Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Serve slow-cooked Sauteed Ranch Shrimp over noodles or other pasta.

Shrimp is good any number of ways. Just reference “Forrest Gump.” A personal favorite is Sautéed Ranch Shrimp. While the dish is extremely easy to sauté on the stove-top in fairly quick fashion, it can also be prepared in a slow cooker.

Why, then, if it is so easy on the stove-top, would you use a much longer version? Convenience and seasoning time is the short answer.

Those with growing families and those who are caregivers for elderly parents know they are only a phone call away from having to leave at a moment’s notice.

Whether it’s an emergency or an unexpected scheduling problem with carpool or after-school activities, cooks can’t leave the stove-top on. The slow cooker provides that freedom.

The extra time also allows the seasonings to blend better, meaning the taste has a stronger, more integrated flavor.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at