The ABCs of Slow Cooker Family Favorites
The holidays present the perfect opportunity for families to reunite and revel in each other's company. You're likely already planning a festive feast for Thanksgiving, but what about the days before and after the big holiday?
Not every meal has to be a production - in fact, when it comes to family, sometimes the best foods are those simple, comforting favorites. Stick to your ABCs when you're cooking for your family this fall and try one of these delicious options to impress your guests.
Applesauce in the Slow Cooker
Crock-Pot Girl™ Jenn Bare offers this delicious homemade spin on slow cooker applesauce. Begin by peeling, coring and slicing eight apples, then placing them at the bottom of your Crock-Pot® Digital Slow Cooker with iStir™ Stirring System. Cover the fruit with 1/2 cup of water, then allow the mixture to cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. After the apples have cooked, stir in 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, then allow the applesauce to cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve warm or cool - whichever you prefer - and garnish with a cinnamon stick for added flavor.
Banana Bread with Oatmeal
Another great recipe from Jenn Bare is Slow Cooker Oatmeal Banana Bread, a simple and savory treat for any dessert, brunch or afternoon tea. Turn your slow cooker on high and place a rack on the bottom of the stoneware. In a small bowl, cream together 1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar, 2 beaten eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. When the mixture is fluffy, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup quick-cooking oats, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Then, mix in 4 ripe, mashed bananas and 1/4 cup milk. Place the mixture in a bread pan, then set that inside the slow cooker. Set about 2 to 4 paper towels over the slow cooker, then cover with the lid and cook for about 2-3 hours on high. Use a toothpick to see if the bread has finished cooking, remove the pan from the slow cooker, then slice after it's had a chance to cool.
Caramel Mocha Cheesecakes
Cheesecake is a staple dessert for any family feast, so try these Mini Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecakes to really impress your loved ones this season. Begin by spraying six 4-ounce jars with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix 3/4 cup ground chocolate graham crackers and 1/2 stick melted butter. Add 1 tablespoon of crumbs to the bottom of each jar, pressing them flat. In a large bowl, add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 8 ounces of cream cheese, beating until well-blended. Gradually mix in 1 large egg, 1 ounce of bittersweet chocolate, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee and 1/8 teaspoon salt. When the ingredients are well-blended, pour the mixture into each jar until they're 3/4 full. Place the jars in the slow cooker and add hot water until the jars are mostly covered, then cook the cheesecakes on high for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the jars and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cover with whipped cream and caramel sauce for the highest-quality dessert.