Archive for October, 2012

October 29, 2012

Crockpot Beef Stew

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This was a very good, very easy meal. I always want to try and use the crockpot more often but for some reason I never do. (By the way…Is it crockpot or crock pot? Now they both look funny to me.)

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I was excited to make it when I saw it on Eat Live Run. Jenna made it with butternut squash and mushrooms with an addition of soy sauce. I left out the mushrooms because my husband is not a fan and for some reason I didn’t pick up a butternut squash SO I just made a basic beef stew. Mine also has some different ingredients mainly because I used what I had on hand.

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The beef was very tender and the vegetables were cooked perfectly. I purchased the potatoes at a local farmer’s market and they had that fresh, melt in your mouth taste.

So here’s what you need and how you do it!

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Crockpot Beef Stew {Adapted from Jenna’s Crockpot Beef and Butternut Squash Stew}

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6-7 small potatoes, chopped
  • 3-4 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Pinch chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup flour

DIRECTIONS:

Place the flour in a shallow dish with beef. Toss well to coat.

Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the beef and garlic and continue sautéing until beef has browned. 

Place onions, beef and garlic at the bottom of crockpot. Next add bay leaf, carrots and potatoes. Pour broth over and add worcestershire, soy sauce, sugar, paprika and chili.

Place the lid on, set to low and cook 8-10 hours.

Remove bay leaf, add salt and pepper before serving.

**Print this recipe**


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October 26, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

 

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I am aware that buffalo chicken quesadillas (or any quesadilla for that matter) are super easy. HOWEVER…I am currently broke and jobless which means that my meals need to be quite basic for the time being. On a positive note, I currently have a lot of free time on my hands so it’s the perfect time to get back into posting and practicing my photo foodography skills!

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My husband and I had a blast these past few weeks/months/years. I forget how long it has been since we left Boston, but it feels like a veryvery long time. Incase I haven’t mentioned it before, we left our teeny tiny apartment in Boston to come back to our hometown in Maine. We were given a great opportunity to live rent free and even though Boston was a blast and we miss it, who can say no to free rent?!

Ookkk… so if we left Boston a veryvery long time ago, how come we don’t have jobs yet? Well we had saved up some money to put down for a new apartment in Boston and since we no longer needed the $650,000 to do that, we decided to treat ourselves to a couple of trips before settling down in the woods of Maine. I won’t go into too many details but some points of interest included a drive to Michigan, and then to CHICAGO (my new favorite place), to Pennsylvania and back to Maine only to immediately pack up again and drive my mother down to Florida where we spent many days relaxing in the warm sunshine. And then we finally flew home, where our vacationing came to an end and reality reappeared. 

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Well that’s my (slightly long) update!

So, let’s see…quesadillas. There isn’t a right or wrong way to make a quesadilla. You put cheese and pretty much any ingredient into a tortilla, heat it up until hot and melted and bam! It’s finished.

Just humor me.

We tend to make buffalo chicken style quesadillas, mainly because there are few ingredients and well, we love any and all things buffalo style. A note about the chicken: You can use leftover chicken/rotisserie chicken if you’d like but I really like to poach the chicken. It’s easy and the chicken comes out really moist. There are so many variations of poaching chicken, you might as well google it to find your favorite. I don’t even use aromatics and such like most recipes call for. I just use water and maybe some salt and pepper.

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See? Not too many ingredients! Even the tomato was an extra ingredient for me and that’s only because I had one on hand that was starting to soften.

I was trying to make an effort and make these extra interesting today so I also added a *secret* ingredient. Sriracha! We love that stuff. I have been putting it on everything lately. My husband and I absolutely love eating spicy foods so if you don’t enjoy it too hot, just omit the sriracha and it will still be delicious.

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Some recipes suggest using two tortillas stacked on one another which is fine, if you like making a mess. Or at least that’s what happens to me when I try to flip the entire thing. My favorite way is to use one tortilla and simply fold it in half.

This is how I like to do mine. (I will try to get into step by step photos but for now, try to picture it in your head).

1. Make sure the skillet is heated

2. After brushing one side of the tortilla lightly with oil, lay face down onto the skillet

3. Immediately lay down some cheese. Add toppings to right side only. And more cheese if desired.

4. Let the cheese melt slightly. Now flip the tortilla in half, pressing down with a spatula.

5. Let cook for a few minutes until golden brown. Flip onto the other side and cook until golden brown.

I feel like this way cooks more evenly and the cheese acts like a glue to hold it all together.

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Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

INGREDIENTS:

  • Approx. 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1/2-1 tbsp sriracha (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • 4 tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, hot sauce, sriracha, garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Give it a quick stir and heat until butter has melted. Add shredded chicken to the hot sauce mixture. Toss until coated, set aside.

Heat a square griddle pan or large skillet over medium heat. Lightly brush tortilla with olive oil and place oil side down onto hot griddle. Add approximately 3/4 cups of shredded cheese over entire tortilla. Add 1/4 of the chicken mixture and tomatoes onto the right side of the tortilla. As soon as you see cheese starting to melt, carefully lift the left side up and over the right, pushing down firmly with a spatula. Cook 3-5 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown. Remove from pan and slice into 3 pieces. Cover to keep warm.

Repeat with remaining tortillas, chicken, tomatoes and cheese.

**Print this recipe**

What are some of your favorite quesadilla fillers??

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