Mike and I keep reaching for a slow cooker during these cool days, especially when we have a day of errands to run.The Mikester tried out a new "Coffee Pot Roast," and it turned out perfectly. I have to hand it to a man for cooking; I love the kitchen breaks and the new recipes.Mike's Coffee Pot RoastWe put this one on early, by 8:30 a.m. in the slow cooker, and then we are free to come and go, or work outside, and not have to worry about what's for dinner.The cooking time for this roast is about 9 1/2 to 10 1/2 hours.1 boneless beef chuck roast, weighing about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds (quarter the roast before placing in pot.)2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced3 garlic cloves, minced1 cup brewed coffee1/4 cup soy sauce1/4 cup cornstarch6 Tablespoons cold waterPlace half of the onions in a 5-quart slow cooker. Top with garlic and half of the beef. Top with remaining onion and beef. Combine coffee and soy sauce and pour over beef. Cover and cook on low until meat is tender. Remove meat. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth and stir into juices. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until gravy is thickened. Spoon gravy over meat before serving. This will serve 10-12 servings, and is great a few days later as leftovers.• I recently brought a quick soup to a gathering. I didn't have much time to prepare, so this recipe was good and easy.Italian Pasta Fagiola Soup1 pound ground beef, browned and drained18.8 ounce can of minestrone soup1 can Rotel (I used mild)16 ounce can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used the kidney beans.)Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours. It makes 4 servings.I took the Crock-pot with me (one that has the safety side clips that prevents spilling or leaking.)I doubled the recipe for the gathering and brought a green salad and some bread sticks.Dee Dee's Suggestions for Great SaladsAlmost every night we eat a salad, either alone or with other foods. I have been buying organic lettuces already washed, or mixed greens. I like knowing the lettuce has had no pesticides and that it comes pre-washed which makes salad making very easy. Simply break up large pieces of the lettuce and top with veggies like:Green onionsTomatoes-quarteredThinly sliced fresh carrotsCucumber slicesFresh mushrooms, slicedOlives, either black or green, slicedCroutonsSliced avocadoRed, yellow or orange sliced bell peppers Mike's Favorite Dressing:Mike makes the packet of Buttermilk Ranch dressing (follow the directions), then he adds some crumbled blue cheese. It's delicious. We adjust the recipe sometimes using less mayo and more buttermilk. Place dressing in a jar, or a plastic container with a tight fitting lid, and save in the fridge for days.• Please circle this date: Thursday, March 21, for an exciting and informative evening. If you are growing, or want to begin growing, the fabulous and beautiful daylily, you must attend the next meeting of the North Texas Daylily Society at 7:30 p.m. at Fort Worth Botanic Garden's-Camelia room, featuring Tim Thompson of Three Creek Gardens of Celina. He will be speaking to us about the best choices of daylilies for our gardens in the North Texas area. Here is the information you have been waiting for. I have had many folks inquire and ask, "What daylilies should I purchase for my garden?" Many daylilies come from regions all over the country and may not like the Texas summers or winters; this program will really help gardeners determine which daylilies they want to consider. Hope to see you there. And did I mention a little secret? We serve food-and it's always good at our monthly meetings.So I hope to see some new faces at the next daylily meeting; it's time to start planning our summer gardens-buying seeds, and checking out the local nurseries closest to your home. Have a great week, stay well and try out a new recipe soon.