Crock Pot Recipe for Vegetables …Easy!

Looking For an Easy Crock Pot Recipe for Vegetables ???

Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables

I love oven roasted vegetables and now I’m going to show you how to make an easy crockpot recipe for roasted vegetables.  The secret ingredient is one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix.  

Here is the Crockpot Recipe for Roasted Vegetables

Crock Pot Roasted Veggies
  • 6 cups fresh vegetables ( broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, etc)
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. (I used my 2 quart insert)
  2. Wash and trim the vegetables and put them into the crock pot.
  3. Sprinkle with the dry ranch salad dressing mix
  4. sprinkle with the water.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 2½ to 3 hours.

You can watch my Video Tutorial for this easy crockpot recipe here:


Here are the ingredients for this easy crockpot recipe…Only 2 main ingredients…Easy!

Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables Ingredients


You can use any combination of fresh vegetables that you like.I like the combination of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.  

Fresh Vegetables for Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables

Add all of the vegetables to the crock pot.  Sprinkle with the dry mix.  Sprinkle the water over all.  Stir, cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

There are many advantages of crockpot cooking.

  1. Crockpot cooking is convenient!  Crockpot recipes allow you to throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a delicious home cooked meal in the evening.
  2. A crockpot does not heat up the kitchen the way the oven does and that is especially important during the hot summer months.
  3. Crockpots are portable so they are great to take to potlucks and parties.  Just plug the crockpot in when you get there and it will keep the food warm for hours!

What would be your favorite vegetables for this easy crockpot recipe?  Share your ideas in the comments section below. 

Be Sure to Try These Other Make Life Special Crockpot Recipes!

Vickie’s Mom’s Sunday Pot Roast Dinner

Cooker Chops – Great for Easy Entertaining!

Vickie’s Italian Beef Recipe

Remember, “Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”



Video: Crock Pot Roasted Veggies

Crock Pot Roasted Veggies are quick, easy and healthy!

Coby Snapp HD Digital Camcorder

Coby Snapp


I have been wishing for a compact camera / camcorder to use for Make Life Special field work.  I was thrilled when I received the Coby Snapp HD Digital  Touchscreen Camcorder for our Holiday Gift Guide review!  This  camera/camcorder is about the size of my cell phone and will fit perfectly into my purse or pocket.  

This camera has a 4 X Digital Zoom, 5 MP, and a 2.7″ swivel LCD touch screen for easy shooting and instant playback.  This compact and portable Coby Cam5005 Snapp HD Touchscreen Camcorder shoots 1280 x 720 p HD video and 640 x 480 VGA video.  Plus, it can capture up to 5-megapixel digital still images with 2592 x 1944 resolution.  

After saying all of that, I like how easy this little camera is to use.  In fact, you might say it is a snap!

Here’s what you get with the Coby CAM5005 :

  • A/V cable
  • USB cable
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Installation CD
  • Hand strap
  • Pouch

Priced around $ 50.00, this makes a great gift for the holidays!  You can purchase it online at   

Note:  I received a sample Coby CAM5005 for this review.  No compensation was received.  These are my honest opinions.


MailPix – Turn your Holiday Images Into Great Memories


Turning Images into Memories


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+


Review:  By Nicole

            MailPix, the latest web-based photo printing service, has a lot to offer in regards to memory preservation.  Some might call them a one-stop photo shop.  Whether you are looking for photo storage, printing or custom photo gifts, MailPix has you covered.  MailPix keeps their costs low by utilizing the latest web technology integrated with social media.  MailPix allows you to upload photos directly from your computer, Facebook or Instagram.  Best of all, they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee – so, you will have peace of mind knowing that you will get the end product you want. 


I recently received a 20 page 4×6 photo brag book, 3 key chains, 2 ornaments, 6 5×7’s of my son’s 1 year photos, 1 11oz Photo Mug, 1Custom Mouse Pad, 25 Christmas Photo cards, 1 Travel Mug, and 219 4×6 prints.     With all the deals and coupons from their website, the total was less than $100 (plus shipping and handling).  The quality of the items is excellent.  I couldn’t be happier with my haul!  Now, I’ve got a lot of scrap booking ahead of me!  And, several Christmas presents to wrap!

For more information and to view their full catalog, please check out their Website .    You can also find them on Facebook   and Twitter  ! 

Where to Buy





Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  MailPix graciously supplied me with a credit and free shipping to try out their products.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

Christmas Cookie Contest in a Box: Everything You Need to Host a Christmas Cookie Contest


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



            Takes the classic Christmas cookie exchange to a whole new level of friendly competition! Christmas Cookie Contest in a Box has everything you need to host your own contest. 

This kit includes scorecards, judge badges, place cards, and a handbook. The handbook includes recipes along with photos of the cookies and personal stories behind these special cookie recipes. Showcasing  a dozen winning Christmas cookie recipes, along with cookie swap tips from an expert baker, the book has chapters on a brief history of Christmas cookies, how to run the cookie contest, the art of judging a contest, baking tips, and a cookies tunes playlist.

Recipes include Berlinerkranser, Pistachio Butter Cookies, Chai-Spiced Meltaway, Vegan Orange Ginger Cookies, Smile Cookies, Gingersnap Thumbprints with Cranberry-Apricot and Minty Chocolate Rounds.

Christmas Cookie Contest in a Box would make an excellent gift for teachers, Girl Scout leaders, girl’s sports coaches and moms of all ages.  This would also be a good gift for the young ladies in your life who are part of a sorority or club. 

Where to Buy

            This item can be purchased at Amazon!           


Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Razonia PR graciously supplied me with one Christmas Cookie Contest in a Box for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

*****Contest Closed*****Snazzy Lites Giveaway



Have you ever wanted to add bold bright colors to your hair but you were scared you would damage your hair?  Now there is Snazzy Lites!  They are fun and easy!

Snazzy Lites are  100% human hair extensions so they can be curled, flat ironed or braided like natural hair.  Choose from a variety of colors like fierce fuchsia, rebel red or poetic purple ( 14 hot colors in all).

Snazzy Lites clip-in hair extensions are easy to apply and remove providing instant color without commitment.  These are great for cheerleaders, birthday parties, dance teams, or just to change your look.  Mom’s love Snazzy Lites because they encourage kids’ creativity and individuality – and with all of the pretty colors, you can get some to go with practically any outfit.  

One lucky Make Life Special reader can jazz up their look by winning two (2) Snazzy Lites in this fun giveaway.


To enter the giveaway, just tell us what you would do with these great Snazzy Lites…Would you wear them, give them to your daughter or granddaughter.  Maybe these would be for the cheerleader in your family…Just tell us in your post below.

Giveaway ends Thursday December 13, 2012 8:00 PM CST

Winner Chosen by

 Good Luck!!

Note:  This giveaway is sponsored by Gorgeous Strandz.  Thank you!







****Contest Closed*****Gingerbread Love Crunch Giveaway!!

Run, run as fast as you can………to enter this giveaway!!  This is a perfect stocking stuffer or holiday breakfast.  Gingerbread Love Crunch is one tasty granola!  The spice flavors are reminiscent of a gingersnap cookie.  You can really taste the molasses, ginger, cinnamon and clove as you devour the bag  one bite at a time.  

To read our full Holiday Gift Guide Review click here:  Gingerbread Love Crunch Review

Gingerbread Love Crunch will giveaway one bag of Gingerbread Love Crunch to three (3) lucky Make Life Special readers.

Giveaway ends Thursday December 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM CST.

Winners will be chosen by

Check our “Winners” page on Friday December 14, 2012 to see if you are a winner, and then send us an e mail with your name and address.

Good Luck!!!!

It’s easy to enter.  Just tell us how you would enjoy eating Gingerbread Love Crunch.   Just as a snack, over your yogurt, as a breakfast cereal, etc.  Post your comment in the Speak Your Mind Box below and you are goo to go.  Only one entry per person. USA addresses only, please.

Note:  This giveaway is sponsored by Nature’s Path.



Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning Mix – Mix up a “Merry Mary” For The Holidays!


Bloody Mary’s are the classic brunch drink, and are also popular for watching the game and for backyard barbeques.  Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning Mixes offer great convenience for making a really great tasting Bloody Mary.


We tried all four of the Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning Mixes as well as its two “RimShot” rimming blends.  I was really impressed with all of them! 

 Demitri’s Bloody Mary Classic Seasoning Mix This is a really rich blend of seasonings but they are not overpowering.  You can still taste the fresh tomato juice flavor.  Here is the recipe I made with the Demitri’s Bloody Mary Classic Seasoning Mix and for the Holiday Season, we named it “Merry Mary’s”  

Demitri's Merry Mary's
Serves: 1
  • 2 teaspoons of Demitri's Classic Bloody Mary Seasoning Mix
  • 8 ounces tomato juice, chilled
  • 2 ounces quality vodka ( to make a non-alcoholic Merry Mary, just omit the vodka)
  • Ice
  • Lime Wedge
  • Garnishes
  1. Gently moisten the rim of a 12 -16 ounce glass with the lime wedge, then press into the Demitri's RimShot Rim Salt.
  2. Combine Demitri's Bloody Mary Seasoning Mix with tomato juice, vodka and ice in a shaker and shake well.
  3. Pour the mixture into the rimmed glass and garnish.
  4. Enjoy!

You can watch the Make Life Special video and see how easy these are to make, just click here:  “Making Demitri’s Merry Mary’s”

A big part of the fun in making Bloody Mary’s ( aside from drinking them!) is making the great garnishes.  You can always just stick a stalk of celery in the glass, but why not make the Bloody Mary’s extra special by adding some of these garnishing ideas? 

Watch the Make Life Special how-to video and get some great ideas!  “ How to Garnish Bloody Mary’s

Demitri’s Chilies and Peppers  A spicy-sweet blend with mild jalapeno heat. I would say this one was a mild heat.  Very good.


Demitri’s Chipotle – HabaneroThere is LOTS of HEAT in this one!  If that’s what you like, you will love this!  I perfer a milder taste, but I have several friends who just can’t get enough heat and they will really like this.

Demitri’s Bloody Mary Extra Horseradish – This one has a mild horseradish taste without all of the chunks.  

Demitri’s Bloody Mary RimShot!  – Made with red and black Hawaiian sea salts, alder-smoked sea salt, celery salt, and black pepper.  I really liked this one.  The flavor was great and complemented our “Merry Mary” nicely.

Demitri’s Bacon RimShot!  made with BaconSalt ( a proprietary salt with a hickory-smoked, bacon flavor.)


There are several things that I liked about these products.  I liked the convenience of the Demitri Mixes and I also liked the flavor.  It’s also easy to offer your guests a variety of Bloody Mary flavors without having to mix up a whole pitcher of each flavor.  You can make these one glass at a time or a whole pitcher at a time.  It doesn’t matter, because with the Demitri’s Mixes, they come out perfect every time.  That’s why so many restaurants and bars use Demitri’s Bloody Mary Mixes.  And, I guess that’s why their slogan is ” Perfect Every Time in No Time”.    

Oh… and by the way.  Demitri’s Bloody Mary Mix is also great for cooking.  Their website has lots of recipes to get you started.  Click here for  Demitri’s Recipes .  I can’t wait to try  “Robert’s Bloody Good Shrimp” this weekend.  I think it will make a terrific appetizer!  You just marinate shrimp in a mixture of olive oil, Demitri’s Chilies & Peppers and thread on skewers and grill.  

Note: I received samples of Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning Mixes and RimShot Seasonings for this review.  No compensation was received.  These are my true and honest opinions.







Linwoods for Healthy Holiday Entertaining

Linwoods Health Foods


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  16+




            I could probably write several pages on the health benefits of the line of Linwoods Health Foods.  Depending on which variety you choose, these super foods can help you increase your intake of Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9, Dietary Fiber, Antioxidants, Iron, Zinc, Protein, Magnesium, B Vitamins and Co-Enzyme Q10.  And, you only have to incorporate 4 tablespoons into your daily diet! 


            For the past 6 years I have tried to incorporate flaxseeds into my diet.  I found the quality of this product to be quite excellent.  I really liked their flax blends.  The flax seed, almond, brazil nut, walnut & Q10 blend was a wonderful addition to my salads at lunch.  The flax seed, cocoa, strawberries and blueberries blend was fantastic on a yogurt parfait.  Their other blends, or the plain flax seeds, can be added to soups, salads, yogurt, cold cereal, hot cereal, smoothies, etc.  I found that I could easily add 1-2 tablespoons to each meal. 


Here is a picture of my yogurt parfait & my  Very Berry Parfait recipe:

Very Berry Yogurt Parfait
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup sliced raspberries
  • ½ cup sliced blackberries
  • ½ cup sliced blueberries
  • ½ cup granola
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Linwoods Ground Flax, Cocoa, Blueberries & Strawberries
  1. Layer ¼ cup sliced strawberries, ¼ cup sliced raspberries, ¼ cup sliced blackberries, ¼ cup sliced blueberries.
  2. Add a layer of ½ cup yogurt and a layer of ¼ cup granola.
  3. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon flax blend.
  4. Repeat.
  5. Enjoy!


And, here is how I used my favorite salad with the regular flax … the recipe is here.


Feta and Walnut Salad with Grilled Chicken
  • 2 to 4 handfuls of Spring Mix Salad
  • 2 handfuls of feta cheese
  • 1 handful of caramelized walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon Flax
  • 1 chicken breast, grilled and sliced
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of Cherry Vinaigrette ( store bought)
  1. Layer Spring Mix, feta, flax and walnuts.
  2. Top with chicken.
  3. Serve with Cherry Vinaigrette on the side.

And here is my EASY recipe for Caramelized Walnuts……
Caramelized Walnuts
Cook time
Total time
  • 1½ cups Walnut pieces
  • ½ cup light brown sugar ( not packed)
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon salt OR ½ teaspoon cinnamon sprinkled on finished nuts
  1. Place brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in a small skillet ( preferable non-stick as this gets very sticky).
  2. Heat ingredients over medium to medium-high heat. Stir until bubbly.
  3. Add walnuts to mixture and stir to coat.
  4. Continue cooking 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. They are done when golden brown in color and smell very toasty.
  6. These will burn if left unattended.



            I also sampled their hemp.  I’ve never had it before.  It kind of reminded me of a pine nut or a strong walnut.  Very nutty, very earthy and very tasty if you pair it right.  Sprinkling a bit on your hummus or adding a tablespoon to your rice dishes is an easy way to incorporate this super food into your routine. 


            I would recommend this for the health enthusiast in your life.  The marathon runner, the hiker, the yoga lover and anyone who is generally health conscious would enjoy this product.  You could also pair these with some granolas, organic cereals, health bars and nut mixes as a lovely care package for those busy college students or young professionals in your life. 


            For more information, please check out their Webpage  and/or  Facebook !


Where to Buy


            The prices range from $9.59 to $15.67 per standard size bag.  You can shop their entire selection on their Website.   


            For those who love the convenience of Amazon, you can purchase yours Here!   


 Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  I received  one sample size bag for each of their 6 products.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

Hey Shuga! Lil’ Shuga! How Sweet It Is!


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+




            Have you ever tried to dissolve sugar in iced tea?  I have.  It’s not pretty.  You wind up using a lot of sugar (most of which you will find at the bottom of your glass… it does not dissolve well).


Have you ever tried to dissolve Hey Shuga! in a glass of iced tea?  I have and it is fabulous!  Hey Shuga! dissolves in cold beverages!  Being a sweet tea lover who is currently living in the Northern Midwest, I am giving serious consideration to carrying Hey Shuga! around in my big purse to sweeten my tea at restaurants… 


            Hey Shuga! is an organic, gluten free, natural invert cane sugar.  It is produced in a way that mimics how bees make honey.  But, it is vegetarian and vegan friendly.  It’s also certified Kosher, contains no artificial colors or flavors, does not contain any preservatives and is GMO free. 


            Lil’ Shuga! is a blend of the original Hey Shuga! and Stevia extract.  You get all the health benefits of Stevia and the great taste of cane sugar.  It is twice as strong as real sugar (so you use half as much) and, I am delighted to inform, that there is no gross aftertaste. 


Hey Shuga! and Lil’ Shuga! work very well in cold beverages and hot beverages.  I’ve also used it to sweeten up fruit, yogurt, cold cereal and oatmeal.  It can also be used in baking.  Just use ¾ cup of Hey Shuga! for every 1 cup of sugar called for in your recipe.  Oh, they recommend decreasing the oven temp by 50 degrees. 


You can get lots of great recipes on their website:  Hey Shuga! Recipes            


Hey Shuga! and Lil’ Shuga! would be nice gifts to an office co-worker, teacher, health enthusiast, or anyone who loves their iced beverages sweetened. 



Where to Buy


            The prices range from $7.99 to $9.99 per standard size bottle, depending on which type of sweetener you order.  You can shop their entire selection (including bulk purchases and jumbo bottles) on their Website.         Hey Shuga   


            For those who love the convenience of Amazon, you can purchase yours Here!    



Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  I received one standard size bottle of Hey Shuga! and one standard size bottle of Lil’ Shuga! for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Rose Romono’s Italian Gourmet Toppings

Rose Romano’s Italian Gourmet Toppings just exploded in my mouth with flavor!  Rose Romano’s Italian Toppings are a special blend of peppers and a marinara sauce made in the traditional Italian way.  There really is a Rose Romano and her son, Dr. Marshall Angotti, created this gourmet sauce based on the knowledge he gained as a child helping his family with the peppers in the grocery stores they owned.  I enjoyed reading all about the story behind this product : Dr. Marshall Angotti and Rose Romano Toppings

There are over 30 recipes on the Rose Romano’s website to get you started cooking with this delicious Italian topping.  It is perfect on pasta and pizza…..

It’s great on chicken, on fish, on vegetables…. I even sprinkled some on my scrambled eggs one morning and thought it was delicious with a slice of whole wheat toast on the side.

There are two Rose Romano’s Toppings available.  One topping is made with marinara sauce and red bell peppers and the other topping is made with marinara sauce and green bell peppers.

I liked these toppings because they 100% all natural and contain no preservatives and they really have a great Italian flavor. 

You can order these online from Rose Romano’s website for $15.98 for a mixed 2-pack:  Rose Romano’s Online Store

For the Amazon fans, here is the link :  Rose Romano’s on

These items would make great additions to any gourmet gift basket you are putting together for the holidays.  

Note:  I received a mixed 2-pack to use for this review.  No compensation was received.  These are my true and honest opinions.




Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: