Only in Georgia can you have weather like we had this past week.

At the beginning of the week, we were in the mid-70s and come Saturday morning we had snow. I am not very fond of cold weather but I enjoy one good snow and then I’m ready for summer.

This snow wasn’t a very good snow and probably won’t be our last. I don’t like wearing a coat; sweatshirt cold is OK. I’ve had to deal with no heat in my house mostly since October. I have warranty on my appliances, and finally they decided to replace my heating system.

The new system has been ordered but hasn’t come in yet. Hopefully in the near future, I will have heat and won’t have to wear layers of clothing in my house. Flu is hitting hard these days. It’s really nasty this year. At present, my son has both the flu and strep throat. 

I find myself not eating right after a long day at work if I have to come home and think about what to cook. This time of the year is a great time to pull out those crock pot recipes. Cooking in the crock pot makes life easier on cold winter days. Here’s a few of my favorites.

Slow Cook Cabbage Rolls


1 large head of cabbage

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

3/4 cup quick cooking rice

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup crushed saltines (about 15 crackers)

1 egg, lightly beaten 

1 ounce onion soup mix 

1 ½-pound lean ground beef (90-percent lean)

1 can (46 ounce) V-8 juice

Salt to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese, optional 


Cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls. Drain well. Cut off the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce, rice, green pepper, cracker crumbs, egg and soup mix. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Place about 1/3 ounce of meat mixture on each cabbage leaf, overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides, beginning from the cut ends of leaf. Roll up completely to enclose filling.  Secure with toothpicks if desired. Place cabbage rolls in a 3-quart slow cooker. Pour V-8 juice over rolls. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until filling reaches 160 degrees. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and cheese if desired.

Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Carrots 


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast 

1/3 cup brown sugar 

1/4 cup soy sauce 

1 cup orange juice 

1 cup pineapple juice 

1/4 tsp. ginger 

1 tsp. garlic salt 

1 large sweet potato diced

6 carrots cut up

1 onion, chopped (optional)

1 small can pineapple chunks (drain the juice out.)


Place cut up carrots and sweet potatoes in bottom of crock pot then add chicken breasts. In a large bowl add brown sugar, pineapple juice, orange juice, soy sauce, ginger and garlic salt. Pour over chicken, sweet potatoes and carrots in crock pot. About 1 hour before done, add the small can of pineapple chunks so that they can heat up with rest of food. Cook on low until chicken is tender, maybe 6 hours. High for maybe 4 hours, depends on your crock pot.

Crock Pot Bow Tie Casserole 


1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce 

1 (15-ounce) can stewed tomatoes 

1 tsp. oregano 

1 tsp. Italian seasoning 

Salt and pepper

10 ounces frozen spinach thawed (can also use fresh spinach)

16 ounces bow tie pasta, cooked

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded 

1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded 


Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Put in crock pot and add sauce, tomatoes and seasoning. Cook for 6-7 hours on low. Add the last 4 ingredients during the last 30 minutes of cooking and turn crock pot to high. Add first (frozen) spinach, pasta, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Mix well. Add the last 1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese to melt on the top.

Sesame Seed Chicken for Crock Pot


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsps. dried onion

2 Tbsps. ketchup 

1 Tbsp. oil

1/2 tsp. garlic powder 

2 tsps. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsps. water

Sesame seeds


Put chicken into crock pot. Combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 ½-2 1/2 hours or just until chicken is coated through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 2 tsps. of cornstarch in 3 Tbsps. of water and pour into crock pot.  Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for 10 minutes more or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and return to crock pot — can leave chicken in and simmer on low. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice.

Joyce Jacks is a native of Barrow County and a graduate of Winder-Barrow High School, Athens Technical College and the University of Georgia. She can be reached at

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