Lemon + Rosemary Crockpot Chicken

With Frankie starting school in only a week, I’ve been trying to figure out how my daily routine will go.

Being a stay at home mom, I have my day pretty much planned out. With the addition of dropping him off in the morning and picking him up in the afternoon, it kind of throws a wrench into my day (Especially Emilia’s nap schedule…) 

 This week I’m trying to change things around to it ensure that our days will still run smoothly. I figure on most days my best friend will be my crockpot. I can set everything up in the morning, still get things done and make sure we’ll still have a delicious dinner to enjoy as a family at dinner time! 

This recipe is simple, delicious and pretty healthy! 

Frankie loved it and Mike took it to work for lunch the next day on top of a garden salad. (Not to mention it will make your house smell like Heaven!!)

Lemon + Rosemary Crockpot Chicken

  • 4 boneless/ skinless chicken breasts (my crockpot could only fit 3)
  • 1 cup water mixed with 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon sliced thin
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary 
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 lemon rosemary crockpot chicken 

  1. Place your chicken in the crockpot.
  2. Pour in your water/oil mixture. 
  3. Add your garlic, salt, pepper, then rosemary. Top with lemon slices.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

 

The smell in our house while this was cooking away was in Frankie’s words “deewishes!!”

It’s good to know I’ll have another great crockpot recipe to fall back on once our busy school year starts! 

xo,Fran 

 
 

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Back To School Prep +Mabel’s Labels Giveaway!

So here I am the mother of a 4 year old! 

These past 4 years have really flown by! Up until this year I would watch those back to school commercials thinking, PHEW! Glad I don’t have to worry about that! 

Well the time has come my friends. In just a little over a week Frankie will be starting Kindergarten! 

Emotionally I’m all over the place. Scared, sad, excited, sad , anxious, sad…. 

It’s hard to believe that my first “baby” is a big kid now! 

I know in my heart he’ll be ok and I probably will too! 

To prep for his big day, we’ve been to his school for a tour where he met the kids that will also be starting this year with him. 

We also have a special one on one day coming up where we will meet his teacher and see which classroom he will be spending this new and exciting year in! 

We’ve done all of the shopping, being a kindergartener there’s not much he needs. (Except the coolest accessories of course!)

We left everything up to him, his backpack, lunch bag and thermos theme is……. Star Wars….. Shocking I know!! 

One thing that’s been great to help us get ready is our Little Kids School Combo from Mabel’s Lables

 Mabels Labels back to school giveaway 

This kit contains:

  • 40 mini Custom name stickers 38mm x 8mm
  • 50 Tag Mates (stick on clothing lables )
  • 12 Preschool shoe lables
  • 2 Personalized mini tags 30mm x 20mm

These tags are all dishwasher, microwave and laundry safe! They are perfect for backpacks, clothes, lunch containers,shoes, toys and more! 

(Can we take a minute to talk about those shoe lables! They are my favourite part of the pack. The design splits in half, helping your child instantly see which foot goes in which shoe!) 

You can choose from a wide variety of designs. Anything from butterflies to rocket ships! Frankie loved looking through all of the different choices and picking the one he thought was just right for him! 

To get your own Mabel’s Lables and one of their many combo packs that suit all different ages visit http://mabelslabels.com

The good people at Mabel’s Labels want to help you get ready for the first day of school too! They are offering one Little Kids School Combo to a lucky reader! 

Head over to https://instagram.com/thehungryhomemakerblog/ or https://www.facebook.com/Thehungryhomemakerblog to find out how you can be the lucky winner! 

We’re getting off to a very organized start to the school year and that helps to ease this Momma’s mind a little bit more!

xo,Fran

(I was sent this product at no cost for review purposes. All opinion are honest as always and my own) 

Family Favourites #1 Focaccia

Growing up in an Italian family it goes with out saying we love to eat!

Every family gathering was filled with love, laughter, and of course FOOD!

The first thing you’ll always hear when entering the home of any of my family members is “Mangiasti ?” (have you eaten?) I’ve even gotten into the habit of asking whenever family and friends walk through our door.

There are so many recipes that I’ve loved growing up. I wanted to share them with you all and some of the stories that go along with them! All of these recipes literally bring me back to my childhood. I’m excited to share these recipes with you, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

The first recipe I’m sharing is the recipe for my Nonna Franca’s Focaccia

My Nonna lives in Italy and used to come to stay with us every 3 or 4 years for a few months. When Nonna was on her way I would always get so excited to see her, and eat all of the amazing food she would always make! Sadly its now been about 7 years since I saw her last, the last time being at my wedding. Lucky for me, she left my mom this recipe and although it’s never quite as good as when she makes it herself, (I always say she has the magic touch!) It’s still delicious and brings me back to my days as a little girl watching her work in the kitchen.

My Mom and I whipped this one up, while talking about family memories, Emilia loved watching from her highchair. I guess we really are doing a good job of passing down the family traditions and starting her young!

Focaccia

  • 1 Cup Warm water
  • 1 pkg  yeast
  • 2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil + 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • 5 0r 6 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 Tbsp organo
  • half a small onion, sliced
  1. In a small bowl activate your yeast by adding it to your warm water. Let sit 5 minutes.(I put a pinch of sugar into the mix, just to help it along)
  2. In a large bowl mix together your salt and flour until thoroughly combined, make a “well” in the center of your flour.
  3. Pour your yeast mixture and 1/4 Cup olive oil into your well. begin mixing your dough by hand, until it reaches the consistency of pizza dough (about 5 minutes)
  4. Once dough has reached the proper consistency, grease another large bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil and transfer dough to that bowl. Rolling the dough around in that bowl until it is coated with the oil.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a tea towel, place in a warm place until dough has doubled in size. (about 1 hour)

focaccia dough focaccia dough focaccia dough

After dough has risen : pre heat oven to 350

  1. Grease a 12 inch pan and gently spread out dough to fit to size.
  2. Brush your dough with remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil, poke holes into your dough making many “dents” in the top.
  3. Top with your oregano, tomato and onion.
  4. Bake for approx. 35 mins or until the top is golden brown.

Once baked, let cool 5 minutes cut into pieces, serve and enjoy!

focaccia

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I am so excited to share more family recipes with you all in the weeks to come!

xo, Fran

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 

When I woke up Sunday morning I was feeling pretty gross. I had a terrible headache and was exhausted. We’ve been pretty busy around here this summer. T ball, swimming lessons, fun days out and prepping for Frankie’s first year of school!! 

I’ve been trying to stick to eating healthier, but I’m the kind of person that drowns her stress in food, mostly anything sweet! 

So while the house was quiet, Emilia was napping and Mike took Frankie along with him to run some errands. I decided this mama needed cookies! 

So I got to baking, these definitely hit the spot! The stress melted away…..until Frankie came barreling through the front door using the only volume he has (Which is permanently set to MAX!) and woke Emilia up!  

Oh well, it was nice while it lasted!

 oatmeal cookies, flourless, peanut butter,  peanutbutter cookies, cookies, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies 
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 Cup creamy peanut butter. (You can use chunky if you prefer)
  • 2/3 Cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 eggs (refrigerated)
  • 2/3 of a cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 of a cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a small bowl mix together the oats and baking soda, until oats are well coated.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat together peanut butter,brown sugar,vanilla and sugar. Until smooth, using a mixer.
  4. Mix in your dry ingredients by hand, until well blended. Then fold in your chocolate chips.
  5. Roll your dough into 2 inch balls, and place onto a greased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. (Dough will feel very wet and sticky, don’t worry) lightly press down on each ball barely flattening it.
  6. Bake cookies for approx 10 mins, until the edges are very light golden brown. Cookies will look underdone.
  7. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool. 

(Test your cookies at 3 mins, if they still seem soft let them sit for another 2 minutes) 
xo, Fran 

Real life heros, for real life kids! Wee Rascals Shop Review + Giveaway!

( Just a little side note, while writing this post I had Mariah Carey’s hero in my head. Feel free to hum along!) 


 

I first came across Wee Rascals while scrolling through Instagram. I’m always on the look out for new small shops. They always have the most unique items, since I dress my children way better than I dress myself I’m usually searching for kids shops.

At first look Wee Rascals looks like a super cool shop with unique shirts for your little one. 
When you look a little closer, you notice something very different.

They have shirts with superheroes on them, not the kind that sling webs or live in a bat cave. 

The heros on these unique shirts are REAL people who have made a difference in our REAL world. 

When I took a look at their website I found out a little more about the creators of this amazing company.

Liz and Kylie are two moms that wanted something besides the usual superheroes and princesses that graced most of the children’s clothing out there. They wanted a way to inform their kids about the real people who have had an impact on our world.

A way to inspire kids and show them that they can make a difference, even if they weren’t bitten by a rare venomous spider. 

Before I had Emilia I never really thought much about the media’s portrayal of heros. Never really noticed that more often than not men are the ones given this title. Now it’s something I always think about. I want her to grow up knowing that she can do anything a man can do. I want her to be inspired by the women who have made a difference in history and who are doing it right now in the world we live in today!  I was so excited when I noticed Wee rascals has some super women along with their supermen! 

 
Liz and Kylie were so amazingly generous and sent out a shirt for Frankie.

When it arrived Frankie asked “Who’s that guy?” So we went online and I explained to him, the best way a 4 year old can understand who Gandhi was. It was a fun learning experience for him!

 I’m not going to make an outrageous claim like these shirts have magical powers or anything but while he was wearing his shirt he was very calm and gentle with his sister even volunteering to read her a story so………

In all seriousness, I went on the website and showed him a few of the other heros on the shirts. We talked about who they were and what they did. Surprisingly his favourite story was about Amelia Earhart! He now want his sister to learn how to fly a plane like her and take him around the world! (He’s gonna find her! That’s what he says anyway!)

I’m so thankful that Wee Rascals exists! 

The fact that this one shirt has opened up so many conversations with my child is amazing! He’s learned about people who have fought for what they believed in, people who have dedicated their lives to helping the sick and the poor and people who have entertained audiences with masterpieces that have lived on for centuries! 

It may just be a ‘kids shirt”, it’s so much more to Frankie! 

Thank you Kylie and Liz for thinking outside of the box and doing something different! 

As a fellow parent it means so much to me! 

To order one of these amazing shirts visit: http://wee-rascals.com

Follow them on Instagram to keep up with their latest designs and sales,

https://instagram.com/weerascals/

If you are as in love with these tees as I am, head over to my Instagram account: https://instagram.com/thehungryhomemakerblog/ for the chance to win a $20 store credit to Wee Rascals! Thanks Kylie and Liz!!

xo, Fran 
 
 

7 Layer Dip

7 Layer dip

I”m so happy that Frankie’s party was a success!

One of the things everyone enjoyed most, was my 7 Leia…. I mean Layer Dip!

I have to say it was pretty good!

I’ll have to keep this recipe on hand for my next get together, or movie night!

7 Layer Dip

  • 2 Cups Sour cream
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 can of refried pinto beans
  • 5 ripe avacados, mashed with salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 Cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 Cup sliced green onions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and taco seasoning. Set aside.
  2. In a large serving bowl, begin to layer your ingredients

Beans, avocado, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, olives then green onions.

That’s it!

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the biggest hits!

Enjoy, Fran

Frankie’s 4th birthday! (Star Wars Party)

This past weekend we celebrated Frankie’s 4th birthday!

He still has a few days before he actually turns 4. (tear…)

We had a great day, with lots of family and friends. I spent weeks on Pinterest and many hours cutting and pasting for this Star Wars obsessed little guy’s party dreams to come true!

When I saw the look on his face and all of the fun he had, I knew it was all worth it!

While I go take a nap and catch up on all of the sleep I’ve missed out on doing party prep, here are some of the details from Frankie’s special day!

If it wasn’t for Pinterest, I would have been lost! 

Below are all of the links to the amazing printables I found and used.

Star Wars Birthday table

The treat table was so fun to make!

The backdrop is an outer space table cloth I got at a local party store. I traced the two tie fighters onto some cardboard, cut them out and painted them silver. The lettering was made on the computer, I cut out each letter and colored them in. The amazing banner is from: http://libbiegrove.blogspot.ca/2012/03/free-printable-star-wars-birthday.html  It’s amazing and fit the theme so well!

The cups were wrapped with the fun R2D2 printables you can find here: http://www.organizedsahm.com/2011/10/star-wars-birthday-party-part-5-lightsaber-napkins-and-r2d2-drink-cups/

star wars snack table Star wars snack table

The snack table had lots of yummy treats including:

  • Padawan popcorn (Skinny pop popcorn)
  • Edible Ewoks (teddy grahams)
  • Droid parts (chex mix)
  • Ewok snacks (gummy bears)
  • Carbonite, complete with Han Solo (blue jello)
  • Thermal Detonators (Caramel Balls)
  • Han’s Rolos (Rolos)
  • Dark Side chips (blue corn tortilla chips)
  • 7 Leia Dip
  • Yoda soda 

I found the silver rocks at Michaels, they were only .29 cents a bag on clearance and I thought they would make perfect moon rocks!

The food labels were so fun! You can find them here: http://overthebigmoon.com/may-the-4th-be-with-you-ideas-and-free-food-printables/

When I saw this R2D2 balloon at Party City, I couldn’t resist it! (These things happen when Mike lets me go shopping alone!)Everyone loved it!  Emilia even had to give it a big hug and kiss!

Now onto Dinner

These Napkin wraps were a big hit with both the kids and adults! Find them here:

http://www.organizedsahm.com/2011/10/star-wars-birthday-party-part-5-lightsaber-napkins-and-r2d2-drink-cups/

star wars party

Dinner included some delicious treats, Star Wars themed of course!

star wars party star wars party star wars party star wars party

star wars partystar wars party

For Dinner we had:

  • Force fruit
  • Vader veggies
  • Jabba the Pizza Hut (pizza from a local restaurant)
  • Hutt Dogs (chicken hot dogs)
  • Han Burgers (a mix of beef, chicken and veggie burgers)
  • Bow- Ba Fett Pasta (salmon pasta salad, with bow shaped pasta)
  • Princess Leia buns

We also had roasted corn and a cheese and cracker platter.

The kids had a blast running around and swimming in the pool. the forecast called for rain, which it did! Thankfully it only lasted about 10 minutes, so everyone was able to head back outside and enjoy the sun!

We got his cake from a local baker that we’ve used for the last few years! Frankie chose banana chocolate chip for the flavour. It was absolutely delicious! It tasted as good as it looked! If you live in the GTA or Durham region you need to check out Lola’s Cakery! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lolas-Cakery/237897109588242?fref=ts

He really did like his cake, he was just unsure about the sparklers we put on it!

Star Wars PartyAll in all it was a great day!

We all had so much fun celebrating this little guy, who is growing way too fast! 

I’m so glad he loved his party and now my thoughts have already shifted to a certain little girl’s first birthday in November! (Someone please take away my computer, Pinterest here I come!!)

For even more Star Wars party inspiration take a look at the Pinterest board I put together https://www.pinterest.com/Homemakerblog/frankies-fourth-birthday/

xo,Fran