Thursday, September 23, 2010

autumn beef & vegetable stew

Fall means... times to break out the crockpot!! Apple cider and a little bacon give this homemade beef stew great flavor.

1 1/2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 slice bacon, diced
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cups beef broth
1 cup apple cider
6 medium potatoes, diced
1 small bag baby carrots
2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and diced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Cook bacon, beef, and onions a large skillet over medium heat until the beef is browned and bacon is cooked. Put the beef and onions in the slow cooker with the bacon, beef broth, apple cider, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery, bay leaf, rosemary, and pepper. Cover and cook for 7 to 9 hours. Combine flour with cold water to form a smooth mixture. Stir into the beef mixture, turn to HIGH, and continue cooking for 15minutes longer. Serves 4 to 6. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

homemade fruit leather

I just fell in love!
I'd love to make an spiced apple cider, plum or kiwi strawberry for next time!

What flavors do you like??

4 cups of fruit
1/2 c water
lemon juice
2-4 tbs. honey
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c sugar

I added the honey and felt it needed a little more so I added half of the sugar amount as well and a little cinnamon to taste

Prepare rinsed fruit, if using apples, peaches, plums or nectarines, peel and remove pit. I used strawberries sliced in half. Add 1/2 cup of water to pan and simmer fruit for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour fruit mix into blender and puree. Add preferred sweeteners to taste and make sure to add lemon or lime juice to prevent fruit from browning later. Pour pureed fruit onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place into oven for 25 minutes. Without opening oven, turn heat off with the oven door shut for 8 hours. Remove baking sheet from oven. Leather is ready when the surface is no longer tacky. Cut 12 even strips, lengthwise. Roll each strip up (with or without paper) and store in air tight container.