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27 Unmissable Slow Cooker Recipes For This Fall

27 Unmissable Slow Cooker Recipes For This Fall

I recently got my first slow cooker, and it has changed my life. I grew up with a busy working mom who would throw random food into a Crock Pot in the morning, and then we’d get home for dinner and bam! A delicious meal! In college, I had nowhere to put a slow cooker and no money to buy one. After I moved to NYC, I turned to ordering delivery, with just the occasional cooking night in. Now that I am an actual real-life adult, it was finally time to get a slow cooker and make magical dinners very, very slowly.

There are a lot of different slow cookers on the market, and they all work similarly. According to Wikipedia: A slow cooker maintains a low temperature (low in comparison to baking, boiling, or frying) and simmers food, which allows for unattended cooking over several hours. The heating element heats the contents to a steady temperature in the 79–93°C (174–199°F) range. The contents are enclosed by the crock and the lid, and attain an essentially constant temperature. The vapor that is produced at this temperature condenses on the bottom of the lid and returns as liquid. Some water-soluble vitamins are leached into the liquid.

I have a new slow cooker, so it has a digital timer, a stirring arm, a warming setting, and a remote. But it works the exact same way my mom’s old Crock Pot from the ’70s works, and just as well! Fun fact: Crock Pot is actually a brand name, slow cooker is what it is. All Crock Pots are slow cookers, not all slow cookers are Crock Pots. In 1940, Irving Naxon patented his cooking device, the Naxon Beanery, inspired by stories of cholent from his Jewish grandma. In 1970, The Rival Company bought Naxon and rebranded the device as Crock Pot in 1971.

Now that fall has officially and decidedly arrived (brr!), it is time to break out those hot, stew-y, comfort food fall favorites. Many of these can be pre-prepared. Chop up the ingredients, portion them into freezer bags, and freeze. Pull out a large portion and throw it into the pot in the morning before work, and come home to a house smelling of dinner! I like to make a big slow cooker meal on Sundays, and it is actually three full meals for my fiance and I!

On to the foods of fall:

Chilis:

There are a lot of chili recipes out there, and here are a couple really good versions of fall’s favorite dish. One of the things I like about chili is that you can make it a bit healthier using ground turkey instead of beef. Because of the simmering and how many ingredients and seasonings there are, most people seem to agree that you can’t taste the difference! Also great about chili is that you can really up your seasonings and spice levels! Any of these chili recipes would be great on these Chili-Cheese Nachos by Chowhound, and make a great party food, appetizer, or gooey snack.

1. Easy Slow Cooker Chili by BettyCrocker.com.

This recipe is super simple, and doesn’t ask you to cook the meat or onions in a skillet before putting it into the slow cooker!

Chili1

    2. Laura’s Quick Slow Cooker Turkey Chili, courtesy of Allrecipes.com.

    This one looks great, has excellent reviews from home cooks everywhere, and is a healthier option at only 276 calories per portion!

    chili2

      3. Spicy Crock Pot Chili by DadWithAPan.com.

      This one has jalapenos and this dad says it is a hit at all potlucks. He does cook the meat prior to putting it in the slow cooker, so it takes a bit longer to make than when you don’t precook your meat. You can also change the meat type, or spice it up or down to your tastes!

      chili3

        4. Vegetarian White Bean Chili With Poblanos by Potluck.OhMyVeggies.com.

        For the veggies out there!

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          5. To go with your chili: Slow Cooker Cornbread! Cornbread In A Slow Cooker from 365daysofcrockpot.com.

          How amazing is it that you can make cornbread in your slow cooker? One-pot meals are really stepping it up!

          cornbread

            Soups:

            Soups are the epitome of a cold night. Imagine: hot soup with some crusty bread for dipping, while you get curled up, possibly near a fire. I love soup! Let’s see some great soups you can make in a slow cooker!

            6. Cheesy Potato Soup from BettyCrocker.com.

            This has a short prep time, is creamy and delicious, and is garnished with bacon! Life is great.

            soup1

              7. Easy Crock Pot Taco Soup by TheFrugalGirls.com.

              This website is great for quick and easy recipes, especially in a slow cooker! This is like the above chili, but with a taco kick! I love the garnishing with tortilla chips, too. And if you like that, they also have a similar-but-different Chicken Tortilla Soup.

              Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 7.19.17 PM

                8. Crock Pot Clam Chowder also by TheFrugalGirls.com.

                I never once tried clam chowder while living in Florida, but since moving to NYC, this has become one of my all-time favorite soups. I cannot wait to make this now that it’s cold out!

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                  9. Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup by GarnishWithLemon.com.

                  Nothing says fall like butternut squash! Look at this creamy concoction!

                  soup4

                    Side dishes:

                    10. Comforting Cheesy Potatoes by JuliesEatsandTreats.com.

                    These look so amazing and would be perfect with a comforting meatloaf or turkey meal!

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                    sides1

                      11. Slow Cooker Pizza Pasta by AndreaDekker.com.

                      Here is a really interesting take on pasta! This is cheesy and amazing and has the zing of pepperoni!

                      sides2

                        12. Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole by CrockpotGourmet.net.

                        This photo is convincing enough on its own:

                        sides3

                          13. Bourbon Maple Baked Beans by AverieCooks.com.

                          If you like baked beans, this is a to-die-for version with a tangy kick, and it includes bourbon and barbecue sauce!

                          sides4

                            Meat dishes:

                            14. Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan by Fullbellies.blogspot.com.

                            This is a fantastic chicken recipe that is different from your standard baked chicken or fried chicken! This is a hearty comfort food meal that I can’t wait to make!

                            meat1

                              15. Meatloaf by WellnessMama.com.

                              Meatloaf is a great comfort food, and you should use this simple slow cooker meatloaf recipe as a perfect base, and add your own zing and spice to it to fit your tastes!

                              meat2

                                16. Brisket in Onion-Ale BBQ Sauce by MidwestLiving.com.

                                Like meatloaf, brisket is a soothing, tasty comfort food with tender meat and thick sauce for sopping up. And this onion-ale BBQ sauce is a winner!

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                                meat5

                                  17. Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya by MidwestLiving.com.

                                  At only 238 calories per serving, this Cajun spiced recipe is full of flavor and healthy too!

                                  meat3

                                    18. Pulled Pork by FearlessHomemaker.com.

                                    Pulled pork sandwiches are perfect for game time or dinner time. And slow cooker pulled pork is so tender that you barely need to chew!

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                                      19. Turkey Breast With Cranberry Sauce by TheCreativeBite.com.

                                      What says fall more than Thanksgiving? Get the taste of Thanksgiving anytime with this turkey and cranberry recipe!

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                                        Stews:

                                        Stews are the perfect autumn slow cooker meal. You can set it and forget it, and come home to a hot soupy stew with great fall vegetables, perfect potatoes, and melt-like-butter meats.

                                        20. Classic Beef Stew by RealSimple.com.

                                        A great stew warms you up and is filling, full of chunky vegetables and hunks of meat, smothered in a sauce you can’t live without. Make this more fall-specific by adding sweet potato chunks or butternut squash!

                                        stew1

                                          21. Chicken & Cornbread Dumplings by MyRecipes.com.

                                          This amazing meal is not a soup, not a classic meat dish, and more than a stew, but this is just so great that I had to share!

                                          stew2

                                            22. Harvest Pork Stew from AllRecipes.com.

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                                            Adding apples to this stew, with the butternut squash and more, makes it perfect for fall, and the apples give it the exact needed amount of sweetness for this still-savory dish!

                                            stew3

                                              23. Spicy Chicken Stew by MyRecipes.com.

                                              Kick it up with chili powder and salsa in a very cool chicken stew!

                                              stew4

                                                Desserts:

                                                24. Crock Pot Monkey Bread by blogs.babycenter.com.

                                                We all know monkey bread is made in a bundt cake pan in the oven, and now we can make it in the slow cooker? Yes, please!

                                                dessert1

                                                  25. Triple Chocolate Brownies from MarthaStewart.com.

                                                  Mmmmm, brownies. Warm brownies on a cold night, maybe with some vanilla ice cream? Heaven!

                                                  dessert2

                                                    26. Double Apple Cake from MyRecipes.com.

                                                    Apples and spiced cider define fall for me, and cider would pair perfectly with this amazing cake! It’s also a quick recipe, taking less than 1.5 hours!

                                                    dessert3

                                                      27. Cardamom Rice Pudding with Fresh Peaches by CookingLight.com.

                                                      This is a no-stir rice pudding, and would be yummy with fresh peaches of course, but also spiced apples, fresh berries, some maple and brown sugar… the possibilities are endless!

                                                      dessert4

                                                        I hope this inspires you to curl up in some comfy pajamas by a roaring fire on a cold night, and to break out that slow cooker for fall!

                                                        Featured photo credit: jeffreyw via flickr.com

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                                                        Last Updated on February 18, 2019

                                                        13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                                                        13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                                                        Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                                                        Why is this so critically important to you?

                                                        The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                                                        Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                                                        1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                                                        Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                                                        When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                                                        • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                                                        • The man facing the judge.
                                                        • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                                                        • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                                                        • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                                                        • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                                                        These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                                                        Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                                                        Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                                                        2. Accept Your Fear

                                                        Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                                                        We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                                                        And here’s what can be done.

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                                                        3. Get Some Perspective

                                                        I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                                                        And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                                                        That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                                                        We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                                                        So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                                                        • Are you really at risk?
                                                        • Will this kill you?
                                                        • Which leads us on to..
                                                        • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                                                        4. Hold a Hand

                                                        As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                                                        Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                                                        We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                                                        Ask yourself:

                                                        • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                                                        • Could that really happen?
                                                        • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                                                        • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                                                        By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                                                        5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                                                        This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                                                        Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                                                        The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                                                        It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                                                        For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                                                        Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                                                        6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                                                        I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                                                        Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                                                        Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                                                        Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                                                        Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                                                        Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                                                        7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                                                        Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                                                        I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                                                        It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                                                        One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                                                        Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                                                        It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                                                        8. Assume the Worse

                                                        If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                                                        Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                                                        • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                                                        • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                                                        • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                                                        And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                                                        When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                                                        Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                                                        9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                                                        If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                                                        Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                                                        Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                                                        10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                                                        One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                                                        11. Go with Fear

                                                        When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                                                        I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                                                        Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                                                        One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                                                        However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                                                        We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                                                        12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                                                        And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                                                        The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                                                        What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                                                        13. Own Your Fear

                                                        Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                                                        We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                                                        You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                                                        More Resources About Fighting Fear

                                                        Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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