Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

As soon as September rolls around, I’m ready for fall and looking forward to one of my favorite fall treats – Pumpkin Spice Lattes. The problem is, I live in South Carolina and we still have temperatures in the 90s, making those PSL’s much less enjoyable.

Last year, I came across the idea of an iced pumpkin spice latte for the first time and I was hooked. Of course I had to play around with some ideas and come up with a recipe of my own. (Let’s face it, I can’t afford to head down to the local coffee shop once a day to pick one up there).

This is such a great lunch time treat or afternoon pick-me-up. My favorite time to fix it is right before I head out to pick my daughter up from school. I get to relax for a few minutes in the car pickup line, do a little knitting and sip on my drink.

Ready to give it a try? Here’s the recipe.  You can make your own pumpkin spice mix to use in this recipe or your favorite pumpkin pie one.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp honey, sugar or low calorie sweetener to taste
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin spice mix
  • ½ cup of strong coffee
  • Ice
  • Whipped Cream (optional)
  • Dash of pumpkin spice mix (optional)
Instructions
  1. Brew your coffee and allow it to cool. You can use one or two shots of espresson instead of coffee if you like.
  2. Heat the milk, pumpkin puree and honey or sugar in a small saucepan until everything is well blended.
  3. Add the vanilla and pumpkin spice and stir until well combined. Allow this mixture to cool a bit as well.
  4. Fill a large glass with ice. Pour the coffee in and top with the milk mixture.
  5. Add a bit of whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice mix if desired.

 

Iced pumpkin spice latte with whip cream on top

If it’s already plenty cold where you’re at, I have a hot pumpkin spice latte recipe as well.

 

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

Last fall I got addicted to all things pumpkin spice, particularly Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I don’t have to tell you that these tasty drinks can eat quite a whole in your purse if you head out and order them at your local coffee place.

Add to that the fact that I’m eating clean and try to stay away from refined sugar and dairy. But with chatter all around about these tasty coffee concoctions, I wanted my PSL fix.

Let’s start with a basic recipe that creates a very tasty latte. Of course I’m using my own pumpkin spice mix that I shared with you a few days ago. Below the recipe I give you variations that include a sugar-free and dairy-free options.

What I love best about this recipe is the fact that it includes actual pumpkin. You can use either canned or freshly cooked pumpkin puree. You can also roast a whole pumpkin, process the flesh into puree and then freeze it in ice cube trays. When you’re ready for a Pumpkin Spice Latte or a pumpkin flavored hot chocolate, just thaw a cube and use. Yum!

Note - Since I’m the only PSL enthusiast in my house, the recipe is for 1 latte. You can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe if you need to make more than one :)

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large tbsp pumpkin purree
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp sugar*
  • 1 cup milk *
  • 1 small cup of strong coffee (or a shot of espresso)
  • whipped cream (optional)
  • cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix or cocoa powder for dusting on top
Instructions
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk together. Heat until the mixture is hot and bubbly.
  2. Pour the hot coffee or espresso into a large mug. Add the pumpkin milk mixture. Top with either the foamy part of the milk or some whipped cream.
  3. Finish with a dusting of spice or cocoa and enjoy.

 

Cup of Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte* Variations

As promised, I have some variations for you. Feel free to mix and match depending on your own preference and dietary restrictions.

Sugar Free Version

Replace the sugar with a sweetener of your choice. For a natural sugar substitute use honey, maple syrup or stevia. Stevia is my preferred low calorie sweetener, but this will also work with splenda and the likes.  When using honey or maple syrup add 1 tbsp to replace the sugar. With low calorie sweeteners, leave out the sugar and add the sweetener to the finished latte to taste.

Dairy Free Version

Replace the milk with an equal amount of coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk or rice milk. My personal favorite is coconut milk. It makes for a nice thick latte.

Paleo Version

Use honey or maple syrup as your sweetener instead of sugar. Replace the milk with coconut or almond milk.

Palačinky (Czech Crepes)

A Guest Post By Alice Seba From VegetarianLost.com (great blog to follow). 

When I was growing up, we had some pretty interesting things for dinner. We had these things that looked like donuts with a dollop of sour cream and jam on them. Other times, we had traditional Czech pancakes, called palačinky, that are more like what you’d think of as crêpes. They are traditionally spread with jam and other sweet toppings, rolled up and served. I always considered myself lucky to get to have dessert for dinner and other kids were envious, but I never really stopped to think about why he had these meals in my younger days.

My parents grew up in Communist Czechoslovakia and dollars had to be stretched. Fresh vegetables and meat were hard to come by, so mothers and grandmothers had to get creative in the kitchen. My parents escaped to Canada in 1968, but have always kept that frugal lifestyle. Even though it sometimes embarrassed me when I was a kid, I can admire what they did for all of us now. My parents came to Canada with nothing. Just a suitcase with some clothes, a pack of cards to pass the time and not much else. They learned English, worked hard and even though they weren’t doctors or lawyers, managed their money and grew their net worth through incredible savvy.

With that in mind, I’d love to share this recipe for palačinky. It uses the very simplest of ingredients and you can get creative with your fillings and simply use what you have on hand. They take quite a bit of time to make (at least for me, but I never seem to remember my mom breaking a sweat). Even so, it’s so worth it. If you serve these to your family or anyone, they are going to rave about them.

Palacinky - Czech crepes

Palačinky
 
Makes about 8 large crepes
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Beat all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Lightly grease a frying pan and place over medium-high heat.
  3. Ladle batter onto the frying pan and rotate the plan and tilt it, so that the batter makes it way evenly
  4. around the pan in an even, thin layer.
  5. Cook for about 2 minutes or when lightly browned and flip. Cook for another minute or so.

 

You can let the palačinky cool slightly by stacking them on a plate as you finish cooking them. Then spread them with jam, roll them up and serve. You can also use more extravagant ingredients like nutella or top them with berries and fresh whipped cream. Or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar…there are so many options.

Alice Seba from Vegetarian LostWith 3 kids and a husband all with varying tastes, Alice Seba knows it can be a challenge to keep everyone well fed, but it’s a challenge she enjoy tackling head on. She loves to share great food and also love helping people at better, waste less food and SAVE a ton of money doing it. Make sure to grab her free guide here.

 

Nutty Pumpkin Bread Recipe

One of the best things about fall is all the yummy pumpkin spice recipes. I shared my favorite pumpkin spice mix with you a few days ago and today would like to share a recipe that uses it.

This makes a fantastic loaf of pumpkin bread. I love the added flavor and texture from the nuts. You can use whatever nuts you like in the recipe. I love it with both walnuts and slivered almonds. Yum.

This bread makes for a yummy breakfast treat. Perfect for a weekend morning before you head down to the pumpkin patch or go apple picking.

It’s also a great gift to send to your child’s teacher or take as a hostess gift. Perfect for fall bake sales too of course.

Pumpkin Bread Recipe With Nuts
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup chopped nuts – your choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, milk, and eggs.
  4. Carefully add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients, then add softened butter and combine well. Add nuts and stir.
  5. Pour mixture into a loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out dry.

 

Sliced pumpkin bread made with nuts

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

It’s September and that means Fall’s almost here and it’s time for all thinks pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored.

I don’t know what it is about the end of summer, but even though it’s still hot outside, I’m in the mood for that fall flavor. I can’t wait to have my first pumpkin spice latte and bake up some pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie. Yum!

The base of it all is of course one of the handiest spice mixes around – the pumpkin pie spice. I used to get one or two large spice containers of this stuff and use it throughout the fall and winter. I finally realized that it would be just as easy and much cheaper to mix it at home.

It’s great sprinkled in coffee or hot chocolate. I mix it into my oatmeal and of course bake with it.

Another great idea is to sprinkle a little of this mix into your freshly carved pumpkin before you light it. It smells wonderful.

Ready to mix up a batch of this yourself? Just get some good fresh spices, mix them up and store them in an air-tight container. I just use an old glass spice bottle that I cleaned really well.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
Instructions
  1. Mix all spices and store them in an airtight container.

 

Homemade Pumpkin PIe Spice Mix

Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Do you need a quick appetizer recipe that’s sure to impress? Oh and did I mention that it smells absolutely delicious. This dip is quick to put together and you an keep everything you need in your fridge, freezer and pantry. Perfect for unexpected guests and the holidays when you’re busy cooking other stuff.

Just throw this together, stick it in the oven and you’re good to go.

The recipe is from my latest Kindle Cookbook “My Best Dip Recipe” available on Amazon.com.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been known to have this with some crackers or veggies for dinner. Nothing like snacks for supper when you’re by yourself.

Artichoke and Spinach Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 10 oz. prepared alfredo sauce
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together parmesan cheese, ½ of the mozzarella cheese, cream cheese and alfredo sauce until well combined. Add in pepper, garlic, spinach and artichokes, stir well.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
  5. Serve with pita strips, crackers or use as a bread topper.

 

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Peach Pit Jelly

One of my favorite things about summer here in the south is that you can find peaches everywhere… and if you’re lucky enough to live near an orchard, you can grab a whole box of them without spending a fortune. There’s so much you can do with those peaches.

We spent a little time this past weekend and now have a big box of them sitting on the kitchen counter. We made a big batch of ice cream last night and I’m looking forward to “putting up” the rest of what we can’t eat over the coming days.
Eat them straight from the box of course (after washing them), but then there’s peach ice cream, peach cobbler, peach crisp, and even savory dishes like peachy crockpot chicken, or something like apple and peach chutney.

Peach Collage

And do you know what all of those dishes along with pretty much every other recipe have in common? You don’t use the pit. Even when you can or freeze your peaches, those are removed first.

Being frugal at heart, I couldn’t just let them go to waste. There’s still so much flavor from the little bits and pieces of flesh left on. So why not put that to good use and make a batch of peach pit jelly?

The recipe below is from the very first Kindle cookbook I published - Homemade Jelly and Jam Recipes.

Peach Pit Jelly
 
Ingredients
  • peach pits, enough to half fill a large kettle
  • enough water to cover pits
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 pkg powdered pectin
Instructions
  1. Prepare 4 half pint jars and lids by sterilizing them, keeping them hot, and get your hot water bath canner ready.
  2. Throw peach pits from cooking, eating or canning project into a large kettle, cover with fresh water (a couple inches over the pits) and just set aside on the counter overnight.
  3. Note: You want to end up with at least 4 cups of juice after boiling. The more pits you have in the pot of water, the richer and darker the jelly will be.
  4. The next day put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil, cooking for about 30 to 45 minutes at a nice, rolling boil, but not too hard. Stir occasionally. Remember, you want to end up with 4 cups of juice, so add more water if you need to, and continue to boil.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit long enough to handle.
  6. Set up a 'jelly bag' over a pot, or lay several sheets of cheesecloth in a large colander suspended over a large pot.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared strainer and allow to strain; do not push or force it.
  8. When totally strained, measure 4 cups juice into a large cooking pot, stir in the sugar until it's dissolved, and put back on medium-high heat to return to a boil.
  9. When it boils, stir in the pectin, and return to a rapid boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  10. Test with your cold metal spoon for doneness by dipping the spoon in the liquid and removing. When jelly no longer drips from the spoon and slides off slowly in a sheet instead, it has jelled properly.
  11. Remove the pot from the heat, skim off any foam, and ladle hot mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving about ¼ to ½ inch headspace in jar. Apply the lids and process in hot water canner for 10 to 15 minutes (adjusting for altitude.)
  12. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, then remove jars to a towel covered counter, leaving plenty of room in between jars for air circulation.
  13. Let sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
  14. Yields 4 half pint jars.

 

Homemade jelly made from peach pits

Green Tea Lemonade – Starbucks Inspired

I had a request today to come up with a recipe for some green tea lemonade. This recipe is inspired by the green tea lemonade sold at your local Starbucks.  It’s such a fun iced drink with just a right bit of kick to it to get you through your hot summer day.

Please note that I said inspired. I don’t consider this a complete copy cat recipe but encourage you to give it a try.

This was surprisingly easy to make and turned out quite tasty. I’m giving you several options for sweetening your new favorite drink. I used local honey in mine, but feel free to substitute to your liking and sweeten to taste. My drink was only very slightly sweet… just enough to take the edge of the lemon juice.

Green Tea Lemonade - Starbucks Inspired
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp of honey or 1 packet of stevia or 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 green tea bag
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • juice from 1 large lemon*
  • 1 cup cold water
  • ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Pour the honey, sugar or other sweetener of your choice into a mason jar or similar container. Add the tea bag and pour the boiling water into it. Allow the tea to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Don't let it go longer than 5 minutes or you'll end up with a bitter tasting drink. Discard the bag and stir until your sweetener is completely dissolved.
  2. Add a cup of very cold water and the lemon juice to the mixture. This will allow it to cool down considerably. Give it a little taste and add more sweetener if needed.
  3. Pour over lots of ice and enjoy.

You can easily double this recipe and store the resulting tea lemonade concentrate in the fridge for the next day.

* Tip for getting the most juice out of your lemon. Either roll it on the counter for a few minutes, pressing down with the palm of your hand, or stick it in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Looking for a great lemon juicer? This is the one I use.

Variation:

Try making it with your favorite flavored green tea (like strawberry, pomegranate etc.)

A glass of green tea lemonade

Cucumber Dill Dip

This is my favorite go to dip for the summer. The flavors are fresh and delicious and it goes with just about anything. It’s quick and easy to throw together and best served with some fresh veggies.

Perfect for a summer cookout or even a light lunch or after-school snack. This is always a favorite around here.

The recipe is from my latest Kindle Cookbook “My Best Dip Recipe” available on Amazon.com.

Cucumber Dill Dip
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until mostly smooth. Pour into a covered bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

If you don’t have a food processor, grate the cucumber and mix together with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. This also makes a wonderful salad dressing.

Cucumber Dill Dip Recipe

Simple Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I am in love with cauliflower right now. I like it raw, I like it steamed, I like it turned into fake mashed potatoes and I love it in soup. The recipe below couldn’t be any simpler. It’s just a handful of clean ingredients most of which I usually have on hand. Speaking of which, if you don’t have one of the oils used, feel free to use just olive oil or just coconut oil. Just melt the coconut oil before drizzling it on the cauliflower.

I often roast 2 heads of cauliflower when I roast a chicken and then use the bones to make chicken stock. I serve the chicken with half the veggies, setting the other half aside to make this soup the next day along with the chicken stock. Works like a charm.

You can also play around with spices. This is a very basic soup. Add some fresh herbs to make it interesting, or stir in a can of coconut milk in the end and season with plenty of your favorite curry powder. Yum!

Simple Roasted Cauliflower Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • More salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Coarsely chop the cauliflower and set it on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Back at 400F for 25 minutes or until your cauliflower is pretty soft.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Chop the onion and cook it until it becomes translucent (about 10 minutes).
  5. Add the cauliflower and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until everything is very soft.
  7. Blend the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in your kitchen blender until smooth.

 

home made cauliflower soup

Simply Sauteed Okra

I’ll let you in on a secret. I used to think that I don’t like okra. The only way I’d had it was deep fried with a corn meal breading. It was ok if it was well done and really fresh, but nothing to write home about. I’d never touches okra in any other way shape or form. I didn’t grow up with it and my husband described it as gross and slimy. I never gave this southern staple a chance.

A few weeks ago my friend Nikki totally changed all that for me. We went over for a barbecue at her house and she had roasted some Okra from her garden in some olive oil and salt. They were the most delicious little appetizer/snack. We munched on them while the boys grilled the meat.

When I went to the farmers market on Wednesday, I picked up a basked of red okra and talked to the lady at the stand about cooking them. She recommended sauteing them with a little salt and pepper. I decided to play around with it a little bit and came up with my own 3 ingredient recipe. It’s super simple and comes together in a flash.

Sauteed Okra
 
Ingredients
  • fresh okra
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Slice the okra into bite-sized chunks (discarding the tops). If you're in a hurry, cut them into smaller chunks.
  2. Heat some coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the sliced okra to the pan and let it cook. Occasionally move them around in the pan until they are soft and start to brown a bit on the edges.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

I didn’t give any measurements in the recipe on purpose. Cut up about 2 medium sized okra pods per person. Use enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of the pan. If the Okra starts to stick to the skillet, add a little more. Season with salt to taste.

Okra pan fried in coconut oil

Curried Pork Stew From The Slowcooker

I love playing with spices and different types of cuisines. Curries are something we’re fairly new to and I wanted to try something simple, but delicious that my family would love. This curried pork stew fit the bill perfectly.

The recipe is from Tracy Robert’s new cookbook “Simple Crockpot Dishes For Busy Moms“. It’s a great book with lots of tips and yummy recipes.

I loved the fact that I can cook it in the slowcooker, which is important on those busy days when I’m not sure if I’ll have time to cook a healthy dinner.

The apple gives it just the right amount of sweetness that pairs so well with the pork. And of course it has plenty of curry powder. Make sure you get a curry powder with flavors that your family will like. We prefer certain brands over others, or you can of course make your own blend.

The best part about using curry is that it has plenty of turmeric powder in it. This is a very healthy spice that’s been shown to reduce inflammation. All in all a very healthy dish. Just add some veggies or a salad along with some rice and you have a filling meal for the whole family.

Crockpot Curried Pork Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs pork stew meat cut in cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Approx. 2 TBSP oil for browning
Instructions
  1. On stovetop in heavy skillet, heat oil on medium high.
  2. Brown pork and transfer to crockpot.
  3. In small bowl, mix water and curry powder.
  4. Once pork is removed from skillet, pour curry mix into that skillet and whisk to loosen brown bits from bottom and sides of pan for flavor. Stir mixture well.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over pork in crockpot.
  6. Add apple and onion to meat.
  7. Pour curry mixture from skillet over all of the ingredients.
  8. Cover, cooking on low temperature setting for 7 to 9 hours until pork is tender.

Serve over hot cooked rice.

Curried Pork Stew From The SlowcookerVariations:

  • add some sliced carrots to the crockpot when you add the meat.
  • Throw in a handful of dry lentils to cook along with the meat. Increase the water slightly.
  • Add leftover cooked veggies during the last 10 – 15 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve with some Kimchi on top of the stew

Should you have leftovers, this is just as good warmed up the next day.

Ready for more of Tracy’s delicious recipes?

 

Simple Crockpot Dishes For Busy MomsSimple Crockpot Dishes For Busy Moms

Tracy is a busy homeschooling mom who loves to create meals from scratch, but also realies on simple, easy meals frequently.

There’s nothing easier than throwing ingredients in a slow cooker and, a couple hours later, putting something delicious on the table that everyone in the family loves.

She put this ebook together to help women achieve the success of feeding their family real food that doesn’t require hours of slaving over the stove to make.

Slowcooker Chicken Broth

Yesterday I shared a great recipe for roasting a chicken in the crockpot. Today, I want to tell you know to take the leftovers from that meal and make a wonderful chicken broth that you can then use as the base for soups and stews or just sip throughout the day.

This is a great way to make that one chicken go even further. Make the stock instead of buying chicken broth in a can or box. Take some of the stock along with a little of the meat from the chicken and whatever leftovers veggies you have in the fridge. Add a little rice and you have a delicious meal that’s also good for you. Best of all, it cost you almost nothing. Frugal cooking at it’s best.

Slowcooker Chicken Broth
 
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken carcass
  • water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • onion (optional)
  • carrots (optional)
  • celery (optional)
  • herbs and spices (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken carcass to your slow cooker.
  2. Fill the slow cooker to within an inch with water.
  3. Add the apple cider vinegar.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add veggies, herbs and spices as desired.
  6. Cook on low for 12 to 24 hours. The longer your stock simmers, the better it gets.
  7. Strain through a colander and store the finished stock in the fridge for up to a week (or freeze for up to 6 months).

 

Making Chicken Stock in the Crockpot

 

Slowcooker Roasted Chicken

I love a nice roasted chicken. Not only does it make for a great Sunday dinner, but you can also pull some of the meat of the bones and add it to other meals throughout the week. And let’s not forget about the bones. They are a great base for making your own chicken stock to use as the base for soups and stews.

The only problem with roasting chicken is that it takes some time if you’re cooking it in the oven. I often found it easier to just grab a hot and ready roasted chicken at the grocery store.

That is until I figured out how easy it is to cook a chicken in the crockpot. It takes only a few minutes to prep and then practically cooks itself. I can start it in the morning and have it ready by dinner. It’s less than half the price of a cooked chicken from the store and I know exactly what’s in it and what it’s seasoned with.

Give the recipe below a try. Feel free to experiment with the seasonings. Add some celery to the bottom of your slow cooker and mix and match your favorite spices and herbs. Add some garlic or onion powder, some thyme or rosemary to come up with different flavors.

Slowcooker Roasted Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Take out your chicken and remove any giblets. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry.
  2. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika.
  3. Thickly slice your onion and add it to the bottom of your slow cooker.
  4. Lay the chicken on top of the onion.
  5. Cook on High for 4 to 5 hours or until the chicken is done. I cook mine until the meat starts to fall of the bone.

 

Golden-roasted chicken, with a bowl of Greek salad.

Save the bones from that chicken and tomorrow I’ll show you how to make a fabulous chicken stock from them in the slowcooker.

Scotch Eggs

In my quest for easy grab and eat breakfasts and lunches, I came across the idea of making scotch eggs. While many recipes call for a covering of bread crumbs, I thought just wrapping and baking boiled eggs in pork sausage might do the trick and it worked out beautifully.

Two half scotch eggs and salad

You can use one pound of your favorite breakfast sausage, or just pick up some ground pork and season it with a few of your favorite spices. I used salt, pepper, garlic, ground fennel, sage and cayenne pepper. I didn’t measure anything, but just added a good dash of each.

Scotch Eggs
 
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 lb pork sausage
Instructions
  1. Start by boiling and peeling your eggs. You're looking for hard boiled eggs, but not have them be over done. I added my eggs to cold water, brought it to a boil and boiled them for 8 minutes.
  2. Allow the eggs to cool, then peel them.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375
  4. Divide your sausage into six parts and roll each one out into a thin, oval shaped paddy. Wrap one of these around each egg and pinch the corners closed. You want the egg to be completely wrapped in sausage.
  5. Place the eggs into a muffin tin and bake them for 15 minutes. Take them out and pour out as much of the grease as you can.
  6. Return them to the stove and cook for another 10 o 15 minutes or until the sausage is fully cooked and nicely browned.

If you don’t have a muffin tin, you can also lay them on a baking pan. Just make sure it has at least a small rim to keep the fat from running off the tray.

These eggs are great for breakfast or lunch. For lunch I usually serve them along a side salad.