Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Crockpot Beef Stew

We had an unexpected day at home following icy road conditions, and this was the perfect dish to make.  Not only did it taste delicious and very comforting, but it made the house smell delicious all day.  As I've said before, I tend to throw a bunch of things into a pot, fall in love with the results, and never write down what I did.  So I wanted to head to the computer right away since this one was one of my husband's favorites.  Easy and delicious!

Alicia's Crockpot Beef Stew
2.5 lb stew meat, cubed
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
5 red potatoes, cubed into 1" cubes
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup red wine
2 T worchestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 packet beef stew seasoning
2 cups beef broth

Add flour, salt, and pepper to a gallon-sized Ziploc, and mix well by shaking a few times.  Add stew meat, and shake to coat evenly.  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or whatever you have on hand), and sear the beef in batches for 1-2 minutes on each side.  You may need to add a little oil between batches.  Remove all of the beef to the crockpot.  Lower the heat to medium, add a bit more oil, and saute the onions and celery until slightly tender - about 5 minutes.  De-glaze the pan by stirring in the red wine.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen all of the brown bits into the sauce.  Add worchestershire sauce, beef broth, bay leaf, and stew seasoning, and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture over the beef in the crockpot, and add in the carrots and potatoes.  Stir to combine, and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.  We served it over egg noodles.  It's the perfect cold-weather dinner.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Oriental Cashew Crunch Snack Mix

This is one of my favorite snack mixes.  I've had trouble finding the recipe the past few times I've looked for it, so I wanted to jot it down in a place it won't get lost.

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Oriental Cashew Crunch Snack Mix
8 cups oatmeal squares cereal (honey nut)
3 ounces chow mein noodles
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 T soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Heat oven to 250ºF. In 13 x 9-inch baking pan, combine cereal, chow mein noodles and cashews; mix well. In small bowl, combine oil, soy sauce, garlic powder and onion powder; blend well. Quickly pour over cereal mixture; stir to coat evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading mixture in even layer. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Brunch

I made some changes to a breakfast casserole that we've made quite often, and the changes were a huge hit.  I wanted to jot them down before forgetting.

Egg Casserole
10 eggs
1 lb hot breakfast sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 green chili, chopped (with the seeds)
20 oz small curd cottage cheese
4 oz can chopped green chilis
1 lb freshly-shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
salt & pepper to taste

The night before, beat the eggs, and add the cheeses and chilis.  Store overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  In the morning, sautee the onion, bell pepper, and chili over medium heat.  Crumble in the breakfast sausage, and brown until cooked through.  Combine all of the ingredients, pour into a greased baking dish, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then enjoy!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

German Hot Potato Salad

I love vinegar-based potato salads, and this one was delicious!

German Hot Potato Salad
3-lb bag of red potatoes washed and diced in 1" cubes
6 slices of bacon
2 Tb flour
2 Tb sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup frozen peas
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
salt and pepper

Fill a large pot 2/3 full with salted water.  Place potatoes in the water, and heat it to boiling.  Boil 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet until crispy.  Remove the bacon with tongs, turn the heat off, but leave the bacon grease in the pan.  Drain bacon on a paper towel, and chop finely when cooled slightly.

In a small mixing bowl, combine water, vinegar, and sugar.

Reserve the bacon grease in the pan.  Turn the heat to medium, and add the flour to the grease stirring to combine.  Cook the flour and bacon grease together for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add the water and vinegar mixture stirring slowly to combine.  Cook over medium heat until bubbling and thickened slightly.  Add in the bacon.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained hot potatoes, frozen peas, red onion, chopped eggs, and the bacon sauce.  Stir gently to combine, and add salt and pepper to taste.  I also added a splash or two of vinegar.  Serve immediately while still hot.  (This recipe reheats well!) 

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

[So sorry this blog has been neglected for those of you who are followers.  My creating has not lessened one bit, but my computer time has tremendously.  With two active and busy kids and another on the way in just 6 short weeks, my blogging has seriously suffered.  But every once in awhile I throw something together that turns out to be a hit, and I don't want to forget the recipe or idea.  So I thought I'd pop back with two recent favorites.  Here's the first!]

Last weekend I helped to hostess a baby shower for a dear friend due a week after me with her first baby girl.  One of the ideas I've been doing lately for baby showers is to get a list of the mom-to-be's cravings and create the menu based on those.  One of her cravings of late is spinach artichoke dip.  I found a great-looking recipe on Allrecipes.com that also had excellent reviews.  But when I went to make it into my 9x13, it barely even covered the bottom of the dish.  So I threw everything back into the bowl and added ingredients until it filled the dish nicely.  The result was delicious!  Here's the recipe if you're interested.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
(pictured above in the front 9x13 dish)
14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained
1 container of shredded 3-cheese blend - Parmesan, Asiago, Romano (I used DiGiorno)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
20 ounces of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup dry minced onions
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Butter a 9x13 baking dish.

Pulse the artichoke hearts and 3-cheese blend in a food processor until the artichokes are finely diced.

Mix together the artichoke heart and cheese mixture, spinach, garlic, minced onions, heavy cream, sour cream, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Taste the mixture to see if it needs any more salt or pepper, and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Spread mixture into the buttered 9x13, and sprinkle the top with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges are lightly browned.

Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or spread onto sliced and toasted baguettes.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Easy Shrimp Linguine

I was planning to make Taste of Home's Velvet Shrimp for dinner tonight.  But we got home late from the park, and in the process I totally goofed on the recipe here and there, so I just decided to wing it and make my own.  Boy was it delicious!  I had to rush to the computer to jot down the recipe as it will definitely go in our regular rotation.
Easy Shrimp Linguine
(Inspired by Taste of Home's Velvet Shrimp)

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 box linguine
1 Tbsp butter
5 green onions, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp Cavendar's Greek Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups fat free half and half
2 Tbsp flour

Cook the linguine according to the directions to al dente.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, and cook until it is just turning brown.  Add green onions, and cook for 1 minute.  Add the Greek seasoning and a pinch of salt & pepper.  Add shrimp and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp is pink.  Remove the shrimp from the pan.  Pour the white wine into the pan, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom.  When the wine starts to bubble, stir in the half and half and flour with a whisk until it's well combined.  Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the sauce is bubbly and has thickened.  Stir the shrimp back in, and serve over the linguine topped with shredded parmesan cheese.

Next time I will toss in a good amount of fresh spinach right at the end.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pumpkin Ricotta Pancakes

I have a sick husband and a coughing daughter, so we're having a lazy Sunday around here.  My daughter requested pancakes for lunch, and I had no objections.  We almost never make the same recipe twice, but this one was so good I had to rush to the computer to jot it down.  It was a happy accident as I wanted to use sour cream and didn't have any.  So brew yourself a cup of coffee, and dive into Fall with these yummies!

Pumpkin Ricotta Pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine these dry ingredients in a bowl

1 cup milk
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Mix these together well, then combine with the dry ingredients stirring just until combined.  Let this rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before cooking on a well-buttered skillet.