September 20, 2014

Oven Baked Stew

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This stew is INCREDIBLE.  The beef is fall-apart tender, the potatoes and carrots are soft, the sauce is thick and creamy and all together it is delicious and so so so easy to make.  Since you don't even have to sear the meat or vegetables first, it comes together in no time.  All you do is layer the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake for a few hours.

Even a beginner cook could make this and impress everyone.  

Listen . . . I know the ketchup sounds like the strangest ingredient and I would have never tried this, if Holly from Life in the Lofthouse didn't rave about how delicious it is.  I have very similar tastes as that cute girl and I knew if she loved it, that I would love it too and that was totally the case.

I even ate this three days in a row.  Yep!  Once for dinner and two days leftover for lunch.

Serve with buttered french bread on the side.  
Oven Baked Stew
adapted from: Life in the Lofthouse
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 Lb. lean beef stew meat
1 (1 oz.) pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/4 tsp. paprika
4 med-large carrots, peeled and diced
2-3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
freshly ground black pepper
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of celery soup
1/2 c. ketchup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large zip-top bag, combine the dry onion soup mix and paprika.  Add the meat and shake the bag to coat the meat with the seasonings.  Spread out evenly into a greased 8x8-inch baking dish.  Top meat with diced carrots, potatoes and onion.  Season with some pepper.  In a medium bowl, combine the cream of celery soup and ketchup.  Spread over the vegetables.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours.  Serves: 4   

To make in the crockpot:  Follow directions above for prep. and layer ingredients in the crockpot.  Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours.  

Jenn's Notes: The package of stew meat I used was about 1.25 Lbs. and the Russet potatoes I used were very large, so I only used two.    

September 17, 2014

Reese's Pieces Nutella No Bake Cookies

I cannot resist a good No Bake Cookie.  They are one of my favorite cookies and have been since I was a little kid.  I always have the ingredients on hand, which can be a good thing and a bad thing.  So, Friday night at midnight when all I want is a few spoonfuls of warm No Bake Cookies, right out of the pan,  I have no excuse to not make them, right?   
The flavor is awesome, but the texture is my favorite.  Chewy from the oats, creamy from the peanut butter and Nutella with a slight crunch from the candy coating of the Reese's Pieces.  

You get Reese's Pieces on the bottom and the top of these irresistible treats.  Store them in an air-tight container and they stay fresh for several days.

You might also like:
Nutella No Bake Cookies
Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Cookies
Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes with Strawberry Whipped Cream  
Reese's Pieces Nutella No Bake Cookies
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
pinch of salt
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. Nutella
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. quick-cooking oats
1 c. mini Reese's Pieces, more or less

Place 30 small piles of Reese's Pieces onto parchment paper, with at least three inches between.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter; stir in the cocoa, sugar, milk and salt.  Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter, Nutella and vanilla.  Last, stir in the oats.  Quickly drop by spoonfuls over Reese's Pieces piles.  Immediately press additional Reese's Pieces onto top of cookies.  Work quickly because the cookies set up fast and the candy won't stick once that happens.  Store in an air-tight container.  Makes around 30 cookies

Base Cookie adapted from: Shugary Sweets

September 14, 2014

French Toast Waffles

We went to our State Fair yesterday. 

They have some crazy food there.  This year we tried some deep fried bacon.  And . . . well, it waaaas greasy.  You dip it in maple syrup, so at first it kind of tasted like a waffle and then you get a hint of that smoky bacon flavor.  Strange stuff.  

I really wanted a deep fried twinkie, but I never saw that stand.  I even heard they had deep fried butter????  I mean, really?  Would you try it?  Who comes up with this stuff?

It was soooooo hot and we walked around for hours.  I slept like a baby last night and I wanted a good breakfast when I woke up.

This Waffle Iron French Toast is genius, if you ask me.

No more soggy french toast here. No way.  This french toast will be crispy in every single bite.  Every time I have leftover Texas Toast I have to make a batch of this french toast.
I think my waffle iron cost around $10.  It was the cheapest one I could find at the time and I have had it forever and it still works just great.  The fact that it's a rectangle is awesome, because it fits two square slices of sandwich bread perfectly.  If you have a round waffle iron, it might be a little tricky fitting more than one slice in at a time.  I love that both sides of the bread are cooked at the same time and I love how EASY THIS IS.  Your kids can even do this on their own and make french toast without having to turn on the stove.

You might also like:
Fluffy Cornmeal Pancakes
Copycat Denny's Moons Over My Hammy
Lighter French Toast Casserole
French Toast Waffles
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

8 thick slices white bread (Texas Toast)
4 large eggs
3/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon, opt.

Preheat waffle iron and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.  Dip both sides of each slice of bread into egg mixture, covering completely.  Place in waffle iron, close lid, and cook until crispy.  Repeat.  Serve with butter and maple syrup.  Serves: 3-4.

Idea From: Homespun

September 10, 2014

Bread Machine Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread

Today, I am sharing one seriously amazing bread recipe with you.  This bread needs to be made by every single one of you. Like now.

This is such an impressive looking bread with that cinnamon swirl, but guess what?  There is very little hands-on-time thanks to the bread machine.  Throw all the ingredients into the bread machine, turn it on the dough cycle and let it take care of all the mixing, kneading and rising while you sit back and relax.
Once the dough cycle is finished, you punch down the dough, roll it out, top with butter and cinnamon sugar mixture, roll it up, put it in a pan, rise again and bake.  BAM . . . now it is time to devour this amazingly soft and tender bread.  Although it doesn't taste much like pumpkin, it does have outstanding flavor.

My secret to making amazing bread from a bread machine is to take it out after it has risen and bake it in the oven.  The crust will be much better that way and no one will have any idea it started in a bread machine.  Of course, if you don't have a bread machine, you can always make this using a stand mixer or by hand.  

We enjoyed ours plain, but it would also be amazing with some Cinnamon Honey Butter or Coconut Oil Honey "Butter".  It tastes like cinnamon roll bread and it is GOOD.  Don't be surprised if it disappears within a few hours.

Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

September 6, 2014

Rosalie's Salsa

Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes like my Mom's?  I have been throwing tomatoes in everything lately (Like my Garden Tomato Chili and BLT's).  One of the obvious ways to use up some of those tomatoes is to make salsa.  

My Mom gave me a new Church Cookbook the other day and I found this salsa recipe in there.    The addition of an anaheim or poblano pepper and lemon juice caught my attention.  I used to grow anaheim peppers in a pot on my deck and I love their flavor.  They are a little more mild than a jalapeno, but spicier than a bell pepper.  Same with a poblano. 
The quickest way for me to make salsa is to get all of the tomatoes cut in half and seeded and get all of the peppers ribbed and seeded.  Then, chop everything up.

This salsa is delicious and it tastes so fresh.  

It does get a little watery after it sits, but no problem, you can just drain out the water.  If you like spicier salsa feel free to add another jalapeno.  

You might also like:
Fresh Garden Tomato Chili
Blender Salsa
Rosalie's Salsa
adapted from: Laurel S.
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

8 medium tomatoes, seeded
1 anaheim or poblano pepper, ribbed and seeded
1 jalapeno, ribbed and seeded (more or less to taste)
1 green bell pepper, ribbed and seeded
1/2 c. finely chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin, opt.
salt and pepper, to taste

Chop tomatoes and add to a large bowl.  Finely chop the anaheim, jalapeno, bell pepper and onion and add to bowl.  Add remaining ingredients, taste, and adjust as needed.

Linked up at Time to Sparkle! and Weekend Potluck!

September 3, 2014

Ground Beef Enchiladas with Creamy Red Enchilada Sauce

Hellllooooo September.

I broke out my pumpkin scented candle melts last weekend and my house smelled sooooo good.  What is it about pumpkin that is so cozy and comforting?  I have the longest list of new pumpkin recipes I want to try, but since my family can't live on pumpkin alone, I have to make dinner occasionally too :)

I am constantly getting begged asked to make Enchiladas for dinner.  This version is delicious and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand, so it's a keeper.  Sometimes we use mild enchilada sauce and sometimes we use medium, use whatever your family can handle.  You can also switch up the type of meat, or beans or cheese you use and they will still be delicious.  I have made enchiladas so many times in the last year, that I could make them in my sleep.  The variations are endless.
You might also like:
Ground Beef Enchiladas with Creamy Red Enchilada Sauce
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1/2 Lb. ground beef
salt and pepper
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. salsa (or more to taste)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbl. chopped cilantro
6-8 corn or flour tortillas
1 1/2 - 2 c. shredded Monterey cheese

Creamy Enchilada Sauce
3 Tbl. unsalted butter
3-4 Tbl. all-purpose flour
1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/3 c. sour cream (I use light)

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat; season with salt and pepper.  Add the onion and saute a few minutes or until tender.  Stir in the beans, salsa, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and chopped cilantro.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  If mixture is too dry for your liking, add more salsa.  Reduce heat to low.

For the Enchilada Sauce:  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour, one Tablespoon at a time, until a thick paste forms.  Allow to cook for several minutes to cook out the flour taste, stirring frequently.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth.  Continue whisking until it is smooth and creamy.  Cook for a few minutes or until slightly thickened.  Add the enchilada sauce and cumin.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until desired thickness is reached.  Stir in sour cream.  

To Prepare Enchiladas:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add about 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce to a baking dish.  Heat tortillas in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or until pliable.  Divide beef mixture between tortillas and top each with a little cheese.  Roll-up and place seam-side down in baking dish.  Cover with remaining sauce and remaining cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Then, broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top.  Serve.     

Jenn's Notes:  The number of enchiladas you will get will depend on the size of tortillas you use and how full you fill them.  I can fit up to 6 enchiladas in an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Linked up at Time to Sparkle! and Weekend Potluck!