There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
Cheesy Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Guests will be delighted to find this restaurant favorite on your buffet table. Get this appetizer started in the slow cooker a couple of hours ahead, and then make your final party preparations. The dip will be ready just as partygoers begin to arrive. To help you get as much moisture out of the spinach as possible, place it on a double layer of cheesecloth, gather up the edges, and squeeze the "bag" as tightly as you can. No cheesecloth? Spread the spinach on a few layers of paper towels, and top with more paper towels. Set a baking sheet on top, weight it down with a cast-iron skillet, and let it stand for a few minutes to draw out the moisture.