Recipe: Crock Pot Beef Stew

It’s been a while since I’ve had beef stew and I’ve never made one, until NOW!

And then, I couldn’t really find a great recipe online. So I asked some ladies at work if they’ve made it and have any tips – and one did! Gretchen overheard me asking and came over to give me a play by play of putting together a beef stew in the crock pot. I am going to give MY actual recipe used but also share some variation notes which I didn’t use. I more or less borrowed from a few other recipes and…improvised when I didn’t have the right ingredients. Yay for cooking!

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Ingredients:

2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 daikon, chopped (about 1/2 cup) (sub with 1 cup sliced celery)
2 medium carrots, sliced
5 medium gold (or red) potatoes with skins, diced or sliced, whichever you prefer (about 1 – 1/2 cups)
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 can tomato soup
1 32 oz carton of beef broth
water, as needed

Herb Mixture:
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Directions:

1. Put the coconut oil in the bottom of the crock-pot. Then begin preparing your veggies. I did not leave the ceramic bowl in the heater basin, so that I could add the veggies as I chopped them. Per Gretchen, start with your hardest veggies first and layer up. My order was daikon, carrots, potatoes and onions. I guess that if you used celery, you would do carrots first and then celery. I forgot that I had bought some spinach to add in, but it stayed in my fridge until it was too late. I wish I had, would’ve been pretty. Top the veggies with the minced garlic.

2. Prepare the herb mixture. I was told that this is the key to getting a good texture to the soup. I just know that it tasted so good. In a small-medium bowl, add the flour and the spices mentioned above. Throw them all in and toss the mixture so you’ll have a good breading.

3. You do not HAVE to rinse beef, but mine was kind of bloody, so I did just a little. Also, it was the same price at my butcher to buy a full chuck roast or the pieces already cut. I’m all for making my life easier (and saving time in the kitchen) so I bought the pieces already cut. They looked a bit big, but once they were cooked, they were perfect. Toss the pieces into the bowl and cover completely with the herb mixture. Then lay the meat on top of the veggies. You should have a fairly heaping display of ingredients there. It was pretty impressive to me.

4. Pour the tomato soup over the beef pieces, as is. The recipes I read included either pieces of tomato, or tomato paste. I didn’t have any of these, and I’m not a fan of tomato, so I didn’t use it. Gretchen recommended forgoing the tomato paste and beef broth altogether and only use V8 juice. You could definitely try this, but I didn’t have time to pick it up. Break apart the bay leaf and drop onto the top of the ingredients.

5. At this point, I moved the ceramic bowl back into the heat basin. Pour in the beef broth and then add water until the bowl is filled to one inch below the top.ย  If you decide to go for V8 juice, just be sure to fill up to the same level.

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6. Add cover (do not lock the lid down, if you have that capability) and set on low. Cook for 6-8 hours.

7. When finished, stir the soup, making sure everything is mixed well. Add salt to taste and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Do you have any variations you use and love?? I’d enjoy hearing about them!

Freebie Printable: October Bible Verse Calendar

ESV Oct 04

The FINAL entry of the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of October in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.ย  I stuck with a very Fall-sy theme. October’s big holiday is Halloween, but to keep this month’s calendar user-friendly, I did not include anything explicitly related to the holiday. But pumpkins still are best in the Fall whether there are costumes and candy or not!

I hope you enjoy!

ESV Oct 27

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

October ESV (pdf)
October KJV (pdf)
October NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan October (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. ๐Ÿ™‚

Freebie Printable: September Bible Verse Calendar

ESV Sept 18

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of September in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.ย  I think everyone is back to school now and this month’s theme goes along with the theme of teaching and learning – to grow more like Christ and together as a body.

I hope you enjoy!

ESV Sept 13

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

September ESV (pdf)
September KJV (pdf)
September NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan Septemberย  (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. ๐Ÿ™‚

Freebie Printable: August Bible Verse Calendar

ESV Aug 08

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of August in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.ย  August and September are big harvest months for the US. The theme reflects the views at American farmsteads and some particularly August flowers, like poppies and gladiolas. Although, my gladiolas are nearly spent already. It’s ok, I’ll forgive them. They were gorgeous.

I hope you enjoy!

ESV Aug 29

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

August ESV (pdf)
August KJV (pdf)
August NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan August (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. ๐Ÿ™‚

Freebie Printable: July Bible Verse Calendar

ESV July 10

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of July in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.ย  As I’ve said before, I live in the US, so these calendars are America-centric. I apologize if you are not in the US, but July is the month of our independence – they are styled accordingly.

I hope you enjoy!

ESV July 30

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

July ESVย (pdf)
July KJV (pdf)
July NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan July (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. ๐Ÿ™‚

Freebie Printable: June Bible Verse Calendar

ESV June 14

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of June in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.

Boy is this your lucky month! Because it’s JUNE, and it just so happens to be my favorite month – what with my birthday being the 14th, and our wedding anniversary the 1st (Yes, Yes, YES! We are celebrating our 1st anniversary in just a couple of days!!!!) – I decided to make the usual 3 versions, but also to spice it up with a Sarah-specific ESV version (see below)! The colors are indulgent, the graphics quirky, and it all screams out ME! But, you know, the red and yellow with sunflowers on the other three (see above) are very My-taste as well. So, really it’s just my month and I’m bringing you along for the ride.

I hope you enjoy!

ESV Juney 20

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

June ESVย (pdf)
June KJV (pdf)
June NIV (pdf)
Juney ESV (pdf) (The fun blue one!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Bible In a Year Plan Juneย  (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. ๐Ÿ™‚

Freebie Printable: May Bible Verse Calendar

BIY Plan May May ESV May KJV May NIV ESV May 19

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of May in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.

This month’s theme has some verses to focus on Mother’s Day but also on prayer and wisdom.

ESV May 15

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

May ESVย (pdf)
May KJV (pdf)
May NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan Mayย  (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. ๐Ÿ™‚

Roots Run Deep

Last weekend, the Huz and I took off for Western PA to enjoy some time with my grandma. The nickname, Grambo, was lovingly put into use by some of my cousins (she could do anything!), who have since dropped the usage. However, I have continued to refer to her as Grambo to this day and therefore she will be known as Grambo for the rest of this entry.

I have been going to Western PA for visits all my life. For most of said life I’ve lived in southwestern Ohio, so the trip is familiar and as comfortable as putting on pj bottoms when you get home from work.

So when we hopped in the car and it had already been raining, I decided it would be best for me to drive this regular route. On the Ohio side, the roads are great. We usually take 71 up to Columbus and shoot around the loop to catch 70 over through Wheeling. Once you get on the other side of Wheeling, though, the roads take a turn for the…well…for the Pennsylvania.

But let’s go back a few miles. We were somewhere between Columbus and Cambridge when I suddenly realized that I had left my jeans back at The House. We were halfway through our trek and couldn’t turn around now, so we began looking for the nearest Old Navy on our way. Yes, we were going to stop for some jeans. I can’t spend an entire weekend in my work khakis. Yuck!

We’ve always driven passed the Cabela’s exit so I had no idea what was up there. Wonderfully, there was an Old Navy, an Applebees, and had I lost my will-power, a Bath and Body Works. I stayed strong though and we continued on our way.

Pennsylvania roads are some of my favorites. They are wildly unpredictable in the twists and turns and the construction patterns. Also, the on and off ramps are crrrrazy short. The Huz was not amused by them in the least. Once we got there, all was well and we enjoyed the weekend of going to church, having lunch with Grambo and Uncle Bull at the new Chinese buffet (sadly, Super Panda is no longer in service), pizza for dinner and then a leisurely Monday morning before we had to start our trip back.

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Flowers coming up in Grambo’s garden!

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I asked Grambo if she had a hairdryer and this is what she gave me. I’m pretty sure that my mother used it when she still lived at home.

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Tracks

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Always have to stop by Mister Roger’s Park when in town.

———————-

This morning I went back to visit the church I was attending before I got married and moved out of the area. There was a special baptism service for 11 people! Yeah! It was beautiful! A couple of them were kids that I had worked with in the children’s programs – very special to me. A few others were dear friends or the kids of dear friends. It was such a great service and after a whole winter of failed attempts to get back for a visit, it was much needed to see those faces that were such a big part of my life for so long.ย  I’m so glad that I don’t live TOO far away for the occasional visit.

Baptism is such a beautiful event. I was all teary-eyed while it was going on. I love watching people take that step of obedience and the picture of salvation it is – identifying fully with Jesus in his death, burial, and resurrection.

———————

Our crocuses are in full bloom!!!!ย  They are gorgeous! And a couple days ago, I saw a little fleck of yellow behind them and the mini-daffies are blooming now too. I’m just decided that they are mini’s because they are so much shorter than any other daffodils I’ve ever seen…it is better to say that they were meant to be that way and living up to their full potential than say that they are sorely understated.

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The mini-daffodils. No joke, I’m pretty sure the crocuses are taller than these babies.

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Crocuses are just about my favorite spring flower…they are the first to bloom and remind me that Winter never lasts forever.

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Yep, I rock a pink flamingo in my garden thanks to my nieces and nephew…it’s the only pink I’m willing to have. And there is a mate for it. ๐Ÿ˜€

I bought an axe a few weeks ago in preparation of trying to dig/whack out some stumps and roots from the garden beds. The Huz keeps telling me that it’s not long enough to be an axe, but I told him it’s all about proportions – it’s smaller because I’m smaller. Yeah!

I also bought some summer bulbs to add to the perennials I already have going. Last year, there ended up a crazy amount of pink and purple…it was too much. This year, I’m going for more…or less rather…or more…or something. I don’t really have a plan for the garden bed…plus I have these awful stumps that are strewn through the beds. They make me so frustrated that I want to just toss a bunch of seeds on the dirt and be done with it.

I did manage to pull myself together a bit to pull out one of the boxwoods and replace it with a forsythia. I might regret saying this in a few years, but I have no problem with it going all wild and crazy where I plopped it. At least that way, it will cover the stump that’s right in front of it. :/ You have no idea…

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Such a pretty little forsythia…so much potential, such a bright future!

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The boxwood that lost…

And all of this just proves to me the old adage that

Roots Run Deep.

Freebie Printable: April Bible Verse Calendar

ESV Apr 16

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of April in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.

This month’s theme centers around Easter! One of my favorite times of the year – the new life springing forth from the ground and all around us reminds me of our Savior rising from the grave. Such hope!

ESV Apr 24

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

April ESVย (pdf)
April KJV (pdf)
April NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan Aprilย  (doc)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. ๐Ÿ™‚

Smoky Weeknight Chili – BHG Recipe

I subscribed to the Better Homes & Gardens magazine. It brings me so much joy when it shows up in the mailbox each month. If you follow them elsewhere (Facebook, Instagram), then you’ll find even more inspiration. I thought that I would challenge myself this year with making one of the recipes that comes each month in the magazine. I…decided to do this starting last week, so I hadn’t made anything from the January or February editions. So, here you are, the Smoky Weeknight Chili, featured on page 101 of the BHG February edition. (I’m going to have to do something hunting for the January magazine…I can’t seem to find it anywhere…)

Now I’ve never made chili before. This looked like a fairly straightforward recipe, so I figured it would be a good one to start with. Plus, there is cocoa powder, and when you grow up in Cincinnati, you know that cocoa powder can make the chili. This recipe makes 4 servings of 1 1/2 cups each. I also added ground beef, because I cannot serve a meal to the Huz without meat…and I prefer meat in my chili as well.

Smoky Weeknight Chilichili 140307

Prep Time: 10 mins (unless you’re like me and prep while you cook)
Cook Time: 35 mins

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 15-16 oz can chickpeas (Garbanzo), rinsed and drained
1 15-16 oz can great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp chili powder (more or less for taste)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 14 1/2 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
*1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 tsp cinnamon (optional for more of the Cincinnati variety)

Directions

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet pepper and onion. For great tip on how to cut bell peppers, which I did not do, click here. Cook and stir 4-5 minutes, or until tender. This took a bit longer for me, maybe 10 minutes. I think I had my heat turned down though.

2. Add beans and chili powder. Cook and stir 2 minutes.

3. Stir in tomato sauce, undrained tomatoes, ground beef, brown sugar, and cocoa powder and cinnamon, if desired. Bring to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Serving style: Optional toppings of sour cream, green onions, and chili powder. I shredded a bar of my Tillamook cheddar cheese and we used that as topping. It was so yummy!

Health details available (sans ground beef) at the original recipe link above. I revised the recipe format a little. They had steps 1-3 all compiled into one step, and that makes too much reading through while I’m cooking, so I separated it for you.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Have any chili recipes that YOU love? Care to share them?