Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

I guess I should get with the program and post all my crock pot recipes while its still cold outside! You never know in Austin, folks, it could be 95 degrees tomorrow!

This little recipe is so yummy. I really like it a lot. Other people have tried it besides me, don't worry! Just in case you're wondering, why yes, someone did tell me it wast the BEST beef stroganoff they've ever had. I don't know if they tried it anywhere else except Marie Callendar's, but hey! That's something, right?

It's another super easy, magic recipe where you throw everything in the crock pot & don't even stir. Fast forward a few hours and your dinner is waiting for you. I don't know about you, but I can't make a crock pot meal while I'm home all day, like on the weekends, the smell is just too good!! I get really impatient and want to check on it, but apparently every time you lift the lid & peek in your crock pot, you need to add 20 minutes to the cooking time! So don't let out any steam that way! :)

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 lb. cubed beef stew meat
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can  golden mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Large dollop sour cream
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 bag egg noodles
Line your crock pot with a crock liner! Place all ingredients except sour cream ,cream cheese & noodles in pot. Cook on high for 5 hours (or low for 8 hours). Add sour cream & cream cheese and stir until melted. Keep on low while you cook your noodles. Serve on top of noodles with some veggies on the side.


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Monday, December 26, 2011

AMAZING Salted Caramel Sauce

I've been afraid of caramel. Very afraid. since my little incident over a year ago. My wound has healed, but I still have a faint scar to prove my battle wounds! ha My friend Nicole came over & wanted to make some delicious pumpkin blondies that required this salted caramel sauce, so I made her make it while I watched. Success! It seemed like I could attempt without an injury, so when I NEEDED to make this again a couple weeks later when my supply ran out, I did it! OK, I had a few mishaps with the sugar crystallizing and getting really hard in the bottom of the pan. I tried 3 times and finally the last time when I turned the heat up higher, it worked! I made this again at my mom's house for Thanksgiving & the same problem happened. Apparently no one really knows what that happens, or at least I couldn't get a good reason on the web. The foolproof way to make it though is to add a tablespoon of light corn syrup to the water sugar mixture, which prevents it from hardening. Just do that, it's easier... :) Also, DO NOT stir the mixture except when you first put it in the pan, or you will mess it up. Bad. It's really yummy though & very worth it!

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP light corn syrup (optional, but makes it easier to make for the first time)
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced & seeded
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Mix cream, sea salt, vanilla & vanilla bean scrapings in a large cup. Set aside. 

In a medium saucepan, mix water, sugar & corn syrup- stir one last time to combine & do not stir again! Heat over medium-high heat until starts to bubble. DO NOT STIR or you will disrupt the caramel-making process (Very scientific, I know), but you can gently swirl the pan to make sure everything is heating evenly. 

Watch it carefully until it turns a deep amber color (this is where my hands were full and I couldn't take any more photos!). Turn off heat and carefully add cream mixture, whisking constantly until comes together and any hardened caramel bits on the whisk melt away. When you first pour it in, it will go crazy & steam & bubble, but just keep whisking. 

Pour into a jar and store in the fridge. You should probably only keep it for a week or so, but I have kept mine a lot longer. Its really amazing on apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, brownies.... etc. you get the idea. :)


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Monday, December 12, 2011

My Little Green Salad

This post is not so much a recipe, as just a guide. Everyone has their favorite salad toppings & go-to sides. This is one of mine. I love it! With the right dressing (right now I like Caesar Vinaigrette), it's the perfect compliment to a heavier meal & might even make you feel like you're eating healthy stuff- you know like lettuce & carrots. :)

My Little Green Salad
Makes enough for 2 salads
  • 2 handfuls bagged romaine lettuce
  • one bunch green onions
  • small handful mini carrots, sliced
  • small handful of cucumber pieces
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • feta cheese
  • your favorite Vinaigrette
Toss veggies together & sprinkle with asesonings & cheese. Toss with dressing & enjoy!

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken & Homemade Tortillas

Have I told ya'll how obsessed I am with my crockpot these days? It's just SO easy, its unbelievable! I have made this awesome chicken at least 3 times recently & its delicious. So moist & flavorful with just enough spice. It calls for 4 ingredients I usually have on hand & its been perfect in tacos. You could also serve it over a salad or rice also. I usually throw this in the crockpot with a crockpot liner the night before & place the whole thing in the fridge overnight. Then I can turn it on before work or you could come home and turn it on during lunch. This would be great for a party or get-together too! I am loving this so much I may try it with pork next!

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken
Makes enough for 3-4 adults, easily doubles!
  • 2 chicken breasts- fresh or frozen is fine
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 can condensed chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa- I like it hot!
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
Line your crockpot with a crockpot liner to prevent sticking- these are amazing! Place all ingredeints except sour cream in pot (no need to stir) and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 5 hours. Shred chicken with a fork (I didn't have to remove it from the pot to do this) & add sour cream. Mix until combined and continue heating on low while you prepare the rest of your meal (tortillas, cheese, lettuce, beans, etc.).

The first time I made this I didn't have any tortillas so I used Freida Loves Bread's quick recipe to make my own- delicious. I didn't take photos of the process, but she does a great job of showing the step-by-step instructions on her blog.

Yum! Enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Don't you love it when you take a chance to alter one of your favorite go-to recipes and it turns out AWESOME? :) I've been making this pumpkin muffin/bread recipe for quite some time. I had the brilliant idea to swap some of the flour for cocoa powder + add chocolate chips. These muffins are SO moist & heavenly. Best of all, no oil or butter makes them like super healthy, right? :) No seriously, pumpkin is so good for you. :) I used some whole wheat white flour too because that's what I had- no one knew the difference! :)

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
yield: 2 dozen muffins- halving the recipe works great too!

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 can (16 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 & line your muffin cups. Whisk dry ingredients together & set aside. Mix together applesauce & sugar in large mixing bowl with electric mixer. Add pumpkin until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients Add eggs one at a time until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop batter evenly into muffin cups - do not fill more than 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes, or until top springs back lightly when touched. Cool slightly & enjoy. These are best when warm and the chocolate is melty! :) Yum.

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