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Turn to slow cookers for easy meals

Busy families who do not have the time to spend an hour or more in the kitchen preparing weeknight dinners can turn to slow cookers to do the work for them. Slow cookers cook foods on a low temperature over several hours. Slow cookers do not require constant attention, making them ideal for people who want to prep meals before leaving the house and then return to a hot meal in the evening.

Many foods, from breakfasts to appetizers to desserts, can be prepared with slow cookers. They are well-suited for hearty meals, such as this recipe for “Creamy Ham ‘n’ Broccoli” from “Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups” (RDA Enthusiast Brands) by Taste of Home editors.

Creamy Ham ‘n’ Broccoli

Serves 6-8

3 cups cubed, fully cooked ham

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 jar processed cheese sauce

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1.25 cups uncooked instant rice

1 cup milk

1 celery rib, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon paprika

In a 3-quart slow cooker, combine the first 10 ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, or until the rice is tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with paprika.

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