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When I make pork barbecue, I go big. I always slow roast a 4 to 8 pound pork butt. You can absolutely can the leftover meat, but I haven’t tried yet. I freeze leftovers in portions for other meals. I needed something quick and easy last night, so I pulled out some frozen pork barbecue, popped open a jar of home canned black beans , and thawed out farmers market corn from last summer. These quesadillas are delicious, kid-friendly, and a great way to use leftovers.

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I’m in a cooking phase right now, involving main dishes which can be created in one vessel. Skillet meals, slow cooker, “one pot wonders,” and the like. I’m going for easy and low mess, without compromising taste. I’m making a new recipe every night this week, three in the slow cooker, one in the pressure cooker, and this skillet meal. Tonight I was planning on making a recipe from another blog, but their site was down. I was stuck. I Googled for a similar dish, but couldn’t find a recipe I liked, so I created my own. So glad I did, because it’s a new family favorite.

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I was looking for a budget-friendly recipe and found one that uses beans – – canned beans. I did the math and realized that if I bought four cans of beans at $1.20 each I could instead have a pound of shrimp on sale. Beans are so good for you and my kids love them, so I decided to beat the system and cook dried beans and divide them for the freezer.

Cooking dried beans is easy, and you can control the sodium and flavorings. Add chipotle, garlic and cumin to some dried black or pinto beans if you want. Cook chickpeas and have them ready for a quick hummus – – in fact I have some in my freezer right now.   You can get dried beans for 99 cents a pound at the dollar store and elsewhere. At some places if you buy two pounds at a time you might even be able to get them for 50 cents a pound. I have before. One pound of dried beans cooked up equals about three cans of beans. One can of beans is 1 1/2 cups, so divide them [click to continue…]

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