July 28, 2015
I am having a little bit of a love affair with my slow cooker this Winter. I set it in the morning, work on my book manuscript, do the household chores, spend time with my little boy around his kinder hours. Between kinder and school pick ups, play dates, regular sport and after school activities there is not much time left except for the very late hours of the evening. Once the slow cooker is set to cook there is no need to worry about dinner, it is done without the need to barely lift a finger (off the keyboard or the car steering wheel!).
I have previously used pomegranate molasses in a lamb shank recipe but I love this recipe much more. This one is more refined. The pomegranate molasses adds a depth of flavor to what is essentially a Winter beef casserole.
Between my slow cooker and my parents, who have made regular visits this year to help me with the kids, I have been able to clock up a lot of extra work hours. My parents visited last week and my mum arrived with an esky full of meals for the freezer and baked goods for the kids lunch boxes. This is a big deal for our little family as we have no one close by to help out with the kids. When my parents visit they travel a long distance to come and help out. Over the past month we have also had a visit from Mr Fresh’s parents from overseas which was also a huge help as I got to spend time working while they took care of the family routine and activities. The blocks of time that both sets of parents have given us this year are extraordinarily valuable to me and also to the kids who adore spending time with their grandparents. My little boy wanted to go home with my parents after this recent visit! Don’t let that raise alarm bells, everything is fine I assure you!!! Rather than be concerned I am thrilled and very grateful that he has such a strong connection with them and is able to spend valuable time with them building family memories. I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with my grandparents as a child. I was able to ride my bike to either of their houses to visit anytime I wanted to, and I did constantly. I treasure those memories and am so grateful that my children get to spend quality time with their grandparents. These are days that my children will always remember.
I am not a fan of Winter weather and am very much looking forward to the return of the sun and warmth. While that brings the benefits of being able to quickly throw together a salad for dinner it will mean the end of my “set and forget” dinners that have been a fixture on our Winter family menu this year, when we are not enjoying mum’s bounty of cooked meals that she has left for us.
I have created a list below of some of our favorite slow cooker meals that we have been enjoying this Winter. I have a feeling that the chill of this Winter will keep these things on the menu for a little while to come.
These are some of my family’s favorite Slow Cooker meals for Winter:
I hope that you get to try and enjoy some of them with your family.
Do you have a fall-back kitchen appliance or family meal tip that you use when you need to find some extra time in the day? Please share it in the comments below to help other busy mums.
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