Beef Stew

There are times when you just want a big bowl of beef stew. I recently discovered Pioneer Woman’s Sunday Night Stew. Delicious. I actually did make this on a Sunday. But I had to adapt it to my tastes. If you like turnips and onions, check out the original recipe! I go with carrots and green beans for my version.

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I think the broth is truly what makes this recipe great. The mixture of beef stock (which I’d never used before), tomato paste and Worcestershire make it so delectable.

Beef Stew  |  craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

I actually made a double batch of this last time which is when I took the photo. It took two stock pots.

Ingredients:
1.5-2 lbs. of stew meat
32 oz. or 4 cups of beef broth, I would say have 1-2 cups extra depending on how thick or thin you like a stew
Olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
A couple tablespoons of minced garlic
4-6 oz of tomato paste (usually the cans have 6 oz. so you don’t want to waste)
Onion powder
Worcestershire, probably 2 tablespoons or more. It’s to taste.
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper
Carrots
Green Beans

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Start by heating about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot with the tablespoon of butter. Let the butter melt.

Beef Stew  |  craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Season up the beef with salt and pepper before sticking them in the pot.

Beef Stew  |  craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

 

Do one layer of beef in the pot at a time. Give each piece of meat its own space.

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Brown the meat on all sides then pull it from the pot and put in a container off to the side. Do this with all the meat.

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Add the garlic to the pan and brown slightly. Don’t let it burn.

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Add in the beef broth and the tomato paste. Stir so the tomato paste melts into the sauce.

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Add the meat, plus the drippings back into the pot.

Beef Stew  |  craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Time for the Worcestershire. Again, the Worcestershire is to taste. I like a lot. Also, season with the salt, pepper, onion powder and add the sugar.

Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat. Let it stew for roughly an hour and a half with a lid. A lid is important.

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In that time, prep your green beans and your carrots.

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I actually use baby carrots for pretty much all my recipes. Why? They’re all roughly the same shape and size. So then you can cut them easily into smaller pieces. You also don’t have to peel baby carrots, so less time handling them.

Ok, so your hour and a half is up.

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Add your carrots and green beans to the pot and stir. At this point, decide if there is enough broth in there for you. If it’s too thick, add more beef broth or even water.

Stew for at least another 30-40 minutes with the lid back on. You can test how soft the carrots are to see if the stew is done or not.

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And there you have it! A beautiful stew with tender meat and it just fills you up. You can eat this by itself or it tastes good with mashed potatoes or rice. Yum! It freezes pretty good too. Either in tuperware or freezer bags.

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Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I know, it’s been forever! I’m getting back into the blogging mood, although the cooking mood seems to escape me at the moment. But I’ve still been documenting new dishes.

Last winter, I lived off a soup from Au Bon Pain during lunch. It was a Butternut Squash and Apple soup. Sweeter than most butternut squash soups I’ve had in the past. I was trying to find a similar recipe or even a knock-off and was failing with Google searches and Pinterest searches.

Then it hit me, I had tried a recipe a few years back at a library event. I had to tear through my apartment trying to find the piece of paper the recipe was on. One day, looked under one of my living room side tables and found gold!

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This is a sweet, but not too sweet recipe for butternut squash and apple soup. It freezes really well (directions at the bottom).

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup | craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds of butternut squash peeled and cubed
– 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into little cubes
– Onion powder (or 1 med. shallot)
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup dry white wine
– 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (more if necessary)
– 1 cup apple cider
– Little bit of nutmeg

You will need one large stock pot and I use an immersion blender to puree everything.

I don’t drink wine, so one of the best tips I have for you is get the mini-bottles of wine. Then you only need to open a small bottle vs. a really large one. Less waste.

I also have a Costco membership. I’m sort of addicted to shopping there now. But butternut squash has been one of the best deals I’ve found there. Less than $5 for about 2 lbs. of butternut squash already peeled and cubed.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup | craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Start by putting the olive oil and butter into the stock pot. Melt it over medium heat.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup | craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Put all the butternut squash and apple into the pot and brown it. If you’re using the shallot put it in as well. Otherwise season with the onion powder.

After browning the butternut squash and the apple, deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook off the alcohol.

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Once the wine is cooked off, add the apple cider and the chicken broth. Bring it to a boil and then simmer. Add the pinch of nutmeg at this time.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup | craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Simmer for about 30-40 min. You can see in the photo, the apple and butternut squash are looking a bit mushy which is what you want. They need to be soft.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup | craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Puree! Make sure it’s nice and smooth and there are no chunks of squash hanging around. At this time, you can also add more chicken broth if you want to thin it out a bit more. You can also add pepper if you want as well.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup | craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

There you go! Delicious and pretty healthy butternut squash and apple soup.

Now if you’d like to freeze this, let the soup cool down. You can then stick it in quart freezer bags and freeze. I do suggest for the first few hours it’s freezing, you stick it on top of a baking sheet and lay it flat. You can also use small tuperware to freeze it. Works really well.

The BEST Ramen

I am more likely to grab a bowl of soup during winter, like most people. For years, I would stockpile Ramen. Not because of the price, but because I really do like it. Now this, this is the best Ramen I’ve ever had:

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The Creamy Chicken flavor. It has eluded me for several years now because stores decide to stock the staples of beef and chicken. But then I found a store that has my favorite flavor. I will have to go back for more soon. I tend to eat this more like pasta versus a soup though.

And here’s the way I prepare my Ramen.

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Put the noodle brick into a microwave safe bowl.

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Then fill the bowl with just enough water to cover the noodle brick. Stick the bowl into the microwave for 6 minutes.

 

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After 6 minutes, pull the bowl out of the microwave. I then add the flavor packet and a lot of frozen peas. You can add whatever you would like to the bowl at this time. Stir it up, to incorporate the flavoring to the bowl. Then stick it into the microwave for 4 minutes more.

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After the 4 minutes, this is what you should see! More of a pasta, less of a soup. Delicious and hot. There are times I will add a hard boiled egg to the bowl. Yum. So delish.

Make sure you like Crafting and Cooking on Facebook. Follow my boards on Pinterest for more ideas.

Turkey Chili Taco Soup

I have been dying to make this recipe for the last few days. I was craving a stew or soup of some sort and I found Skinnytaste’s Turkey Chili Taco Soup. I’m not really a chili kind of girl, but this was just irresistible. I made a few changes to the recipe, so I would head over to Skinnytaste if you want some of the stuff I won’t eat.

Turkey Chili Taco Soup
Adapted from Skinnytaste

1 pound of turkey
1 or 2 cans of kidney beans
3 cups of chicken stock
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of fat free refried beans
onion powder
1 packet of taco seasoning
Cheese to garnish

Start by browning the turkey in the bottom of a large pot. Season it with the onion powder.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans and the corn. I like a lot of beans in my soups, so I used two cans of kidney beans.

Once the turkey is browned, add in the chicken stock, the refried beans, the taco seasoning, the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir and then add in your corn and kidney beans.

Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve it up! I had the Mexican blend of cheeses, which I think worked perfectly with the soup. It also thickened up the soup a little bit. Seriously delicious. I ate one bowl and it filled me up.

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Tomato noodle soup

Sometimes you just need a little bit of comfort food and a warm bowl of soup on a rainy day. I do have to thank my helper, the BF, for starting the meal.

Easy recipe for you.

Tomato Noodle Soup
2 cans of Campbell’s tomato soup, or a tomato soup of your choice
Pasta of your choice. We used about a half pound of cut spaghetti

Boil water. Cook the noodles a bit al dente, because they’ll continue to cook in the soup. Drain and set to the side. Start making your tomato soup, put the two cans plus two cans full of water into a pot. Wait till it boils a bit and then add in your noodles. Then get ready to eat! Easy-peasy plus hearty and tasty.

If you don’t eat all the soup right away, the noodles will suck up the soup. So just be aware you’re more likely to be eating tomato flavored noodles for leftovers. Still good.