Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let’s Talk Holidays…


First of all, I’ve mentioned Amazon Prime often on this blog.  I’m such a fan of this service, I’m sure I’ve blogged about it before, you know I have no memory.  But here’s what’s so good about Amazon Prime, Not only do they give you guaranteed 2 day delivery, you also NEVER pay shipping charges.  I order things for as little as $6 and pay no shipping and get it in two days.  And, since it’s Amazon, you don’t pay tax.  So why would I go to the store?  I can sit here, with Maggie on my lap, drinking my coffee and I don’t have to trudge to the stores, don’t have to pay tax, gas, etc.  It’s wonderful.

And the cost?  Well, I buy it yearly for $80, which seems a little spendy, but I get my money’s worth.  You also get Amazon movies and tv shows free with this, lots of instant stream shows are available.

However, Amazon now has Amazon Prime on a trial basis for $7.5 per month.  They’re trying to hook you of course, and if you sign up for this and don’t want it past the month, you need to go to the Amazon settings and uncheck the box to renew it, or they will keep charging you for it.

It’s so worth the price, I can’t tell you how wonderful this service is.  I would guestimate that 75% of the items on Amazon are eligible for Prime, you will see a blue checkmark and the word PRIME by the item if it’s eligible.  Occasionally, third parties don’t honor this, but most of them do.  Such a great convenience.

And now let’s talk about slow cookers.  We’ve all had them, forever, and maybe you’re still using your original crockpot.  Is it time to update?  Do you want a new one for Christmas?  They’ve improve them so much, I use mine so many times weekly, it’s just wonderful.  It took me years to realize that you don’t have to cook things all day, chicken breasts, even frozen cook in 2-3 hours on high – no liquid, just plop them in the pot, season and let them go. 


Earlier this week I made sweet potatoes in mine.  Big sweet potatoes, that I put a foil boat underneath so the juices wouldn’t burn in the crock, I cooked them on high for 4 hours, they were perfect.  I also threw in a large baking potato for LC, wrapped in foil, at the same time, it came out great, too.  No worrying about timing them to be done for dinner, you just put them in, walk away and you’re good to go.

I love cooking in the morning, dinner is ready, and you don’t have to fix it later in the day.  I have chili in mine right now. ;o)


Okay, now let’s get serious.  Sometimes you get what you pay for.  A few years ago Ryan and Lindsay bought me an awesome All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker from Williams-Sonoma.  It was pricey, I would have never bought it for myself, but I have just loved it.  The insert comes out, you can start cooking on the stove or brown your ingredients, and then you just plop it in the cooker and you’re good to go.

However, all has not been rosy with this cooker.  I’ve had problems with the liner’s finish bubbling, and I’m on my third cooker now.  Williams-Sonoma replaces them, with no problem, but at this price, the finish should not bubble.  Ry & Linds have the same cooker, they’ve had to replace theirs as well.

But there is a new kid on the block.  The Cuisinart MultiCooker.  This thing rocks!  Ry and Lindsay bought it for John and Deanna for Christmas, it’s even better than my All-Clad, and it’s pricey, too.  But, if you want to invest in a product that is multi-functional, and that will probably last you for the rest of your natural born life, this Cuisinart is awesome!  Nisha’s Mandi has it as well, this thing is great!

Now you may have only paid under $50 for your Crockpot back in the day, and it’s been a workhorse, I’m sure, but if you want to take it to the next level, trust me on this, Cuisinart is definitely the way to go.  Just click on this link and see all the features.  It’s a good thing.  Pinky swear it is.

So if you get mad money for Christmas, or have a special request, think about this, it’s amazing.  Just don’t gasp at the price.

If you are looking for some new slow cooker recipes, Williams-Sonoma has a great selection.  Here’s the link…

And we might as well talk about one more thing, an electric pressure cooker.  Again, I’ve probably talked about this before, but Christmas is a good time to refresh your memory.


I have a WolfGang Puck Bistro, 7 quart cooker, that I bought from HSN, Cuisinart makes a nice one, also, but my WolfGang Puck is larger.  I adore this pressure cooker, and yes, I know I have an unnatural love relationship with my appliances, but I’m a foodie.  I use my pressure cooker for all kinds of things, I even pressure cook eggs in it.  I could go on and on, but it’s so wonderful to put things in it, set it and forget it, and not have to worry about the thing exploding, as you do with the old fashioned kind.

They come in many colors now, and you can get on on eBay lots cheaper.  They have a “Buy It Now” today for $65.  Here’s a link for you of the eBay listings.

And that’s my ideas for you today, I have more, I’ll be back later today or tomorrow with an update.

Happy Shopping.  ~ Jan


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