By Jenny Stauffer

January to me means lots of slow-cooked, warm and hearty meals that are easy to make after the hub-bub of the holidays come to a close.  Super Bowl is in the horizon, and for all of these reasons, the crock-pot just beckons my call! Don’t we all love a meal we can throw in a pot and call a meal?    I have even found that some of my favorite meals that simmer all day on the stove can be tossed in the Crock-Pot and will taste the same, if not better.  I hope these recipes give you some new “easy” ideas in the kitchen, both for comfort and entertaining!


Easy Salsa Chicken

I claim no credit for inventing this recipe, and some of you may already do this.  But, it’s a family favorite and it is too easy not to share.

1 pkg. Chicken breasts

1 jar of your favorite salsa

*optional…can of black beans, drained and rinsed.

Combine all ingredients in the Crock Pot.  Reserve ¼ of the jar of salsa.  Cook all day on low.  An hour before serving, shred breasts and add more salsa.  The chicken will absorb more “juice” this way.

Serve as your favorite Mexican dish.  We do salads for the adults and tacos for the kids.  You could also use on top of nachos or in burritos.  We pile on the toppings and it is so versatile for kids and grown-ups!

This is a great base for anything Mexican.  Some people add cream cheese, but our family did not care for it (and we LOVE cream cheese).

**This can be really juicy, so have a slotted spoon on hand!

Wendy’s Delicious Sandwiches

I have no other name for these!  Wendy lives in Charlotte and we have a mutual friend.  That friend prepared these for Halloween and they were a hit.  Wendy loves to chef  it up in the kitchen, and created this recipe.  Trust me, if you make this for Superbowl or for the man in your life, you will know you have done a good thing.  My kids will eat these without the condiments.  The sweet Hawaiin bread is a must.

1 pkg. of  Pork Tenderloins

1 bottle of Goya sauce (found a the top shelf at HT where the ketchup is.  It is yellow in color and the bottle is shaped like a wine bottle)

Pour ½-3/4 of the bottle into the crock pot with the pork.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  An hour or so before serving, shred the meat.  Check to see if there is enough liquid to absorb, adding more if needed.

Serve with the following:

Sweet Hawiaiian Rolls

PickaPeppa Sauce (again, found in the ketchup aisle, it is a small bottle)


Regular OR Blue Cheese Slaw

Southern Living’s Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

This is really a great change of flavor from our regular chili I make.  I think the colors are vibrant and it’s really easy to make.

1 1/4  pounds  lean ground turkey

  • 1  large onion, chopped
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1  (1.25-oz.) envelope chili seasoning mix
  • 1  (12-oz.) can beer
  • 1 1/2  cups  frozen corn kernels
  • 1  red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1  green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1  (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1  (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1  (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, finely chopped red onion, sliced fresh jalapeños



Cook first 4 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in beer, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon mixture into a 5 1/2-qt. slow cooker; stir in corn and next 6 ingredients until well blended. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours. Serve with desired toppings.

Tangy Beef BBQ Beef Sandwiches

(Adapted from “Creating a Stir”, the Junior League of Lexington, KY)

Another delicious sandwich idea…

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced onion

1 c ketchup

1 cup barbeque sauce

1 c water

2 T apple cider vinegar

2 T worcestershire sauce

2 T brown sugar

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp garlic powder

1 3-4 lb chuck roast


Combine first 12 ingredients in a slow cooker, stirring well.

Add roast to slow cooker, cook on  HIGH for 6-7 hours

Shred roast and return to sauce

Serve on buns with onion, pickles and cole slaw.