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Monday, December 28, 2015

Simple and Delicious Cheater's Bœuf Bourguignon


Now that the festivities of Christmas are over and the frenzy has dwindled down a bit, I love to take time to relax.  If you've been here before, you're keenly aware that during the winter months, my palate craves heavier food.  Yum!  For our Christmas dinner, I made a beautiful standing rib roast (à la Anne Willan via Martha Stewart), ham (recipe in my archives here), Brussels sprouts, stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, and potatoes.  Here is a peek.






In today's post, I will share how I turned my leftovers into a wonderful beef stew, or a cheater's version of Boeuf Bourguignon, at least.  

First, all leftover beef was cut away from the bone, cubed, and placed into a pan along with pan drippings and approximately 1- 1 1/2 cups of red wine.  Any beef that had been sliced was cut into smaller pieces and placed in the pan as well.  I kept this overnight, allowing the flavors to mesh.  

Once I was ready to prepare my dish, in a very large stock pot, I placed any remaining ham, cubed, one whole onion, cut into large pieces, four to five cloves of garlic, sliced, beef bouillon (about 10 cubes of the low sodium version), dash Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, a pinch of onion salt, and a generous amount of garlic salt and black pepper to taste. Allow all these elements to cook until the onions have wept (are transparent).  I added all of the cubed beef and drippings along with two cans of mushroom soup.  Continue cooking.


While boiling, I peeled and cut into six pieces each approximately ten large russet potatoes, and peeled approximately 6-7 large carrots, cut them into pieces about 1 inch long.  Add the carrots to the pot and cook until almost done, then add potatoes.  Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, and your dish is ready to serve!  

I prefer this wonderful stew over egg noodles.


Delish!!  I call this a cheater's version of Boeuf Bourguignon because most recipes will call for fresh mushroom and herbs, pearl onions, bacon, but I used what I had on-hand.  It was just as lovely!


I hope you are enjoying your friends and family this lovely holiday season!  



If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤
 





Friday, November 20, 2015

Souper Easy Sopa di Albondigas

I think it's been said here on the blog, I love soup!  Just as soon as there is a nip in the air, my family and I love to begin our tradition of enjoying wonderful homemade soups.  Today's post features my super-quick-and-easy recipe for one of my absolute favorites, sopa di albondigas.

If you aren't familiar with this delicious and hearty soup, it is a Mexican soup that combines fresh veggies with the wonderful flavor of meatballs.



To prepare your soup you will need:

1 small onion
4-5 cloves garlic
4-5 large carrots
Green, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
2-3 stalks celery
Cilantro
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Black pepper
Caldo pollo bullion
Celery salt
1 can diced lime chili tomatoes 
Meatballs ( You may prepare your own in advance, or do as I've done here and use frozen)


Begin by rinsing all of your vegetables; peel and slice carrots, set aside.


In a large stock pot, combine to taste onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and celery salt.  I guesstimate approximately 2-3 teaspoons of each except for the celery salt.  I am heavy-handed with my celery salt, but you may edit to your liking.  Add your tomatoes to the water as well.  Add approximately 2 tablespoons Caldo.  


Chop onions,


slice garlic,


chop celery,


hull and slice peppers...and add all these elements to the water along with your trimmed cilantro.


Bring to a rapid boil.


When the onions are almost transparent, and the celery is firm but not yet cooked through, add your sliced carrots and meatballs.  Continue to cook approximately 5-7 minutes until the carrots are fork-tender, and your meatballs are heated through.


Isn't this lovely?  A peek at all of the wonderful elements.



Serve this wonderful soup with sliced avacado


topped with a sprig of fresh cilantro.  Enjoy with warm tortillas!  Muy delicioso!  





If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤








  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Creepy Halloween Treats

Halloween is such a fun time of year.  It's a time for children and adults alike to indulge in a bit of wicked whimsy...and that also means frightful feasts!  I am a huge fan of candy melts because they are so versatile and easy to use!  Today I am sharing three simple no-brainer candy ideas that will definitely help your Halloween festivities go off without a hitch.  I hope you enjoy the post!  For each of these treats, I used Wilton microwaveable candy melts (I have not been paid to endorse them).


Creepy Spidey Candies


To make these candies, I started with a mold I found last year at The 99¢ Store.


I loved the detail!!



Begin by filling your molds with melted candy just until the spider portion is filled.  Place in refrigerator to cool, approximately 10 minutes.  I used black candy melts, but you can really do these in any color!  Another option is to make only the bottoms of the spiders red, you would fill that portion first with red candy melts, allow to cool, then add the black.


After my spiders cooled, I filled the molds with white candy melts.  Place in refrigerator and allow to cool.
 

All set!  Just carefully remove from the molds.  Easy!


Another option to consider is adding a mini marshmallow just before adding the white chocolate.  Yum!




Spooky Skull Candies


These candies took a little more patience to make.  I began again with another mold I found at The 99¢ Store.


To make the eyes of the little skulls, I used a toothpick.  Roll the toothpick in the melted chocolate until an ample amount is on the toothpick.  Allow any excess to drip off.  Carefully spread the chocolate onto the eye areas by gently tapping the toothpick so the chocolate comes down the pic.


Allow to cool.  Once cool, pour melted white candy into the mold and again allow to cool.  For a more macabre effect, you can use red candy melts for the eyes!



Creepy Marshmallow Brain Pops


Upon the suggestion of my kiddos, I bought this mold a while ago really as a gag gift for my husband who knows a few neurosurgeons.  I believe its original intent was for ice (note the words brain freeze, ha, ha, ha), but it worked perfectly for my creepy candy melt marshmallow pops.
 

To obtain the perfect peachy-pink color, I mixed melted pink and white candy melts



and folded in a little bit of orange food coloring.


I filled the molds semi-full and a bit around the sides of each mold.


Extra-large marshmallows were cut in half


and placed sticky-side down (cleaner that way, and better handling).


I filled each mold completely up and placed into the refrigerator for just a few moments, but not long enough to completely set.


When the chocolate is semi-cool and not yet set, gently push in cake pop sticks.  Place into the refrigerator and allow to completely cool.


Voilà!


My kiddos helped me out with this project, and they gave me some great ideas.  If you would like to up the gross-out ante, serve these with red raspberry sauce....and you can also add a dollop of red raspberry right after the marshmallow before you add the final bit of chocolate (but in this case I would put the sticky side up so the raspberry adheres to the marshmallow).  I'll bet your guests will be surprised!! 

To see these featured in my spooky Halloween vignette, you may visit the post on my blog Parsimonious Décor Darling here.


Have a Happy Halloween!!


If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤




Saturday, October 10, 2015

Festive Fall Maple Almond Sugar Cookies


One of the easiest cookies to make is definitely the rolled sugar cookie.  Fabulously versatile, these cookies can be dressed up so many ways!  In honor of the Autumn season, today I am sharing my sugar cookie recipe infused with the lovely flavors of Fall.

Ingredient list: 
1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Food coloring
Maple cream cheese frosting

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, softened margarine, milk, vanilla, almond, and egg; blend well.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.


Heat oven to 400 degrees F.   Set aside approximately 1 cup each of dough, one cup for each color you would like to make.  Keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use.


On a lightly floured surface roll out dough 1/3 of dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness.



 Cut with a floured cookie cutter.  Place 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.


Bake at 400 degrees F for 5-9 minutes or until edges are light brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheets and onto cookie rack for cooling.  Cool completely.


Drip a small amount of food coloring into each of your separated dough ball reserves.


It is messy, so to avoid coloring your hands, I recommend first working the color into the dough with a spoon,


then enclosing it in waxed paper again working the color into the dough until most of the color is absorbed, at which point it is safe to handle with the bare hands.


Repeat the same rolling process as before.  I liked the way the dough came out a bit marbled here for dimension, but you can mix thoroughly if you prefer.


Cut your colored dough into leaf shapes.  Your kiddos will enjoy this part!





If you prefer, use a gentle, steady hand to imprint the veining of the leaves into your dough using the spring of the cutter.  Just be sure not to penetrate all the way through the dough when you do so.  You have the option of baking the leaves separately or at the same time as your foundation cookie.  If you would like to serve these cookies plain, bake all at once and dust with sugar when complete.

 


I wanted to infuse my cookies with some Fall flavor and to do that, I frosted my cookies with maple frosting. 

Maple Frosting

To make maple frosting, simply add maple extract to cream cheese frosting, approximately 1-1 1/2 teaspoons per each 12 ounces of frosting.  You may opt to make your own cream cheese frosting from scratch, or if you are in a pinch, do as I did....take the easy way out and use store-bought.  ;)


Fold the maple flavoring in and mix thoroughly.  Simple!


Options, options, options!! 

There are so many lovely ways to decorate and serve these!
 

In addition to dusting with sugar, you can simply frost them,


frost and sprinkle with cinnamon,


frost and add slivered almonds,


frost and add a leaf cookie,


or more,


or frost and drizzle with chocolate syrup.


I used a wonderfully rich dark chocolate for these cookies made by Torani.  Yummm!


The addition of almond and maple to standard sugar cookies definitely adds the flavor of Fall!  To see these cookies featured in my Autumnal Tea Al Fresco, you may visit the post on my blog Parsimonious Décor Darling by clicking here.





  What are your favorite flavors of the season?


If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤