How do you get in the holiday spirit? Trim the tree? Hang stockings? Roast a turkey perhaps?
The Christmas season is filled with flavourful comfort foods and smooth savoury drinks. It can be great fun to unleash your inner chef and whip up delightful holiday dishes. When it comes to cooking, everyone has their own unique culinary customs. Some pull out their favourite chopping boards. Others don their crisp white aprons. Many listen to music. While a select few turn on the television, and boil as they binge on Grey’s Anatomy. Most people suit up for the occasion; covering arms, legs, torso’s and even hands with oven mitts. But some… prefer to wear nothing at all.
According to the American Association for Nude Recreation, for nudists, there is never a worry about staining clothes while eating. With the dab of a napkin, sauce slips right off your arms or legs. No mess to ruin your meal. Cooking, however, brings with it a few more hazards.
Sizzling oils. Boiling water. It can turn into quite the battleground. Hot splatters are bad enough when a cotton shirt shields your skin. But without a stitch, one must exercise caution to the highest degree.
Armor does not always need to be worn. Protection can come in the form of a slow cooker; allowing you to disrobe and cook in peace. And what better time than Winter to wield this culinary weapon. Comfort food was designed for cold weather. Delicious sweet beverages, stews, soups and more; all contained in the safety of your slow cooker. Here are some recipes for holiday cheer from the American Association for Nude Recreation.
Slow Cooker Holiday Hot Cider
8 cups apple cider
4 cups cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice
½ cup sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
Pour the apple cider, cranberry juice and sugar into the slow cooker.
Next, pull out a cheesecloth and place the cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves inside (this will prevent your drink from gaining unwanted residue). Tie the cloth tight and add it to the slow cooker.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 3 to 4 hours.
Remove the bag of spices, and serve your beverage warm. Cheers!
Slow Cooker Holiday Eggnog
6 cups whole milk
1 cup egg substitute
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp rum extract
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
whipped cream – optional
Combine the whole milk, egg substitute, sugar, rum extract and pumpkin pie spice in the slow cooker.
Then cover and cook, with the heat set to low for 2 to 3 hours.
When the eggnog is ready to serve, ladle it into mugs and top it off with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup 2% milk
½ cup dry red wine (optional)
1 jar (45 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti, cooked and drained
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place the beef (uncooked) into your slow cooker – but don’t run away just yet. Using a fork, break up the beef and season to your liking.
Next, stir in the onion, garlic and milk (as well as the wine and sauce, if desired).
Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or, if you’re in a rush… on high for 4 to 5 hours.
(tip: start making the spaghetti during the last half hour of the cook time)
Spoon off any fat as the beef cooks.
Then stir the beef mixture, and break up any remaining large pieces of beef.
Season to taste and serve with spaghetti and cheese. Bon appetite!
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
1 ½ lbs small redskin potatoes, halved
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
4 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 4-lb corn beef brisket
12 oz stout beer
2 tbps pickling spice
½ head green cabbage cut into thick wedges
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup horseradish
2 tbps whole grain mustard
3 tbps butter
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Once the vegetables are cut, layer the potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and thyme in your slow cooker.
Then, place the brisket on top of the vegetables and add the beer and pickling spice.
Add enough water to just cover the brisket.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat until the meat and vegetables are tender (this will take about 8 hours).
Next, arrange the cabbage over the brisket. Again, cover and cook until soft and wilted, (45 minutes to 1 hour more).
When the cabbage and brisket are close to complete, whisk together the sour cream, horseradish and mustard in a small bowl.
Remove the cabbage and toss with 1 tablespoon of the butter and pepper to taste in a large bowl.
Then remove the meat and let it rest.
Strain the remaining vegetables and toss with the parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the corned beef against the grain and serve with the vegetables and horseradish sauce. Enjoy!
~ Courtesy of the American Association for Nude Recreation
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