Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

The weather has been lovely and cold, so I have been craving some real fall food. Something ultra thick, rich, and full of flavor. After Googling aimlessly for awhile, I remembered the binder of recipes collecting dust on a shelf in my living room. I cracked it open and BOOM — there was my trusty ole slow cooker beef stew recipe that I’ve been making for several years. I *think* it’s a modified version of one I found on All Recipes, but the page is pretty beat up after all this time.

Check out the hearty goodness.

beefstew

Rich, thick enough to stand your spoon up in (the way a like a stew), and amazing with a crusty bread.

beefstew2

What’s your favorite fall food?

Slow Cooker Beef Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A super thick, very hearty, flavorful beef stew.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 crockpot liner (optional, but it makes for easy clean up!)
  • 2 pounds stew meat, cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1½ cups beef broth
  • ½ cup port wine
  • 3 diced potatoes
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Wochestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 packet of beef stew seasonings (this is the stuff of magic)
Instructions
  1. Dump all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and toss to evenly distribute the spices and coat the meat.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 12 hours or high for 6.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

 

Tater Tot Nachos – or – Totchos

Tater Tot Nachos – or – Totchos

I don’t know about you, but Tater Tots are probably my favorite form of potato. Those little nuggets that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside just speak to my soul.

dog animated GIF

Brandie requested cheesy tots for this last Friday night Qwerty meal, and then Cat made the best suggestion of her entire life; tater tot nacho bar.

happy animated GIF

It was divine. The tots were the perfect cheese, quac, onion, meat, sour cream, etc receptacle.

totchos2

And then the leftovers for breakfast the next day was more than a girl could dream of.

totchos1

Tater Tot Nachos - or - Totchos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • Tater Tots - 1 cup "scoop" for each person served
  • Suggested toppings:
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Nacho Cheese
  • Seasoned Ground Beef
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Jalapenos
  • Olives
  • Purple Onion
  • Green Onion
  • Diced Tomatos
  • Enchilada Sauce
  • Bacon Pieces
Instructions
  1. Bake tater tots per packaging directions
  2. Prepare toppings while tots are baking, including shredding and chopping.
  3. Place tots in a bowl and cover with your favorite toppings!
  4. Enjoy

 

Bonus kitty close up:

byffys closeup

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs

To pair with our Loaded Baked Potato Bar the other night, I knew I wanted some kind of meat.

So, I went to our local grocer and took at look at what was on sale, annnnnnd…. it was pork ribs!

excited animated GIF

I got two racks and because wanted to get as much lazing around time on my weekend as possible, decided to throw em in the slow-cooker.

slow cooker bbq pork ribs

They were perfect! Fall of the bone tender, and moist and delicious! Also, so easy.

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 racks of pork ribs
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 10 ounces BBQ Sauce
Instructions
  1. Cut each rack into thirds, or whatever size will comfortably fit to layer in your slow-cooker.
  2. Combine your spices and pat into each section of rib.
  3. Place a section of rib in the bottom of the slow-cooker and splash with a teaspoon of the Worcestershire sauce and cover with a a bit of the BBQ sauce.
  4. Repeat with each section of ribs. I had to pile mine up high and then place one section on either side to get them all to fit.
  5. Pour the rest of the BBQ sauce in the slow cooker, retaining two ounces for later.
  6. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.
  7. - You can be done here, and just enjoy your delicious meat, OR continue with the next steps.
  8. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Section each rib individually and place on a foil lined baking tray.
  10. Brush each rib with the remaining BBQ sauce and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!

Finishing them in the oven is not required, but it gives the ribs that traditional wonderful sticky finish.

slow cooker bbq pork ribs 2

These are sure to please.

Loaded Baked Potato Bar

Loaded Baked Potato Bar

This last Friday Brandie had the genius craving for potatoes and I thought a loaded potato bar with some kind of meat would be perfect.

loaded baked potato bar 2

Bake a large russet potato for each person, and put out plenty of your favorite toppings, and you’re done!

loaded baked potato bar 1

This meal was so satisfying and so delicious and so easy!

Oven Baked Potatos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Large Russet Potato for each person
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potatoes clean and pat dry.
  3. Rub the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle the skin with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Pierce each potato with a fork a couple of times.
  5. Cover large baking tray with tin foil and place the potatoes on that.
  6. Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until inserting a fork, the insides are tender.
Notes
For Loaded Baked Potatoes:
Prepare your favorite potato toppings; we included butter, seasonings (garlic and onion powder, salt, pepper and Spike), sour cream, green onions, and fresh bacon pieces.

 

This is a great meal for a weeknight as well because the most effort you have to put forward, is scrubbing the potatoes!

 

Crock Pot French Onion Soup

Crock Pot French Onion Soup

A couple of years ago Cat mad this amazing french onion soup that was so incredibly delicious.

We’ve been craving it and wanting to make it again for a while now, but it’s a bit of an energy and time commitment and there’s usually something new and interesting that takes priority.

This last weekend though, enough was enough! We decided to try a slow-cooker recipe and see how it compares.

crockpot french onion soup2

I thought it was quite tasty and worth it, Cat was a little more discerning and much preferred the stove top version.

crockpot french onion soup3

I would recommend trying this recipe though, especially if time and patience are an issue.

crockpot french onion soup1

This took physical time, but very little effort.

Crock Pot French Onion Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds yellow onions, peeled, sliced, and cut into quarter-moons
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 10 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons brandy, optional
  • To Serve
  • 4 to 6 baguette slices, toasted, for each bowl
  • 1⅓ to 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (1/3 cup per bowl)
  • Chopped shallot or fresh onion
  • Equipment
  • Cutting board and chef's knife
  • Slow cooker
  • Wooden spoon
  • Oven-safe soup bowls
  • Baking pan
Instructions
  1. Season the onions: Place the onion slices in a 5-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Stir in the butter and olive oil, salt, and a generous quantity of black pepper.
  2. Cook on LOW for 12 hours: Cover and cook on LOW overnight or for 12 hours. The onions should be dark golden brown and soft.
  3. Add broth: Stir in the balsamic vinegar and the broth.
  4. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW: Cover and continue cooking on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. This is flexible; as long as your slow cooker holds moisture well (wrap a towel over the lid if quite a lot of steam escapes), you can cook the soup for hours. Longer cooking will only intensify the flavors. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired, and stir in the brandy if using.
  5. Portion the soup into oven-safe bowls: Heat the oven to 350°F. Ladle the soup and onions into oven-safe bowls and place the bowls in a baking pan.
  6. Top with toast and shredded cheese: Top each bowl with a slice of toast and a generous quantity of shredded Gruyere cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes: Bake on a rack in the upper third of the oven until the cheese is completely melted.
  8. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes: Turn the oven to broil and broil the soup for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, then serve with chopped fresh onion on the side.

 

Cold Thai Peanut Noodles

Cold Thai Peanut Noodles

It’s been a little warm here in the East Bay these last couple of weeks.

hot animated GIF

That kind of warm where you just don’t want to move, don’t want to do anything that may cause more heat, and that includes eating something warm.

hot animated GIF

Cat had the genius idea for some cold Thai inspired noodles, and boy did it deliver.

noodles

These noodles not only filled our belly in a cool and refreshing way, they were also really delicious!

noodles1

 

(and as you’ll see, really easy to make)

Cold Thai Peanut Noodles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 box Angel Hair Pasta
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced onion, or chopped scallions
  • ⅔ cup chopped green cabbage
  • Sauce:
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons ginger
  • ¼ teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Chopped peanuts to garnish
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta per packaging directions.
  2. Strain and run cold water over to cool the pasta.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, whisk together all the sauce ingredients.
  4. Once the pasta is cooled, toss together with the sauce, onion, and cabbage in a large bowl until the mixed and the pasta is covered in sauce.
  5. Serve with some additional chopped peanuts on top.

 

Nuna and Toodles Casserole

Nuna and Toodles Casserole

As proven time and again with classics like Meatloaf, the old standards are still worth returning to.

I don’t know about you, but one of the staples of my child-hood dinners, at least in the capacity of what my dad could make us when we had weekends with him, was a Tuna and Noodles Casserole. Or as we playfully called it, “Nuna and Toodles”.

tuna and noodles caserole 1

It was of course a pretty different dish than what I made with supplies on hand, but I was still able to evoke the memory of dinner with daddy and that taste of home.

tuna and noodles caserole 2

Nuna and Toodles Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces egg noodles, boiled per packaging direction
  • 2 cans tuna
  • 1 medium onion, diced, lightly sauteed
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped, cook (recommend frozen)
  • 8 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine melted butter and breadcrumbs with a fork.
  3. In the pot you cooked the noodles in, a large bowl, or even in your baking dish, combine all the remaining ingredients until fully mixed.
  4. Spread evenly into a large glass baking dish and place in oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove and spread the breadcrumb crumble evenly on top and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until golden on top.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!