Hot diggity dog! The dog days of summer are here (in more ways than one). Over the next few months we’ll flock to the beach, pools, anywhere we can soak up the sun. To some, the best part about summer might be the weather, but I think we can all agree that summer eats are top notch.
With summer comes backyard barbecues and with cookouts come summer staples like hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, macaroni salad, s’mores – the list goes on and on.
While you could light up the grill, try cooking your hot dogs in your slow cooker this weekend.
If you’re wondering just how many hot dogs you can fit in the slow cooker, the answer is 64 and up (in a 6 quart slow cooker). We fit 64 hot dogs with room to spare – so make sure you have plenty of mouths to feed. We cooked these dogs on HIGH for 3 hours until they were perfectly warm and ready to serve. There’s no need to add water – the dogs will release some moisture while they cook and leave you with perfectly steamed frankfurters.
If you prefer to grill your hot dogs, the slow cooker can help keep them warm as guests arrive. Just put the slow cooker on WARM and let those guests that aren’t lucky (or punctual) enough to get a hot-off-the-grill hot dog enjoy one later in the afternoon.
While these slow cooker hot dogs would be delicious at a neighborhood BBQ, you could also make them for a kid’s birthday party or work potluck to feed a crowd anytime of year. Put out your favourite fix-ins – ketchup, mustard, onions, chili – and let your guests serve themselves. Frankly, it’s easier that way.
Whether you are having friends over for a Cinco De Mayo themed happy hour or cooking your favourite Mexican dishes for the family, these 5 recipes are muy bien and perfect for any Cinco De Mayo celebration.
You can’t celebrate Cinco De Mayo without tequila, can you? Add what you have leftover from making margaritas to this delicious shrimp marinade. Stuff tortillas with grilled shrimp and bell peppers and top with avocado, cilantro and a drizzle of our homemade spicy sauce. Treat yourself to one, two, or three. It’s Cinco De Mayo after all.
Usually my go-to margarita is the classic lime, but there is no denying this mango margarita. Blend mango chunks, tequila, sugar, lime juice, triple sec and ice. Either salt or sugar would work on the rim. Brighten up your Cinco De Mayo with this festive cocktail.
Is it just me or are chips, salsa and queso the best part of eating at any Mexican restaurant? Skip the restaurant and make your favorite appetizer at home in your slow cooker. Cook and serve right from the slow cooker with your favourite tortilla chips for a festive addition to your Cinco De Mayo spread.
While tacos and enchiladas are all well and good, why not impress your guests by breaking out the deep fryer and making chimichangas? The deep fryer adds the same texture and crunch that you’d find if you ordered the dish at your favorite Mexican restaurant and the ranchero sauce adds a nice spicy kick.
Spending Cinco De Mayo in the backyard this year? Fire up the grill and make Mexican burgers. Spice them up with cumin and jalapenos and top with slices of fresh avocado and your favourite salsa. Serve with tortilla chips and an ice cold cerveza.
I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but for some reason, everyone in my house is working late, traveling and running from event to event. Long nights and busy weekends don’t make for good food choices and it’s tough to spend a Sunday meticulously preparing lunches for the week ahead. We’ve been ordering take out and pizza more often than I’d like to admit. But that’s going to stop – because now I have foolproof slow cooker recipes like this comforting Italian Wedding Soup.
Instead of making poor choices so early in the year and destroying all the progress we’ve made towards our nutrition goals, this simple soup has come to our rescue. We make this hearty soup filled with healthy ingredients in the slow cooker. It takes a few minutes to prepare the meatballs, and, within a few hours, the entire house is filled with the inviting aromas of Italian ingredients, savory broth, turkey meatballs, spinach and pasta. Bring the crock to the table and add parmesan and freshly cracked pepper. Your whole family will love it and you can easily reheat leftovers during the hectic week ahead.
Stir turkey, eggs, 1/2 of the onion, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well blended. Roll turkey mixture into balls using 1 tablespoon per meatball.
Add meatballs and remaining ingredients, except pasta and spinach to slow cooker crock.
Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or LOW for 6 to 6 1/2. Add pasta, cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and meatballs are cooked through.
Stir in spinach and remaining Parmesan cheese before serving. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and coarse black pepper.
During the month of March you will find simple recipes that can help you plan meals for the hectic week ahead. This week, pot roast is the star of our meal planning show. Make beef pot roast on slow cooker Sunday and put a few twists on the classic dish throughout the week.
Growing up, we would visit my grandparents house and could always expect something to be on the stove. My favourite visits were the days my grandfather had his famous (to us) homemade marinara sauce simmering away on the stovetop. He would keep a warm baguette next to saucepan and we’d taste test (day-long taste tests are a thing, right?) until the sauce was just right – or gone.
Fortunately, this stovetop meat sauce doesn’t require an all-day simmer, but it’s sure to be one of your new go-to weeknight meals. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Then reduce the heat and add your family’s favorite store-bought marinara sauce (this is a real time saver), the pre-made pot roast from the weekend, salt, and oregano. Heat the sauce through for about 10 minutes and presto – a hearty meat sauce.
While my family would gladly enjoy this meat sauce with a chunk of warm bread, for a more substantial meal pour it on top of your favourite pasta or egg noodles. Plan ahead to use pot roast and some fresh vegetables to easily upgrade store-bought marinara into something special.
If you want to do something memorable for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, but want to avoid the crowds and overpriced menus, consider making a romantic dinner for two at home with a special chocolate dessert. Fondue is a fun, whimsical dessert that is perfect for an intimate dinner because it can be prepared in advance and kept warm while you eat.
If you don’t have a fancy fondue set, you can still enjoy this decadent dessert using a small slow cooker. Dip your fruit or pound cake right into the slow cooker or scoop the chocolate mixture into a bowl and surround it with assorted dippers like strawberries, pineapple, banana, angel food or pound cake, pretzels, marshmallows or cookies. Don’t forget to share! Fondue is the perfect dessert for trading sweet bites with your Valentine.