Slow Cooker Method Ideal for Freezer Burned Flank Steak


When meat goes on sale I stock up for the weeks ahead. We have a chest freezer and food items at the bottom can be forgotten. The other day I found a flank steak, (a pricey cut of meat) and saw, to my dismay, that it had freezer burn.

What is freezer burn anyway? It happens after food has been frozen for a long time. Meat develops white spots and the texture and flavor are changed. In fact, red meat may look gray or pale brown. These discolored areas are dry and one of the best ways to cook the meat is with a method that adds moisture — braising or using a slow cooker.

Seeing dry, discolored meat may make you worry about food safety. Don’t worry. According to the USDA, freezer-urned meat is still safe to eat. One edge of the flank steak was burned, but it was such a small area that I left it alone. But the USDA recommends cutting away badly burned sections. “Heavily freezer-burned foods may have to be discarded for quality reasons,” notes the USDA.

Though I had stored the steak i a heavy plastic bag with a zipper closing, over time, it had still developed freezer burn. To add moisture, I decided to cook the steak in seasoned broth. I defrosted the steak in the microwave and cut it in half to fit in my slow cooker. (I have the smallest size.) As it cooks the steak shrinks a bit, so you need to keep this in mind when you plan your meal.

A few hours later, my husband and I were feasting on some of the tastiest steaks we have ever eaten. The slow cooker method will work with balltips, round steak, and other tougher cuts of meat. Usually flank steak is sliced across the grain. With the slow cooking method, however, you cut with the grain or shred the meat. Everyone in the family will enjoy this flavorful recipe.


1 flank steak (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)

2 cups no-salt beef stock

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tomato, chopped

3-4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup gravy flour (approximate – you may need more)


Salt and pepper to taste

Prepared mashed potatoes


Place cooking bag in slow cooker. Stir ketchup into beef stock. Lay flank steak in cooker. Pour stock mixture over meat and scatter vegetables on top. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 1/2 hours on low or 5 hours on high setting. Remove meat and set on cutting board. Whisk water into flour to make a slurry, making sure there are no lumps. With cooker in high, stir slurry into liquid, and cook until sauce thickens. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Put lid back on slow cooker to keep sauce hot. Shred meat and lay on top of mashed potatoes. Top each serving with a generous amount of sauce. Serve with a green vegetable or salad. Makes 4 generous servings.

Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson


Source by Harriet Hodgson

Online Freelance Writing – The Most in Demand Career As a Freelancer – A Great Income Builder


An Online Freelance writer is a self employed artist or journalist who sells services as an uncommitted independent writer. In the Freelance profession, writing skill is the most demanding opportunity. When it comes to the Internet, the introduction of websites and blogs to promote everything, and the need of fresh and relevant content has increased the freelance writer jobs to the top. Online freelance writing demand has more than doubled.

In fact online content writing is fast becoming one of the major source of freelance writing assignments. Other freelancers, such as freelance photographers, freelance web designer and graphic artists are also facing a great demand in their profession.

There are plenty of jobs for online freelance writing, this does not mean you will be getting a fair share of them, you still have to compete with a lot of freelance writers for jobs. You have to stay active smartly in writing competition. 80/20 rule applications in freelance writing. 20% of all freelancers get all outstanding good paying freelance writers jobs where as 80% of the freelance writers get average paying freelance writing job. But if you observe the market and pursue career properly with the current trends you can be in the 20% of the online freelance writers.

Do the following:

1. Do not accept low priced projects:

If you started following this pattern and started taking projects that are priced lower than the market rate, you will get a reputation of accepting cheaper price of your hard work. Do not fall in this trap. Be justified to yourself and charge a price that is acceptable to you happily. A price too high may at times end up losing the project to another low priced freelancer and therefore, stay in theorms.

2. Use advertising and marketing strategies to promote yourself:

Use both online and offline advertising and marketing campaigns to let everyone know that you are a freelance writer, is important. The more people will know you the more assignments you will get and you will be able to choose the reasonable priced ones. Off line, pass your card to everyone you know. Self marketing is essential as this will give you the contacts you need to start a freelance career.

3. Always write your best:

Provide latest relevant no fluff information. Your already written work is going to be the basis for the clients hiring you for future freelance work. Online freelance writing at its best is the primary goal to achieve best results.

4. Create a solid Replication as a Writer:

And reputation is formed when you not only write good but also present a great reputation as a person, both online and off line. Use best work ethics and make sure to meet dead lines do not take the jobs that you can not finish before time.

5. Be active to find great jobs yourself:

Do not completely depend on your ads, but look for new jobs everyday. Contact all happy clients and organizations that have used you as a writer before, and socialize with them. Make new relationships everyday and let them know what you do? Spend sometimes looking for more jobs every day.

6. Starting as a Freelance Writer, start as part-time:

When starting online freelance writing, begin writing as a part timer and continue your job. Sometimes create clients and once you are very sure that you have become successful to create a full time income without problem then plunge into it full time.

7. As online freelance writer your opportunity is greater:

There are lots of people who need your services, everyone does not have the talent to write and every one does not have the time to write. But every one wants to make money online and that is where your business comes in.
So focus online freelance writing and you will achieve best results.

8. Create a network of people:

This will help you get recommendations for writing jobs. Editors of magazines business owners who need ad writing and sales copies so often, newspapers and news letter publishers, just get to know many of them so you are in good hands to find new jobs for freelance writing.

9. Referral and Recommendations:

This becomes easy once you have established yourself as a great writer. Although writing is a big business, but the writers community is pretty small. Ask for recommendation to another person who needs a writer. This is one of the great ways to get better assignments and is based on your writing standards and your networking.

10. Present yourself as a highly developed and ethical person:

Only a reputation full of good qualities can make you go around effortlessly in the community when there is a need of writer. People will accept your high rate and your demands. So create a reputation and a contract that has benefits for both.

These are some of the strategies to follow. You will experience new and unique ways to create a good position as an online freelance writer.


Source by Fran Aslam

How to Find the Right Freelancer


Freelancers can be a very useful resource when you are under a tight deadline, a severe cost constraint or when you need some help in a field you are unfamiliar with. But how do you know you are getting a good deal for your money, and how do you know the freelancer will carry out the work to the standard you expect? Well we’re here to run down some useful tips to help reduce the risk of you wasting your time and money.

1. Make sure it’s a freelancer you need – a lot of projects are not suitable for a freelancer to produce, because they need specialists from different areas to work on them, in order to be carried out to the standard expected. If you try to get a single freelancer to do one of these jobs, you might end up being disappointed – thus for larger projects you should think about using an experienced digital agency with proper processes.

2. Find a trustworthy freelance portal – We are in an age where more and more people are finding it hard to find a job or are being made redundant as many companies look to try and recuperate from the recession which crippled our economy. As a result, more people are turning to freelancing as a way to make money and pursue their new career. With this comes an abundance of freelancer portals for you to find your perfect candidate. Use Google to search and sign up to some of these portals. You could try or Guru.

3. Clearly explain your project – When you are posting a new job online, make sure you provide as much information as possible about the project and what you want to achieve. Don’t just state that you need a new website built, start by explaining why you are starting the project, the importance of it, why you need the freelancer, the jobs they need to carry out, the budget you have allocated, the time it needs to be completed in, the standard of work you expect and always include the goal or outcome of your project. If there is any other important information, be sure to include it in the description.

4. Read reviews and profiles – Once you’ve found a portal you are happy with, you then need to search for your ideal candidate. This is a person that in your eyes will be able to sufficiently carry out the work in the time scale you allocate to them.

Take time to look through their profiles, and look into their areas of expertise, and their previous work experience. You may also want to ask them to send you a portfolio so that you can see the quality of their previous work, and whether it matches up to the standard you require. Look for feedback from other users of the portal like you. All freelancing websites will have a review system, which can help clarify the credibility and quality of the end product.

You will also want to ensure that they possess great soft skills like good communication, a personal service and a professional approach to how they carry out their work. No matter how good a freelancer they are, you need to have a good working relationship with them.

5. Look for qualification and experience – Ensure that your chosen or prospective freelancers have the skill set required to complete the project. If you are happy with the service your freelancer is offering, then the next thing to do is refer to any previous work experience they have, determine whether this is relevant, and whether you feel this sufficiently equips them to carry out the task in hand. You should also see what qualifications they have, as this can be a contributing factor to the price they charge you.

6. Ask for references – Finally, if a freelancer can boast an array of credible work and work experience, then do a background check to see if their previous employers can back up their claim. If they have experience with an award winning digital agency, then make sure they have actually done this, and ask why they left their previous job. If they are as competent as they claim to be on paper, then they will have no problem providing you with contact details of previous managers. You will be able to obtain an honest evaluation of their work ethic, and the standard of work they produce. Any freelancer who is reluctant to give you references may have something to hide from you.


Source by Alex A Richards

Work From Home And Make Money With Your Own Online Business


Start Your Own Online Business- Top Reasons Why You Should

It isn’t easy to start an online business. Some people may lie to you and say it is the easiest thing they have ever done, but they are being at best unrealistic. Running an online business is as the name implies, “a business that is online”. So there are certain rules you must follow in order to earn cash online (and do it the right way).

Even though there are challenges to running a business online there are benefits to it as well. In my view it is better to start a business online. Below I have listed some of the top reasons I believe this to be true.

The Traditional Way To Get Cash Is Becoming Outdated

There are a lot of people who have great ideas, but can never seem to the get them off of the ground. Many times this is due to lack of resources or the ability to properly fund their business. With the traditional business model there is normally a substantial investment. An internet business does not require this major investment (though there could be a small one).

Using the example of a brick and mortar store an owner must invest in their business only to have their money at times locked in the business itself for years. Many times it takes years for the store owner to recuperate their entire investment. With an online business model you would have less overhead and other means to store your inventory (such as drop shipping or as an affiliate). This means that inventory is not a requirement allowing you to ship product upon demand versus investing in the goods upfront.

Each Industry Dictates It’s Threshold To Make Money

Certain industries require you to invest money to make money. Depending upon the industry itself starting small may be out of the question. The reason? In order to compete you must be competitive. To be competitive in the traditional sense may require a significant investment of funds from the beginning. This is not even mentioning physical location(s), staff and security issues.

However, a home based business that exists on the internet can grow as you grow. We all want to grow. With a smaller investment you can leverage your advantage for greater profits. If staff is required, the positions are minimal and physical security becomes one less thing for you to worry about (especially if you are an affiliate or you don’t house your products in-house).

The Internet Is Becoming The Standard For Communicating A Business

The day is coming where if you’re not online you don’t exist. Even traditional brick and mortar organizations are now vying for a presence on the web.

The level of innovation new technologies are providing the entrepreneur online are endless. You are limited by your imagination and ambition.

With the internet you can make as much or as little as you want. This is determined by your willingness and effort to take your business to the next level. Will you press forward the wheel of innovation a success and become the next internet millionaire (or billionaire)? Or maybe you’re not as ambitious and are only looking to take care of your needs (and maybe your families too)? An online business can provide you with this ability.


Source by Eugene Barber