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    Tuscan Sausage & Potato Soup

      Soup is one of my favorite meals. Pair it with a salad or some bread and dinner is served. The sausage and seasonings add a lot of flavor, while big chunks of potato make for a satisfying meal and best of all with just a little pre-preparation, you can put all the ingredients into a slow-cooker and go and do other things…perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 3-7 hours Serves: 6-8 Ingredients: 4 slices of bacon, diced 2 lbs. bulk mild sausage 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans 6-7 c. chicken stock, divided 1 T. crushed red pepper flakes 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely…

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    Mulled Apple Cider with a Twist

          The other day I got a great deal on apple cider. Besides drinking it as is, I thought about another way to enjoy it. You know I love using the slow cooker and went searching for a mulled cider recipe. Most of them used the classic pumpkin pie spices but I wanted to use something more unique and remembered I had some five spice powder sitting in the pantry. That’s the “twist” with this mulled apple cider recipe because it adds a little something special to an already great tasting combination. Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 3 hours – 7 hours Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: ½ gallon…

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    Slow Cooker Apple-Cinnamon Oats

      It’s apple season, it’s also starting to get chilly too. Two good reasons to make some oatmeal. Not the kind you have to stand and stir on busy mornings. And definitely not the waste of money, prepackaged oatmeal. This type of oatmeal cooks overnight and is ready when you get up in the morning. (Added bonus is your kitchen smells wonderful too). Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 6-8 hours Serves: 4-6 Important Tips:  Do not substitute any other type of oats for this recipe. Cooking times are based on using steel cut oats only. Either line or use non-stick cooking spray before preparing this recipe. If you skip…

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    Three Ingredients and a Slow Cooker Dessert

    Most of you know I like to keep a full pantry. A couple of times a year I sort through it and begin using the older supplies. Last week (a surprisingly chilly one for this time of year), I wanted something gooey and sweet for dessert. I had a box of Devil’s Food cake mix that needed using and soon. A quick search of the rest of the pantry yielded candied ginger and a can of sliced pears. The combination sounded too good to pass on and with the help of the slow cooker, this dessert was ready in a couple of hours. I topped it with Greek yogurt but…

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    A Budget Friendly Appliance-The Slow Cooker

    One kitchen appliance I love for saving me both time and money is my slow cooker. Actually I have two of them. If you haven’t tried using one to cook a couple of meals a week, here are some resources I gathered up to help you- Converting Recipes I have lots of recipes using the slow cooker that I use over and over again. And yes, that’s the problem. I wanted to convert some of my other recipes to this style of cooking but didn’t know where to start. I found this useful guide from a site called Saving Dinner…you can sign up for the newsletter too. http://savingdinner.com/articles/crockpot-troubleshooting/ Lots of Good Recipes One…

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    Five Must Have Appliances for the Budget Smart Kitchen

    Since my teenage years I’ve been a collecter of cooking gadgets, appliances and utensils. However, if I had to narrow down five appliances that I would keep no matter what, these would top my list. I don’t think any budget smart kitchen should be without them- Slow Cooker Even when they went out of fashion I still used one. I now have two and thinking about adding a third one. I’ve used mine from everything from making mashed potatoes to apple butter. Most of the time I rely on them for soups and stews. They’re not expensive to buy, cost efficient to run, and once everything’s placed inside you can walk…

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