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SOLUTIONS: Slow cooker recipe serves 20 deliciously

QUESTION: What I need is a delicious slow cooker recipe for 20. This would be for a potluck dish and one I could put on in the morning and have ready six hours later. Simple but good. I'm done with all the salads I've prepared. Thanks. Ida, Winnipeg

ANSWER: Ida, here's a keeper! Fry four pounds lean ground beef. Drain. Put into slow cooker and add: 8 cubed potatoes, 2 chopped or sliced onions, eight medium carrots sliced, one cup chopped celery, 20 ounces frozen peas, two teaspoons salt, half teaspoon pepper and half teaspoon garlic powder. Add 20 ounces condensed tomato soup, one tablespoon beef bouillon powder and 1 1/2 cups water. Stir well. Cook low 8-10 hours or high four to five hours. Serves 20.

Here is another idea: Fry two pounds ground beef and one pound pork sausage. Drain. Drop into slow cooker. Stir in four pounds grated or cubed cheddar cheese and 20 ounces diced tomatoes and one can green chiles. Cook on low in slow cooker for to six hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

QUESTION: I am in the middle of a painting project and am having a terrible time creating straight lines. One paint colour runs into another paint colour. I tape the walls with painter's tape, paint and then remove the tape but the paint comes off and always needs touch-up. Thanks for your help. Gertrude, Crystal City, Man.

ANSWER: There is a new product on the market called, "Frog Tape". This exciting paint product is treated with a paint block system to prevent paint from bleeding. Frog Tape can be used on glass, dry wall, wood and metal and in my opinion works better than regular painters tape to control bleeding. You can find Frog Tape at most places where paint is sold.

QUESTION: How can I unstick a zipper on my new nylon fitness jacket? Brandon, Man.

ANSWER: Rub the zipper with one of the following: pencil lead, bar of soap or wax. Some say WD-40 is the answer but who wants to walk around smelling like WD-40?

Feedback from Manitoban Who Cares:

There was a question in the Free Press on Jan 16th about black markings on a glass-topped stove (Lorraine, Winnipeg). I have a glass topped stove as well -- it is white and every single bit of anything shows up on it. The good thing is you must keep your stove super clean, although sometimes I would love to just be able to ignore it like one can on a regular stove with wire elements.

However, since I cannot do that in good conscience, I have found a product that makes the job a whole lot easier. Vileda makes a product called a "Scrunge". There are several different types but the one for stovetops is the answer to a maiden's prayer. It takes a lot of the difficulty out of cleaning the stove top and so far I have not found anything that it will not remove, including sugary syrups which seem to be the most difficult.

One thing that also makes the job easier is to cover the element with a dish cloth (when it is cool of course) and then wet it down to soak it for awhile to soften it much like soaking a dish. Then I use the cream cleanser with the Scrunge and so far, I have kept my stove top clean. Hope this helps someone. I find your column most helpful. Marjorey, Winnipeg

Fabulous Tips of the Week:

-- Thought I would get on the soap sliver bandwagon, since, it just won't go away. Just kidding, but seriously, one more tip. I put my soap slivers in a toe of a knee high nylon, or a cut up pair of pantyhose, tie a knot, and then tie the pantyhose to the garden hose holder outside. When, I am finished digging in my garden, I have a bag of soap slivers handy to get my hands nice and clean again. Right beside the water source. Easy Peasy! Thanks Reena! Christine, Winnipeg

-- If you have several hot dogs that you want to cook over a bon fire fit, here is a real time saver. Put the wieners on the tines of a metal rake and cook many at once. Submitted by: Maureen, B.C.

-- To make raking easier, bolt two lightweight rakes together at the handles. Use them like tongs, makes picking up leaves fast. Wade, Blumenort, Man.

Reena Nerbas is the author of the national bestselling Household Solutions series. Her website is www.householdsolutions.org You can contact her at Box 429, Blumenort, Man., ROA 0C0.