This post is sponsored by the Crock-Pot® brand. All opinions are mine alone.
I absolutely love the Crock-Pot® brand! For years, it’s been an amazing way to help with time management in the kitchen whenever I am short on time and need to get dinner on the table fast. Not only that, but it’s such a good way to cook those amazing soups and stews low and slow for maximum flavor!
For the fall season the brand challenged me to come up with 5 exciting ways to use some really awesome Crock-Pots® Slow Cookers! They sent me their Crock-Pot® Lift & Serve Hinged Lid 6-Quart Oval Slow Cooker, Crock-Pot® Express Crock Multi-Cooker and the Crock-Pot® 3.5-Quart Casserole Crock Slow Cooker! You guys know I’m all about putting a twist on classic dishes so I was really excited to take part in this! From delicious dinners, to a decadent dessert, an easy holiday breakfast, and a spicy twist to a holiday side; I’ve got you guys covered!
Easy Holiday Breakfast
Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
Whenever I think of monkey bread I’m instantly transported to Christmas morning. Growing up we always had Christmas brunch before opening presents, and my mom would make a fabulous monkey bread. She also made these super yummy cinnamon rolls, and I thought to myself…. “I should combine these.” I did a little research and found that the best way to do this was to use those store bought cinnamon rolls that you bake in the oven. I’ve always known that you could make monkey bread in a Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker so this was a winner for me.
This Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread is everything you need and more. It’s rich and indulging, and perfect for a holiday brunch. It’s like a cinnamon roll but 1,000 times better because it gets to soak and bake in a rich sauce of brown sugar and butter. It’s extra sticky and sweet especially when you pour icing all over it.
To make this dish, I used the Crock-Pot® 3.5-Quart Casserole Slow Cooker. This slow cooker is awesome for making desserts like this. It’s the perfect size, and makes cooking it a breeze. Plus it helped the bread to stay moist while cooking but still caramelizes!
You can serve this monkey bread straight out of the casserole slow cooker, or flip it over onto a plate so that the caramelized part is on top. Either way, drizzle the icing that comes with the cinnamon rolls over the top, and you’ve got an amazing holiday brunch item!
Grab the recipe.
Spicy Twist to a Holiday Side
Caribbean Sweet Potato Stuffing
I’ve given a spicy kick to your traditional potato stuffing! The name of this dish can be confusing because it actually looks like mashed potatoes rather than a stuffing, but that’s what it has always been called. Also, there’s only one sweet potato and two white potatoes, but they make an excellent combination. I only use one sweet potato to keep it from being too sweet.
This dish is amazing because it’s an awesome combination of spicy and sweet. I also love it because the potatoes are nice and creamy, but there are also bell peppers and raisins in it. The reason it has that red color is because I added tomato paste to it.
I used the Crock-Pot® 3.5-Quart Casserole Slow Cooker for this as well, and served it right out of the dish! This casserole dish is perfect for serving because it’s so beautiful! No fuss in having to transfer the stuffing into another dish!
Grab the recipe.
Oxtail Mac and Cheese
If you love mac and cheese, but want to have what I like to call a “grown-up” version, then this oxtail mac and cheese is for you. Oxtail is one of my favorite cuts of meat because when it’s cooked down it just melts in your mouth! It’s luxurious and is the perfect addition to mac and cheese.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a friend make oxtail mac and cheese, and it had me wanting to do my own version! What makes this mac and cheese so good is a combination of a rich and creamy bechamel sauce with nutty gruyere and swiss cheese. This is definitely one of my favorite cheese sauces to make, and it goes great with beef.
A bowl of this oxtail mac and cheese is rich and comforting, and is the perfect meal to keep you cozy this fall. To make this mac and cheese I used the Crock-Pot® Express Crock Multi-Cooker, and it has instantly become one of my favorite kitchen gadgets to have. I was able to cook the mac and cheese all in this pot (except for boiling the noodles), and it was a breeze!
I started off by browning the oxtails in the Crock-Pot® Express Crock Multi-Cooker. It has a feature where you can brown/saute, and I was able to get a nice sear on the outside. I then switched to the meat/stew setting to let the oxtails cook on high for 3 hours. After that I removed it from the pot, cleaned it out and finishing making the mac and cheese from there. I even cooked the bechamel sauce in the pot using the saute function. Certainly one of the best reasons to have the Crock-Pot® Express Crock Multi-Cooker is because it can do so many things other than just slow cooking. It also has a rice cooker function, and I tested it out and came out with perfectly cooked rice!
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Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Easily one of my favorite dishes to serve, I love having Cajun Red Beans and Rice around the holidays. It just makes me think of home and downright Southern comfort food. Growing up in Georgia, the first time I had this dish was at a local restaurant. I couldn’t help but think of how similar it was to a rice and beans dish that we eat in Nigeria, and I instantly loved it. A lot of creole/cajun recipes are very similar to African recipes.
This dish is awesome because the only work you have to do is in the prepping, and then all you have to do is throw the ingredients into your Crock-Pot® Lift & Serve Hinged Lid 6-Quart Oval Slow Cooker and that’s it. This slow cooker is great for low and slow, which is what you want especially when making beans.
The beans soak up all the flavor from the creole seasoning and holy trinity of bell peppers, onion, and celery. Because kidney beans can take quite some time to cook this slow cooker is the perfect appliance to use. I just set the pot on high and leave the beans to cook 4 to 6 hours. They were done closer to 6 hours.
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Double Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake
When it come to desserts I’m all about simple, not too hard ones to make. This double espresso cheesecake is one of the reasons I fell in love with cheesecake. It’s so GOOD! And it’s so easy to make! But, get this…. I made it in my Crock-Pot® Lift & Serve Hinged Lid 6-Quart Oval Slow Cooker!! I know you’re probably shocked to read that I made cheesecake in a slow cooker, but it’s totally possible! I was surprised the first time I heard that it could be done, but when I thought about why it all made sense.
The reason it works so well is because the cake is able to steam because the lid closes! So instead of doing the whole water bath business in the oven, you just put a little water in the bottom of the pot and put the cheesecake on top and close the lid. I also did not use a springform pan for this cake. All you need is a 6 inch cake pan that’s lined with parchment paper. You’re going to put the crust and cheesecake batter on top of the parchment paper so that when it cools you can just lift it out of the pan.
This cake is loaded with chocolate and real espresso. The espresso goes into the cheesecake batter, and then a rich and creamy chocolate ganache goes on top. The crust is also made from oreos so you are getting chocolate all around!
I love serving this cake when entertaining because it’s foolproof and very hard to mess up! Not to mention it’s absolutely beautiful, and will have your guests thinking you spent forever making it; when really it was no work at all!
Grab the recipe.
What did you guys think of the recipes? Which was your favorite? If you loved any of these slow cookers make sure to head on over to my Facebook and Instagram to see how you can win your very own! Which one do you want to win? Comment below and Happy Holidays!