Crockpot Whole Chicken Recipe

This Friday food blog is a recipe from a dear friend of mine. She is the mom/stepmom of seven… She’s a work from home mom and a mompeneur.  Brandy and her husband Mike,  just wrote a healthy living cookbook. So I reached out to her to be a guest blogger for our Friday’s food blog!

I’m always interested in sharing recipes that are healthy and easy. Being a mom of four… one being a special needs child… I didn’t have a lot of time to cook, but I wanted them to eat healthy. I think this recipe definitely fits that description.

Hope you enjoy! As always thanks for reading our blog, and we look forward to your comments. Be sure to keep checking back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for new blogs! Every Friday is our Friday food blog,with awesome recipes! As always, make sure you check for all food allergies, as well as make sure you fully cook!

About Brandy:

Being a mother is my greatest accomplishment! When I met Mike I had 2 kids and he had 4. We just had our first together and now have a blended family of 7 kids!! I love that I get to work from home with her and the other kids and never miss a moment! I am passionate about a natural, holistic lifestyle and clean eating. I love helping others on their journey to a natural, healthy lifestyle and helping other mamas learn how to work from home like I do!  Follow my food journey: http://www.mbpowercouple.com/healthy-hustlers/

Crockpot Whole Chicken “Our 5 year old loves it so much he made his Mom make it at her house!”

I love making a whole chicken in my crockpot! Not only does it make an easy dinner but I save the homemade chicken stock for future recipes and I make bone broth out of the carcass (see bone broth recipe)

 

1 Whole Chicken (we like to buy ours from a local farm but if that’s not an option make sure you get one that is grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free at the very least, see shopping list)

2-6 Cloves Garlic

Handful Fresh Rosemary

Handful Fresh Sage

Handful Fresh Thyme

Sea Salt, Black Pepper and Turmeric to taste

 

  1. Stuff chicken with garlic, rosemary, sage and thyme
  2. Put in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours
  3. Season top of chicken with turmeric, sea salt and black pepper
  4. Chicken will create its own natural broth so no need to add water
  5. Baste with broth while it cooks
  6. Before serving remove broth and put in mason jar for later use (I let cool on the counter before freezing it.                       

Autism Redefined

We are honored to have an awesome  guest blogger  today! Samuel Moore-Sobel   You can check out his bio at the end of the blog. As always thanks for reading our blog!

 

Autism Redefined

“I want to have a girlfriend, but I don’t know if I can handle it.” 

Stunned, I turn to look at the teenage boy sitting beside me. Even though I have been asking him (let’s call him Dan) all night what was bothering him, he chooses to tell me this bit of news while we are passengers on a bus filled with teenagers, hurtling towards our intended destination. I, acting as one of the chaperones for this summer camp filled with countless adventures, have just spent the last several minutes attempting to ascertain the reason behind Dan’s distressed demeanor. Despite my repeated questions, he refused to utter even one word, choosing instead to continue sulking. His initial refusal to speak gave me cause for concern. Until his unexpected admission left me speechless. 

I have spent much of the past week making feeble attempts to engage Dan in conversation. He remains quiet much of the trip, keeping to himself even when he is standing by my side. I lob dozens of questions his direction throughout the week. Questions about school, his family, even his favorite video games. His response is nearly always the same – typically offering little more than a one-word answer. 

Dan was one of the deciding factors in my decision to spend a week serving as a chaperone for this summer camp. At first, Dan appeared reticent about attending. He acted as if he possessed a strong desire to go, but still retained worries over how the trip might unfold. He never said so, but I suspected his nervousness had something to do with the fact that he had never been away from home. Until he found a way to convince me to come along; which admittedly, didn’t take much convincing. 

“Don’t let him take 45 minute showers,” his mother tells me moments before our trip is to commence. She is nervous, really nervous, the kind of nervous only a mother gets when she fears for her child. Unsure of how he is going to react, she keeps shouting instructions even as we depart to board the bus. Playfully, she promises to send daily texts to check on Dan. Her sense of humor has hardly changed since we first met several years before. She was the first person to ever offer me a job, hiring me as a sixteen-year-old to be a counselor at a camp dedicated to serving children with special needs. My experience in this area allowing me to remain largely undaunted by the trip ahead.

For the most part, Dan loved camp. He spent plenty of time at the beach, his feet causing sand to fly high in the air as he ran towards the water. His tall frame helped him stand firm against the waves. Dan strikes an impressive figure at fifteen – broad-shouldered with dark skin, his athletic build gives off the distinct impression that he is ready to run at a moment’s notice. A young man with a curious nature, one look into his eyes reveals a desire to take on the world.

A random bystander would likely be unable to detect any evidence that Dan has autism, except for the nervousness he displays throughout the day.

“What time is dinner?”

“What time do I take my medication?’

I give the same response calmly each time he asks me these  questions, knowing full well the queries will be repeated within the hour. He keeps asking, as if the answer I just gave might change if the question is posed once again. I do not mind the incessant questions. After all, I like to ask a lot of questions, too.

The week unfolds nearly as designed, although a few speed bumps are encountered along the way. He becomes rather uncomfortable over the level of noise generated during certain activities. He shows me his discomfort by bringing his hands up to his ears while letting out a few loud noises of his own. This sign propels me to formulate an action plan, typically comprised of plotting a joint escape. We learn to adapt quickly to this new environment. For example, when students gather in the large hall each night for instruction, we nearly always sit outside the doors. Others advise me to force him to attend. I resolve to allow Dan some level of control over his surroundings, eager to grant him the space to make his own decisions. 

Hence why I allow him the time and space to process whatever it is that is bothering him during that bus ride which has never left my memory. After asking a few questions, I resolve to let him be. Within the blink of an eye, his mood changes. Finally ready to talk after what seems like an eternity, his thoughts and feelings come gushing out like an unexpected avalanche.

                “I like Judy,” he tells me quietly. “I just found out she has a boyfriend.” He proceeds to tell me how much he likes this girl, diving into a long list comprised of the typical qualities teenage boys find attractive about members of the opposite sex. His eyes light up as he talks, brimming with palpable excitement. 

                “Her boyfriend is better looking than me, though,” he tells me. “And, you know, I have autism.”

               Shocked, I quickly avert my eyes. Within a few seconds, I glance back towards him as casually as possible, making an ill-fated attempt to hide my internal struggle to piece together a suitable response. In the more than seven years I have known Dan, he has never offered any indication that he is aware of his diagnosis.

Before I can say a word, he picks up where he left off, articulating his desire to live a normal life. He expresses concern over whether or not he will be able to do his own laundry, or even one day own a home. He worries greatly over what his future holds. Yet most of all, he worries if he will ever find a girl to love.

                “Do you think I will ever get a girlfriend?”

                I pause for a few seconds, glancing around to see if anyone is listening to our conversation. Is there anyone else who can provide an adequate answer to this nearly impossible question? 

            I ponder the implications of the question at hand. Ultimately, no one is fully able to predict the future. Finding someone to love is far from a guarantee for any of us, no matter our socio-economic background, upbringing, physical or emotional makeup. Besides, does autism automatically preclude someone from building a life with a romantic partner?

           “It’s hard out there, even if you do not have autism,” I tell him.  

He asks if I have a girlfriend. “No,” I say, offering a few words concerning my own experience. How I failed to go on a first date before reaching my early twenties; and, how that one, along with each subsequent relationship, proved to be incredibly painful before reaching a predictable end. I tell him how the past makes me feel as if the prospect of ever finding someone to share my life with seemingly slips through my fingers ever more rapidly with each passing day.

I then revisit a story I assume his mother told him long ago. I point to the red facial scars under my nose, chin and across my neck. I tell him how I suffered second and third degree burns when I was his age, as I helped move boxes and furniture for a nearby resident; and, how ever since, a day has not gone by during which I wonder if I will ever find a girl who loves me – scars and all.

                “Wow! I always wondered about your scars! I just never asked…” he says, his voice trailing off as he turns back towards the window. His eyes remain trained on the landscape as the bus drives on, taking us farther into the night. I smile as I watch him, looking for signs of emotional turmoil. He seems calm now, as if my explanation has eased his mind.

            Years before, his mother had expressed a great deal of empathy after hearing my story. She argued it was easier for her son, since he was “expected” to be different. Yet the reality is that I can no more fully understand what it is like to have autism, just like those lacking personal experience with burn injuries cannot fully understand what it is like to suffer burns. Human nature is to compare suffering; but instead, we can choose to use our scars to empathize with those around us. 

For we all have scars, both physical and emotional. We all have things we would like to change about ourselves, alterations that would seemingly improve our chances of living out the future we envision. We can use our past experiences as a way to connect, through empathy and compassion, with the similarities in the ways our deep-seated worries coalesce with those held by fellow travelers.

I close my eyes to catch a few moments of rest. I immediately question whether I proffered the right response. Should I have assured him everything would be ok? Or made clear that his diagnosis did not preclude him from finding the girl of his dreams? Should I have affirmed his inner strength, the growth he has shown just in going on this trip? While I couldn’t guarantee my young friend that life would work out exactly the way he planned, I knew deep down that he is more than strong enough to handle whatever comes his way.

Before I can offer any of these sentiments, my eyes quickly open the moment another question hits my ear.

“What time will we get back?” 

    Samuel Moore-Sobel serves an internship in a congressional office on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

Samuel Moore-Sobel is a security program manager and freelance writer. He is nearing publication of a memoir focusing on his experiences revolving around both trauma and recovery. He writes a column for the Blue Ridge Leader and has written numerous guest blog posts concerning his experience as a burn survivor. His work has been featured in Burn Support MagazineLoudoun NowRoanoke Star, and Mental Health Talk, among several other publications. Visit his website and blog, www.holdingontohopetoday.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram @holdingontohopetoday.

We interrupt regularly scheduled recipe blog…

I had a recipe blog already for today… But I decided that rather than put that one out, I would keep it in my drafts… Because I wanted to make this blog about mine and Peyton’s  upcoming project!!

We are super,super excited about our project Team Awesomism… we are launching on September 15! Peyton is designing the logo as well as building the website! I am so proud of him and it is looking so awesome!

We are going to be upgrading this website, as well as having another website for our new project… So bear with us for the next four weeks while we put everything together! We are hustling and bustling me to get so many things done.

I’m sure we will go through some glitches… Like for some reason pictures went sideways on my last blog… 😔 sigh

But if you promise to bear with us for a little while, and deal with all our glitches…I promise you on September 15 you will love what you see! This blog will  be more frequent as in 3 to 4 times a week.

We Have so many exciting projects and products coming with Team Awesomism! A newsletter, a specific Flipboard magazine designated just for Team Awesomism….. And so so much more! I don’t want to give away too much, it will spoil the launch!

In the meantime check out mine and Peyton’s recipe from last week, As well as our other blogs…We do also love your input on what kind of recipes you’d like to see us blog… We’d love to hear from you!

As always thanks for reading this… And we look forward to connecting with you soon! Please mark your calendar’s for September 15 for Team Awesomism  launch and oh by the way… That also happens to be Peyton’s 19th birthday!

 

 

Why run when you can walk?

Everyone who knows me knows I am a huge classic TV fan. In fact we got rid of DIRECTV and got Comcast. I love my husband for agreeing to do it!I know many people think that’s crazy. I love the channels that I can get on Comcast.

My favorite show ever is a show called Hazel, Not many people remember the show,but I certainly do. It’s on seven days a week on antenna TV. Which makes me extremely happy.

I Don’t only watch Hazel, I record the show and I also have season one and two on DVD. My awesome hubby bought them for me a few Christmases ago! To say I can’t get enough of Hazel, is probably true! In fact, I actually named one of our dogs after the show.

I’ve been asked many times why I love that show so much…  it’s kind of hard to explain why I do. Part of it is Hazel reminded me a lot of my grandma, who I really loved. I also really liked Don DeFore… I also loved the premise of the show. If you really paid attention to it there were a lot of life lessons in it.

The other day I was watching the show, as I always do, the show was about how we need to slow down. How we are always so busy trying to get somewhere, do something, get ahead… That we don’t really take the time to enjoy what’s right in front of us.

When I was watching the show I thought, wow this is from the early 60s and it still so relevant today. In fact I think we are more that way now than we were then. It’s sad that we decide that we have to get ahead… at the expense of living in the present.

Of course on the show Hazel found a way to get those around her to slow down. I’m not so sure we can get ourselves to slow down, let alone those around us.

I know life is a lot more complicated than a classic TV show, but there are definitely lessons that we can learn from them. The show got me thinking what am I missing in my day-to-day life that I should be paying more attention to. Sad to say, there were more things than I care to admit.

One of the many things that was on my list, was spending time just having Smalltalk. I’m a chatterbox,I admit it. So it seems a bit strange for me to say I don’t spend enough time having Smalltalk.

What I mean by not taking enough time for small talk is this… I don’t sit down with those close to me and just have conversations about what we have planned for the day, what did we do today what are we happy about, what are we sad about etc…

Upon reflection, I made a vow to myself that I was going to take more time each day to have that small talk, especially with Peyton. So Peyton  and I have started a routine of sitting in our office and just chatting. I honestly think it’s good for both of us.

I know taking this time to just chat, laugh and relax has help me feel less anxious. I can also see that it relaxes Peyton , and that makes me happy!

Even though classic TV shows may not always be exactly the way real life is… We can still learn a lot from them. So here’s to you Hazel for helping me learn to walk instead of run. Peyton and I thank  you… For teaching us a wonderful life’s lesson and helping us with our anxiety and stress, by doing such a simple thing as chatting! 💕💕

 

Mine & Peyton’s recipe for burritos

I decided to start a new series… Every Friday  I’m going to come out with a different type of recipe, in my blog! They will be mine and Peyton’s recipes, as well as family and friends. I truly hope that you like them.

Peyton and I just think that this is another way for us to share with others how we are working to turn Autism into Awesomism. Cooking and baking are life skills. All of these recipes we’ve either made ourselves or  have gotten directly from someone else, and made the recipes to test them out first.

Mark has really gotten Peyton to love Tex-Mex food. I really never had Tex-Mex food until I moved  to Texas. Our neighbors in Florida were from Cuba, they made the best Cuban sandwiches and fried plantains, I’ve ever had in my life. I was spoiled eating their food.

When I moved  to Texas, I found out I really did like  Tex-Mex food. However; I wasn’t the best  at making it. Mark on the other hand is an excellent cook, and his Tex-Mex cooking is better than any restaurant I’ve ever had! So needless to say we’ve all become addicted to his cooking, especially his Tex-Mex.

Peyton loves enchiladas, as well as nachos and burritos. Mark’s enchiladas are beyond words they are so good! If you want the recipe… You can buy my book it’s in there!!

Peyton and I decided to embark on making our own recipe for burritos. It may not be everyone’s definition of burritos… But we think they are amazing. We make a batch of them and freeze some. That way he has them anytime he wants to eat a burritos .

They’re actually pretty easy to make… So we decided to share them with others… We hope you love them as much as we do. We’d love your feedback on our recipe.

We start out with a fresh green pepper, two tomatoes and a red or white onion. Finely chop them all up and put them in a bowl. Add some salt and pepper to taste.  We add a tablespoon of jalapeño pepper juice to the mixture as well. Some people don’t like this as it can make it a little bit too hot.

Mix it all together, We make it in a bowl that has a lid, we put the lid on and shake it. When it’s all chopped up it should be a pretty even mixture of the onion, green pepper… With a little bit more tomato. 

 

 

Once it’s all mixed, add a Cup of shredded cheese. We use 3/4 of a cup of pepper jack cheese and 3/4 of  a cup of Colby Jack. You can add whatever shredded cheese you prefer.  We’ve also use shredded Mexican blend cheese. That’s really good as well. 

Next  add a 15 ounce can of ranch style beans. We really like the Canabra brands beans, that we get from Costco. But you can use any  kind of ranch beans. We heat ours  up before we add them to the rest of the vegetable mix. But you can mix it all together and then heat the whole mix up.  It depends on how soft you want your green peppers, onions and tomatoes. As well as if you want your cheese really melted or not.

After you’ve mixed all your ingredients, Spoon out mixture into a large flour tortilla … you can add more cheese if you desire. 

We’ve also added diced chicken,corn, rice and red beans. It’s fun to mix it up!

Ingredients:

• 2 Globe Tomatoes

• 1 Large Green Pepper

• 1 Small White or Red Onion

• 1 15 oz Can of Ranch style beans

• 1 1/2 cup of Shredded Cheese … can be Pepper jack cheese, Mexican blend cheese, Colby Jack cheese or any other cheeses that you love

• 6 Large flour tortilla

•After washing off your vegetables, chop up your onion, green pepper and tomatoes into small chunks.

•Mix all your vegetables  together and add your seasoning such as salt, pepper or jalapeño juice.

•Next add in your ranch style beans and heat everything together. You can cook it on high heat on the stove for 4 minutes , or in the microwave for two minutes on high.

•Add your cheese ,mix everything together. Put mixture on a preheated flour tortillas. Wrap the tortilla. Heat for an additional 1 minute.

•The Recipe makes 6 Servings. They can be frozen and reheated.

• Corn, Rice , Chicken and Red Beans can also be added.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!