Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Stew

A yummy stew has got to be one of my most favorite comfort foods. I love this recipe - it's easy, versatile and delicious!

-Modified from Taste of Home

1 lb. beef stew meat
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
1 can (11-1/2 ounces) V8 juice
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. cold water
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 12 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender. Discard bay leaves.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into stew. Add corn and peas. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stacey's Famous BBQ Sauce

This is a delicious bbq sauce - more of a sweeter Kansas City or Memphis style - and I loved being able to use some hot peppers from our garden. I've used it on chicken, pork and beef, and it's great on all three! This makes a lot of sauce -half the recipe or save the leftovers for another meal.

-Taste of Home

2-1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Liquid Smoke
1/4 cup molasses
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. 

Thai Beef Noodles

Another winner for the whole family! I thought the original recipe might be a little heavy on the peanut butter, so I cut that back and added a little more milk. Add more veggies if you have them!

Modified from Taste of Home

1/3 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 beef top sirloin steak (1 pound), thinly sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh carrot
1/2 cup julienned sweet red pepper
1 cup fresh snow peas
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Chili garlic sauce, as desired

In a small saucepan, bring the first eight ingredients just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; set aside.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry beef in 1/2 teaspoon oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.
Stir-fry carrot and red pepper in remaining oil for 3-4 minutes. Add snow peas and onions; stir-fry 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Return beef to skillet.
Drain noodles; add to the pan. Add peanut sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

I have to say - some of the recipes on Pinterest are not all their comments are cracked up to be. However, when it comes from a great blog like this one, I'm more apt to try it and be impressed. :D

Modified from Six Sister's Stuff

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.

Artisan Baguettes with Sourdough Option

This recipe comes from my good friend Anna - I can always count on her for a great recipe and this bread is awesome! I made it as she had it written and it was great, so I thought maybe it would be a good base to try the Sourdough Powder I bought over the summer at Shar's - it was delicious and a perfect accompaniment to the potato leek soup. Thanks again Anna!

-Anna Hampton

Plan about 3 1/2 hours start to finish.

1 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp Sourdough Powder (for sourdough version)
1 1/2 t. kosher salt

1.  Combine yeast and water to soften.

2.  Mix in flour with a fork until combined.  Cover for 20 minutes to hydrate flour.

3.  Knead in the salt until dough is soft and smooth, about 10 minutes.  Let rise for 45 minutes.

4.  Punch dough down and shape into a large rectangle.  Fold in thirds like a letter.  Fold again, folding in the ends to form a square shape.  Place in a covered bowl and and let rise for 45 minutes.

5.  Remove dough and divide into three equal sections.  Roll into long snakes. (Resurrect your playdoh skills from your childhood.)  Place your baguettes on parchment paper and cover with a tea towel to rise.  Let rise for 45 minutes (don't rush this step).  In the meantime, place a large baking stone on the middle rack and a cast iron skillet on the lower rack of your oven.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

6.  Use a sharp knife to slash each baguette.  Use a pizza peel to transfer your baguettes to the baking stone.  Place a cup of ice in the cast iron skillet.  (This will create steam.) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (30 minutes if making two baguettes).  Your baguettes should be golden and crispy on the outside and soft and airy on the inside.