This may sound odd coming from somebody who likes good food, but I love the Crock Pot. The slow cooker is a great tool when it’s cold outside. We actually use ours year round, but generally the foods made in a slow cooker are more suited to winter weather. For quite a while this fall we made something every week in the slow cooker (usually on Monday so there was more time in the week for the leftovers).
The key to the slow cooker is having recipes that are well suited to long, slow, moist cooking methods. There are several of these recipes in this month’s Everyday Food. I’m also a huge fan of Lynn Alley’s book, The Gourmet Slow Cooker. This book is organized into chapters by country and provides a variety of food styles. We’ve liked everything we’ve cooked from this book (and we’ve used it quite a bit). Just a warning though, these are not easy slow cooker recipes. The preparation can be quite time consuming, this of course usually results in better food. The slow cooker advantage is that you can prep everything Sunday night, put it in the crock in the fridge, and then move the crock to the cooker on Monday morning to cook all day.