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Swiss steak! Falling down easy in the crockpot, and delicious. Use one can cream of mushroom soup to 1 # beef-I usually use top round, London broil- whatever I can get on sake for $2.50-$3 a pound. Cook on low 10 hours (or on high for 5) and make some mashed potatoes (Costco Instant are good and fast) and you're done!

If when you go back to work....Mom used to put the frozen meat and soup in the crockpot before bed the night before, and turn on in the morning before leaving-done when we got home!

We love, love, love Mable Hoffman's Crockpot Cookery-it's got tons of recipes in it! Great book to have for crockpot cooking.

It is exciting - though I'm sure a little daunting - for you to think of going back to work! But I think you will love it. And you know what? If it doesn't work out you try another job, or cut back, or go freelance again, or whatever. It will be great.

Two of my favorite quick-and-easy, everyone-loves-them recipes. Not QUITE as easy as the slow cooker, but close.

Chicken marsala: Like veal marsala, but with chicken.

Chicken breasts or tenderloins (thin cut are great, if you can find them).
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup dry marsala wine (cheap! From Trader Joe's!)
1/2 cup chicken broth

1. Thaw chicken breasts. I usually pound them thin or butterfly them -- even easier is when I can find the thin-cut ones at the store.
2. Dip chicken in flour.
3. Heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan until hot.
4. Brown chicken breasts on both sides (in batches, if need be). Remove chicken and put in a dish at the side.
5. Pour in 1/2 cup marsala wine, turn up heat and deglaze pan; let boil a little. Add chicken broth.
6. Turn heat to low and add chicken breasts back in to warm up & finish cooking if need be. Voila! Finished! Serve with veggie & starch of your choice!

Spaghetti al tonno
(This one sounds weird but I promise, it is delicious).

1 large can diced tomatoes.
1/4 cup butter
1 onion
1 or 2 cans of tuna fish packed in olive oil (Trader Joes!)
Spaghetti or pasta of your choice

1. Put can of tomatoes, butter, and onion (peeled and cut in half, NOT chopped) in sauce pan. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes; set aside. (This is the Marcella Hazan most basic tomato pasta sauce and it is so good, you'll want to eat it by the spoonful.)
2. Cook spaghetti; drain.
3. Open & drain tuna fish; gently add to tomato sauce.
4. Add sauce to pasta. Eat!


A year's worth of crockpot recipes, with her notes and opinions.

Which reminds me, I need to get my crockpot out myself!

Hope you have a great year!

I noted on Twitter that you prepared something or the other and called it a Pioneer Woman recipe. I was wondering if you knew that there is no "Pioneer Woman"--it's a fake internet persona engineered by Ree Drummond and her highly-compensated publicists and bankrolled by her multi-millionaire husband.

You might want to read up on this woman. She's built an empire with lifted recipes from church and community cookbooks--and rarely credits her sources. Lame.


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