This convenient appliance makes it easy to prepare delicious meals with little effort. It's perfect anytime of year—on cold days when you need a hearty meal or warm days when you don't want to heat up your kitchen.

Check out these recipes, which include contest winners from the January/February 2007 Issue of Simple & Delicious.

For a sandwich with more pizzazz, give this French Dip recipe a try. The seasonings give the broth a wonderful flavor, and the meat cooks up tender and juicy. This new version is a favorite for Margaret McNeil and her family in Memphis, Tennessee.

Rhonda Melanson of Sarnia, Ontario revamped a favorite sloppy joe recipe into this thick spaghetti sauce that simmers in the slow cooker. Southern Barbecue Spaghetti Sauce has a flavor that is jazzy enough to be interesting to adults, yet mild enough to be enjoyed by children.

"My family loves these Soft Chicken Tacos," says Cheryl Newendorp of Pella, Iowa. "The chicken filling cooks in the slow-cooker, so it's convenient to throw it together before I leave for work. At the end of the day, I just have to roll it up in a tortilla with the remaining ingredients and dinner's ready in minutes." The chicken also makes a great topping for salad.

Heather Campbell of Lawrence, Kansas seasons this slow-cooker soup with spices and herbs rather than salt. "Healthy Tomato Soup is especially good with sandwiches and for dipping bread," she adds.