Slow Cooker Recipes from Crock-Pot #5

I like to use slow cooker liners. Whenever I buy a box of them, there is invariably a little handout inside that includes a few recipes. They are great for folks starting out with slow cookers!

This sweet treat is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Apple Crisp
Cook time on Low: 4 hours
Cook time on High: 2 hours
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:
6 cups apples, thinly sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp flour
2 cups bread crumbs, softened
1Tbs cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest

Directions:
1. In a large bowl combine apples, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon zest.
2. In another bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and bread crumbs.
3. In the stoneware, layer one third of the bread crumb mixture, then one third of the apple mixture. Repeat layers of bread crumbs and apples and finish with a layer of breadcrumbs on top.
4. Cook as preferred until bubbly.

Notes:
While the recipe above does not specify how to soften the breadcrumbs, a tablespoon or two of a sweet white wine, hard cider, or mead are on my list to try out.

A dash of vanilla may be added to increase the richness of the dish, if desired.

Choose your apples according to what end result you want. Golden Delicious will add to the sweetness and be softer. Granny Smiths will give the dish a tart dash and cook up a little firmer.

Pears, raspberries, and blueberries will each add it’s own flavor signature to this dish. Experiment and see which you like best.

Peeling the apples is entirely up to you. The best nutritional value is found in the skins, but we are talking about a dessert dish, after all.

Adding a tablespoon of wheat germ to the breadcrumb mixture is a good way to add additional roughage to dish.

Serve like a traditional apple pie: shred a little cheddar on top while it’s hot, and sidecar with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Think I am crazy? Try it and find out!

— Ann Cathey

Celestial Seasonings Holiday Teas

This Holiday Season, I feel the need to plug some of my favorite tea blends. Celestial Seasonings may not be the highest end tea, but it offers very pleasing offerings at a modest price.

Available in most grocery stores (even if the selection is limited), it has become a favorite tea company of mine. I believe that all of the Celstial Seasonings products contain all-natural ingredients and flavors, and no artificial colors or preservatives. This makes them very friendly to folks with restricted diets who are keeing Kosher, require gluten-free alternatives, and who are diabetic.

I can’t describe these lovely seasonal blends any better than the Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster, so I will just borrow his words from their website.

Candy Cane Lane
“This delectable holiday blend starts with naturally decaffeinated green tea and adds unmistakable seasonal flavors like cool peppermint, creamy vanilla and a dash of cinnamon. Candy canes have been cherished symbols of holiday spirit for centuries, and Candy Cane Lane® is sure to become a festive and healthy tradition at your celebrations!”
—Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster

Gingerbread Spice
“Stepping into a cozy kitchen warmed by the spicy aroma of freshly baked gingerbread — what a wonderful way to thaw a frosty winter chill! This handcrafted blend is a nostalgic medley of ginger, cinnamon and other time-honored ingredients. Because it’s naturally caffeine free, you can indulge in this unmistakably merry tea any time!”
—Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster

Nutcracker Sweet
“Nutcracker Sweet is an irresistibly simple blend of fine black teas made more festive with creamy, nutty vanilla and just a pinch of cinnamon. A decadent-yet-healthy treat, this delightful tea captures the magic of the world’s favorite ballet, The Nutcracker, which has been synonymous with holiday cheer for more than 100 years.”
—Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride
“This cheerful holiday blend will warm your heart with the inviting aroma and delightfully simple taste of freshly baked sugar cookies straight from the oven. Like all of our teas, Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride has no refined sweeteners or added sugars — giving you a guilt-free way to partake freely in the pleasures of the season.”
—Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster

Sugar Plum Spice
“This celebratory blend combines juicy purple plums and aromatic spices like ginger and cardamom with tart hibiscus, floral chamomile and just a hint of sweetness. Every sip is a journey to the Land of the Sweets in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, where the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy presides over a flavorful assortment of sensory delights.”
—Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster

Sweet Harvest Pumpkin
“Just like big piles of pumpkins at roadside stands and perfectly baked pumpkin pies on kitchen tables, Sweet Harvest Pumpkin™ Holiday Black Tea in tea cups everywhere is a sure sign that the holidays are near. Featuring rich black tea, harvest-fresh pumpkin flavor and traditional spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg plus a touch of natural sweetness, this festive blend is a delicious little slice of the season.”
—Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster

The “no strings attached” tea bags are natural fiber with no extra stings, staples or wrappers. This means that you have to close the wax paper bags inside the box properly to keep out moisture, but that’s a small price to pay for a lowered environmental impact. Learn more about Celestial Seasonings sustainability here.

Whatever tea you choose to drink and share this holiday season, enjoy it!

 

— Ann Cathey