Tag Archives: slow cooker

Apple Butter

We love this apple spread. And it’s not Apple Butter… it’s Apple Butter. It’s called butter because of it’s smooth and spreadable consistency, just like room-temperature butter. You see, there’s not a bit of butter in apple butter. Fruit butters are common throughout Eastern Europe, since it has just a few ingredients, it was a no-mess recipe to use all the excess fruit.

This is a basic compote, but instead of you peeling, cutting, cooking, mashing and straining… you just grate, place in the slow-cooker and let it do the work for you. This recipe makes plenty of jars, so you can share with your family and friends.

This slow-cooker apple butter will fill your house with amazing scents all throughout your day. The only extra ingredients are a little brown sugar and a cinnamon stick. The original recipe calls for twice the sugar, but we feel that this little is more than enough since our apples were already sweet. This spread is perfect on morning toasts, oatmeal, ice cream and cakes… it’s a versatile little fruit butter.


Apple Butter

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Four Bean Chili

My bulk Tuesdays are getting old. We’re kind of tired of lentils, red bean chili or chickpeas, so I needed (and still need) to find some new twists for my leguminous Tuesday lunches. I was happy to find this Four Bean Chili recipe, even though we’re still talking about beans… and chili… again, I find that mixing four different types of beans in an all-vegetarian meal would certainly bring a different twist.

I didn’t use any canned ingredients simply because I prefer to use fresh cooked beans.  You can certainly use cans to make this an even easier meal. I also incorporated zucchini to the mix, you can add any variety you like.


Four Bean Chili

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Freezer Method & Slow Cooking: Beef & Vegetable Goulash

Browsing through Pinterest (isn’t it addictive?!) I saw quite a few pins on slow cooking meals and frozen meals.  I could certainly use the help this stew freezer method of cooking brings to someone with a tight schedule, like me.  I tried a couple of recipes and let me tell you, this method IS a lifesaver.  And not only that, the recipes are really delicious. I wouldn’t do this every day, but I do like to prepare them at least once a week,  especially for my busiest day which is Monday.

First thing to do, is defrost your meat. I do that on Sunday, at noon. Prepare the recipe, which in my case, yields for two meals because you divide the whole thing into 2 resealable freezer bags and each bag is enough for 4 servings. Mark each bag with the cooking instructions (see my photo).  At night I throw all the ingredients from one of the bags into my slow cooker, I turn it on Low at about 10pm before I go to sleep, and on Monday morning my meal is ready. I can forget about it and not worry about how I’m going to squeeze in the time to make lunch between house duties, office duties, picking Kristen up from school and taking her to swim class.  (I have to get to all that before lunch time, which on Monday’s is at 2).  I know a lot of us have hectic days like those, so I hope you will give this method a try.

The key is to organize yourself.  Pick out at least 2 recipes and get the ingredients you need for one day of chopping and mixing. You’ll have a month’s worth of once a week freezer meals ready to help you out on your busiest days.


Freezer Method: Beef & Vegetable Goulash

Recipe adapted from Mama and Baby Love

Yields: 2 freezer bags, 4 serving each.

3 cups chopped onions
2 cups coarsely chopped green bell peppers.
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
2 cups of carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup of cooked peas (fresh or frozen)
2-3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into one inch cubes
2  500 gram cartons of crushed pureed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of  paprika
2  tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup of white wine

Note: When you’re ready to cook, and you have transferred your prepared meal to your slow cooker, add some fresh herbs: 1 bay leaf and 1 spring of thyme.


  1. Mix everything and divide  into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.
  2. Day of cooking, defrost your bag ahead of time. dump it into your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or low 6-8 hours, depending on your specific slow cooker.
  3. I make white rice to go with this, but cooked noodles are also a great choice.  You can add a little sour cream on top before serving.
  4. Enjoy!