Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Guinness Beef Stew

I absolutely love stew in the winter.  Growing up in England I have fond memories of big pots of beef or lamb stew simmering away for hours and nothing says winter food to me more than a bowl of hot stew, suet dumplings are a must but unfortunately for me this time I was all out of the vegetable suet I need to make my dumplings, but the stew was still delicious.

This is a little different than the traditional stew that I make, with the addition of the Guinness, I guess it made it more of an Irish stew, but that's close enough to home for me!

2 lbs boneless stew beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 parsnips
3 carrots
3 potatoes
2 celery stalks
1 bottle Guinness
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
2 sprigs fresh time
1 bay leaf
2 cups beef broth
salt and pepper
flour for coating

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large pan.  Coat the beef chunks in the flour and brown in the oil.  Add the browned beef to the bottom of a slow cooker.  Top with the chopped onion, the peeled and chopped vegetables season with salt and pepper.

Pour the beef broth and Guinness into the slow cooker, stir in the tomato paste, worcester sauce and add in the bay leaf and thyme.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Zucchini Bread

I have been experimenting with a few different zucchini bread recipes lately, some ended up too plain, some with far too much cinnamon but I think I finally found a zucchini bread with a good balance of flavour and spice from My Recipe Magic.

Randal ended up taking all the test zucchini breads to work and this recipe was the most popular there as well.

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup oil
3 cups zucchini, shredded
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, add the eggs and sugar and whisk together.  Stir in the zucchini.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together.  Add in the nuts.
Pour into 2 greased bread pans, or 5 mini pans like I did.
Bake at 300 for 1 hour.

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Menu Plan Monday


Monday: Tater tot casserole

Tuesday: Chicken and dumplings

Wednesday: Leftovers/emptying the fridge for Christmas

Thursday: Going to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Friday: Traditional English Christmas dinner
See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Monday, December 14, 2015

Menu Plan Monday


Monday: Sausage and pepper pizza

Tuesday: Guiness beef stew

Wednesday: Chicken cacciatore

Thursday: Thai lettuce wraps

Friday: Eating out
See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Sunday, December 13, 2015

SRC - Smoking Bishop

Time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal I love getting my blog assignment each month and this month I was assigned the blog Culinary Adventures with Camilla, which belongs to Camilla, our lovely leader of group B.   Camilla is a mom of 3 boys, a freelance writer and photographer and cookbook reviewer.  

As this was the December reveal I went straight to the Christmas recipes.  I was happy to see that a few years ago she had made a Dickensian Christmas Eve feast.  I was immediately drawn to the Figgy Pudding until Randal reminded me that at the time I was considering my recipe choice there was 3 weeks until Christmas and neither one of us would probably want to eat figgy pudding that early in the month.  I still really want to make the pudding though, maybe this year will be the year I actually do it!  

I finally decided on Smoking BishopI had never actually heard of it before, but after doing a little research I found out that it is basically a type of mulled wine, infused with roasted citrus fruits and port.  It was popular in Victorian England at Christmas time and it appears in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.  

1 bottle red wine
1/2 bottle water
5 oranges
1 grapefruit
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
handful of cloves (around 20)
5 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise pods
1/2 bottle port

Bake the fruit at 350 for 1 hour.  Add the cloves and set aside.

Simmer the red wine, water, sugar, cinnamon and star anise over low heat for 30 minutes.  Take off the heat, add the roasted fruit, cover and leave over night at room temperature.  

The next day remove and juice the fruit.  Add in the juice and port and heat on low.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Turkey a la King

I had a little Thanksgiving turkey leftover with no idea what to do with it, we were so tired of turkey sandwiches at that point so when Randal suggested making a turkey version of chicken a la king I was both happy with the suggestion but scared of actually making it.  My husband has certain dishes that he will only enjoy if they taste a certain way,  in this case he wanted this turkey dish to taste just like his favourite stouffers chicken a la king.  I was a little nervous I wouldn't be able to recreate this well enough but in the end he was quite happy with it and I was thrilled to finally be done with this years Thanksgiving turkey!

1 tbsp chicken soup base
1 cup hot water
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup sherry
1 sprig fresh thyme
pinch cayenne
pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups diced turkey
salt and pepper

 Stir the chicken soup base into the cup of hot water and set aside.

In a large pan over medium heat melt the butter, add in the bell pepper, mushrooms and celery and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.  Add in the flour and stir together.  Add in the cup of water with the chicken base, the cream, thyme, cayenne and nutmeg, followed by the turkey and season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 20 minutes, serve over rice.

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