Tag Archives: slow cooker


Hi Y’all –

Before you watch that halrious video (above) on how to make Irish Soda Bread in a Crock Pot (Slow Cooker), grab a spot of tea and get comfy.

Tea for two

A year ago about this time my best friend Mary and I were planning a trip to Ireland (for a month!).  Neither of us had been overseas before and we were both apprehensive, excited and ready to go!

We stayed at a lovely beautiful stone cottage located in Brackwansha near Knockmore, County Mayo, Ireland.  If you look it up on a map it is between Ballina and Foxford to the west.  You could just about draw a line straight from Dublin to almost the other side of the country.  

Knockmore, County Mayo, Ireland
Ray & Rose

Our charming hosts Ray and Rose and their family made us feel like family.  They took us under their wings and guided us through life in Ireland.  There are a hundred stories I could tell you, but for now, let’s just say the area residents still remembers us as the crazy American ladies and their escapades. To see what Ray and Rose had to say click here and scroll down to the comments.

Missing my late husband, Bill in Ireland

Amazingly, Ray and Rose took their property that was inherited and over the years  and turned buildings that used to be for farm animals into some  true Irish cottages.  They actually did most of the work themselves.  To learn more about their seriously, reasonably priced accommodations click here and here for websites they are listed with.

Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic coastline

At first you notice that Knockmore is not the most touristy place to stay in by tourism standards, but we got to learn and see some Irish living real life.  We were close enough (the island isn’t that big),to get to Dublin by bus and England

Monastery close to Knockmore, County Mayo, Ireland
Monastery close to Knockmore, County Mayo, Ireland

by plane (Knock airport). We saw some castles, cliffs, ocean, ruins, monasteries and abbeys.  There is so much history in Ireland from their lifestyles to their churches.

St. Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn





Saint Patrick Monument
Saint Patrick Monument

In celebration of the upcoming Saint Patrick or better known as St. Paddy’s day here in the United States, we have an amazing Crock Pot Irish Soda Bread recipe that we adapted from delightfulrepast.com We made it healthier for us by changing out an ingredient or two.

Irish Soda Bread made in a crock pot

Just so you know, this bread is a much denser bread (sort of like cornbread)  than our American white bread and if your interested in learning the history behind this bread visit sodabread.info.  We found the bread to be great with chili, soups, or to snack on.  

One of the traditions they have in Ireland that I really have tried to adopt is that when they take long road trips (they – being the natives of Ireland), the Irish take actual restorative breaks by pulling the car off to the side of the road, putting out a couple of chairs or blanket and pouring out a hot beverage (mostly tea) and some sort of sweet bread, cookie or biscuit.  This bread would have fit in perfectly.

Irish Soda Bread sampling time
Irish Soda Bread sampling time

 I personally like some butter or jam on it with my coffee.  Make sure to give it a try (the bread and the rest stop) and let us know how it turned out for you.

Slow Cooker Irish Soda Bread

(Makes one 8-inch round loaf)


1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (to make your own dark brown sugar check out joythebaker.com). If you brown sugar becomes hard you can put it in a container with either 1/2 an apple or a slice of bread.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons *Olive Oil (*I changed this from unsalted butter to olive oil)
1 large egg


  1. In 2-cup glass bowl, mix together milk and vinegar; let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly spray the sides and the bottom of your slow cooker. Wiebke used a round 4 qt slow cooker.

    Denine's old slow cooker
    Denine’s 5 quart old keeps on kicking, slow cooker
  3. In large mixing bowl, mix together flours, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Rub olive oil into flour mixture with fingers. However, I preferred a whisk and Wiebke likes a mixer.

    Antique Whisk Bill got for me
    Antique whisk/egg yolk separater Bill got for me
  4. Whisk egg into the soured milk.
  5. Make a depression in center of flour mixture and pour in all but about 1/4 cup of the milk mixture. Slowly mix the flour mixture and the liquid. Stir gently to combine into a slightly sticky dough that can be formed into a very pliable soft ball, adding more liquid if needed.
  6. Lightly knead the dough in the bowl, 5 or 6 times, forming it into a ball.
  7. Place the dough ball into the center of the slow cooker. The dough will flatten a little to a diameter of roughly 6 inches and a height of about 2 1/2 inches.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut a 1/4-inch deep cross in the top of the dough. (This will help the bread to be baked through and to not have an underdone texture).
  9. Set the slow cooker to the “high” setting and bake for about 3-3 ½ hours. You can test if the bread is done by seeing if a toothpick stuck into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  10. Remove the loaf from the slow cooker and place it on a wire rack and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Cool the loaf off for about 2 hours. If you slice it before it as cooled off completely, it may fall apart.
  11. Disclaimer/Disclosure

Our trip to Ireland was declared a success, however I will leave you with a tidbit – Our adventures included getting lost the first day, almost running over our host, huge spiders, driving on the wrong side of the road, trading out our rental vehicle three times,  asking for directions from an Irishman with a very BROAD (I so didna understan a wood) accent and cows……..oh, and talking to sheep.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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If you have any comments about how your Crock Pot Irish Soda Bread  turned out or other ideas for us to try, please let us know below in the comments.  And as Ray says, “its always lovely to hear from ye, spreading cheer and stories.”

2 Corinthians 9:10

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Super Easy Greek Yogurt in a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker

Greek Yogurt Verse Psalm 128:2

Hi Y’all!

Come join us, we are so glad you are here! We are simply blessed that you decided to spend a few of your precious minutes with us today at The Hard Hat Belles.  Grab that cup of tea, coffee or whatever you enjoy and sit your sweet self down for another episode of what we have been up to.

Tea for two


Today we are going to make some super easy homemade Greek Yogurt that only takes three ingredients and would you believe we are going to make it in a CROCK POT – you heard me right – a crock pot! Wiebke calls it a crock pot, but personally I prefer slow cooker – don’t you?

It seems that every morning Wiebke and I  get together (and she still does) she has this wonderful big bowl of Greek Yogurt for breakfast.  I began to wonder if she knew there were other breakfast choices out there.  Seriously, for 99.9% of the time she has this every – single –morning!

Eating Greek Yogurt

So one day I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and asked her WHY? Why does she eat this every morning?  Isn’t it boring?  Being the good friend she is she told me her story.


Once upon a time a long time ago in Wiebkeland, Wiebke visited her family doctor for a regular appointment. She was told that her cholesterol was getting a little too high and she really did not like hearing that news.  So she clapped her hands over her ears (or she would have liked to if it would have solved her high cholesterol so easily).

Wiebke knew right then and there that she needed to make some changes in her lifestyle and fast. So she got on her white steed White Steedand rode in the direction she knew would lead her to taking charge of her life.

She proceeded to investigate on how she could get her cholesterol under control and an idea came to her.Light bulb

She needed to make some changes in her diet and exercise. Diet and Exercise

Although the exercise was fairly easy to get started she ran into some problems with the diet part.

Wellllllll, the change in diet was a little rough to keep to as she simply could not find anything that would sustain her throughout the morning. She would end up hungry Stomachand we all know where that story ends (listening to your stomach and eating the wrong things).

Finally, after trying many foods she found that the Greek Yogurt would satisfy her hunger and keep her from being hungry all morning.  However, Greek Yogurt, the really good healthy and yummy kind was quite expensive for her frugal little heart to come to terms with. So she got back onto her white steed White Steedand rode to save her day once again.

She did some more research and found a recipe that is made with only three ingredients, yes three.  This Greek yogurt had  turned out amazing in flavor, was very easy to make and made her frugal little heart happy (happy dance).

Now we come to the happily ever after part of the story where we decided that she just could not keep this recipe to herself any longer and that we really needed to share it with our followers.

THE END (not really)



GY ingredients

** IMPORTANT: You need to use glass or plastic items otherwise it will interfere with the “yoguing” process.

Step 1: Pour the milk into the crock pot and add one cup of dry milk. (The dry milk helps to make the yogurt thicker and creamier). Stir using only a plastic utensil as metal may interfere with the bacterial growth.

Step 2: Cover the mixture and then turn on the crock pot to a high setting for about 4-6 hours.  Get that thermometer and insert it into the crock pot to check the temperature. We want the temperature to reach about 180 degrees to make sure all the unwanted beasties are killed, otherwise the yogurt might spoil.

Step 3: Make sure to turn off the crock pot. The milk mixture has to cool off to around 115 degrees. Wiebke likes to use a fan to blow on the crock pot to cool it down quicker – which will only take the milk mixture about 45 minutes then. Remember check that temperature and make sure it comes down to around 115 degrees.

Step 4: Once the milk mixture has cooled to around 115 degrees you will need to remove the skin that formed off of it. You will be able to see it floating on top of the milk mixture, just skim it off.

Step 5: Add 1 cup of Greek yogurt to a glass bowl and ladle some of the milk mixture into the bowl with the yogurt to temper the yogurt (this slowly gets the Greek yogurt used to the warmer milk mixture).

Step 6: Pour the yogurt mix into the milk mixture that is left in the crock pot and give it a good stir.

Step 7: Cover the crock pot with the yogurt mixture with aluminum foil and stick it into a preheated 100 degree (or the warm setting) oven. Wiebke leaves her Greek yogurt in the oven overnight. This allows plenty of time for the Greek yogurt to yogue and become tarter and thicker.

Step 8: When you pull the Greek yogurt out of the oven and lift the aluminum foil it will look runny. Greek Yogurt WheyWhen you drain the extra whey this makes the yogurt extra creamy and not as runny.  You will need to place a plastic colander (in a plastic bowl large enough to hold the yogurt and allow the whey to drip off) and place a cotton or linen towel over the colander.  Greek Yogurt in colander in bowlCarefully scoop the Greek yogurt mixture onto the towel.  Cover the yogurt and then place the bowl into the refrigerator while the whey drains off.  This will take 1-2 hours.Put Greek Yogurt into refrigerator

Step 9: Once the whey is drained off, place the Greek yogurt into a covered glass bowl and leave in the refrigerator until cold and enjoy!

GY glass bowl (2)

You can see us make this yummy Crock Pot Greek Yogurt on YouTube here.

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We’d love to hear from you – How did our idea work for you? Do you have any great ideas for cleaning, cooking and having fun?  What would you like to see or learn?

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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