Continuing in my quest to find good crockpot meals… we had beer braised beef recently. I threw this together with things I had in the fridge and it turned out really well. Although, I’m not sure you can call it braised since it was made in the crockpot. I’m doing it anyway. So there. ;)

Can I talk about my love of stew meat? I know it’s not the best cut of meat but it’s just so easy. Plus, if you cook it in the crockpot it becomes amazingly tender and pretty much falls apart. Mmm. That’s what I used in this recipe and I can almost guarantee I have some in the freezer at all times. It doesn’t get any simpler than the stew meat.

But like I said, this turned out much better than I expected. I served it over rice and the juice made the rice delicious. I’m so glad that I wrote this down as I was going because I definitely want to make it again sometime.

Beer Braised Beef

Ingredients

2 strips of bacon
1 pound stew meat
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Place bacon on a cooling rack and then on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool slightly and crumble.
  2. Place stew meat and crumbled bacon in crockpot. Put onion, garlic, beer, soy sauce, Worchestershire, and thyme on top of meat crockpot. Stir to combine. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Serve over rice or pasta.
http://fakeginger.com/beer-braised-beef/


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Today my husband is having some of his buddies over for a “OMG-I-haven’t-see-you-in-so-long” get together. We used to host a lot of parties but we’ve been so busy lately that our friends have gotten neglected. In preparation for this party, I decided to make some cupcakes.

This recipe actually comes from Rachael Ray’s magazine. I buy her magazine almost every month because it’s fun to read. I hardly ever try her recipes though because they’re just… umm, weird. However, since Rachael constantly reminds us on her shows that she’s not a baker I figured someone else came up with this recipe. I must be right because these are fabulous cupcakes.

The recipe in the magazine calls for a buttercream but I went with cream cheese because buttercream is not my friend.

Caramel Banana Cupcakes.

from [Everyday with Rachael Ray]

Ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3 large egg whites
5.5 ounces bag soft caramels
1 cup powdered sugar
1 block cream cheese

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually mix in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar at high speed until stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain.
  2. Spoon the batter into the prepated muffin pans, filling each 3/4 of the way. Cut 9 caramels in half and submerge half a piece into each muffin cup of batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the remaining caramels, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup banana, and 1/4 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Add in caramel mixture. Add the powdered sugar slowly until comletely mixed in. Refrigerate until cool. Spread on cupcakes.
http://fakeginger.com/caramel-banana-cupcakes/


adapted from: Everyday with Rachael Ray

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It’s time for Tuesdays with Dorie time again!

This week Dolores of Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity chose Dorie‘s blueberry sour cream ice cream. I got my ice cream maker back in June and ever since then I’ve been hoping that someone would choose this recipe. It sounded amazing.

It ended up being the prettiest ice cream I’ve ever seen. Just look at that color! You can’t buy ice cream that looks like that. The taste, however, was a little disappointing. The sour cream was too much. It overpowered the blueberries and that’s not cool. My husband described it as weird but he ate it anyway, so I guess it wasn’t all that bad.

If you’d like the recipe, check out Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity and be sure you visit the blogroll.

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I don’t think it’s any surprise when I say that Dorie’s book has become my go-to when it comes to baking. Whenever I get the urge to bake something, it’s the first book I flip through. Even though I probably shouldn’t since TWD will eventually bake all the recipes. Oh well, Dorie’s recipes are worth baking twice.

Recently I wanted cornbread, and you guessed it, I turned to Dorie for help. I made Dorie’s corn and pepper muffins not long ago and we loved them so I had hopes for these. Ehh. I guess they’re good for basic cornbread but nothing amazing. I had a problem with them being too dry just like my corn and pepper muffins so I’m not sure what’s going on there. Maybe it has to do with the crazy Alabama weather? Who knows.

These are good muffins, but I’ll add a few things next time. Maybe some cheese. Mmm. That would be heavenly.

Corniest Corn Muffins.

from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons corn oil
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup corn kernels (add up to 1/3 cup more if you'd like), fresh, frozen or canned (in which case they should be drained and patted dry)

Instructions

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or spray the 12 muffin molds in a regular-size muffin tin, or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.
  2. Working in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a large glass measuring cup with a spout or in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and yolk. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy and that's just the way it should be. Stir in the corn kernels. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.
  3. Slide the pan into the oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Pull the pan from the oven and carefully lift each muffin out of its mold and onto a rack to cool.
http://fakeginger.com/corniest-corn-muffins/

 

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I’ve been trying to go meatless once a week partly to save money and partly just because I prefer it that way. It’s not easy with my meat-loving husband so most of the time I end up doing burritos or enchiladas since black beans can fool him.

The husband has a favorite enchilada recipe but it uses chicken so I decided to try a new recipe. It uses 3 cans of black beans, half of which you mash. It also calls for a thin slice of cream cheese to be wrapped up inside each enchilada so I knew we had a winner here. He ended up loving these and didn’t realize there was no meat until he was done and I confessed.

Smoky Black Bean Enchiladas.

from Vegetarian Classics

Ingredients

For the filling:
1 chipotle pepper, preferably canned in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 (15-ounce) cans of black beans, rinsed
3/4 cup orange juice
For the sauce:
1 cup mild or medium salsa
1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
6 ounces light cream cheese, cut into 12 slices
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Mince chipotle pepper with knife and fork, being careful not to get any on your skin. (If using a dried chipotle, cover it with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes before mincing.)
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and chipotle pepper until soft. Stir in beans and orange juice. Simmer 10 minutes. Using the back of a large spoon, mash half of the beans. COok the beans a few more minutes or until they become the texture of mashed potatoes. Set aside while you make the sauce.
  3. Combine salsa, tomato sauce, oregano, and cumin in a bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake 10 minutes to soften. Let cool slightly. Keep the oven on.
  6. Lightly oil 2 shallow baking dishes. Pour a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of each dish. To assemble the tortillas put about 6 tablespoons of filling on each tortilla. Top with a slice of cream cheese. Roll the enchiladas and place seam side down into a baking dish. Repeat until all 12 tortillas are filled and rolled. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkled on the Monterey Jack. Cover the dishes with foil. (At this point you can refrigerate the enchiladas up to 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
  7. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes or until just heated throughout. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
http://fakeginger.com/smoky-black-bean-enchiladas/

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