SLOW COOKER BEEF SHORT RIBS

 

 

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It’s cold and rainy outside. The perfect day for comfort food. I’ve been meaning to make this dish the last couple of days but left it too long and it wouldn’t have long enough in the slow cooker so today was the day!!


This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Jess at Little Girl Story.

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I don’t have an exact recipe as it just depends on what I have in the pantry/fridge, but the basics are there.

The beef ribs I get are thin sliced and there are 4 – 5 slices in a package. Today I used 3 packages so approximately 15 beef slices.

 

1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt/pepper

1 quart of canned tomatoes (still using my own canned tomatoes)

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup of gluten free barbeque sauce

1/2 cup of celery ribs/leaves, chopped

1/2 cup of sweet white onion, chopped

1 Tblsp of Worcestershire sauce

1 Tblsp of dry mustard

2 Tblsp of brown sugar

1 Tblsp of white vinegar

1 cup of beef stock

1 Tblsp of cornstarch or potato starch

So I start by sprinkling the meat with salt and pepper and brown both sides in a hot frying pan or deep pot with the olive oil. Don’t over crowd meat or it just steams and doesn’t brown.

Once the meat is all browned (it takes several batches to get it all done), I add in the onions and celery and cook until wilted and slightly carmelizing.

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Add all the other ingredients, except the cornstarch, into the slow cooker. Break up the tomatoes and stir all together. Add in celery and onions and then layer meat in until all the meat is covered by the sauce.

 

Turn the slow cooker to high until it starts bubbling and then down to low to let it simmer for 4 – 5 hours.

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Twenty minutes prior to serving make a slurry with cornstarch using either water or beef stock and add to pot. Cover up with lid and let thicken.

 

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and vegetables.

I can smell this cooking as I sit here and can hardly wait for supper.  Yum!

I hope you give this a try! You won’t be disappointed.

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤

 

Bunny Eats Design Our Growing Edge

PEACHES FOR DAYS!!

IMG_2455   So in my last post I talked about canning peaches. I ended up with 4 quarts and 8 pints of peaches to enjoy during the fall and winter. Can’t wait.  I also mentioned that I went out and got another box of peaches.  They were so fragrant and juicy that it’s been a real treat this year.

Yesterday it was nice and cool in the morning, so I decided to go ahead and start in with the next batch of peaches.

I ended up making 5 pints of peach jam, 2 large zip-loc baggies filled with individual bags of peaches for future smoothies and freezies, a large casserole dish of Peach Crisp and kept about 10 in the fruit bowl for snacking on. 🙂

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The last pics are of the freezies I made. So nice as a light dessert after supper. Especially with all these hot days and warm evenings.  They are made with yogourt and fruit and a bit of sugar although the fruit has been sweet enough so I don’t think you really need it.

Now I’m waiting for tomatoes so that I can put up some stewed tomatoes for future casseroles, spaghetti sauces etc.

It’s very satisfying to see the fruits (literally haha) of your labour. I grew up with my mom preserving and canning and I still call her for tips. She still cans and is 86 yrs old.   I have a couple of girlfriends who can/preserve but we are all of a certain age. I’m hoping that my kids give it a try at some point and continue on with this tradition.

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤

WHAT A PEACH!!

IMG_2403We’ve had such hot dry weather this year that I’ve been doing very little in the kitchen.  Now that we have an occasional cool breeze I actually feel like cooking again. I had to drive out in the valley this week, so I popped into a  local market and picked up a box of peaches. They smelled heavenly!  I haven’t canned for a couple of years due to time constraints and peaches aren’t always tasty. Some years every time I’ve picked up peaches they have been mealy and tasteless. This year they are perfect, albeit smaller. ❤

So to start gather your peaches and check to see that they are all of a consistent ripeness. I actually let them sit from Monday to Friday before doing anything with them. They have to give a bit but not so much that they squish.

Wash all your sealers, rings and lids with soapy water and rinse well. Put your canning jars on a large rimmed cookie sheet with about a 1/2 inch of water. Keep in a 300 – 350F degree oven to sterilize the jars until ready to fill. Don’t leave in so long that all the water evaporates like I did 😦 . In a pot on the element put your sealer rings and lids to heat up and this way the little rubber rings get softened and will give a good seal.

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To make the simple syrup, I made 2 cups of sugar to 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil and keep simmering while preparing next steps.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl filled with ice water. This is to aid with peeling the peaches.

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Once the water is boiling add about 8 peaches (depending on size, I had small peaches) and let them sit in the boiling water for 30 sec. Immediately take them out and plunge them into ice water.

In a third bowl fill with water and a cut lemon that you’ve squeezed. This is to prevent the peaches from browning.  You can buy packaged Fruit Fresh but I decided to use lemons this time.

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Cut the peaches in half cutting along the seam. The skin should just slip off. You can slice the little bits of skin that stick, but, for the most part the skin really does just slip off. Kinda like magic 🙂

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Put the cut peaches in the lemon water. Once you get a bowl full of sliced prepared peaches you can take the jars out of the oven. Place the jars on a clean rimmed cookie sheet. Start adding the peach halves cut side down until you get to 1/2″ from the top. Make sure they are well packed. You can slice them if you’d like as well.

Once you get the peaches all placed in the jars, add hot syrup to a 1/2 ” of rim. Wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth and place the lids and screw caps on. Tighten but don’t over tighten.

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Immediately place in a water bath. I used my stock pot but its definitely worth the investment to get a real canning pot. Make sure the jars are covered with at least 1″ of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 25 – 30 min. Remove from the water and place on a dry, clean tea towel. Make sure they don’t touch. You will hear the lids pop and that signifies they have properly sealed.  Let cool and them retighten lids before storing in a cool dry place.

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The last step is to leave them until the fall or winter when you are craving a taste of summer. Great alone or with ice cream .  Can’t wait! Yum!

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These peaches were so good I went out again on Friday and picked up another box of peaches.  I think jam will be on the list and freezing a bunch for smoothies and freezies.  Stay tuned!! Can’t wait.

Hope you give this a try so you too can saveur a taste of summer when the weather gets cool and skies get gray.

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤

BEEF STEW

IMG_0670Once the weather starts to get a chill in it and the rain starts, I crave something a little heartier than our usual chicken and rice variations.

When I get busy at work I will put the fixings in the crock pot and by supper the smell of supper permeates the house and we can eat as soon as we get in the door.  Nothing is better than having supper ready when you get home.

Every so often I crave beef and I’ve been making this beef stew for years.

The ingredients will depend on how big your crock pot is and how many you are feeding. I never worry about having too much as it freezes well and you have another quick meal for another busy night.

INGREDIENTS:

1 – 2 packages of stewing beef (preferably with some marbling as this makes the meat more tender.

2 cups of chopped potatoes or whole small potatoes (red or white).

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped.

2 stalks of celery, chopped.

1/2 medium onion, chopped.

3/4 cup frozen peas (thawed)

1 cup diced canned tomatoes.

1 litre of low sodium beef stock.

2 – 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

1/2 cup of water.

3 tablespoons of flour (I use gluten free)

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

In a large heavy bottom pot, add the olive oil and heat over med high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper and then braise the beef in small batches so that the beef gets carmelized on all sides, a couple of minutes each side. The beef pieces will still be rare inside.

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Set the beef aside in a separate bowl while you braise the next batch.

Once completed you should have a lot of carmelization on the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and celery and coo k until slightly softened.  Add diced tomatoes, and beef stock and stir pot until all the carmelized bits are dissolved with the beef stock.

Add the beef, potatoes, carrots and the liquid into the crock pot. Turn on low and cook for 5 – 6 hours.

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Thirty minutes before serving, add the peas to the pot and mix in.  Take the water (cold) and the flour and mix thoroughly and then add to the crock pot. Stir well and then put the crock pot on high and let the flour mixture thicken the sauce.

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Serve with crusty rolls and enjoy!!

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤

VEGETABLE CHICKEN SOUP

fall    Well, since yesterday was the first official day of fall, and today it’s been raining, it seemed like a great day to make soup!

I actually made this soup last week (on another rainy day) without a recipe and it turned out so tasty that I decided to try it again.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tblsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup of  onion

2 stalks of celery

1-2 carrots (depending on size)

1/2 bulb fennel

1 cup of mushrooms (I used Cremini and then Shitake)

1/2 of a medium sized Red Kuri or Kabocha squash

1 cup canned chopped tomatoes

2 quarts of chicken stock

1 pre cooked chicken

1/2 can of coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp of crushed pepper flakes

Start by adding the Olive Oil to the stock pot and setting the element on medium heat.  Chop the onion, celery, carrots and fennel and cook until softened and starting to carmelize very slightly.

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Peel and chop the squash into small chunks. Add to pot once first 4 ingredients have softened. Cook for a few minutes so that the squash starts picking up some of the carmelization from the bottom of the pot.

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Add sliced mushrooms and chopped tomatoes and stir to incorporate.

Pour 1 litre of the chicken stock into the pot. At this point I add 2 legs and 2 wings from the cooked chicken. Stir all together and then simmer on low for 30 – 40 min until thickened and liquid is reduced.

Remove the wings and legs and take off the meat and put back into soup.  Add some more of the chicken to the pot depending on how much you  want. At this point I add the 2nd quart of chicken stock. Cook for another 20 minutes or longer if you like the soup to be a bit thicker. The squash disappears and you just have the colour and flavour left.

Just before serving I add 1/2 can of coconut milk and stir. Heat on low until heated through.

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Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty rolls.

This soup can also be made using vegetable stock and omit the chicken and you have a vegetarian option.

Enjoy!

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN SALAD

I thought I would post about a salad I make fairly often, especially in the summer.

I rely on those little pre roasted chickens that you can get in the grocery stores. The kind that sit under a heater cause they are already cooked.  My family make fun of me for always calling them “little chickens”, but they are little! ha ha.  They are my “go to” for sandwiches, salads, quick dinners for those nights when I have no inspiration what so ever. (it happens 🙂 )

Here is a quick recipe for Chicken salad that I love making for lunch and sometimes supper.

Chicken, shredded or cut into small cubes

1 apple (I use Gala apples)

2 stocks of celery chopped

1/4 cup of shredded carrots

1/4 cup of dried cranberries and or sultana raisins

If I have grapes I’ll cut those in half and use some of those as well.

Mix all of these ingredients together with enough mayonnaise to moisten. I don’t like it too gloppy. (not sure if that’s a word)

All of these are general amounts. It depends on how many people you are cooking for.

As a garnish I will use some sliced avocado and then spiced pecans.  Yum, my mouth is watering!!!

I use a little bit of butter and some Bay seasoning and sauté the pecans over medium low heat, watching that they don’t burn. Keep stirring them.

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As you can see in the picture I put the salad on a bed of romaine. This was my husbands portion 🙂

It’s a quick and easy meal and very filling.  Play with it and make it your own.

Enjoy and remember…

Live life fully ❤