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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Reviewed: Jan. 24, 2014
I have used this same recipe for a few years with beef as well as pork loins. I know it sounds strange, but it really adds some nice favors to the meat and makes a great gravy for rice, potato or pasta. The only problem is that your gravy can be rather salty to taste if made exactly as written. The problem is all those mixes contain a lot of salt which works well if used separately, but combined makes the dish way too salty. My solution has been to prepare larger batches of my own ranch and Italian seasoning mixes (from this site) ahead of time, completely omitting the salt, and storing them in a airtight containers until needed. Usually 2 or 3 tablespoons of the bulk mix (depending on recipe) equals a packet and the salt already in the gravy mix is enough to allow the flavor of the meat to come through without overwhelming the roast with saltiness.
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9 users found this review helpful

Sausage Pasta

Reviewed: Nov. 15, 2013
This is a fantastic basic recipe that is easy and quick to prepare on a weeknight or whenever you are in a hurry. I have made this recipe as is and it is very pretty on the plate and oh so yummy. What I especially like about this recipe is that it can be changed up in so many ways so it is always "fresh and new". I have made this dish many times with one or more variations to this basic recipe. The changes include: replace the sausage with skinless, boneless, diced or shredded chicken (fresh made or leftover), replace the dried basil with pesto, replace the diced tomatoes with spicier Rotel type tomatoes or use fresh diced tomatoes, use some drained pasta water in place of the chicken stock, use diced yellow peppers with the onions to add even more color to the presentation on the plate, but any way you make it is great looking and great tasting. Don't get me wrong, the recipe is great without changing a thing, but one or more of these other variations can help keep this dish from getting boring if it hits your regular menu rotation on a consistent basis.
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3 users found this review helpful

Refried Beans Without the Refry

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2013
I have made this recipe many, many times and it is the best and easiest way to make refried beans from scratch (which is the ONLY refried beans I serve.) Do yourself a favor though and cut back on the salt and add it after the beans have been cooked and mashed. You want the beans to break down, and adding salt while cooking will only preserve their shape, which you don't want. In my opinion, one teaspoon salt works well for this recipe. I usually also increase the cumin to at least a half teaspoon (if not more). This is one good recipe that also freezes extremely well, that said, I would heartily recommend doubling the recipe so you have extra to freeze for later (If it lasts that long.). After making this many times in the slow cooker, I now make my refried beans in 90 minutes by moving this recipe over to the pressure cooker and making a double batch. To do this, double everything in the original recipe except the salt (only 2 teaspoons total), and water (9 cups total). Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to keep the beans from frothing too much while they cook. Bring up to pressure and cook for 90 minutes. Release pressure and ladle beans and water into to a blender or food processor to break down. Do not drain any water off unless you want your beans the consistency of mashed potatoes. Either way, make up a batch (or two) and you will never buy canned beans again.
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17 users found this review helpful

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