meal, or delivering goodies across town.

Maybe after seeing these yummy recipes, you’ll want to add a Crock-pot to your Christmas list. I do hope you’ll consider these recipes as you entertain this month.



2 c. milk

1/2 c. brewed espresso or 3/4 c. strong brewed coffee

2 Tb. pumpkin

2 Tb. sugar or sweetener

2 Tb. vanilla (yes, TB.)

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

(or substitute 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. cloves, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, and pinch of ground ginger)

Place milk and espresso/coffee in Crock-pot. Whisk in pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours if everything is cold. Whisk again before serving. Ladle into mugs and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon.

These meatballs are a fabulous creation. A taste tester once told me the sauerkraut puts this dish ‘over the top’.



1 (14 ozs) can whole-berry (or jellied) cranberry sauce

1 (14 ozs) can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well

1 (12 ozs) bottle chili sauce

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 (2 #) pkg. frozen fully cooked original meatballs, thawed

In 4 or 5- qt. Crock-pot, combine cranberry sauce, sauerkraut, chili sauce, and brown sugar. Stir in meatballs; cover and cook on low 4 — 5 hrs. or until heated through. Yield: about 5 dozen delicious meatballs!!



1 (20 ozs) pkg. white almond bark

1 (4 ozs) box German chocolate baking squares

1 (12 ozs) bag semi sweet chocolate chips

1 (16 ozs) jar dry roasted peanuts

1 (16 ozs) jar unsalted dry roasted peanuts

Turn Crock-pot on high. Break almond bark into pieces and place in Crock-pot. Break German chocolate baking squares on top of almond bark, then add semi sweet chocolate chips. Place lid on Crock-pot. (Tip: Place a paper towel under lid to catch moisture.) DO NOT STIR FOR FIRST 45 MINUTES.

Then, turn Crock-pot on low. Pour in the peanuts and stir. Place the lid on and stir candy every 15 minutes for the second hour. Turn off Crock-pot. Drop candy by tablespoonful onto waxed paper and let cool until firm. Store in airtight container. Keeps well in refrigerator for weeks. Yield: about 30 — 40 pieces

This one is named because you can ‘bake’ it while you’re at church on Sunday morning.


1 (20 ozs) can apple, cherry, blueberry or peach pie filling

1 c. crushed pineapple, partially drained, optional

1 (15 — 16 ozs) box yellow cake mix

1/2 c. butter, melted

Optional: 1/3 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Garnish: ice cream or whipped topping

Spray a 3 — 4 qt. slow cooker with non-stick vegetable spray. Add pie filling; spread pineapple over top, if using. In medium bowl, combine dry cake mix and butter; mix with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie filling. Sprinkle nuts on top, if desired.

Place 2 paper towels on top of slow cooker to catch any condensation. Cover and cook on low for 2-1/2 — 3 hours. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping. Yield: 5 — 6 servings


1/2 c. white sugar

1 c. hot water

5 c. milk

2 Tb. French vanilla coffee syrup, like Torani

(more or less according to preference)

In large saucepan, combine sugar and hot water. Stir; heat just until it just begins to boil. Transfer to Crock-pot; add milk and flavored syrup. Stir; cook on high for 1 hour or low for up to 3 hours. Serve in mugs; top with whipped cream and sprinkles of cinnamon if desired.


1(1#) pkg. Bob Evans sausage roll

2 (10 ozs. each) Ro-Tel tomatoes (with green chilies), well drained

2 (8 ozs. each) cream cheese, softened

1 (15 ozs) can refried beans, optional

Brown sausage; drain. Thoroughly drain tomatoes. In large microwavable bowl, combine all ingredients.

Microwave 2 — 3 minutes until mixture is smooth, stirring every minute. Place in Crock-pot (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) on low to keep warm up to 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

”Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas”. – Peg Bracken


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