Glorious fall foliage, crisp cool air, mums, pumpkins, witch’s cauldrons, trick-or-treaters — all symbols of the month of October, right? Well every cook knows there’s still one more… the Crockpot or slow cooker. Even if you use yours all year long, “Crocktober” is the time we most think of the magical kitchen cauldron that is all our own.

For the month of “Crocktober,” we will feature slow cooker recipes of all kinds to make your busy life easier, and delight your family with home cooked meals, beginning with breakfast. Think you don’t have time to make breakfast? Think again.

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

Cooking spray

26-ounce package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

16-ounce package bulk pork sausage

16-ounce package shredded Cheddar cheese

12 beaten eggs

1 cup milk

1 Tablespoon ground mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Spray the crock of your slow cooker with cooking spray.

Spread hash brown potatoes into the bottom of the crock.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir sausage in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5-7minutes. Drain and discard grease; spread sausage over the potatoes and top with Cheddar cheese.

Beat eggs and milk together in a large bowl; add ground mustard and generously season with salt and pepper, mixing seasonings thoroughly into the egg mixture. Pour over the cheese layer in the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Who doesn’t love a bowl of warm, creamy oats on a crisp fall morning? Here’s a recipe like no other for the slow cooker that will satisfy any member of the family and get them through the morning.

Slow Cooker Oats

3 cups water

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

Combine the water and oats in a small 2-quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours overnight.

When ready to serve, add the cream and brown sugar and gently stir, but avoid over-stirring, as oats will be incredibly creamy.

Serve with additional toppings of fruit, nuts, yogurt, granola, nut butter or spices like cinnamon — anything your heart desires.

Doubling or tripling the recipe is easy, just follow the same instructions for cooking. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

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