Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Beef Stew

Beef Stew
(Slow Cooker)

  • 4 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 C. low-sodium beef broth
  • 3 Tbls. soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12-16 oz pkg. baby carrots
  • 1 lb red potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbls. Minute tapioca
  • 2 C. frozen peas

  1. After the meat has been cut into chunks, pat it dry with a paper towel and season all the pieces with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Cook half of the beef until it is well browned on each side, about 4 minutes. No need to cook it all the way through – just get some great brown color all around. Toss the meat in the slow cooker and follow the same process with the second half of the meat (you may need to add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if it looks a little dry). Remove the meat to the slow cooker, trying to keep as much oil in the pan as possible.
  2. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the onions are translucent and golden, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly whisk in the broth, soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil and transfer it to the slow cooker, pouring it over the meat.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. On the counter, lay out a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil (use two sheets of regular foil on top of each other if you don’t have heavy-duty). Place the tossed vegetables on one side of the foil. Fold the foil over the vegetables and crimp the edges really well to form a little foil packet that will fit in the top of your slow cooker.
  6. Stir the tapioca into the slow cooker.
  7. Place the foil packet of vegetables on top of the stew, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 10-11 hours.
  8. When the stew is finished cooking, carefully remove the foil packet from the top of the stew. Discard the bay leaves from the stew. Carefully open the foil packet (be careful of steam that may escape as you open it!). Return the vegetables and any juices to the slow cooker and gently mix them into the stew.
  9. Stir in the frozen peas and let them rest in the stew for 5-10 minutes, until they are heated through. Serve.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Sopapilla Cheesecake


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 Tbls. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 C. butter, melted
Optional: Serve with honey

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom of 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth
  3. Spread one can of crescent roll dough into the bottom of your 9x13 pan. 
  4. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining can of crescent rolls.
  5. Stir together 1/2 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and butter. 
  6. Gently spread the mixture over the top of the cheesecake.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

*On a side note, I like personally think it tastes better after it's been refrigerated. Some recipes call for 1/4 cup of honey over the top of the cheesecake once you pull it out of the oven, you can also serve it with honey on the side.

Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole

  • 1 can whole kernel yellow corn, drained
  • 1 can cream style yellow corn, undrained 
  • 1/2 C. (8 oz.) sour cream 
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/2 C. butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into 8x8 casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Butter Pecan and Chewy Molasses Cookies

Chewy Molasses Cookies

  • 2 C. all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 C. sugar
  • 3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 C. molasses

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. In a shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined.
  4. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined.
  5. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms.
  6. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat. 
  7. Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart.
  8. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes (cookies can be baked two sheets at a time, but they will not crackle uniformly).
  9. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.

Butter Pecan Cookies

  • 3/4 C. pecans
  • 1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 C. sugar, plus more for coating
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, toast pecans until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool completely; finely chop.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light, about 1 minute.
  3. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down sides of bowl, just until dough comes together.
  4. Fold in pecans.
  5. Separate dough into 12 pieces; squeeze dough to shape into balls. Roll in sugar.
  6. Place, 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet. Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass.
  7. Sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 15 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with more sugar. Cool cookies on a wire rack.