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My 13 year-old daughter Anna isn’t picky, and even eats raw onions. But she has this funny quirk, where she doesn’t like tomatoes, but likes them on BLTs, and they’re a must on hamburgers. And my North Carolina girl gasps with joy when offered a fried green tomato. However, even the sweetest summer tomato by itself or in a salad is unpalatable to her. It’s the same with oats. She won’t eat oatmeal, but begs for overnight oats. Anna gets teased about not knowing the pleasures of Coco Puffs and other junk cereal, but her breakfast chocolate treat, chia seeds and all, is more satisfying, and actually healthy!

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Baked Potato Soup

It doesn’t matter if it’s 102 in July, my kids will always ask for baked potato soup. They are obsessed with this rich, creamy soup, which is perfect for a chilly day. I make them wait until fall to start serving it, but might give in on a rainy day during warmer months. I wish this soup was food safe for home canning, because I would line my shelves with the stuff for quick lunches.

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I love kitchen toys, and especially my pressure cooker. You can take tough, economical cuts of beef and make it tender in 12 minutes. Dry beans, which can be fussy to cook on the stove top and all day in the slow cooker, takes 20 minutes. The only downfall is, you cannot sneak a peak and see how the dish is cooking. If you follow instructions though, the results are magic.

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Personalized Easter Basket

Happy New Year! I know it’s early, but I have the opportunity to pre-order these adorable Easter baskets, and I need to order in the next few days. I can put your child’s name on these baskets with heat transfer vinyl. These are 10 inches tall. The ones with the tails are canvas, and the baskets with the ears sticking up are burlap. These are $20, personalized. This doesn’t include shipping. Please contact me directly at lauram7@gmail.com if interested.

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Slow Cooker Lasagna

I never knew about the 9×13 slow cooker until my friend Tracy brought one to a homeschool potluck. I was amazed that someone like me with unconventional  kitchen toys like a deli slicer, hadn’t heard of the casserole slow cooker. This size makes it easier to slow cook ribs, casseroles, and just cooks individual cuts of meat better in my opinion. Instead of stacking all the ingredients on top of one another, they can lay side-by-side.

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