Beef Stroganoff {Slow Cooker Style}

Stroganoff

I am in love with my slow cooker! It usually comes in handy on school nights and Sunday afternoons, but I’ve also found my slow cooker to be especially helpful during summer. After a long day at the pool or the park, it’s nice to come home to a ready made dinner!

Beef stroganoff is a family fave in our house, and this recipe is a real timesaver any day of the year!

*Steps 2-6 include an awesome recipe for making an alternative (and preservative free) version of condensed cream soups.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup  beef broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese 
  • unrefined salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and stew meat to slow cooker.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

3. Stir in flour; keep stirring until smooth and bubbly.

4. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup beef broth and milk, a little at a time, stirring to keep smooth.

5. Return to heat. Bring sauce to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

6. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed to taste.

Steps 2-6 Can be used in place of condensed cream soups, and this cream soup base can be varied by using chicken or vegetable broth, sauteéd chopped celery, celery seed, or sauteéd chopped mushrooms. Add herbs and or seasonings, as desired.

7. Add cream soup base and remaining 1/2 cup beef broth to slow cooker and mix all ingredients together.

8. Cook on low for 6 hrs.

9. Just before serving, stir in sour cream and cream cheese.

10. Serve over your choice of pasta, rice, or baked potato.  If you’re looking for a low carb meal, this dish would be delicious served over broccoli or all by itself. Enjoy!

Homemade Pizza Dough and Sauce {Cooking with Kids}

20140316-233624.jpg

My boys love pizza, and they love helping me cook! So, making pizzas together is always a family favorite.

For a quick weeknight supper, I mix up the dough before school, and I let it rise in the refrigerator during the day. When the boys get home, we roll out the dough and top it with homemade pizza sauce and our favorite pizza toppings.

Quick and easy, and much better than store bought or take out!

Continue reading

Quick Fried Rice

Fried rice is a comfort meal for me. My mom used to make this, Arroz Chino, often, so I thought it was a Puerto Rican dish. The great thing about Fried Rice is that you can use whatever veggies you have in your kitchen. Even frozen ones! (I buy the huge bags of organic veggies at Costco.) And throw in any protein you have: leftover roast chicken, shrimp, scallops (that’s what I used for the picture), or just double up on the eggs.

Also, when I make rice, I make a big batch and freeze leftovers. That makes meals like this a breeze on weeknights. What are your favorite combos for Fried Rice?

Continue reading

{One Bowl} Banana Cupcakes

20140218-182829.jpg

My boys love sweet treats, so I’ve been looking for a real food dessert we could make together. I enlisted the help of my friend, Shirley, and she helped me create a banana cupcake recipe that’s “real” delicious ;)

Best of all, these cupcakes also make great banana muffins if you forgo the frosting. You could even add some chocolate chips or dress them up with some chopped nuts and a dash of cinnamon. Yum!

Continue reading

Chocolate Smoothie {with Avocado!}

This is my youngest daughter’s current favorite smoothie. She can’t get enough of it, so I need to keep a constant stash of ripe avocados. The avocado contains healthy fats that are filling and makes this smoothie creamy (like a banana would), but you can’t taste it. We have made this with raw cocoa powder, natural and dutch cocoa (our favorite). This is great as part of breakfast, or an after-school snack!

Continue reading

Weeknight Chicken Wings with 3 Sauces {Buffalo, Sweet Tamari & Thai Chili}

Okay, so no more ordering wings for takeout, right? These are that easy. Probably the most intimidating part about making your own wings is separating them into flats, drumettes and tips (don’t discard the tips, throw them in your freezer and use to make chicken stock next time). At the bottom of the post, I linked a video from About.com showing you how to cut up your wings. Once you do a few, you get the hang of it and you can prep the rest pretty quickly.

My favorite part about making these wings is that everyone can choose their favorite sauce and have a different experience. My oldest loves her wings with BBQ sauce, my youngest likes hers plain, my husband loves the Buffalo sauce and Thai Chili below, and my favorites are the Thai Chili and Siracha Mayo.

Continue reading

Chicken and Chive Potato Dumplings

Dumplings
My husband loves Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken and Dumplings, but I can never seem to make them quit like his mamma does; not to mention, I rarely have time to roll out dumplings or a pie crust.

So, I decided to create a new comfort dish by combing the two, and I simply drop my dumplings…no need to break out the rolling pin or dirty the counter with flour. This is an easy and excellent dish to serve on cold winter days, and it’s comforting and filling…just like mamma’s!

Continue reading