Winter Comfort Food

If like me at this time of year you are craving bolstering, comforting even soul soothing dishes then I’ve got you covered. I joke that you can tell the season by what is on my kitchen counter and the biggest give away is the slow cooker it never see the light of day in the summer but it makes up for it in the colder wintery months. It gets so much use, I use it for casserole and stews all the time like my oxtail stew and my Irish stew but also for puddings like my slow cooker sticky toffee pudding and jam pudding. Although, like with any dish that is cooked in the slow cooker there is a lot of waiting about but it can be extremely useful on days when the oven is in use like Sunday lunch time.

As always Happy Cooking!!

Below is a video of my favourite winter foods and below that even more of my go to winter comforts.

slow cooker sticky toffee pudding

Slow Cooker Sticky Toffee Pudding

I bought a slow cooker a long time ago and until recently it spent most of its time at the back of a cupboard. It is only recently I have come to get full use of this wonderful piece of kitchen equipment. I must confess however, I know that my slow cooker will inevitably be constrained to the winter and colder months as I find it best suited to braised dishes and that is usually not the sort of food I want to eat in the warmer months. But whilst the weather is cold, I am getting full use of my slow cooker I nearly always cook in large batches when using it when time and energy are in short supply. When I know I’m going to be busy and not have the opportunity to eat I go ahead and stick something in so I know when I get home, I will have a hot comforting meal ready. Most of the time it is only two of us eating so I like to come up with recipes such as my slow cooker ham that do provide several dinners but, the several other new dinners over the next few days come from these. From the leftovers of my slow cooked ham I make ham & Pea potato cake, my egg fried rice with ham or even just some simple stir-fried greens with a hefty slice of ham that is topped with a fried egg, runny yolk a must.

slow cooker sticky toffee pudding
sticky date pudding

I have recently been adapting some of my dessert recipes for the slow cooker, which I will explain. The reason this idea came to meet was recently when at a friend’s house for dinner there was a little bit of a crisis due to the oven being in use with dinner itself and temperatures, which inevitably shouldn’t have been a concern, I would just pop pudding into the oven after take out dinner as I enjoy a little break between courses. This, however, got me thinking of ways of cooking hot pudding or desserts without having to use the oven. What other pieces of equipment are found in most kitchens I thought. Then it hit the ‘slow cooker’, I knew as soon as I had decided on the cooking appliance that it had to be a pudding and I came up with a few but my top favourites were easy and delicious. One my slow cooker STP (Sticky Toffee Pudd) and the other my chocolate pudding. What makes these both great is that they are super easy to make combine wet and dry ingredients and cook it in its own sauce in the slow cooker giving your pudding an incredible sponge much like that of a steamed sponge pudding. I share below my recipe for slow cooker STP.

Check back over the coming weeks for many more slow cooker recipes.