Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chocolate, Chocolate, and More Chocolate!

Happy National Chocolate Day! In honor of one of he greatest ingredients on earth, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite recipes that use chocolate! So go ahead, indulge a little..

1.) Chocolate Ganache Tart

2.) Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

3.) Chocolate Dipped Coconut Madeleine's

4.) Nutella Pots de Creme

5.) And to wash all of these delicious items down... S'Mores Hot Chocolate


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

With the cold weather settling in, all I want to do is snuggle up in my sweatpants and eat comfort food! I tend to slow down on some of the "fancier" cooking this time of year, and opt to cook more "one pot" meals in my slow cooker.

Slow cookers not only produce mouth watering meals, but they are a gift from the heavens for those who may not have much time to cook (or are lazy like me)! :) So as you can imagine, once I heard that this weeks post for the FN Dish blog needed to be a slow-cooker meal, I was more than ready to partake!

Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

Ingredients (please note, I always end up just tossing ingredients in and do not measure them exactly, so these are approximate amounts):
-1 onion chopped
-1 cup celery, chopped
-2 cups carrots, chopped
-1 15oz can diced tomatoes
-Approximately 1 1/2 - 2 cups fingerling potatoes or chopped potatoes (can leave the skin on - just clean them)
-2 lbs beef for stew, cubed
-2 cups beef broth
-1 beef bouillon cube (you can use vegetable bouillon if you cannot find or do not have a beef cube)
-Parsley for sprinkling
-Salt and pepper to taste
**1 or more tablespoons of flour for thickening

Prepare all of the ingredients and set your slow-cooker to cook for at least 8-10 hours.

Place the onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and beef in the pot.  Season with salt and pepper and a little sprinkle of parsley.  Pour in the beef broth, and then fill the rest of the pot with water until just all of the ingredients are covered. Toss in the beef bouillon cube, cover the pot, and let cook!

**If you want a thicker beef stew, then mix a tablespoon of flour with a little water and add to the pot.  The more flour you add, the thicker the stew will become. I recommend adding up to 1/4 cup of flour if you want a thicker stew.  My photos show what the stew looks like with just one tablespoon of flour.

Important: Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you may have a hard time fitting in all of the ingredients.  When I had my smaller cooker I would leave out the potatoes for a few hours until the other ingredients had time to cook and reduce down.  Potatoes will cook fast so it is okay for them to be tossed in a few hours later if needed.

Feed Me Phoebe: Moroccan Lamb Chili with Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes and Kale
The Lemon Bowl: 
Slow Cooker Chicken and Vegetables with Cinnamon and Garlic
Jeanette's Healthy Living: 
Slow Cooker Chicken Vegetable Stew with Rosemary, Thyme and Sage
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: 
Slow Cooker Cassoulet
Slow-Cooked Meals from Breakfast through Dessert
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Slow-Cooker New Mexican Vegetable Chowder
Red or Green: 
Slow Cooker Red Beans, Vegetables & Rice
The Cultural Dish: 
Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
Domesticate Me: 
Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Taste with the Eyes: 
Elegant Braised Leeks
FN Dish: 
6 Desserts to Cook Low and Slow

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