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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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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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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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Oh my, I have been so busy with my craft orders, I’ve been getting up at 3 and 4 am to ensure completion by the committed deadlines! As a result, I haven’t sent out many blog articles, but I’m back on track! I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of orders, but my household was not prepared. Before the next holiday season, I’ll have freezer meals, and home canned meal helpers ready to go! A meal solution I enjoy during busy days, is making a “one pot wonder” meal, and I just created a new one last night. It’s delicious!

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I had been in a recipe rut, just making the same things over and over. Starting my Etsy shop has been pure joy, but keeping house, homeschooling, cooking, and building inventory for a shop all together, is a big job. I have been so distracted, even meal planning slipped, and when that happens, you end up ordering take out more, and paying full price for groceries.

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