chicken cooked whole in a crockpot

chicken whole in crock pot 18

Want a boatload of cooked chicken to use in more ways than you could ever dream of? Hands down, the easiest way to cook a whole chicken. All you gotta do is make this once or twice a week to use immediately, or fill a couple of ziploc sandwich bags and freeze for another time. Lose the is-it-done-yet fear factor for good, cause this’ll be the moistest, fall off the bone, cooked to perfection chicken you’ll ever produce. The only, dare I say, drawback, is no crispy skin, which can be easily achieved with a quick trip under the broiler. And don’t you dare chuck the flavour-loaded juices – simply pour in a container, refrigerate, skim off the fat and if you’re not going to use it right away, carry on to make a gorgeous stock, or freeze concentrated juices in ice cube trays to add to sauces, stir-fries or anywhere you need a little flavour-laden moisture. Waste not, want not … your grandmother’s always watching!

chocolate almond bacon bark

chocolate almond bacon bark feature

Chocolate bark is one of the simplest treats to put together and the most impressive. Melt high-quality chocolate and start sprinkling – toasted nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruits, bacon, candies – and it can be flavoured up any way you like. This is the next recipe to add to your “gifts from the kitchen” repertoire, whatever the occasion.

cake with olive oil, almonds & citrus

olive oil cake/feature

Olive oil is the new fat for a healthier cake! Trade the butter, lard or vegetable oil for olive and you’re on your way to transforming many a cake recipe – add a whack of citrus and almonds, and you’re halfway to Tuscany!

roasted red pepper purée

roasted red pepper puree

Red pepper purée is a rich man’s ketchup, minus the price tag. It could not be easier to make and can be used in dressings, dips, sauces, stews, soups – anywhere you want a flavour boost.

baked beans with mesquite

pork & beans

Mastering a basic baked bean recipe will broaden your horizons completely! The multitude of additions can take basic beans in any direction you want.

red lentil carrot coconut soup

red lentil carrot coconut soup

Red lentil, carrot coconut soup is perfect to have on hand and your slow cooker does all the work. Simply load it up, set it and forget it. Be greeted by a rich flavourful soup every single time.

black olives seared in lemon, garlic & herbs

Canned black olives get a complete makeover with the simple addition of lemon, garlic and fresh herbs. And it doesn’t stop there – the whole load gets dumped into a ho pan to sear and caramelize, transforming the canned variety to rival the souped up ones from the deli.

pasta frittata with veggies & ham

For every cup of leftover pasta, whisk in an egg or 2, and I mean any pasta (and any eggs) – whether it’s loaded with vegetables, spicy sausage, succulent seafood, smoked chicken, meatballs – and whether it’s sauced with tomatoes, cream, pesto, olive oil – it’s all fair game to morph into a frittata.

dutch baby pancake

dutch baby 10

Make pancakes in one fell swoop with this classic dutch baby recipe! You’ll never make pancakes any other way again!

popcorn with maple syrup & salt

It doesn’t get any better than this! Popcorn, maple syrup, brown (and if you have it, maple) sugar, maple extract & salt. Talk about addictive. I make popcorn in the microwave using brown paper lunch bags, make the maple coating in a measuring cup, pour it over the popcorn, stir to coat and bake it…