Category Archives: holiday

Weekend Beef Stew

just in time for the weekend, a recipe for beef stew.

tender meat, potatoes and carrots… warms you from the inside out, the perfect cold-weather meal. and the best part? you just throw the ingredients into a crockpot, watch football for a few hours, and it’s ready to go by the night-game.

this time we did just that – started it in the morning and let it cook all day, but another way to do it is start it the night before and let it cook all. night. long.

so delicious!!

Weekend Beef Stew

recipe adapted from: Rachel’s Boss’ Friend {not exactly sure who gets the credit…}


  • 2 lb stew meat, cubed {pork &/or beef, we did just beef}
  • flour {about a .25-.5 cup to dredge the meat}
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1-2 bay leaves {we used 1 large}
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • .5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • .5 tsp paprika
  • a dash of all spice
  • 6 carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 5-6 yukon gold or red potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces {we used yukon golds}


Heat the oil in a pan on the stove.

Dredge the meat {coat with flour},add to the heated oil, and brown the meat.  Once browned, pour the meat {and any juices} into the crockpot.  Stir in the boiling water, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, bay leaf{or leaves}, sea salt, brown sugar, black pepper, paprika, and all spice.  Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. {or you may choose to let it cook overnight, just make sure it’s set on low!}

Add the carrots and potatoes about 3 hours prior to serving.  We think that the longer it cooks, the better…best part is when the meat falls apart on its own.


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Pumpkin Bread

i love october.

this is a new thing for me.  i didn’t begin to love fall until about a year or 2 ago. i’ve always been a summer person {don’t get me wrong, i still love summer} but there is something about crisp days, steamy soups, football always on, warm scarves, and pumpkin goodies that makes me so happy. not to mention, i  l o v e  halloween.    a lot.

i bought a can of pumpkin puree this weekend and decided that i would help myself get into the fall mood by baking pumpkin bread.

i don’t yet have a go-to recipe for delicious, moist pumpkin bread so i began searching.  i found one recipe that looked lovely, however it called for more butter than i have stocked in my fridge.  i found another recipe that i’m sure was tasty but it used more oil and sugar than i wanted.  and then there was a recipe that only used 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree, and i wanted to use my whole 15 oz can.  after 30+ minutes of clicking through online pumpkin bread recipes, i gave up.

and i did the unthinkable.

i created my own pumpkin bread recipe.  such a scary thought… i mean, baking is a science… {& i’m terrible at science} one too many dashes of “this” and one less dash of “that” can leave you with a miserable mess of once tasty ingredients.  but tonight i felt daring and i needed the smell of cinnamon-pumpkin to fill my kitchen, i needed to eat some pumpkin bread.

so i did it.

*Note 1: this is not the best recipe there is, but i think it’s a good start.  i don’t think i did too shabby for never having made my own baking recipe before…

*Note 2: it’s much more like bread {hence the name} as opposed to a pumpkin muffin or a pumpkin cake.  it’s not so sweet, but i like that – if you need more sweet, i bet it would be delicious toasted with butter and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

Pumpkin Bread

an original recipe from: Matt & Rachel’s Kitchen


  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • .25 tsp all-spice
  • 4 tbsp (or .5 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • .5 cup brown sugar
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • .25 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°  and prepare your loaf pans {two ~9×5 loaf pans}.  Use cold butter to grease the pans and then flour them.  {be sure not to under-do it – like I did in my chocolate cake recipe – don’t be shy!}

In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and all-spice.  Set aside

In a large bowl, blend butter {melted}, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla  until combined.  Slowly stir the flour mix into the large bowl, until the mixture is smooth.

Disperse batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.  Bake on the top rack for 35-40 minutes.

Do the toothpick check to make sure they’re done {toothpick should come out ‘clean’ when poked in the middle of the bread}.  Once cool enough to handle, pop them out of the pans… and enjoy!!

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