6 Slow Cooker Recipes for Winter Days

If your slow cooker has a permanent place on the counter during these cold winter months, you’re doing things right.

Mine hasn’t vacated its post either, turning out batches of beans, chili, oatmeal and pea soup. January is flying by, and sometimes I feel as though our slow cooked dinners are the only way I am surviving the busy days.

In case you’re looking for a few new ideas, allow me to spotlight a few recipes from the archives. Simple Bites is coming up on five whole years of recipes, and there are plenty that are well worth remembering. Here are six of my favourites for cold days.

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Veal Pot Roast with Root Vegetables (slow cooker)

Mid-winter is my preferred season to haul out the slow cooker. The weather is frigid, requiring heartier dinner fare to make up for all the energy we spend trying to stay warm.

Yesterday’s Sunday dinner was a slow cooked veal roast, seasoned with orange zest and surrounded by an assortment of root vegetables. To say it ‘hit the spot’ after a mainly meatless week of meals would be an understatement.

It spurred us on to bundle up in toques and scarves and spend an afternoon ice skating. The city maintains a winding skating area along the river’s edge around this time of the year and it winds and bends with views of the snowy island directly opposite. It was the perfect opportunity to let go of the stress of the week and gather fortitude for another seven days. [Read more…]

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham

So you cook a Sunday ham, and are left with the bone. That night the temperature plummets (yet again), your kids get sick, and your husband is about to leave on business for a few days. Then, you realize there is no other alternative than to make split pea soup and plenty of it to last into the week.

That was my thought process last Monday. This soup saved dinner, and a few lunches, while we were housebound, nursing fevers and the sniffles. It came together quickly – a literal dump and stir of ingredients in the slow-cooker – and simmered all day while we snuggled under quilts and read books.

While my boys may have been initially put off by the colour, their spoons were scraping the bottom of their bowls before long. Split pea soup just feels right this time of the year, especially when paired with skillet cornbread.

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Slow-Cooker Christmas Chicken in Milk with Orange, Cinnamon & Savory

This is going to be short; we’re all busy, and that is kind of the whole point of this recipe.

Have you ever noticed that no matter how many hours you log in the kitchen baking holiday treats or how big lunch was, there are still children/spouses/partners who expect dinner? And not just peanut butter toast, either, but a roast or something equally as impressive.

Sometime they can just like it or lump it, and be thankful for a sandwich, or you can take fifteen minutes out of your day and braise this Slow-Cooker Christmas Chicken in Milk. I can promise you, it’s the best chicken dinner in town.

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On Apples and Fall {Recipe: Slow Cooker Apple Crisp}


All photos by Kristen Doyle of Dine & Dish

As I sit by my window, watching the vibrant-colored leaves slowly drift to the ground, I feel completely wrapped in fall. The aroma of apple crisp, simmering away in my slow cooker, enhances the experience. To me, fall equals apples and pumpkin…warm fragrances and aromas… orange, yellow and reds. Most of all, fall equals comfort.

There is something about this time of year that pulls me to wrap up in a light blanket, with candles burning around me, and a great book in my lap. More comfort. [Read more…]