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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review of Writing for Blogmutt




Lately, I'm really happy with the way things are going with my writing. Blogmutt, the content company I write for, recently sent out an e-mail saying they've had an influx of new customers over the last few weeks, so there is plenty of work to go around. They aren't kidding! It has gotten so much easier to find easy writing assignments to do that I can find something to write virtually any time. I highly recommend them and plan to continue to write for them even though I also have a direct client that keeps me pretty busy.

The Pay


Blogmutt pays eight dollars for a 250 word post, so on those posts you can make 3.2 cents per word. If a client directly requests you, you can make ten percent more and write posts revolving around the same subject for awhile. Not only that, but once you get enough points from writing and selling posts, you can unlock longer assignments on better subjects, presumably because there is less competition at those higher levels.

A Minor Technical Difficulty


The only problem I'm having with my Blogmutt account right now is that I can't get my picture uploaded onto my profile. You have to do it through your WordPress account, and I uploaded the pic on WordPress, but it's not showing up on Blogmutt. I guess I could e-mail them about it. Sometimes I hate the more technical aspects of working on a computer, but the actual writing is very rewarding.

The Motivation


It's a challenge writing with a houseful of kids while keeping up on everything else, but lately I've settled into a nice routine. It helps that my husband and I have a new financial goal of one day purchasing a used motorhome. With that in mind, it's time for me to get back to work...


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

2 Crockpots in Every Kitchen: Tips for Serious Slow Cookers

4 qt. crockpot with oven liner

One thing you need to know about me is that I tend to go all out on things. When the weather changes, I get on a crockpot kick. I don't mean I just make stew or chili one day to kick off the fall season--I mean I start trying to figure out a way to make breakfast, dinner, and dessert in the crockpot. Right now I'm in one of those phases.

That said, I've learned from years of crockery-cooking experience that there are some things that, in my opinion, just aren't as good in the crockpot. I prefer to cook certain dishes including meatloaf and spaghetti the old fashioned way, but a lot of other things are great in the crockpot.

Although I've been slow cooking since I was a newlywed, I've made very few desserts, so I am excited about experimenting in that area this crockpot season. As I am writing this I have a peach upside down cake going in--you guessed it--the crockpot. I'm not sure how it will look, but I have high hopes that it will be edible enough to eat alone late at night.

Get a crockpot cookbook at the thrift store


I recently bought the book Fix-It and Forget-It  Recipes for Entertaining by Phyliss Pellman Good and Dawn J. Ranck. I didn't get it so much for entertaining, but because I noticed that most of the recipes serve 6-8 people, which is perfect for our family. The preface of the book explains that most of the recipes in the book will fit into a four or five quart crockpot, and that they will indicate when a six quart is needed. This works perfectly for me since I have both a four quart and a seven quart.

Get a larger crockpot or two crockpots


If you have a large family or like to entertain, you may want to invest in a six or seven quart crockpot. My seven quart crockpot is great for when I'm serving little smokies in barbecue sauce to a large crowd or on the rare occasions that I make a huge pork roast for tamales. Yes, we also have a giant tamale pot for steaming tamales on the stove. Remember, we are all about extremes in this house. Even though I usually don't come close to completely filling the seven quart crockpot, I love being able to have two crockpots going at once. Remember that each crockpot should only be filled about three quarters of the way full, which is why you may need a larger one or two of them.

Try this easy side dish idea


A few years back, I discovered that I could cook a bunch of foil-wrapped baked potatoes and halved corn on the cobs in the larger crockpot while cooking a meat dish in the smaller one. The potatoes will have a slightly different flavor than if you had baked them in the oven, but after applying a generous slathering of butter and sour cream, you'll hardly notice.

Save time with crockpot liners


Sometimes I like to splurge on crockpot liners to make clean up a breeze. The disposable liners are made of a heavy duty BPA-free plastic and are similar to "oven bags." You might be thinking that a crockpot is easy to clean, but it really depends on what you make in it. The crockpot liners are perfect for those days when you want to start on the next recipe right away, so there is no time to soak the crock in between. The store I went to last night only carried oven bags, but it turns out the large, turkey-sized oven bag worked well as a crockpot liner.



What do you like to make in the crockpot? I look forward to hearing your ideas in the comments!