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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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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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How an altered diet helped my ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder child

Categories: Food & Cooking, Health & Wellness, Kid Matters, Work & Career

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By Rebecca from Cherry Apple Life

Hi. My name is Rebecca, and I am that Mom who brings homemade food to your kid’s birthday party. (Insert cringe here).

A few years ago, at my wits end, and my son’s wits end, we made a radical change. After months of doctors waiting rooms and a solid diagnosis we were told to accept that our 4 year old boy Seth had Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. When advice for handling the behaviour didn’t work, and the medication caused nasty side effects I was over the whole system.


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How to make home-brewed iced coffee

Categories: Food & Cooking

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By Amanda from The Best Mom On The Block

I am a coffee addict. Have been since I was five and my grandma started sharing her morning pot with me (more cream and sugar than coffee but it did the trick!). There’s nothing I love more than the smell of coffee brewing, and my hands wrapped around a big mug first thing in the morning is the best way to start my day. I curl up in my husband’s chair sipping and checking my social media accounts as my kids sleepily watch cartoons and play. (Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? It’s more “chaotic” than that but the coffee helps with the rose colored glasses!)

When the temperatures outside start to creep up I love to trade in my hot mug for a cold glass of iced coffee. I refuse to pay coffee chain prices for my daily fix (or three) so I started making a big pitcher at home to enjoy whenever I want! It’s pennies a glass and just as yummy as any glass you can get at a coffee shop. Slightly sweet and indulgently creamy, this iced coffee will be the perfect start to your day.



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How to make Bento lunches

Categories: Food & Cooking, Health & Wellness, Kid Matters

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By Jennifer Howard from Chasing the Firefly

My two youngest children began going to school long enough this year to require a lunch. These two are the picky eaters of the family. One lives on air and Pixy Stix, the other would be happy drinking milk all day long. I knew I would have to be a little more creative when making their lunches. I decided that making Bento Box lunches would work perfectly.

There are many reasons why I chose to make Bento lunches but the biggest reasons would be:


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What’s for dinner?: Marinated yogurt chicken kebabs

Categories: Food & Cooking

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These are very simple chicken kebabs with a bit of zing from cumin and oregano.  Serve them with orzo, rice or couscous. The tzatziki is by no means essential to the success of the dish, but adds extra interest and helps the chicken and any starch you serve it with co-mingle deliciously. The salting, rinsing and squeezing of the cucumber is an added step, and if you find it annoying, skip it. The tzatziki will be a bit thinner from the liquid in the cucumber, but other than that, no real harm done.

Lemony Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs
Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 large lemons, washed
  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
  • Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless thighs or breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

1. Cut one lemon in half, and each half into 6 wedges. Then cut the wedges crosswise so that you have 24 small pieces of lemon. Pick out any pits. Zest the other lemon and squeeze and strain the juice; you should have about 1 1/2 tablespoons juice.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the yogurt, shallots, salt and pepper, lemon zest and juice, oregano and cumin.  Stir to combine.
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