Whole Roast Crockpot Chicken

Categories: Food & Cooking

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This chicken can make an impressive meal for a larger family with minimal effort. It’s hard to believe a whole chicken will cook through in a slow cooker, but by sitting in the crockpot for four hours it becomes tender, moist and pulls apart easily. By placing the chicken under the broiler with olive oil brushed on it, you’re creating a crispy, golden skin to complement the tender meat. The juices at the bottom of the crockpot can then be used to make gravy for potatoes or to add on top!

This dish looks fancy, but you’ll be surprised how easy to make. Who says weeknight meals can’t at least look like gourmet affairs?

What you’ll need:

  • 4- 5 pound whole chicken, or whatever size you can fit in your crockpot relatively easily
  • 1 lemon
  • 3- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 whole cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs olive oil

  1. Clean off the chicken and remove giblets from inside. Place the chicken in the middle of a folded sheet of aluminum that is still big enough to stick out of crockpot when it’s placed inside.
  2. Slice the lemon in half and place one half, sliced- side down, in the middle of the crockpot. Cut the other half of the lemon into quarters.
  3. Stuff the chicken’s cavity with the fresh rosemary, thyme, quartered lemon and peeled garlic cloves. Sprinkle the whole chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Place foil and chicken in the center of the crockpot so the chicken is resting in the middle and the foil is sticking out enough on either side of the crockpot to use as handles later. The chicken should be propped up above the bottom of the crockpot by the sliced lemon at the bottom. Try to keep the chicken from touching the sides of your crockpot.
  5. Fold the foil under the lid of your crockpot and cook the chicken, on high for about four hours.
  6. Using the foil handles, lift the chicken onto a large pan when it’s done in the crockpot. Brush olive oil over the skin of the chicken and re- apply salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Place the chicken under your broiler for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crackling.
  8. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Warm Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Categories: Food & Cooking

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When the seasons change and there’s suddenly a slight chill in the air, you can bet that everyone is craving earthy, sweet pumpkin with warm spices. This pumpkin bread is simple to make, full of essential vitamins and minerals (thanks to the pureed pumpkin), and tastes moist and rich. Slather some almond butter on it and you can give it to your child as part of their breakfast. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on it and you have yourself a delicious fall dessert.

For an added twist on this recipe, you can fold in chocolate chips, crushed walnuts, or dried fruit right before pouring it into the pan and baking it.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup or one stick of softened, unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup canned pumpkin

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Line your small (6 cup or 8 ½ by 4 ½  inch) bread loaf pan with parchment paper or with butter and flour.
  3. Mix together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip your brown and white sugars with the room- temperature butter.
  5. Once the butter- sugar mix has become creamy, beat in the eggs, one at a time and add the vanilla extract.
  6. Spoon the flour mixture into the wet ingredients while continuing to mix until just combined.
  7. Stir the pumpkin puree in gently, without beating the mixture further.
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick into the loaf and pull it out clean.
  9. Cool for 10- 15 minutes and serve with cream cheese, butter, or a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

Kid Friendly Zucchini Brownies

Categories: Food & Cooking, Health & Wellness

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Trying to get your kids to eat healthy is no easy task. The key is feeding them healthy foods without them knowing it! Sneaky, but hey a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do! These brownies are  made with zucchini, bananas and applesauce, giving you a brownie with only 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, and a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals, and egg free. They taste just as delicious and sweet as your typical chocolate brownie, but come with much less eater’s remorse.

What you need:
1/2 C applesauce
2 small or medium bananas mashed
1 1/2 Csugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 C finely shredded zucchini
2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 9×13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce, mashed bananas and sugar. Add vanilla and cocoa and mix together. Then add baking soda, salt, and zucchini and mix together. Add flour and walnuts and mix together. Spread evenly into a prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes until brownies spring back when gently touched.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

Categories: Food & Cooking

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This is the perfect late-summer dish to have in your back pocket while zucchini is still plentiful at the grocery store! Zucchini is great because it’s a mild tasting vegetable, and easy on children’s picky taste buds. Not to mention the chedder and parmesan cheese make this casserole practically melt in your mouth. We like to think of this as the ideal transitional dish from summer to fall! But go ahead and make for yourself, and let us know what you think!


What you’ll need:

1 C. mayonnaise
1 onion, minced
1 egg
Dash salt and pepper
1 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 C. parmesan cheese
3 zucchinis, diced

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place in greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with dry bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, covered.

Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Cheesecake Bites

Categories: Food & Cooking

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By Karen Humphries from Notes from the Cookie Jar

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, but sometimes you only want a little and not a giant piece. These muffin sized cheesecakes are a perfect single serving, and a great canvas for you to customize to suit your tastes. Top with chocolate sauce, lemon curd, berries, or even jam warmed slightly to make it runny. Add a little whipping cream and berries, and you have yourself a pretty spectacular dessert! This recipe came to me from my friend Audrey, my partner in cheesecake crime.


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Staying Healthy(ish) during the holidays

Categories: Health & Wellness

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By Hillary from two L’s please
Three separate family Christmas dinners and three December birthdays, along with work parties and friends parties and holiday baking, make eating healthily during the holidays a struggle.
I try to eat a well-balanced diet full of vegetables and for the most part I’m successful. Until December hits and all of a sudden cheese is a food group of its own and my cookie consumption increases tenfold. It’s silly to undo a whole year’s worth of healthy eating with a month of excess so this year I came up with a plan to combat the craziness of holiday eating.

How to make Speculaas Cookies (Dutch spice cookies)

Categories: Food & Cooking

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By Jen Wilson from Hey, Mrs. Wilson!

I’m not huge on the whole Christmas season thing, but one thing I do like about it is baking some of the things I remember having as a kid. That’s how holidays work, don’t they? The rest of the year you try not to be like your parents, but when holidays roll around, you find yourself emulating your parents, wanting everything to be like it was when you were a kid. Just me?

One of my very favourite recipes I’ve asked my mom for is the one for Speculaas Cookies. They’re Dutch spice cookies, pronounced “spake-lass”. My grandma always had the store-bought version around when I was a kid, which my brother and I dipped in apple juice. The cookies had pictures of windmills and Dutch people on them, and we called them “Grandma and Grandpa Cookies”. I don’t know why. I’ll have to ask my grandma next time I see her.


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5 killer tips for Ramping up your Productivity

Categories: Balancing Act, Getting Organized

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By Blogger Heather Eigler. Heather lives, writes and parents from just west of Calgary. Her blog
hometoheather.com focuses on decor, food and family.

Ever feel like you run around in circles but never get anything accomplished? Feel like you have a lot on
your plate yet sit on Facebook for far too long? You’re not alone. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to
get a project rolling and keep it rolling. Here are a few tips to ramp up your efforts.


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How to help your kids deal with differences in others

Categories: Etc.

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Michelle blogs about life, her kids and her love of caffeinated drinks at ememby.com.

Everyone has had that moment… you know, the moment when your kid blatantly stares at someone or says something embarrassing in public. I’m no different, my kids have said and done things I’d rather they hadn’t but little by little I believe we’re at the very least teaching them the right way to approach people who are different. This is important to me because my youngest was born with symbrachydactyly, which means his left hand wasn’t fully developed and along with a smaller than normal thumb, he’s missing his fingers on that hand. We definitely notice others checking out his hand while we are in public, it’s only normal since it is different. I see those opportunities as a chance to help educate others about limb differences (our particular brand of difference but you get the same kind of looks whether you are missing a hand, in a wheelchair or wear a patch over your eye).


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5 ways to find something new to read for your child

Categories: Kid Matters

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By Janssen from Everyday Reading and Twitter

You hate to sound like that braggy parent who says, “I just can’t find enough books for my child to read,” but, when your child is an avid reader, keeping them in books can be a full-time job. And if your child isn’t an avid reader, finding books to help entice them to become one can be just as frustrating.

As a former school librarian, a parent, and an avid reader myself, I’m always looking for new book recommendations (and I find pulling books off the shelf of the library to be a deeply discouraging way to find new material).

Here are five ways I love to find something new to read:


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