It’s not easy being a dad. We’re constantly being pulled from one place to other during the holidays by our jobs, wives, kids, etc. If you’re one of the many dads that cook during the holidays, then that’s one more thing that’s diverting your attention. You may love to cook, but who has the time to shop for presents, finish up work early so you can begin vacation, and cook an amazing holiday meal for the family? The crock pot is our saving grace. It lets us fill the house with a delicious aroma for hours and we can just let it sit while we fix the washer.
If you’re a dad that loves to cook, then you should have at least three crockpots: one for drinks, one for an appetizer and one for a main course.
Crock Pot Apple Cider
There are few drinks that exemplify the feelings of Christmas and winter more than hot apple cider. It’s sweet and can warm even the coldest soul. When life gets hectic, forget trying to make it in a pan and slowly simmer this drink to perfection. All you need to do is get out the crock pot. First, create your spice bag. Simply, put in 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon of cloves and 1 teaspoon of allspice in a double thick cheesecloth and tie it off. In the crock pot, pour two quarts of cider and ½ cup of brown sugar. Add the spice bag and top with some orange slices. Cover and let sit for 2-3 hours on the low setting. When done, throw away the spice bag and oranges and drink up.
That’s a Good Meatball
Can you get any manlier than a ball of meat? Perhaps only the loaf could epitomize the love of meat dads have more than meatballs, but when the holidays come calling you can’t beat them for a slow cooker appetizer. Simply mix 1 ½ pounds of meat with 1 ½ cups of bread crumbs, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 chopped onion, 1 beaten egg and ¼ cup of chopped parsley and roll into balls. Mix 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, 1 can of crushed tomatoes and a can of tomato puree in the crock pot and then add the meatballs. Let them cook for 6-8 hours on low and then chow down.
A soup can be just as hearty as a cheeseburger when it’s made right. You’ve got the cider and the meat balls cooking, so know it’s time to focus on the pumpkin soup. It’s the holidays, and pumpkins fit the season. You don’t want to mix apple cider with a chicken tortilla soup. It would just be weird. Pour 2 cups of pumpkin puree and 6 cups of vegetable stock in the crock pot and then add chopped vegetables. The veggies you use are up to you, but I’m a big fan of onion, garlic and celery. You should also add 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, ¼ teaspoon of allspice and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg. Stir it in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. It’s a meal fit for the king of his castle.
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