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Eating Well: Slow cooking so simple, so good

With the colder temperatures we all crave comfort food in the form of easy, delicious, piping hot slow cooker recipes that can be prepped at the drop of dime and ready to greet us when we walk in the door after a long day of activity.

I'm always a little skeptical when a recipe sounds too easy to be true, but these recipes definitely fall under the phrase fittingly.

Preparing the "Creamy Potato Soup" was literally a matter of mixing everything together in the crockpot. The hardest part was chopping the onion, and adding the cream cheese at the end. The end result was deliciously creamy and definitely a 'make again' meal that was complete, served with a loaf of French bread and a tray of thinly sliced cold cuts and cheese on the side.

Keeping with the ease of crockpot cooking, is this no fuss dessert. "The Triple Mess Chocolate" cake screams chocolate and is every bit as gooey, rich and good as its name implies. I even took the chocolate theme a step further by adding the big chunk chocolate chips instead of the regular.

The other recipes I share this week, also slow cooker fare, are equally as good and sure not to disappoint the hungriest diners.

Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!

Creamy Potato Soup

1 (30 ounce) bag frozen hash brown potatoes

3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (10.75) ounce can cream of chicken soup

½ cup chopped onion

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Garnish: minced green onion

Combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion and pepper in 6-quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for five hours. Stir in cream cheese and cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined. Garnish with the green onions, if desired.

Italian Roast

1 sirloin tip roast (about 4 pounds)

1 can beef broth

1 package dry Good Seasons Italian Dressing

Pour beef broth over roast and sprinkle package of dressing over the top. Put in crockpot and cook on low all day. Slice roast and let cook in juice for the last ½ hour before serving. Serve with or on buns.

Triple Chocolate MessMade in Crockpot

1 package chocolate cake mix

1 pint sour cream

1 small bag chocolate chips

1 small package instant chocolate pudding, dry

¾ cups oil

4 eggs

1 cup water

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. Mix all ingredients well for about two minutes. Pour into crockpot. Cook on low for five to six hours. Serve in bowl with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 10-12

Cherry Delight

21-ounce can cherry pie filling

1 package yellow cake mix

½ cup butter, melted

1/3 cup walnuts, optional

Place pie filling in greased slow cooker.

Combine dry cake mix and butter, mixture will be crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Cover and cook on low four hours or high two hours.

Allow to cool. Serve in bowls with scoop of ice cream. Serves 10-12.

Fudge Peanut Butter and Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

½ cup flour

¼ cup sugar

¾ tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup milk

1 tbsp. oil

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ cup peanut butter

½ cup sugar

3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup boiling water

Vanilla ice cream

Combine flour, ¼ cup sugar, and baking powder. Add milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Stir in peanut butter. Pour into slow cooker.

Mix together ½ cup sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually stir in boiling water. Pour mixture over batter in slow cooker. Do not stir.

Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm with ice cream. Serves six.