Classic Weeknight Tacos – Perfect Any Day of the Week

I went all rogue over here today by making these Classic Weeknight Tacos on a Saturday afternoon. What can I say? I’m super rebellious that way. Seriously though, this recipe gets a huge OMG from me and the people I feed. This Campbell’s recipe is the I-am-100%-stuffed-but-I’d-gladly-eat-another-plate-full type of recipe. Without a doubt the best beef tacos I’ve ever made.

Classic Weeknight Tacos, Campbell's, Taco Tuesday

Similar to the Creamy Perogie Dinner I made a few weeks ago, I really felt that you couldn’t mess with the classic beef taco recipe. Wrong. So wrong. The addition of beef broth and Campbell’s Condensed Tomato and Basil Soup make this taco recipe a definite keeper!

Classic Weeknight Tacos, Campbell's, beef tacos, Taco Tuesday, taco dip

As I was licking the pan afterwards, I began to contemplate where else I could use the amazing beef mixture included in this recipe and I came up with a few other alternatives.

1) Toss with cooked pasta
2) As a dip at parties, kept warm in a fondue pan
3) For Sloppy Joes with a tex-mex twist
4) Served over nachos
5) In a bowl with a spoon. I’m kidding. Maybe. Have I mentioned this is delicious?

Classic Weeknight Tacos, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, lettuce

I’m also thinking this is the perfect recipe for ski weekends. I can make the beef mixture ahead of time and transport in separate containers to the chalet. Once there, I need only heat up the beef in the microwave. Lined up on the counter, everyone can serve themselves.

Basically, I’m just looking for as many reasons as possible to include this recipe in my life. I certainly see it showing up on Taco Tuesdays for many weeks to come. The beauty, of course, is that I won’t be making it! It’s so simple to pull together I’m going to delegate the making of this from now on to my 12 year old. I like recipes that allow me to delegate. Thank you Campbell’s.

Classic Weeknight Tacos, taco recipe, beef tacos, classic beef tacos

Classic Weeknight Tacos
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp canola oil
  2. 1 lb lean ground beef
  3. 4 tsp chili powder
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 1 green pepper, chopped
  6. 1 can Campbell's Condensed Tomato with Basil and Oregano Soup
  7. 1/2 cup Campbell's Ready to Use Beef Broth
  8. 8 hard taco shells
  9. 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  10. 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  11. 1/4 cup sour cream
  12. 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  13. 1/4 cup chopped green onion
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Crumble in ground beef; season with chili powder blend. Cook, stirring and breaking up beef, for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Stir in onion and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour in soup and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. Fill taco shells with shredded lettuce and some of the beef mixture. Garnish with cheddar, sour cream, tomatoes and green onions.
Life In Pleasantville http://www.lifeinpleasantville.com/
Disclosure: I am part of the Campbell Company of Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Super Bowl Chili: You NEED To Make This

I worked on this recipe for 3 years. This is why I call it.. THE BEST CHILI EVA or for the purposes of this post, Super Bowl Chili.

It has a real mole flare with the coffee and cocoa powder and just a touch of cinnamon. I firmly believe it will spoil you for all other chili forever. Do come back and let me know if I’m right, ok?

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 6.15.21 PM

This works fab as a meal, but it is my favourite to put out with nacho chips at parties, like, the big game party happening this Sunday. Serve it dip style with fresh grated cheese on top.

While it’s ideal for the Super Bowl, it also works well with late night re-runs on HGTV. It’s versatile that way. I’ll let you decide the when and where.

Super Bowl Chili
This is the best Chili ever. I dare you to try it.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb lean ground beef
  2. 1 lb ground pork
  3. 3 strips of bacon
  4. 1 lg can kidney beans
  5. 1 lg can bean medley
  6. 1 lg can diced tomatoes
  7. 1 can tomato sauce
  8. 1 can corn beef hash
  9. 1/2 medium-sized onion diced
  10. 3 cups brewed coffee
  11. 2 tbsp chili powder ( I also add 1 pkg of premix chili spices)
  12. 1.5 tbs cocoa powder
  13. 1 tsp cinnamon
  14. 1/2 tsp Cumin
  15. 1 ounce Worcestershire sauce
  16. 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  17. 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  18. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  19. 1/2 tsp garlic
  20. (feel free to add fresh hot peppers if you like it HAWT!)
Instructions
  1. In a Large pan or skillet cook 3 strips of bacon. You're cooking this for the bacon fat that the meat will cook in.
  2. Once the bacon is cooked, add the diced onions, and the can of corn beef hash…I know it looks like Ass but it really adds a great flavor and texture to your Chili.
  3. Add your beef, pork, 1.5 cups of the brewed coffee, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and let it the combo cook down.
  4. While this is cooking down, in the pot or slow cooker you're using for the chili, add the following: All the beans, tomatoes, and the tomato sauce. Your cocoa powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and garlic. Also add the other 1.5 cups of your brewed coffee and your Sriracha sauce.
  5. Once the meat mixture is fully cooked, add it to your bean/tomato mixture, cover, and cook on high for approximately 3 hours. Turn to low for two more hours to really get the flavor going.
Notes
  1. Serve it up with a generous dollop of Sour Cream, some sharp Cheddar and your fave corn chips. Also…a Nice Cold Beer is a MUST!!!
  2. I often serve this as a dip with the nacho chips at parties in the place of salsa…Always a Huge Hit…
Life In Pleasantville http://www.lifeinpleasantville.com/
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Creamy Perogie Dinner

There’s been an interesting trend lately in my house—I hand my husband a recipe and he cooks it. I then photograph and eat it. In news that will surprise no one, I am really liking this trend. He was quick to jump in and make the Campbell’s Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo and he insisted on  making this Campbell’s Creamy Perogie Dinner.

creamy perogie dinner

I will admit I was skeptical trying this. I am a perogie purist—onions, bacon, sour cream—nothing more, nothing less. I’m not joking when I say that a plate of perogies would be one my last meal requests. Maybe it’s because I know for a last meal I’d be looking for the ultimate comfort food and perogies fit the bill. They are little fluffy pillows of carb-y goodness.  Thankfully, I’m not near my last meal yet but I do try to eat perogies as much as possible in the winter months.

creamy perogie dinner

So, I raised an eyebrow when I read the recipe for this Creamy Perogie Dinner because while it has the essentials, it adds a few twists in as well, like spinach, salsa, chicken broth and Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup. What kitchen sorcery is this? Delicious kitchen sorcery!! This recipe was a huge hit. While all my favourite perogie components remained, the creamy sauce in which the perogies are gently cooked was a pleasant surprise. The creamy sauce made this traditional comfort meal even more comforting if possible. On a cold January day, it was the perfect meal to dig into.

 Campbell's Creamy Perogie Dinner

Creamy Perogie Dinner
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Ingredients
  1. 5 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
  2. 1 onion, finely diced
  3. 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  4. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  5. 1 box (907 g) frozen perogies
  6. 1 can (284ml) CAMPBELL'S Condensed Low Fat Cream of Celery Soup
  7. 1/2 cup CAMPBELL'S Ready to Use No Salt Added Chicken Broth
  8. 1 cup salsa
  9. 2 cups baby spinach, loosely chopped
  10. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  11. 1/4 cup sour cream (garnish)
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon until crisp at medium heat in large skillet. Drain bacon on paper towel; remove all but 1 tbsp fat from skillet.
  2. Add onion, garlic, and black pepper to skillet; cook and stir until onions are transcluscent—about 3 minutes. Return bacon to pan.
  3. Add perogies to skillet and cook until browned on each side, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the soup, broth and salsa and stir to combine and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and Parmesan cheese and cover skillet with lid. Turn heat off and let sit for a couple of minutes to allow spinach to wilt slightly then mix.
  6. Garnish with sour cream and serve immediately.
Life In Pleasantville http://www.lifeinpleasantville.com/
Disclosure: I am part of the Campbell Company of Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Years ago, my cousin graduated from a Chef’s program and my mother invited him to our house to come show off his newly acquired culinary skills. We had a packed house that night and everyone was eager to see what the first chef in our family would serve. Each course was exceptional but the one thing everyone raved about that night was the Fettucine Alfredo he served alongside a perfectly cooked filet mignon.

“What is your secret?”, all the relatives asked.

He hopped back into the kitchen and with a big grin on his face, came out holding a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup.

chicken and broccoli alfredo, broccoli and chicken alfredo

Needless to say, I’ve carried that little story with me for years now because it taught me that sometimes short cuts in the kitchen make the best meals. That’s why I was super excited to make this Campbell’s Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo. I knew it would be delicious. In fact, I was so confident it would be amazing that we saved this recipe for Christmas Eve.

chicken and broccoli alfredo

Please keep in mind that our Christmas Eve was of the less traditional variety since we were RV’ing in Fort Myers, Florida. I needed our Christmas Eve meal to be three things. It needed to not require a ton of ingredients, it needed to be simple to prepare and it needed to be delicious. This recipe hit every mark.

chicken and broccoli alfredo

This particular recipe will be on a regular rotation in my kitchen now.

Easy Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo
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Ingredients
  1. 10 oz fettucine
  2. 3 cups broccoli florets
  3. 2 tbsp butter
  4. 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cubed
  5. 1/4 tsp salt and ground black pepper
  6. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 can CAMPBELL'S® Condensed Low Fat Cream of Chicken Soup
  8. 1/2 cup 1% milk
  9. 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  10. 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  11. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook fettuccini according to package directions. Add the broccoli during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add soup, milk and fettuccini with broccoli. Cook, stirring often, until heated through. Stir in sundried tomatoes and basil. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Notes
  1. We grilled our chicken a day ahead for this recipe. Then diced into pieces and warmed slightly in a pan with olive oil before adding to fettucine mixture.
Life In Pleasantville http://www.lifeinpleasantville.com/
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Cheesy Beef Skillet Dinner

Ah, the holidays. A time to pause and reflect on the wonder of the season. It’s the time of year we slow down to enjoy it all. Riiiight. I don’t know about you but as slow as it seems for December to get here, it feels like somebody throws the calendar on warp speed December 1st. Am I right? I’ve got concerts and fundraisers and parties and dinners thrown on top of all the regular things I do that don’t take time to pause and reflect, like work and my children’s extra-curricular activities. It makes me perfectly nuts.

Cheesy Beef Skillet Dinner

Needless to say balls start to drop around here in a big way and the first thing to suffer is meal time. There are only two options this month, fast and delicious at home or take-out. There is no dawdling in the kitchen with labour intensive recipes because nobody has time for that. I have more pressing things to do, like finding time to slow down and enjoy it all for example. That’s why this Cheesy Beef Skillet Dinner from Campbell’s is a hit this month. It easily fits into the fast and delicious category and it allows me time to focus on more important things.

Campbell's Cheesy Beef Skillet Dinner
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp canola oil
  2. 1 lb ground beef
  3. 1 tbsp steak spice
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 1 green pepper, chopped
  6. 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
  7. 1 28 oz/796 ml can diced tomatoes
  8. 1 can Campbell's Low Fat Cream of Mushroom Soup
  9. 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  10. 2 cups macaroni, cooked to al dente and drained
  11. 3 cups ages Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  12. 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Crumble in ground beef, season with steak spice. Cook, breaking up into small pieces, for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Add onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, soup and mustard. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in cooked macaroni and 1 cup cheese until well combined.
  3. Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese and green onion. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Notes
  1. Bump up the fibre in this recipe and stir in cooked whole grain macaroni.
Life In Pleasantville http://www.lifeinpleasantville.com/
I know I’m not alone during this frenzied month and so does Campbell’s which is why they’ve created a fun site called Holiday Secrets Exposed. Share your kitchen disasters or embarrassing holiday dinners and take comfort reading other people’s confessions of holiday meals gone awry. You can also find great holiday hacks and recipes like this one to help make the season merry and bright. Need a great recipe for a potluck? You’ll find it there. Maybe something for a quick weeknight meal before you race to the Christmas concert? The bottom line is this, you’re not alone. The holidays are crazy but you shouldn’t need to stress about meal time, especially when Campbell’s recipes are Simple to Make, Easy to Love.

Disclosure: I am part of the Campbell Company of Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Campbell’s 20 Minute Chicken And Rice Dinner

Growing up, I remember there being a lot of Campbell’s Soup in my house, but I don’t recall eating a lot of soup. I guess that’s because my mother was using Campbell’s Soups as the start of something spectacular for weeknight meals long before “semi-homemade” became trendy. Tomato soup in meatloaf, Cream of Broccoli in her Broccoli, Chicken and Rice, and Cream of Mushroom soup in her to-die-for Pot Roast. So, it’s fair to say that Campbell’s has been a part of my family long before the opportunity to participate in this Cook With Campbell’s Ambassador Program through Mom Central.

20 minute Chicken and Rice, quick meals, weeknight meals,

So, I’m not waxing poetic when I say that the opportunity to work with Campbell’s over the next 3 months, is like working with a friend. Campbell’s is not only a brand I know and trust, but one that we use quite frequently in our house. As an aside my husband makes a wickedly good queso using Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup. I’ll be sure to share it with you shortly!

Over the next few months Campbell’s will be asking me to share some great recipes with you. For my first recipe, I chose Campbell’s 20 Minute Chicken and Rice Dinner thinking it would be the ideal meal for weeknights when I’m rushing to feed my children before they head out for cheerleading. That was the plan anyway. The reality was that my Saturday got really hairy, as they often do this time of year, and I had no time for cooking. Perfect timing to try this recipe! True to the recipe, I had my family fed a quick, nutritious lunch in 20 minutes and I was able to get on with my day.

I’m looking forward to what the next few months will bring and sharing great recipes with you from Campbell’s along the way. In the meantime, put this 20 Minute Chicken and Rice Recipe on your menu plan this week and save yourself at least one “What’s for Dinner?” evening.

20 minute chicken and rice, quick meals, weeknight, meals made with Campbell's Soup

Campbell's 20 Minute Chicken And Rice Dinner
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp canola oil
  2. 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  3. 1 can Campbell's Condensed Low Fat Cream of Chicken Soup
  4. 1 1/2 cups water
  5. 2 tsp paprika (optional)
  6. 2 cups fresh (cut up, cooked) or frozen vegetable mixture, thawed (i.e. peas, corn, carrots)
  7. 1 1/2 cups dry instant rice
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium.
  2. Stir in soup, water and paprika. Cook, stirring often, until boiling. Stir in chicken, rice and vegetables. Simmer, covered over medium-low heat, for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Substitute shrimp, sliced sausage or cubed pork tenderloin for the chicken.
  2. For a little added spice, substitute paprika for 1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning.
Life In Pleasantville http://www.lifeinpleasantville.com/

Disclosure: I am part of the Campbell Company of Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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#Dinnerin15 Grilled Tex Mex Sandwich

Dinner in 15 is no joke in this house. It’s a real occurrence twice a week when my children fly through the door after school and have exactly 30 minutes to get changed, eat and then leave for their four hour cheer practice. Dinner has to be perfectly planned to include three key elements—it must be fast, it must be nutritious and it must be portable if we’re rushing out the door.

Grilled Tex Mex Sandwich

That’s where Maple Leaf Prime Oven Roasted Chicken Strips come in. Perfectly cooked and ready to go they are the start of a lot of great nutritious recipes. They work great in wraps, soups, salads, and sandwiches and cut cooking and prep time down substantially, which is perfect for moms trying to serve healthy meals in a rush! For any recipe that calls for cooked chicken, these Prime Chicken Strips are a terrific shortcut.

This Grilled Tex Mex Sandwich is one of my favourite dinner in 15 recipes. It meets all three of my requirements – fast, nutritious and portable.

Here’s why I love this Grilled Tex Mex Sandwich:

Grilled Tex Mex Sandwich
Maple Leaf Prime Chicken – is low in fat and high in protein with 12 g per 50g. It’s exactly what my athletic girls need to get them through a four hour practice.
Black Beans – help pack this sandwich with protein and provide needed fibre
Tomatoes – provide needed Vitamin C and A, and a healthy dose of lycopene
Avocados – Aside from providing a creamy delicious taste to this sandwich, avocados are a nutritional powerhouse giving my girls the healthy fats they need to grow and play hard
Cheddar Cheese – provides calcium for strong bones
Whole Grain Bread – delivers need carbohydrates to power them through their workout. Whole grains are always better than processed so look for it where you can.

Grilled Tex Mex Sandwich
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Ingredients
  1. Two slice whole grain bread
  2. 3-4 Slices of Maple Leaf Prime Chicken
  3. Two slices tomato
  4. Two slices cheddar cheese
  5. Three thin slices of avocado
  6. 1 tbsp of black beans
  7. 1 tbsp of salsa
Instructions
  1. Layer one slice of bread with cheese slice, add 3 to 4 slices of Maple Leaf Prime Chicken, then add tomatoes, black beans, avocado, salsa and then final slice of cheese. Top with final slice of bread. Lightly butter or brush outside of bread with olive oil before placing in panini press.
Notes
  1. You can also grill this sandwich in a pan. Just be cautious it doesn't fall apart on you when you flip it.
Life In Pleasantville http://www.lifeinpleasantville.com/

Thanks to Maple Leaf for sponsoring this post in Pleasantville. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author.

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5 Steps to a Successful Taco Night

 

taco night

If there’s one meal that is sure to cause a unanimous chorus of approval around here, it’s taco night. And we all know how much that sound is music to the ears for the meal planner in the family. The fact that I put taco holders ahead of Tiffany’s on my Christmas list tells you just how much I love to hear it.

In honour of National Taco Day (yes, it’s really a thing), here are my top 5 tips for a successful family taco night.

Find your wrap

We have different preferences for the taco base at our house. Some of us prefer a tortilla, while others of us prefer a nice crunchy taco shell. Either way, we always warm them for a few minutes before serving. For tortillas, I cheat and use the microwave, but there are other methods for warming, which also work well for slightly stale tortillas. I warm the crunchy shells on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

Fill it up

This is your chance to think outside the taco. Although taco night is a weekly occurrence, we switch up the filling to keep things interesting. We will use a ground turkey or extra lean beef, shrimp (grilled on the BBQ with olive oil and seasoning), or if it’s Meatless Monday on taco night, we will use the lentil and brown rice mix from Eden Organic (as recommended to me by a wise vegan friend).

 taco night

 Sauces and Sides

If your family has varying spice preferences, make two batches of filling. Go crazy with the hot sauce and taco seasoning in one batch and keep it mild in the other. I use a tablespoon of low-sodium taco seasoning and a few tablespoons of sweet chili sauce when making the kids’ version (when I don’t have sweet chili, I will substitute with ketchup). You can also amp up the flavour with different types of salsa!

Don’t forget a good taco night needs its side dishes. We will add a flavourful rice dish or some refried beans. I’ll also put a bowl of tortilla chips on the table with some fresh guacamole [insert Jeni’s guac]. In the summer, I make my avocado and black bean dip to go with chips.

Textured and tasty

One of the best things about a taco is the mixture of flavours, textures and temperatures that land in your mouth with each bite. Get creative with your toppings. Mix up the cheeses and types of lettuce. Put out bowls of beans or corn. Pump up the veggies with avocado slices, shredded carrots, and julienned bell peppers. And, don’t forget the sour cream, Tabasco sauce and fresh cilantro!

taco night

Lunchbox leftovers

A taco is just as delicious in a lunch box the next day. I often make extra of everything and put it together as a make-your-own-taco in the lunch boxes. Keep the salsas and sour cream separate to avoid the dreaded soggies. And put down a layer of lettuce to protect the wrap from the meat while it’s waiting to be eaten. I find the tortilla wraps are better for school lunches. I poke a skewer through them to keep them together and avoid big messes.

Go ahead and celebrate National Taco Day at your house.

The cheering will be music to your ears. 

 

 

 

 

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Be a Domestic Superhero With This Slow Cooker Bolognese

I don’t know about you but I always feel like a domestic superhero whenever I make a slow cooker meal. Dinner made before 8am? Yeah, that’s right, this kitchen in my bitch. Booyah! Now when I can make something like this Slow Cooker Bolognese that provides us with two meals, well then, watch out because there is simply no getting past my big fat head for a couple of days. I am woman, hear me cry, “Dinner is READY!”

slow cooker bolognese

So here’s what I love about this Slow Cooker Bolognese, it makes two meals PLUS you can make part of it one day and then the next morning all you need to do is throw it in the slow cooker. When you get home from work, your rich and hearty Slowcooker Bolognese is ready to be served. Get the kids to set the table and the husband to cook the pasta while you snuggle with the dog on the couch. Well, that’s what I would do at least. After all, I already rocked the kitchen with with this incredible sauce and when I’m done I’ll have enough left over for the freezer.

slow cooker bolognese

That’s right, this meal comes complete with a whole other meal ready to go. It’s like the Shamwow of kitchen recipes. Transfer leftover sauce to a glass container when you’re done (I love Glasslock), and let cool slightly before transferring to the freezer. And there you have it, another night with the kids setting the table and the husband cooking pasta, ready to go.

Slowcooker Bolognese
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp butter
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  3. 1 rib celery, chopped
  4. 1 carrot, chopped
  5. 2 lb lean ground beef
  6. 1 cup whole milk
  7. 1 1/2 cups red wine
  8. 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. Pinch of nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook, stirring, until vegetables have softened about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn heat to high and add beef and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and pinch of nutmeg.
  5. Pour in 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of wine (reserving 1/2 cup for later).
  6. Lower heat to medium high and let simmer until most of liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, stir in tomatoes, and reserved 1/2 cup of red wine.
  8. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  9. Remove lid, stir and let sit for 30 minutes more until slightly thickened.
Notes
  1. I make this on a Sunday then I have dinner for Monday and another meal for the freezer. You could also complete the recipe to the part where most of the liquid has evaporated. Store in a container in the fridge and then the next morning add to your slow cooker with tomatoes and wine and it will be ready when you get home from work.
  2. After dinner throw your cape over your shoulder and declare "My work here is done....for today anyway."
Life In Pleasantville http://www.lifeinpleasantville.com/
slow cooker bolognese

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The “I’m Getting Lucky” Beef And Beer Stew

First, let me preface this by saying, you may not get lucky if you make this Beef and Beer Stew. I can’t guarantee that your amour won’t have a headache that night, or that maybe they’ll be doing their nails. What I will tell you is that your odds of getting laid are significantly higher if you make this stew than if you don’t. That is the only promise I’m going to make, alright?

beef and beer stew

Okay, let’s talk about this stew for a second because it’s downright orgasmic, damn it. What? I’m just keeping with the theme here. The beef is so flipping tender it practically melts in your mouth and the gravy? Don’t even get me started about the gravy. It’s a rich, sweet and savoury sauce that would be good enough all on its own. In other words, if you allow plate licking in your house, then this is the dish that’ll do it.

I’m pretty sure the secret here is in the beer. You definitely want to use a Stout beer for this dish. If you’re Canadian, then you’re in luck because Beau’s Brewery makes the best, called Sleepy Time (although you and I both know there won’t be any of that). If you can’t get your hands on Beau’s then try to find an all natural stout beer and that ain’t that Irish beer everyone loves so much. With so many craft breweries popping up, you shouldn’t have too hard of a time finding a great locally brewed stout in your area.

beef and beer stew

Okay, so we’ve established the beer is important. Now what about the beef? Shoot for Double A at a minimum and Triple A if you can. After all, you are setting the mood here, so go for the best. Finally, I used my cast iron casserole dish to cook this in. If you don’t have one, you can also use a Dutch oven to cook it in.

Beef and Beer Stew
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs of stewing beef
  2. 3 tbsp of flour
  3. 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  4. 4 large yellow onions, sliced thickly
  5. 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  7. 2 cups hot beef stock
  8. 2 cups stout beer (such as Beau's Brewery, Sleepy Time)
  9. 3 tbsp brown sugar
  10. 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  11. 2 tbsp olive oil
  12. 2 tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Mix flour with salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Toss beef cubes in flour.
  3. Heat butter and olive oil in casserole dish over medium high heat. Add beef and brown outside but do not cook through. Remove beef from pan and set aside.
  4. Add onions to pan and cook until slightly softened. Add the garlic and thyme, then add the beef stock, stout, beer, sugar and mustard, scraping up brown bits from bottom of casserole.
  5. Return beef to casserole.
  6. Let stew come to a simmer then place lid on top and place in oven for 2 hours, stirring once halfway through. Remove lid and cook for 30 minutes more to allow sauce to thicken. Watch closely though so that it doesn't dry out.
Notes
  1. Serve with baby potatoes and carrots.
  2. Shave your legs before you make this.
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