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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone! I know, American Thanksgiving isn't for at least another month but in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. The only thing is, I'm not actually IN Canada right now and despite my intentions of cooking up a just-like-home Thanksgiving feast here in Romania where we're living right now, I'm nursing a sick preschooler back to health and trying desperately not to get the stomach flu...again. Sigh.
Since we moved to Romania 2 months ago I've had a lot of fun re-creating some of my favourite dishes from home, despite having a difficult time finding certain ingredients. I really wanted to make a pumpkin pie this year and I actually made it to the store to buy a pumpkin this morning - my first Romanian pumpkin pie is in the oven as we speak! It was a labour of love though, like I mentioned in a recent post, because unfortunately canned pumpkin is nowhere to be found here. But that's okay, because pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin is much tastier anyway! At least that's what I'm telling myself.
Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays to celebrate because it's the first time in the fall we get to enjoy all our favourite fall foods: roasted turkey and root vegetables, pumpkin pie, and my personal favourite - hot apple cider. If you've been around here for awhile you know I usually don't like to drink my calories but hot apple cider is something I'll always make an exception for. It's so sweet and delicious and there's just nothing better than apples and spice in the fall, especially when it comes in a warm, comforting mug.
I've been making this Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Cider for years and years and it's one of my favourite holiday recipes ever. It's deceptively easy - just dump everything in the Crock Pot, let it simmer away all day, garnish and enjoy! And the best part? There's no scented candle on this planet that can make your house smell as good as a slow cooker full of this Apple Cranberry Cider! Trust me, this recipe is a keeper!!
Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Cider (serves 8-10)
2 litres of fresh apple juice (not the shelf-stable kind...fresh apple juice is usually found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
3 cups cranberry juice
2-3 cups fresh orange juice (I like to use the kind with pulp)
1 orange, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
5-8 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons of mulling spices (alternatively, use a combination of whole cloves, nutmeg and allspice)
1 apple, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 orange, sliced
3-4 cinnamon sticks
Add the juices to your slow cooker, along with the sliced orange, fresh cranberries, cinnamon sticks and mulling spices. Stir everything together well and turn your slow cooker to low. Let the cider simmer away in the slow cooker for about 4-5 hours.
After 4-5 hours, remove the orange slices, cranberries and cinnamon sticks with a sieve or slotted spoon and add the sliced apple, and the new fresh cranberries, sliced orange and cinnamon sticks (the old ones will have flavoured the cider beautifully but they'll look awful after simmering in the juice all day. Feel free to skip the garnishes if you're not worried about presentation!)
Serve in your favourite mugs, making sure to add some of the garnishes to each mug for presentation!
Using fresh apple juice really intensifies the apple flavour in this cider and it makes this winter drink something extra special!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what's in your mug this fall? Do you love coffee, pumpkin spice lattes, tea, or cider?
Looking for more comforting holiday recipes? You'll love these ones I have linked below!
Skip the coffee shop and make your own Earl Grey Tea Latte (London Fog) at home! It's easy and SO delicious!
These Peppermint Chocolate Snowball Truffles are an old family recipe that's perfect for the holidays!
This Cranberry Apple Pie is what holiday dreams are made of. Seriously, it's unbelievably tasty - and my tutorial for making the perfect pie every time is even better!
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