Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Slow Cooker Apple Cider Recipe

Happy November 1st! We’re officially into that time of year between Halloween and Christmas and I feel like the word that covers it all is C O Z Y. And what better for cozy days spent curled up indoors with lots of blankets or for a walk in the crisp air than apple cider? Yummmmmm. I think the first time I made this was on top of the stove but for the past few years I’ve been making it in the slow cooker so it can sit on my counter and I don’t have to think about it. Also: it makes your house smell amazing! View Post

Smoky Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

Have you ever tried brisket? This cut of beef is amazing for a variety of meals and ideal for slow cooking. If you want a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of dinner, this is about as easy and delicious as it gets (this was my first time and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out). While I made this meal with Fall comfort food in mind, it really would be delicious year- round. I’ve teamed up again with Heritage Meats (see why I’ve shopped with them for years and check out delicious bison burgers in this post) to share a recipe idea that’s crowd- pleasing and pretty much fool- proof. This Langley store is my go- to for quality, organic meats and other specialty and gourmet foods (you an also read more about them below) and this brisket is proof of why they’re a popular spot for locals looking for quality options for everything from meats and deli items to gluten free and other specialty foods.

This smoky brisket is juicy and tender (I’m hoping to try pulled beef sandwiches next) and makes for a satisfying meal. You can enjoy it day- of, or serve it the next day (see my tip on why to give the 2- day option a try near the end of the recipe instructions). I served mine with rosemary mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies, but the combinations are endless. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes with this cut of beef and hope you’ll love adding this recipe to your Fall menu! 

Ingredients

3- 3 1/2 lb cut of brisket

1 tsp each:

–cayenne pepper

–cinnamon

— salt

— pepper

6- 8 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tsp liquid smoke 

slow cooker smoky beef brisket ingredients

Directions

  1. Start by creating a foil liner for your slow cooker (I just folded two large pieces together) and mixing the dry rub together. 

slow cooker smoky beef brisket dry rub

2. Coat the entire surface area of the meat with the dry rub, working it in with your fingers.

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

Here’s how it looks after the dry rub has been applied. Those streaks of fat in the meat help make for a juicy and flavourful finished product! More on that juice below.

slow cooker smoky beef brisket slow cooker smoky beef brisket

3.  Crush the garlic and pour half of the liquid smoke and crushed garlic in the bottom of the foil liner (this will help flavour the bottom side of the meat as it cooks). Pour the other half of the liquid smoke and crushed garlic on the top side of the meat and rub it in.

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

4. Place the brisket in the foil liner and wrap up the top to seal in the heat. Slow cook on low for 6- 8 hours or high for 3- 4 hours (I opted for high since I started this recipe mid day and was it was as juicy and tender as ever). 

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

5. When cooked you can either serve immediately or allow to cool in the crock pot insert and refrigerate overnight. Tip: by allowing the brisket to cool in the insert overnight you can skim off the fat from the liquid that seeped out during the cooking process (none of the liquid in the photos was added, that’s all from the brisket- yum!). Leave the remaining liquid that’s full of flavour in the slow cooker to keep the brisket juicy while you re- heat it and use it to make a delicious gravy. This is purely preference and not a necessary step, but I recommend giving it a try when you have the time.

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

slow cooker smoky beef brisket

I served mine with rosemary mashed potatoes and fresh carrots and beans from our garden. I glazed them with a simple seasoning of olive oil, salt and pepper and put them under the broiler to cook. For the gravy I simply added 1 tsp of organic corn starch to some warm water and mixed it in with the juices left over from the cooking process. 

slow cooker smoky beef brisket rosemary mashed potatoes 

slow cooker smoky beef brisket rosemary mashed potatoes  

slow cooker smoky beef brisket rosemary mashed potatoesslow cooker smoky beef brisket with seasonal vegetables

slow cooker smoky beef brisket with seasonal vegetables 

slow cooker smoky beef brisket with seasonal vegetables

slow cooker smoky beef brisket with seasonal vegetables

slow cooker smoky beef brisket with seasonal vegetables   

slow cooker smoky beef brisket with seasonal vegetables and rosemary mashed potatoes

slow cooker smoky beef brisket with seasonal vegetables and rosemary mashed potatoesslow cooker smoky beef brisket with seasonal vegetables and rosemary mashed potatoes   

Don’t have a slow cooker or wanting to upgrade? Here are 4 options to check out:  

Hamilton Beach 4 Quart Slow Cooker

Crock Pot 4 Quart Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Slow Cooker

Crock Pot 8 Quart Slow Cooker

About Heritage Meats

Located in Langley, BC, Heritage Meats specializes in gourmet, high- quality, and specialty foods including gluten- free, organic, and premium quality meats. Since opening in 2003, it’s become a destination, offering a selection of everything from deli items, pantry staples, and meat to gourmet and specialty items (including exotic meats!) hard to find in most stores. All of the meat and poultry carried in the store is non- medicated- no hormones, antibiotics, or animal by- products- and the friendly staff can help you with any questions you may have.

In addition to the exotic meats mentioned in this post, they also carry a selection of other quality meat and deli items:

– Beef (non medicated Alberta beef, dry aged for flavour and tenderness)
– Chicken (local, non medicated, air chilled)
– Pork (local, non medicated, free run)
– Sausages (made in house, no fillers, gluten free)
– Entrees (made in house by the shop’s chef, with a large selection of gluten free options)

To learn more about the store and it’s product offerings, visit the Heritage Meats website and find them on social media:

Facebook: Heritage Meats & Gourmet Specialty Foods | Twitter: @HeritageMeats

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smoky slow cooker beef brisket

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

Spring Break Menu Plan

It’s kind of crazy to think about, but Spring Break is just around the corner… What’s everyone doing- are you heading out of town or staying close to home? If you’re stuck for meal ideas to get you through the week, I’ve got you covered!

Whether you have the kids home all week or are sending them off to camp/ activities/ the grandparents, let’s try and make the evenings a little easier, shall we? I’ve rounded up 5 of my favourite meals that the whole family will love, each taking less than 20 minutes to whip up, with a few slow cooker ideas so you can prep everything ahead of time and have dinner take care of itself.

…Now if only the wine would pour itself! 😉

There are two ways to check out the Spring Break Menu Plan:

or

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

Yummy Mummy Monday: Dairy Free Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

Hands up who loves fresh Summer corn??? I love how amazing this soup turned out & I credit it to the amazing local corn I picked up from my fav farmers market. If you don’t have fresh corn the canned version will do, but I definitely recommend taking advantage of using fresh while it’s in season. Serve as an appie or as a meal in itself, this soup is hearty & filling, perfect to make ahead to freeze & enjoy in the cooler Fall & Winter months. If you have the time, it’s worth it to allow it to cool & let the flavours come out over night before blending into a chowder. Added bonus: whip this up in the slow cooker  to enjoy as an easy meal after a busy day of work. Yum!
Yummy Mummy Monday: Dairy Free Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
Ingredients:
8- 10 ears of fresh corn, shucked & sliced off the cob 
(or use 3 cans of corn & reduce water by 1 cup)
2 white onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 leeks, sliced into 1/4 slices (whites & greens only)
3 red potatoes diced into 2″ chunks
1 tbsp olive oil 
8 cups water or soup stock 
1 tsp each:
Smoked paprika
Ground chipotle pepper
Salt
Pepper (add more of these to taste)
Directions:
1. In a frying pan, heat oil & cook the onion and garlic (approx 3- 5 minutes)
2. Add all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and stir well
3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours (Tip: time permitting, allow the soup to cool & store in fridge over- night for the flavours to come out)
4. Turn off the heat & scoop portions into a blender; pulse until smooth/ free of lumps and transfer to a large pot (allow extra room for steam if pulsing while hot)
5. Combine all of the soup & re- heat if necessary.
6. Serve & enjoy! (would be delicious served with a nice salad in the Summer or roast ham in the Fall/ Winter.

August posts sponsored by

Yummy Mummy Monday: Gluten & Dairy Free Freezer Meal Menu

When I was pregnant with Ari I wasn’t able to stock my freezer as well as I would have liked in preparation for the busy weeks following her arrival. Luckily we had family popping in with meals for us for the first two weeks, making it one less thing we had to find energy to do. But if it hadn’t been for them, we would have probably eaten an unhealthy amount of take out due to exhaustion and lack of energy to cook. This time around we have a toddler to feed- and our diets have changed substantially since 2013- so I had to make sure we were stocked with healthy & tasty options that we could all enjoy. Pizza and takeout are just not options, so I was determined to pre- prepare as many meals as possible that could be pulled from the freezer & popped into the slow cooker or oven for those first few weeks when you need to simplify whatever you can. It took me a little while to accumulate a selection of ideas that were both gluten and dairy free- thank you Pinterest!- but I’m pretty happy with the variety of meals I was able to make.

I made these meals over a few days with the help of my Mum & Dad and as I had the time, but it’s definitely a great feeling if you’re able to put aside a few hours and pump them out all at once. Here’s how I stocked my freezer for #2:

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup*

*my Mum’s recipe- I’ll post soon) 🙂
Quantities:
Shepherd’s Pie *4
Cabbage Rolls *2
BBQ Ribs *2
Chicken Fajitas *1
Mongolian Beef *1
Hawaiian Chicken *1
Asparagus & Salmon *1
Soups & pasta sauce *1 batch each (for the sauce 1 batch= 4- 6 meals for the 3 of us) 
I also made sure to stock up on dry goods like gluten free pasta, rice, rice noodles, etc to serve with the freezer meals that don’t already have them included. 
How did you stock your freezer in preparation for baby’s arrival? What are your favourite make- ahead freezer meals?

April posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting