Let's Celebrate! - A Labor Day Feast Without The Labor

Is your crock pot lonely? The end of August is upon us and Labor Day is quickly approaching. Why not boycott the grill this year and try out the traditional Labor Day fare on your slow cooker? Preparation and clean up is minimal with the recipes below.

The entire menu below was created with seven slow cookers. While not everyone has that many crocks at their disposal, it's a great excuse to invite family and friends over for a Labor Day potluck - rain or shine.


Spicy Meatballs

1 large bag of frozen meatballs
1 cup of your favorite barbeque sauce
1 cup chili sauce
1 8 oz. can of jellied cranberry sauce

Place the frozen meatballs in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the meatballs. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours or on High for 2 hours.

Main Course:

Easy Barbequed Baby-Back Ribs

4 lbs baby back ribs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
1 large onion, sliced
16 ounce jar of your favorite barbeque sauce

Brown ribs under the broiler. Slice into serving-sized pieces and season to taste. Place ribs and onions into the slow cooker and cover with the barbeque sauce. Cover and cook on the Low setting for 6 hours.

Garlic Beer Brats

1 package of bratwurst
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 can of beer - any brand

In a medium frying pan, brown the sausage with the olive oil, garlic and onions. Pierce the meat casings and continue cooking for about five more minutes. Remove the bratwurst from the heat and place in the slow cooker. Pour the entire can of beer into the pot, covering the sausage. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Baked Beans

3 cans of northern white beans
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 small onion, diced fine
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup molasses
4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
Drain two cans of the beans and pour the beans into the slow cooker. Add the third can, including the liquid, and the remaining ingredients into the slow cooker. Mix well. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours.

Corn on the Cob

6-8 ears of corn
1/2 cup of water

Remove husks and silk from the corn. If you are using a short crock pot, cut off the ends so the ears can stand on end. Wrap with aluminum foil. Add water to bottom of pot, cover and cook on the Low setting for 3 hours.

Baked Potatoes

6-8 potatoes (or more depending on size of slow cooker)

Wash the potatoes and rub with butter. Lightly salt the skin and wrap in aluminum foil. Stand potatoes on end in the slow cooker. Cook an High at 2-4 hours or on Low for 8-10 hours. DO NOT ADD WATER.

Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

Grease or coat your slow cooker pot with cooking spray. Reserve 1 cup cheese mixture and set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients and add them to the slow cooker. Cover with reserved cheese. Cover pot and cook on Low for 5-6 hours. When done cooking, the mixture will be firm and golden around the edges.


Apple Crisp

1 qt. canned apple pie filling
3/4 cup quick oatmeal
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine (room temperature)

Place pie filling in crockpot. In a separate bowl, add the remaining together in the order listed above. Cut in the butter and mix until crumbly. Pour over the apple filling. Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 3 hours.


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