Create fantastic holiday fare with a twist fit for any celebration with Holiday Slow Cooker. Have more room for other dishes in or eliminate using your oven by having a slow cooker take on some of the elements.
Leigh Anne Wilkes created 100 recipes that are extravagant and gourmet, yet easy to make for festivities. Make parties and entertaining less stressful on your oven by leaving your slow cooker in charge. Create feasts for summer holidays with the BBQ Brisket and Triple Berry Crisp; in the fall and winter, there’s Cornbread and Sausage Dressing and Herbed Turkey Breast. Also included are recipes for Valentine’s Day Dinner, Chinese New Year, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo and even recipes for appetizers and breakfast.
This book features 100 delicious recipes and 60 mouth-watering photos.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and my favorite holiday meal to prepare, but it can also be a challenge to get everything finished at the same time and on the table. Whether we have a crowd (50 extended family members or more) or it's just our immediate family (8 people), using the slow cooker can make a huge difference in the kitchen and in my ability to get our Thanksgiving meal on the table. If you have a smaller crowd, putting the Herbed Turkey Breast in the slow cooker will free up your oven for all the sides. I also like to prepare my sides in the slow cooker. In fact, my husband prefers my Sausage Cornbread Dressing done in the slow cooker rather than in the oven! If you are feeding a larger crowd, put the turkey in the oven and line up the slow cookers for all the sides, including Pecan and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes, Not Your Grandmother's Creamed Corn, Creamy Simple Mashed Potatoes and even the rolls. The Garlic Cheese Rolls are a family favorite!
And don't forget dessert. Pumpkin pie lovers are going to love the Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
HERBED TURKEY BREAST
When you have a smaller crowd to feed for the holidays, a turkey breast is the way to go. The herb butter rub keeps the turkey moist and so flavorful. Using the slow cooker frees up your oven space for all the Thanksgiving side dishes.
SERVES 4 TO 6
2 tbsp (29 g) butter, softened
Mix together the butter, herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Loosen the skin on the turkey breast and rub the herbed butter mixture between the skin and meat.
Add the chicken broth to a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker.
Place the turkey breast in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until it reaches 165°F (74°C).
CREAMY SIMPLE MASHED POTATOES
My husband is from Idaho and loves his potatoes. He is a purist when it comes to mashed potatoes.
He likes them with just a little butter, salt and pepper. This recipe is simple, just as he likes them, but feel free to dress it up with additional seasonings, cream cheese or sour cream. Also, I have found that Yukon gold potatoes work better than russets. The russets tend to discolor in the slow cooker, and we prefer the texture of the Yukon golds.
SERVES 4 TO 6
3 lb (1.5 kg) Yukon gold potatoes
Put the potatoes, broth, onion powder and garlic powder into a 6-quart (6L) slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.
Drain the potatoes (reserve the liquid to add back in if needed) and mash them until smooth. Add the butter and a little milk or potato water to achieve the desired consistency.
At this point, you can dress up the mashed potatoes however you like by adding additional seasonings, cream cheese or sour cream.
PECAN AND BROWN SUGAR SWEET POTATOES
I got this recipe from my husband's aunt years ago, and it quickly became a family favorite. You can make these sweet potatoes in the oven, but I love using my slow cooker so I don't have to worry about them, and I can keep my oven free. You may wonder whether you are eating dinner or dessert when you taste them!
SERVES 8 TO 10
3 lb (1.5 kg) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes
Place the sweet potatoes into a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker and cover them with the broth. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours.
Drain the remaining broth from the sweet potatoes and add the orange juice, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon to the sweet potatoes. Use a hand mixer to blend until the sweet potatoes have reached your desired texture.
Place the sweet potatoes into a serving dish, top with the chopped pecans and serve.
SAUSAGE CORNBREAD DRESSING
We have been making this dressing for over 30 years at our house. We can't celebrate Thanksgiving without it. We prefer our dressing on the drier side, but if you prefer your dressing a little wetter, just add more gravy! The addition of sausage gives this dressing a lot of flavor. I love that I can make it in the slow cooker because it frees up my oven for other Thanksgiving goodness.
16 oz (454 g) regular breakfast sausage
In a medium-size pan over medium heat, cook the sausage until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove into a bowl and in the same pan, sauté the onion and celery in butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Mix together the dressing, browned sausage, onions and celery. Stir in the chicken broth.
Line a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker with a plastic liner. Add the dressing mixture and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
Remove the lid during the last 30 minutes to allow the top to crisp up.
Sprinkle with pecans and serve.
CITRUS CRANBERRY SAUCE
Citrus Cranberry Sauce can easily be made a few days ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to serve it. The use of the slow cooker helps infuse and enhance all the great citrus flavors in this sauce. You can switch up your citrus if you want and add lemon zest in place of the orange zest or add both
SERVES 8 TO 10
1 lb (454 g) whole fresh cranberries
Place all the ingredients into a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker and stir to combine.
Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours and then on low for 4 to 5 hours.
Refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.
This Apple Crisp can also be made with pears, peaches or fresh berries. There is a secret little ingredient in this crisp that gives it some fun extra flavor-graham crackers! Removing the lid during the last hour of cooking will help the topping crisp up.
4 to 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Finely chop the graham crackers into crumbs. I use my food processor. Combine the crumbs, sugar, oats, flour and spices. Add the butter, mixing well to combine.
Sprinkle the mixture over the apples.
Cook on low for 2 hours. Remove the lid and cook for 1 additional hour.
SPICED PUMPKIN PUDDING CAKE
This Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake is the perfect alternative to pumpkin pie — or you could serve both! A delicious sauce forms at the bottom of the slow cooker as a moist cake bakes on top. And it is perfect topped with ice cream or whipped cream.
SERVES 6 TO 8
1½ cups (188 g) flour
Spray the inside of a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, ½ cup (72 g) brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, sour cream, oil, vanilla and hot water.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (it should be like thick cookie dough). Spread it evenly onto the bottom of the slow cooker.
Mix ¾ cup (108 g) of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon together with the pecans. Sprinkle it over the top of the batter. Gently pour the boiling water over the top.
Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours. Use a toothpick to check the cake; it should come out clean. The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the slow cooker.
Spoon into individual bowls, add the sauce that formed on the bottom of the slow cooker and ice cream or whipped cream.
NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S CREAMED CORN
Creamed corn is considered comfort food at our house, and it always reminds my husband of his grandmother. I like this version better than the traditional creamed corn, as you have the texture of whole corn but the creaminess of creamed corn. It is the perfect addition to any holiday menu or a weeknight dinner, too. I like to sprinkle the paprika over the top right before serving with an additional dusting of some Parmesan cheese.
SERVES 8 TO 10
½ cup (115 g) butter
Over medium heat, melt the butter and cream cheese in a saucepan on the stovetop until they're combined, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Place the corn, salt, pepper, garlic powder, milk and sugar in a 6-quart (6L) slow cooker. Stir in the butter and cream cheese mixture.
Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or on low for 3 to 4 hours.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese 30 minutes before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle the corn with paprika and some additional Parmesan cheese.
TROPICAL BROWN SUGAR CARROTS
These carrots taste a little bit more like candy than a vegetable, thanks to the brown sugar and pineapple. For even cooking, be sure your carrots are cut into pieces around the same size. I like to cut them into 1-inch (25mm) pieces, but if you want them smaller, simply adjust the cooking time down a bit. I like to use the fork test for tenderness. The fork slides easily into the carrot without the carrot falling apart. Not too mushy, but not too hard.
2 lb (907 g) carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25-mm)
Place the carrots in a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, pineapple and pineapple juice. Stir to combine, and pour it over the carrots.
Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low for 4 hours. The time may vary depending on the size of your carrots. I like to remove the lid for the last 30 to 40 minutes to allow the carrots to absorb some of the juices in the slow cooker.
Spinkle with fresh parsley for garnish, if desired.
GARLIC CHEESE ROLLS
These rolls are my version of a yummy roll from a favorite restaurant. I was so excited to be able to create these at home and to make them in my slow cooker. I originally made them in the oven but discovered that it is even faster and easier to make them in the slow cooker since I don't need to let the dough thaw and rise for several hours before baking.
10 frozen dinner rolls
Line a 4-quart (4-L) slow cooker with parchment paper.
Dip a frozen roll into mayonnaise, then butter and, lastly, cheese. Place the roll cheese side up in the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
Sprinkle the rolls with garlic powder and parsley.
Place a cotton towel or paper towel between the slow cooker and the lid to absorb condensation.
Cook on high for 2 hours.
Just like Thanksgiving, Christmas is always a bit of a challenge when it comes to the kitchen and dinner prep. Let your slow cooker help you out whether you use it for the main dish, the sides or even dessert!
We love a good roast at our house for Christmas, and the Santa Maria–Style Pot Roast is the perfect choice. Serve it with the Roasted Garlic and Herbed Mashed Potatoes and the Teriyaki Glazed Brussels Sprouts, but if your family prefers turkey, try the Herbed Turkey Breast. If you do a lot of entertaining during the holidays, you will love theMushroom Artichoke Chicken, which was always my mother's go-to entertaining recipe while I was growing up. It is perfect served with the Cashew Nut Rice Pilaf.
The Cranberry Balsamic Pork Loin Roast has nice holiday flair to it thanks to the cranberries. I always love to have a slow cooker of Cranberry-Apple-Spiced Cider or Creamy Malted Hot Chocolate going to help warm up my guests or the kids after they come in from the cold.
SANTA MARIA–STYLE POT ROAST
Santa Maria roast gets its name from a city in California. A Santa Maria rub typically is a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and whatever else you want to add to it. It is traditionally done with a tri-tip roast, but it also makes a delicious pot roast. Add some carrots and potatoes, and you've got a perfect pot roast. Feel free to get creative and add additional favorite seasonings, but it really doesn't need it. You will have lots of delicious liquid in the slow cooker that you can use to make gravy if you want.
SERVES 4 TO 6
2 tbsp (30 g) sea salt
Mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and sugar and rub over both sides of the roast.
Heat the olive oil in a pan large enough for the pot roast over medium heat, and then sear the roast on both sides for about 3 to 4 minutes or until browned.
Place the carrots and potatoes in a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker and place the roast on top. Add the beef broth, being careful not to pour it over the top of the roast and wash off the seasonings.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart.
MUSHROOM ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
During my childhood, Mushroom Artichoke Chicken made an appearance at almost every dinner party my mom hosted. When you find a good recipe, you stick with it! This chicken dish is perfect for company because it looks elegant, tastes delicious and is so easy to make. I adapted it for the slow cooker, making it even easier and freeing up your oven.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the chicken. Brown until golden on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes each side.
Place the chicken in a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker.
In the butter that is remaining in the frying pan, add the flour and stir to mix. Add the chicken broth and thyme, and cook until the sauce thickens and has a gravy-like consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 4 hours. During the last hour, add the artichoke hearts and sliced mushrooms.
Serve with Cashew Nut Rice Pilaf.
Excerpted from "Holiday Slow Cooker"
Copyright © 2017 Leigh Anne Wilkes.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Herbed Turkey Breast,
Creamy Simple Mashed Potatoes,
Pecan and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes,
Sausage Cornbread Dressing,
Citrus Cranberry Sauce,
Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake,
Not Your Grandmother's Creamed Corn,
Tropical Brown Sugar Carrots,
Garlic Cheese Rolls,
Santa Maria — Style Pot Roast,
Mushroom Artichoke Chicken,
Chocolate Toffee Fondue,
Creamy Malted Hot Chocolate,
Fruit and Nut Brie,
Cranberry Balsamic Pork Loin Roast,
Red Pepper and Green Bean Casserole,
Roasted Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes,
Teriyaki Glazed Brussels Sprouts,
NEW YEAR'S EVE SOUP PARTY,
Fresh Tomato Pesto Soup,
Curried Butternut Squash Soup,
Roasted Red Pepper Soup,
Italian Beef and Barley Soup,
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup,
Pork Verde Stew,
Chicken Parmesan Soup,
Creamy Beef Stroganoff,
Smothered Pork Chops,
Cashew Nut Rice Pilaf,
Honey Dijon Brussels Sprouts,
Herb Roasted Potatoes,
Dulce De Leche and Caramelized Apples,
Lemon-Garlic Chicken Pasta,
Chicken Tikka Masala,
Chocolate — Peanut Butter Pudding Cake,
CHINESE NEW YEAR,
Ginger Sesame Glazed Pork Tenderloin,
Cashew Nut Chicken,
Asian BBQ Chicken,
Beef and Broccoli,
Asian Pepper Steak,
Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps,
General Tso's Chicken,
Sweet and Sour Pork,
Lemon Pull-Apart Biscuits,
Maple and Brown Sugar Ham,
Browned Butter Balsamic Carrots,
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes,
Garlic Parmesan Potatoes,
Lemon and Blueberry Glazed Coffee Cake,
Orange-Glazed Pork Loin,
Cinnamon and Walnut Coffee Cake,
Ham, Lentil and Vegetable Soup,
Rosemary Lemon Roasted Potatoes,
CINCO DE MAYO,
Spicy Mexican Beef,
Pork Tinga with Pineapple,
Layered Beef Enchiladas,
Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken,
Cilantro Black Beans,
No-Fry Refried Beans,
Salsa Verde Carnitas,
Mexican Street Corn Dip,
4TH OF JULY,
BBQ Beef Brisket,
Bacon Mac and Cheese,
Cheesy Chili Corn Cake,
Smoky BBQ Ribs,
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken,
Everyone's Favorite Baked Beans,
No Fire Required S'mores Brownies,
Roasted Summer Vegetables,
Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal,
Corned Beef Hash,
Breakfast Potatoes with Peppers,
Cinnamon Salted Caramel and Walnut Monkey Bread,
Green Chili and Cheese Overnight Breakfast Casserole,
Denver Omelet Strata,
Bananas Foster French Toast,
Make-It-Your-Own Homemade Granola,
Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil and Sausage Crustless Quiche,
SANDWICHES AND STARTERS,
Kung Pao Chicken Wings,
Honey Sesame Chicken Wings,
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs,
Chicken Enchilada Dip,
Cheesy Bean Dip,
Roasted Garlic Artichoke Dip,
Cuban Pork Sandwich,
Raspberry Balsamic Chili Meatballs,
Reuben Sandwich with Russian Dressing,
Smoky Chipotle Sloppy Joes,
Tri-Tip Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo,
About the Author,