Crisp temperatures are here, which means it's time to dust off your slow cooker and find a place of prominence for it on your kitchen counter. Only a few minutes of morning prep work are needed for a dinner that simmers all day in your slow cooker, making this culinary gadget Mama's seriously awesome little helper. These slow cooker dishes are tried and tested kid favorites, making them the best go-to weeknight dishes for busy Fall days.
There's no better way to celebrate the long weekend than with a few friends, passing around a plethora of irresistible, homemade dishes — everything from an ice-cold gin cocktail, shaken and served up in a mason jar, to a sweet apple cobbler. We've put together a no-fail menu that is easy to prepare, but more importantly is memorable and delicious to leave your guests wanting more.
Gin and Lavender Lemonade
If warmer weather leaves you craving something slightly sweet and fizzy this weekend, then whip up a gin and lavender lemonade. It takes five minutes to prepare, yet the flavors are intoxicating. Lavender dry soda and Meyer lemon give the drink a floral tang, the vanilla bean soda adds just a hint of confectionery sweetness, and the gin offers a refreshing kick. It's a sweet way to toast the end of Summer.
Grilled Jalapeño Poppers
Light up the grill a little early to make these chipotle jalapeño appetizers . Each halved jalapeño is stuffed with a combination of crispy bacon, whipped cream cheese, and pepper jack cheese. These peppers tend to pack a lot of heat, so top them off with a refreshing cilantro sauce to balance the spiciness.
Create a taco bar this weekend, because it's always easy to set up plus it's a guaranteed crowd favorite. This pork carnitas recipe will teach you the basics for cooking perfectly braised, shredded carnitas. Toppings are limited to your imagination, but we love the fresh, tangy flavor of salsa verde alongside sweet, pickled red onions, and salty cotija cheese.
Nuts! Fish!? Seeds?!? Omega 3s can cause some culinary confusion. If you're looking to get more of them in your diet here's a few simple ways:
- Walnut Oil: I use this in salad dressings regularly using equal parts walnut oil to olive oil. Then I add a little white wine vinegar and some Dijon mustard. Plus, I throw some toasted walnuts onto the salad. Be sure to refrigerate your oil after you open it.
- Flax seeds: My favorite way to sneak flax seeds into my diet is Uncle Sam Cereal. It is simply toasted whole wheat flakes and flax seeds. Taste wise the cereal would benefit with some added fresh fruit. Plus my kids love it, which I love since the cereal hardly has any sugar in it!
- Canola Oil: Canola oil is great to cook with and is the best oil when making a stir fry. It tastes much lighter than olive oil which makes it suitable for baking as well.