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Make Dinner Easy! Crockpot Cooking!

A couple years ago a friend of ours gave me a crockpot that they had received as a wedding gift.  They already had one and didn’t know what to do with it.  I was thrilled to take it!  It is one of my favorite kitchen items.   I love making chilli and meatballs in it.   Recently, I’ve been interested in doing different recipes.

Thanks to several bloggers they mentioned  A Year of Slow Cooking.  Stephanie used her crockpots everyday for a year!  I’m so impressed with the number of creative recipes that she mentions.

Here are a couple that I thought are great especially for working Moms.

Cooking Dried Beans in your Crock pot – Talk about saving money!  You can buy a bag of beans at most stores for $1.00 and that equals 3 – 16 oz cans.  Plus no added salt and other things.  You can freeze the extra for other meals.

French Onion Soap in your Crockpot – Yummy!  Looking forward to try this.

Sausage, Cream Cheese and Rotel Dip  in your Crockpot – I had this at a friend’s house a couple years ago and oh my this is sooo good!

Enchilada casserole in your Crockpot – What a perfect recipe after making the beans

I also found another recipe on cooking dried beans.    I would like to make Buritoes tomorrow and I bought dried pinto beans for $1.00 (equals 3 – 16 oz cans or $.33 for 16 oz)  then this recipe would be really cheap!

Click for Laine’s Easy Pinto Beans in the Crock Pot recipe

A staple around here is pinto beans. We use them in so many dishes, since my husband is Mexican. Here is my favorite way to cook them with relative ease:

Laine’s Easy Pinto Beans In The Crock Pot

3 c. pinto beans (washed and picked over)
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
2 T. oil
1/2 chopped onion

Put all in the crock pot with water to within an inch or two from the top of the pot. Set on high for 5-6 hours. ( You can tell when the beans are done as they will mash easily with a fork.) Now is the time to add 1 1/2 T. of salt. It is important to add it at the end of the cooking time, or the beans will be tough. I do any kind of bean this way. It comes out so good.

After the beans are cooked, there are so many ways I use them. Sometimes I refry them and use them for tacos or burritos. To do this I just take some of the beans and the juice in an skillet. Heat til just boiling. Then I start mashing and mashing, turning down the heat to medium. If I’ve added too much liquid, I will let them cook a little longer to evaporate some of the juice. If not enough juice, I will add a little more. Often I will put some shredded cheese over the top to melt at the end of the mashing.

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Check this out! Money Mailer Coupons online


Where to find local coupons in your area?

I plan on going out to dinner this evening and remembered that I saw a coupon in one of those home mailers but I had no idea which ones.  I came across the Money Mailer coupon website.  I’m pretty impressed.  I usually go through the Money Mailer and throw away most of them and sometimes I just don’t have the time to flip through.  This is a great alternative.

Click HERE to go the site!  Just enter in your zip code.  I recommend when printing to create the file in .pdf and then print.

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IHOP – Free Pancakes on 2/24/2009!

I just saw an ad about this on TV a moment ago.   Check it out!  Free pancakes!

Per their website:

Join IHOP to celebrate National Pancake Day on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.  From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., we’ll give you one free short stack (three) of our famous buttermilk pancakes. All we ask is that you consider making a donation to support local children’s hospitals through Children’s Miracle Network, or other local charities.

There is a limit of one free short stack per guest.  The offer is valid at participating restaurants for dine-in only while supplies last and is not valid with any other offer, special coupon or discount.

Also I learned on the website:

Known also as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, National Pancake Day dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products…hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday.

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly two million dollars to support charities in the communities in which it operates. With your help, we hope to raise $1,000,000 for Children’s Miracle Network in 2009!”