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Tag Archives: winter

I love gumbo. But it can be a major undertaking! This slow cook version makes it so easy. And it is SO good. I highly recommend adding the roux at the end. It makes the sauce just right.

slow cook chicken and sausage gumbo

Slow Cook Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
via back to her roots

1 large onion, diced
2 large red bell peppers, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces frozen or fresh okra, sliced into discs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 bay leaves
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into half moons
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large slow cooker, add all ingredients. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 or until vegetables are mushy and stock is slightly thickened (it will still be thin; if you find it too thin, stir in a roux to thicken to preference). Serve with brown or white rice.

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This recipe is so simple and SO good. And it combines two of my favorite things, slow cooking and cooking with beer. Once the winter sets in, the slow cooker is my best friend. And the flavor of this stroganoff is just WOW at the end of the day. The dijon really adds just the right amount of bite.

slow cook stroganoff

Slow Cook Stroganoff
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 pounds beef chuck, cut into thin slices
2 medium onions, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, quartered (I used cremini)
6 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 bottle of beer (I used a Porter)
Egg noodles, for serving

Slice beef, chop the onions and mushrooms, then toss them into a gallon zip lock bag with the minced garlic. Add the bottle of beer and refrigerate overnight.

In the slow cooker, toss beef, onion, and mushroom mixture with 2 teaspoons coarse salt and teaspoon pepper. Cover, and cook on low until meat is tender, about 8 hours (or on high for 6 hours).

Prepare the egg noodles. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water. Ladle 2 cups of cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute (It happens very quickly!). With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture, then sour cream and mustard.
Serve over the cooked noodles.

Here’s a classic! Easy too. The only thing you need is a little patience. But it’s well worth the wait!

beefstew-craigclaibourne-raudette

Easy Beef Stew
via the ny times

4 pounds lean, boneless chuck steak
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
6 tablespoons flour
4 cups dry red wine
2 cups water
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon thyme
6 sprigs parsley, tied in a bundle
6 large carrots, about 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed and scraped

Cut the meat into two-inch cubes. Using a large skillet, heat the oil and add the beef cubes in one layer (I ended up cooking mine in 2 batches because the pot wasn’t big enough). Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring and turning the pieces often, for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat the meat evenly. Add the wine and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the water. Add the cloves, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Cover closely and simmer for one hour.
Meanwhile, cut the carrots into one-inch lengths. If the pieces are very large, cut them in half lengthwise. Add them to the beef. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Serve the stew sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Some people opt for no bouquet at all – which I love because then the whole focus is on you! but I needed a little something to hang onto. And some are probably still as in love with the idea of bouquet options as I am. For those with a little less traditional style…

bouquet_theflowergirlatlanta_seashells
Seashell Bouquet for thar beautiful beach wedding!

bouquet_popsugar_Artichokes

Artichokes! My favorite!

bouquet_refineriibride

Or something more futuristic? I’m in love with this gorgeous metal piece.

Keep reading for more fabulous options!

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This morning in my inbox: Bretons and Leopard and Pleated Skirt fashion…
these are a few of my favorite things!

jcrew_breton jcrew_leopards

A fun mix of classics and fashion forward, as J Crew does so well. A bit of brights and a bit of autumn notes. Just wild about those blue shoes!

jcrew_blueshoes
I mean, just look at these things!
I hardly wear heels anymore, but…

And of course, it’s SWEATER SEASON!

jcrew_sweaters
Click here for the full collection. xoxo!

It’s that time of the year again, soup and stews almost every week! Any my favorite flavor boost – a little beer! Check out this amazingly simple cabbage stir fry, packed with flavor and warmth.

Cabbage-Roll-Rice_simply_stacie

Cabbage Roll Rice
adapted from simply stacie

2 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp italian seasoning
28oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup beer
1 cup Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice

Add ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and paprika to a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the ground beef is browned (about 10 minutes). Stir in italian seasonings, cabbage, diced tomatoes, water, beer and rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Stir before serving. Serve hot.

One of the things I did over the holidays was make stock. Lots and lots of stock. Which led to many soups and stews over the past few weeks. We made a lot of old favorites (like split pea and turkey noodle), and a few new ones! This beef noodle stew is a rich hearty classic that I’d been craving for a while. There’s just something about a rich beefy stew when it’s freezing outside – warms and fills you up in the most satisfying way.

beef noodle stew

Beef Stew with Noodles
via martha stewart

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups beef, turkey or chicken broth
1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups egg noodles
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until seared and brown, about 6 minutes. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion just begins to soften (reducing heat if necessary), about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour until beef and onion are coated and cook 1 to 2 minutes (careful not to burn). Add broth and 3 cups water, stirring and scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until beef is tender, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, stir in parsley and vinegar.