Autumn is in full swing, and with it comes the changing colours, crisper air, and a desire for comfort food. There’s nothing better than having your crock pot simmering away on your kitchen counter with a delicious soup just waiting for you to enjoy.
October is the month where we pull out our crock pots and those old favourite recipes we love. Maybe some are passed down through the family, or others you’ve only tried recently. But why keep those recipes to yourself?
We’d love to hear what your favourite crock pot meal is and put some of those great recipes into action. Plus, share the love with others!
Also, here are some of our favourite recipes to make for an easy Crock Pot dinner!
Who can go wrong with a delicious cheesy baked spaghetti in the Crock Pot? Try this fool-proof recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker or share your very own recipe with us in the comments below!
Sometimes all you need is chicken soup and a good book on a crisp fall day. This classic Crock Pot recipe from The Black Peppercorn will soothe your soul – but we also want to know what else you would add to it!
Meatballs are a crowd favourite and oh-so-easy to whip up in the slow cooker. Try this tasty recipe from Well Plated and tell us in the comments below what you would pair your meatballs with!
Fall is here! But don’t worry, it’s not all rain and cold weather. Fall is a beautiful season of bounty, and you can make the most of that bounty by taking up your new favourite hobby: canning. That beautiful jam you like? You can make it. Dill pickles? You can make those too. Those cans of tomatoes you buy every other week? Yep, you got it! All you need is a bit of equipment and a bit of know-how. London Drugs has got you covered on both counts.
Canning is really just a way of preserving food. Water bath canning is the easiest way to start: you fill glass jars with the stuff you want to preserve (jams, jellies, pickles, etc.) and boil them in hot water. This kills any bacteria present, removes air from the jar, and seals it to prevent any more bacteria from getting in. Water bath canning only works for high-acid foods like fruit, tomatoes, and pickled things.
If you want to get really fancy and preserve your perfect pumpkin pie filling, you’ll need to upgrade to a pressure canner. But the basic process is to sterilize your jars in boiling water, make your preserves, put those preserves in the jars, put on the lids, and throw them back in boiling water. Easy peasy, right?
We’ve got a complete canning kit that includes the jar lifter, lid lifter, and funnel, as well as 250ml jars, 500ml jars, and even 1L jars for things like pickles and whole tomatoes. If you’re making jam or jelly, you’ll also need pectin.
Once you’ve acquired the equipment, you need to decide what you want to can! In early fall we still have stone fruit like peaches and plums, and lots of tomatoes. Later in the season, root vegetables like carrots and beets can make some excellent pickles. And apples, of course!
If you’ve got a well stocked grocery store that brings in produce from further afield, you can can small batches with basically any type of fruit. We’ve got recipes for strawberry balsamic jam and sour cherry jelly on the blog from earlier this summer. (What’s the difference between jam and jelly, you ask? Jam is made from crushed fruit while jelly is made from fruit juice! The more you know.)
Canning isn’t difficult, but when mistakes are made they can range from something minor like a jam that doesn’t set to something dangerous like food that is unsafe to eat. You may balk at the amount of sugar in some of these recipes, but it’s integral to getting the jelly or jam to set properly, and it helps prevent spoilage.
Boiling time will vary depending on what altitude you’re at. You also can’t reuse the flat part of the two part lid for canning jars; you can reuse the ring, but you need a new lid each time you can. And don’t forget to sterilize your jars before filling them with your preserves!
There are a ton of great websites you can go to for more information and recipes, including the National Center for Home Food Preservation, Food in Jars, and Punk Domestics. Companies that make canning supplies like Bernardin and Ball are also fantastic resources.
Here are a few of our favourite fall recipes. Go ahead and get canning! You can can!
For some food lovers, the end of summer means saying goodbye to backyard cookouts and delicious BBQ meals. For others, the cooler fall weather is a welcome excuse to warm up in front of the oven and enjoy a piping hot mug of cocoa after dinner.
Whatever you may prefer, there’s no doubt that the following dessert recipes are bound to inspire you this fall season (and satiate your sweet tooth)! Besides – who can say no to chocolate?
The chocolate chip cookie is beloved for a reason! And because fall is the season where you can finally dust off your cast iron skillet, this cozy take on a household classic provides the perfect dessert option on a chilly evening.
[Find the recipe at Dinner with Julie]
Just because camping season is coming to a close doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to s’mores just yet! These pudding cups call for the basics – marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers and some pantry items, and allow you to enjoy a campfire treat in the comfort of your own home.
[Find the recipe at Seasons and Suppers]
Dipped in a luxurious dark chocolate sauce, the crispy cinnamon coating and sweet, soft dough make these churros to die for. A fair favourite that can easily be made at home, there’s no need for a clunky deep fryer if you have a wok on hand!
[Find the recipe at Recipe Tin Eats]
If you haven’t already heard, the pumpkin spice latte (or PSL) has made yet another comeback this fall. And whether you’re on board with the trend or not – we guarantee you’ll love this pumpkin spice hot chocolate recipe!
[Find the recipe at Lemons for Lulu]
Donuts are not only delicious, but they can be a great baking activity that the kids will love. These double chocolate donuts are a quirky (and easy to transport) alternative to birthday cake. If you don’t have a donut pan on hand, simply use a muffin tin!
[Find the recipe at i am a food blog]
Although some may argue that the fall season is too cold for ice cream, we beg to differ. Complete with an Oreo crumb crust and filled with your favourite brand of coffee ice cream, this mud pie is a perfect dish to bring to your next fall potluck!
[Find the recipe at Coco Cake Land]
When you think of a fruit crumble, chocolate doesn’t usually come to mind. This crumble, however, brings the classic flavours of black forest cake into a rich cherry crumble – loaded with fresh Bing cherries and rounded off with a coconut and cocoa topping.
[Find the recipe at Kitchen Heals Soul]
Nothing quite says “fall” like a warm pecan tart fresh out of the oven. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’ve found a recipe that will excite any chocolate lover! A maple pecan filling sits atop dark chocolate for a unique – and tasty – dessert.
[Find the recipe at Salted Plains]
Pain au chocolate – or chocolate croissants – are usually a coffee shop treat. Thankfully, we’ve found a recipe that’s as simple as it is delicious! With only three ingredients: egg, puff pastry and your favourite dark chocolate bar, you can have your *croissant* and eat it too.
[Find the recipe at Simply Beautiful Eating]
Believe it or not – not everyone is a huge fan of dark or milk chocolate. For anyone who can’t eat chocolate, or prefers the taste of white chocolate, we’ve got you covered! This delectable brownie recipe is the perfect balance between rich and fluffy, and can be tweaked to whatever sweetness level you prefer.
[Find the recipe at Simple as That]
For those who don’t know, the Instant Pot is a multi-purpose kitchen tool that combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, steamer, warmer, and yogurt maker.
With all that in one space-saving appliance, it’s no wonder the product is a huge success. Still, some might feel challenged to ensure they make the most of each Instant Pot feature.
Don’t worry, here are some sensational recipe ideas to get you started…
For the Pressure Cooker: The best part about pressure cookers is preparing dishes that would normally take hours in mere minutes. Meaning, whole new categories of dishes, like roasts and stews, can be added to your night-of cooking rotation.
Full instructions at SeriousEats.com
Cook Time: 45mins.
Full instructions at PressureCookerRecipes.com
Full instructions at DETOXinista.com
For the Slow Cooker: Sure, nearly everything you can make in a slow cooker is faster in a pressure cooker. But certain recipes may benefit from a slow approach. Plus, you can leave a slow cooker on during the day and simply sit down to dinner at night!
Full instructions at 365DaysofCrockpot.com
For the Rice Cooker: A rice cooker is great for so much more than just making rice. Even if you do make rice in it, there’s no reason it needs to be plain. With just a little added technique, you can make entire satisfying meals like this paella.
Full instructions at MyVega.ca
For the Yogurt Maker: This is one Instant Pot function many of us are probably still unfamiliar with. But the rising popularity of protein-rich yogurt breakfast parfaits mean it’s likely to become a more popular option soon. Ready to give it a shot? Read on.
Full instructions at KitchenJoyBlog.com
You can purchase one of two different sizes of Instant Pot at London Drugs in-store or online. Have a question about the Instant Pot? Feel free to ask an LD Expert in person, or you can reach us in the comments section below and wherever you find London Drugs on social media.
It’s that time of year again: the time to swap coolers for lunch bags and camping gear for backpacks. With a new school year comes a new beginning, and there’s no better time than now to amp up your creativity in the kitchen and spoil your kids with simply incredible school lunches that are also healthy and delicious.
The following is a list of 12 school lunch ideas that are guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest palates.
Mason jars have quickly become staples in the modern kitchen. You may prefer to provide your kids with a non-glass option, like the Thermos FUNtainer. But no matter the container, these tasty pasta salads are quick to make, easy to pack and customizable to every kid’s palate!
[Find the recipe at Babble]
A clever twist on a classic snack, these healthy and delicious veggie wraps can be made in a pinch– and with only a few ingredients. Simply pair your favourite tortillas with creamy hummus, and add the vegetables that your kid loves best.
[Find the recipe at Weelicious]
For anyone looking for a hassle-free lunch box that kids love, bento boxes are the way to go. Not only can you neatly personalize each lunch as a midday surprise (and support your kid’s favourite sports team at the same time), but the different compartments allow you to separate fruit, dessert, snacks and dipping sauces from the main meal.
[Find the recipe at Wendolonia]
Even the pickiest of eaters will love this dish. Make it for dinner the night before and serve it up in a thermos for the next day–this macaroni and cheese recipe is bound to be a hit with everyone. The best thing about it? The kids won’t even notice that it’s jam packed with veggies!
[Find the recipe at Teach Eat Love]
Perfect for when you have leftover Indian food–or even just some chicken and spices from the kitchen–these butter chicken calzones will make all the kids jealous. Taking the shape of pop tarts, you can fill these savoury puffs with nearly any type of curry you choose!
[Find the recipe at Canadian Family]
These colourful (and flavourful) pasta skewers work wonders as a quick snack before soccer practice, healthy treat while on a field trip, or even as an easy food swap with friends. The varieties are endless–instead of tortellini, opt for gnocci, and add whatever bite-sized veggies your kid likes best.
[Find the recipe at Design Improvised]
This mouth watering mason jar (or kid-friendly alternative) concoction isn’t just for kids–although there’s no doubt they’ll be the star of the cafeteria once they pull out this BBQ parfait. Loaded with beans, mashed potatoes, your choice of meat (we love pulled pork), and your favourite BBQ sauce, these genius lunches will satisfy any BBQ lover.
[Find the recipe at Creme de la Crumb]
A contemporary spin on the classic egg salad sandwich, this recipe calls for avocado and cucumber to add a luxurious creaminess and satisfying crunch to what can often be an underwhelming meal. If your child isn’t a fan of mayo, don’t fret! You can always substitute with Greek yogurt, or omit it altogether.
[Find the recipe at The 36th Avenue]
Bring taco night to the playground with these colourful, healthy and filling salad bowls. Meal prep ahead of time with reusable containers so that everyone gets an equal portion. This recipe is even one that your kids can easily help make–that way, they can add as many toppings as they like!
[Find the recipe at Kristine’s Kitchen]
Just like adults can’t get enough of the breakfast for dinner phenomenon, your kids too will appreciate a morning meal in the middle of the afternoon–especially if it’s something sweet. Packed with fresh fruit, easy 2-ingredient pancakes, yogurt and a hard-boiled egg, this lunch box also works well for early mornings on the road, or during family trips.
[Find the recipe at The Kitchn]
This recipe is for all the kids out there who love Italian food. Not a pizza, not a salad, but something in between, this spin on a traditional bread salad has so much flavour, they may not even notice!
[Find the recipe at Bon Appetit]
Sometimes kids get a craving for instant noodles–the ones that come in plastic wrapping and little flavour packets that are brimming with sodium and preservatives. Thankfully, we’ve found a fresh and tasty alternative (skip the glass jar and try these) that offers the same appeal of an instant meal, but with all the goodness of real food.
[Find the recipe at Sweet Peas and Saffron]
What are your favourite creative lunch ideas for kids? We’d love to hear them in the comments below or wherever you find London Drugs on social media.
With the introduction of the Instant Pot to my kitchen, making meals for my family has gotten so much quicker and more efficient! I’d been hearing about the Instant Pot and its miraculous time-saving ways, and there is no better time to try one of these fantastic tools out than the summer. Not only does this amazing cooker save time and energy, but it also helps keep your kitchen cool with its super-efficient insulated cooking system – no more sweating over a steaming pot on the stovetop or turning your kitchen into a sauna by roasting dinner in the oven on a hot day! As an added bonus, less heat lost into the air in your kitchen means less energy needed to cook your meal perfectly, helping to minimize your energy footprint for a greener kitchen.
The Instant Pot’s myriad functions make this multifunctional cooker more than worthy of its counterspace footprint – with pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sautéing, and warming functions, this handy package can replace multiple old, worn-out appliances in your kitchen – even down to your yogurt maker, with pre-calculated programs for cooking soups, meats and stews, beans and chilis, poultry, white rice, multigrain, and porridges, to take the guesswork out of preparing these staple dishes.
While I was skeptical at first that the Instant Pot, with its wide range of uses, would measure up to appliances that focused only on a single utility, I was blown away by how well it performs all its functions. In a head-to-head with my rice cooker, the Instant Pot managed to cook rice perfectly in half the time! I was equally impressed by the ease with which it cooked lentils (only 30 minutes from dry!), soup (tasted like it had been simmering all day after only 45 minutes!), and beef (falling-apart-tender in under an hour!) – all-in-all, this multifunction miracle won me over quickly and completely.
London Drugs carries two models of the Instant Pot – the IP-DUO60 V2 and the IP-DUO80, and I’ve tested them both to help you choose which model is the best fit for your kitchen. The two models are almost identical except for their size, boasting the same great rundown of features – multicooker capability, easy steam-release valve, automatic stay-warm function, heavy-duty stainless steel inner pot, included steam/roasting rack and utensils, detachable power cord for easy storage, and more.
The primary difference is in the size, with the DUO60 having a 6-quart (roughly 5.7-litre) maximum capacity, and the DUO80 holding up to 8 quarts (approximately 7.6 litres). This difference adds up to roughly two inches of difference in diameter and another two inches in height, which sounds minimal, but when seen side-by-side, the DUO80 is a very clearly a much larger appliance (it consequently also takes slightly longer to come to temp or full pressure). If you’re cooking for a large family or like to make large batches of meals to freeze, I would definitely recommend the DUO80 for its extra capacity, but if your kitchen space is limited and you don’t need to feed crowds, the DUO60 is the way to go. If you’re not sure which model will work best in your kitchen, I definitely recommend looking at the product at your local London Drugs – as the Instant Pots are packaged very efficiently, just looking at the box gives you a fairly accurate idea of how much space it will take up in your kitchen.
All in all, using the Instant Pot has been an absolute pleasure, and I expect I’ll be using it many times a week long into the future. If you’re looking to invest in a new cooking appliance or replacing an old one that’s seen better days, I can’t recommend this product highly enough!
Korean-Fusion Style Burritos, makes 6-10 servings. Recipe time: 1 hour (not including burrito assembly)
Ingredients for kalbi-inspired shredded beef:
Ingredients for burritos:
Mix all ingredients so that the meat is well-coated (this may be done inside the Instant Pot to minimize dirty dishes).
Place the beef in the Instant Pot, and pour in remaining mixture on top. Close Instant Pot lid firmly, and select the Meat/Stew function with the High Pressure option for 50 minutes.
While the meat cooks, cook your rice in a second Instant Pot, rice cooker, or on the stove (you can also wait until the meat is done and cook it in the Instant Pot your beef is currently cooking in, though you’ll have to wash the pot in between – if you do this, recipe will take an additional 20 minutes, approximately). When rice is cooked, allow to cool slightly, and sprinkle with ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar per cup of prepared rice before mixing gently to distribute the vinegar evenly.
Chop kimchi, raw cabbage or other greens, cilantro, and green onions.
When the Instant Pot is finished cooking, remove the beef to a clean bowl. Meat should fall apart easily – shred it using two forks before serving.
Allow each diner to assemble their burrito to their own tastes.
(The liquid left in your Instant Pot will be highly flavourful, and can be used as a great beef soup base after straining out any remaining solids and skimming off the fat.)
Black Friday has passed and advent calendars are already missing some doors. Still have holiday shopping to do? Then it’s time to get serious. Don’t worry, we can help.
This week, it’s our buying guide for foodies. Whether the aspiring or actual chef in your life is a nutrition nut, an entertainer, a home baker, or an everyday meal maker, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s our guide to buying a deliciously perfect gift for the foodie on your list.
The foodie on your list may already own a countertop mixer, most likely from KitchenAid. Assuming they do, why stop there when so many accessories and attachments are available?
You see, these mechanical marvels can be repurposed to drive everything from grain mills to pasta makers and so much more. That includes simple attachments like different bowls and beaters, even spill guards. There are also adorable quilted mixer covers available as special order items.
If the foodie among your family or friends doesn’t have a countertop mixer, consider working to fix that. They make great group gifts and the proud new owner will think of you whenever they use it, which will be a lot.
Foodies love to try new things, especially new cooking techniques. You can help them out by buying them a new niche utensil or specialized appliance. For foodies, this feels like getting a new tool in their toolbelt.
The trick is finding something they don’t already have. Depending on how stocked their kitchen is, that can sometimes be tough. But no foodie truly has everything and new gadgets become popular all the time.
So here are some ideas to help you think outside the ice box. How about a zester, a frother, a muddler, a fry cutter, a pestle & mortar, or a kitchen mandolin. Not even sure what some of those do? Perfect. That’s a good sign.
Want more kitchen tool and gadget ideas? Here’s a few hundred .
For foodies, like the rest of us, it’s very easy to get caught up in the thrill of the new and unusual. But foodies are also in constant need of upgrades, replacements, and back-ups for their kitchen basics. Like a plain white tee, these kitchen staples never go out of style.
We’re talking pots, pans, baking sheets, knives, and, of course, spatulas. Plus, a lot more. If they use it more than weekly, it’s a staple. If you can give your foodie a basic with a twist, perhaps in an unconventional size or shape, that’s a bonus. But don’t be afraid to stick to tried-and-true classics either.
For many foodies, it’s tough to let go of an old favourite or to realize just how worn out it has become. Until a shiny new kitchen basic arrives, that is. And there’s no better time to start fresh than the holidays.
No amount of kitchen attachments, gadgets or basics is worth much without the real star of all culinary creation: the food. That’s why foodies are always looking out for quality ingredients.
You see, they don’t experience the world quite like the rest of us. Where some see simply dried fruit, they’ve discovered the key ingredient for incredible scones. When others see only roasted nuts, they know it’s a superstar ingredient that can be grated, ground, or grilled in enough recipes to make your head spin.
The point is, you don’t need to know what they’ll do with it. Just make sure any ingredients you buy them are of high quality. They’ll take it from there, trust us. If you’re lucky, you might even get a taste of whatever they whip up.
We’ll be back next week with a top gift guide for photographers. See you then!