Cold winter days just need hearty soups and stews, both to warm the body and comfort the soul!
One day last week I decided to make an old favorite stew recipe of mine – Amish Stew, and I went to my blog to pull up the directions, and I couldn’t believe it when I discovered I haven’t shared this gem of a recipe with you! Let’s fix that today!
I could give this dish a couple other names that would be more appropriate than Amish Stew. It could easily be called, Lazy Day Stew or Poor Man’s Stew. Both would be appropriate! Let me share the recipe and you’ll see why!
Continue reading “Lazy Day Stew”
I just hate to see good food go to waste! That’s one reason I’m the Queen of the Freezer! Leftover baked potatoes get scooped out and frozen for future pots of Potato Soup. Leftover Chicken Carcasses get cooked in pots of herbed water so we can enjoy homemade chicken stock.
Last week when I used five chickens to feed a group of people, the Lord brought a spiritual truth to my mind. Even greater than wasting good food that can be used for a future meal, how tragic it is when I waste a lesson He has taught me. It’s so crucial to journal the truths that I’ve learned by means of a trial, sickness, or difficulty so I won’t forget them – this would be the boiling of the chicken bones! I need to get down to the bottom of what I’ve learned. That takes prayer, quiet and then time to write in a journal.
The next step is pulling it back out and reminding myself of the Truth on days when I need it. Preaching to myself is something that happens frequently because my mind likes to dwell on things other than truth (ever been there?). I’ll flip back to my journal and reread what God did in my life, what He taught me or how He answered a prayer request and provided a need and I have food to go on for that day! This is the freezing process of the stock making lesson. I can pull that frozen stock out and make a meal with it such as Chicken enchiladas, pot pies or Golden Winter Soup . I’m always so thankful that I took the time to make the stock! I’m doubly glad to have that truth hidden away to encourage my heart.
Sometimes I also get to make a meal for someone else with that stock! I love to give other people good food. The spiritual application here is that sometimes I get to take the lessons God has taught me and share them with others. When I do that, I’m giving them Divine view point rather than my human view point. That will help them so much more than my feeble words ever could!
If I threw that chicken carcass in the trash I would be wasting something good. If I finish a time of trial and simply breathe a sigh that it’s over, I’ll be wasting those precious lessons God has graciously given to me. It wasn’t a waste of time in my life, so I should value it enough to hold fast to it so I can benefit from it in the future!
Here’s a simple video and pictures of the process I go through to make my own stock. It helps you make good use of the whole chicken, plus it’s a real money saver, considering that a can of broth is a dollar or more and you get less than two cups in each can!
Do you ever make your own stock?
What spiritual lesson has the Lord recently taught you that you could share with others or remind your own self of in the days ahead?
Don’t waste it!
What, oh what would I do without my freezer? I’ve said it before, but my freezer is my best friend…well, you know what I mean.
It’s there for me!
It has supper waiting!
It has gifts inside, both for me and many other friends!
Isn’t that a great friend?!
I’ve always put leftovers in my freezer, but I’ve not always stored them in the best way, or in a way that was easy to reheat them. But I have two new tricks using frozen leftovers that have worked for me and I want to pass them along to you!
- Slow-Cook leftovers from a frozen state.
Last Sunday I went to the freezer before heading to church and I pulled out a container with a yummy casserole, Countryside Chicken Bake, full of great things, aside from the chicken, like Cream of Mushroom Soup, sour cream, rice, and carrots (or peas, if you prefer). I had marked the container saying, Countryside Chicken Bake, Two Servings. Knowing that would be perfect for our Sunday dinner, I took it in its frozen state and put it directly into my slow cooker, adding about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to keep it moist . I put the crock pot on High for one hour, low for 3 hours. I think going slow and making sure there is plenty of liquid is the best way to reheat so you’ll have a good outcome.
When we came home from church, it was hot, juicy, tender and ready to eat! That is a freezer win!!
Does this look like leftovers to you? I don’t think so!!
- Put small amounts of chili, soups or stew into muffins tins for individual servings.
I love this so much! You know how the last half of the chili doesn’t look too appealing after eating it two days in a row? This makes it a cinch to store and reheat for dinner another day when you’ll be glad to see it again!
I had leftover Taco Soup last week with just a little left over. I used the large muffin tins, but regular sized one will work, too. Fill them up, cover with syran wrap and freeze for a couple hours or overnight until frozen solid.
Then run warm water on the bottom of the tin and then pop them onto a tray.
Store the frozen soup “pucks” in freezer bags, labeled with the soup name.
When you need lunch or supper, pop the frozen soup into a microwave container and warm it up! You could do one serving or six, depending on your needs (and the amount of leftovers, of course!). At one time this winter I had three different soups in the freezer. It made for a really easy lunch, which seems to be the hardest meal for me!
Leftovers don’t have to have a bad name! They can be reused at a later time and used in a way that will make a busy day much less stressful if you store and reheat properly.
If you try these tips I bet your freezer will become your best friend, too!
One more thing that I love about my freezer is freezing breads that are ready to bake, like these rolls or these muffins! They’re super good and so handy to have on hand!
What would we do without the crock pot? Other than run to Chick-Fil-A for fast food? I lean on mine a lot and am so thankful it can have my meal prepping while my days are full.
I’ve posted this recipe for Yankee Pot Roast from Cooking Light before, but recently I made it in the crock pot because it was going to be a day away from home with the need for supper when the busyness was done! This meal is so hearty, so savory and satisfying and perfect for a cold winter’s day! I’m going to add in my method for making it in the slow cooker, just in case you might have some busy days when you, too, need a meal ready for the table when you get home!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 (4-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
- 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
- 2 cups low-salt beef broth
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup chopped plum tomato
- 1 1/4 pounds small red potatoes
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan, browning on all sides (about 8 minutes). Remove from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until browned. Return roast to pan. Combine broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire; pour over roast. Add tomato; bring to a simmer.
Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until tender. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Follow step 2, using a heavy pan to brown roast and then saute’ onions. Place roast in the bottom of the slow cooker, then top with onions. Add carrots and potatoes around roast. Pour broth mixture over all and cook on low 8 hours.
When you remove the cooked roast from the crock pot, you can pour the broth mixture into a skillet and then thicken with corn starch on the stove to make a delicious gravy for the meal!
This is some swanky comfort food, friends! I hope you’ll make your next busy day end deliciously by making this in your crock pot!
With love from my country kitchen,
No one in my family is Gluten-Free, but I have friends who are, so I’ve been pinning GF recipes on Pinterest. Some recipes are just plain strange, but when I found this White Chicken Chili, I knew it would be good! It was so delicious and had NO SPECIAL INGREDIENTS in it. You simply substitute coconut milk for the regular milk and corn starch for flour. This is so good with the thighs, too, but of course, you could use white meat. I will make this again, not just for my GF friends, but for anyone who wants a delicious bowl of hearty, tasty soup!
Here’s the simple recipe:
Slow Cooker Gluten-Free White Chicken Chili
- 2.5 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 3 cans Great Northern beans
- 2 8 oz Cans Diced Green Chilies
- 1 Very large Yellow Onion diced
- 1 Tbl Garlic minced
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp White Pepper
- 1 Tbl Coarse Real Salt
- 2 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
- 1/4 Cup Arrowroot Starch or cornstarch (I used cornstarch)
Place the chicken thighs, beans, chilies, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, pepper, salt, chicken broth, and coconut milk in a crock pot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or until chicken is very tender.
Remove the chicken and place in a bowl. Lightly shred with a fork.
Place the arrowroot starch in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the 1/2 C. water to make a smooth, lump-free mixture. Stir the mixture into the chili in the crock pot.
Add the chicken back into the chili and stir to distribute. Let cook for another 30 minutes. Soup should thicken up.
Add the cilantro to the soup just before serving and check the seasonings, adding more salt or pepper if desired. If you want the soup to be a little thinner, add more chicken broth or coconut milk until desired consistency is achieved.
Top with a squeeze of lime juice.
Now how about a tasty little sweet ending for this meal or a nice snack that’s also Gluten-Free? This tastes like real food ! We loved these, and they whip up in minutes!
1 Cup Cashew – salted
1 Cup dates
1 Cup unsweetened Coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbl Almond Butter
- Process dates in a food processor fit with “S” blade until crumbly.
- Add coconut, cashews, vanilla and salt and process until well blended and fine.
- Add almond butter and process until mixture starts balling up or sticking together.
- Roll into balls, 1-2 TBS at a time.
- Enjoy! Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Do you make any Gluten-Free recipes you love?
With love from my country kitchen,