January 27, 2011

Super simple beef bourguignonne stew

It's been another wild week in this neck of the woods! The crock pot continues to help us out, it's been a busy bee this month!

Tonight's selection: Beef Bourguignonne stew!

You'll need:
2 lbs beef stew chunks (they're in the meat case, all cut and packed up)
a tablespoon or two of cooking oil
1 10 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup dry red wine (like Burgundy)
several dashes of Worcestershire sauce
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 smallish carrots, chopped
4-6 mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup cold water and 1/4 cup corn starch, if you think it needs it.

Here's how:

Brown the meat in the oil, then put it in the crockpot. Combine the soup, Worcestershire sauce, wine, spices, garlic, and veggies in a bowl, then pour over meat in crockpot. Cover it up, then cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5.

*If it looks too thin for your liking, add the cornstarch to the cold water, mix it up, then add to the crockpot about 15 minutes before go-time. Stir until it's thick and bubbly.

Serve this goodness over some noodles! If you got the good wine, it'd be a good time to have some. :) lol

Enjoy, and stay warm!

Eat well!
<3 Jen

January 21, 2011


My dad has always made the moistest, most delicious cakelike cornbread. I finally found a recipe that makes a similar product. Squee!

Buttery Cornbread

1 stick of butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Cream together butter and sugar for a ridiculously long time, until it's so light and fluffy you could nap on it.

Combine the eggs and milk in a smallish bowl, and the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in another. Add a small amount of the egg mixture and a small amount of the flour mixture at a time, mixing well after each addition until it's all in the bowl and mixed well. Pour into a greased 9x9 baking dish, pop into a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.


Eat well!
<3 Jen

January 19, 2011


Zumba went very, very well this morning. I about fell over, but I persevered and lived to tell the tale. Goal pants, here I come! Goodbye to my dear Muffin Top. ;)

A Nerd Named Jen proudly presents:
Recipe with photos!!!!

Manhattan Clam Chowder!

Here's our lovely cast (ignore the delicious, sinful Cherries & Cream Stewart's sodas behind them)

5 strips bacon
3 celery stalks
2 yellow onions
2 cups water
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 carrots
4 small red potatoes
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 cans clams, drained and rinsed

Cook the bacon until it's crisp. You can use a skillet and country girl it up, or you can be a lazy wuss cautious like me and microwave it. I did mine for 3 minutes on high. When it's done, put it in the bowl of your crock pot.

Dice your celery and onions!

Saute them until they're soft!

Then, throw 'em in the pot with the bacon.

Add water, tomatoes, diced carrots and potatoes, spices and hot sauce to the pot.

Set the crock pot on LOW, let 'er go for 6-8 hours. Add the garlic and clams the last hour of cooking.

Drain the clams in a colander...

...then throw 'em in the pot for the last hour, along with zee garlic. (Thanks Zach! xo)

Verdict? Delicious and savory! I put a few crackers in the bowl and gobbled it up. I forgot to take a photo of the finished product for you! I have some left over, perhaps I'll get a pic of that. :D

Make your dreams come true this wondrous new year!
Eat well!
<3 Jen

January 18, 2011

Okay, I'm not dead...

...just stupid busy.

I'm working at a vocational college in the city teaching skincare every weeknight. It rocks. I'm still cutting hair 2 days a week. That's exhausting, but it keeps my hands in the hair , plus paying things off a little more quickly.

As a result, the crockpot's been seeing a lot of playtime. Here's what's coming up tonight....

Veggie stuffed peppers

4 whole bell peppers
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I had sharp cheddar, but pepper jack would be tasty)
1/3 cup uncooked rice
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion, diced
big handful minced parsley
chili powder, cumin and salt to taste

Cut a thin slice off the top of each pepper. Carefully take out seeds and membranes, leaving pepper intact.
Combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Spoon mixture into each pepper. Stuff 'em good. Any excess filling can be poured on top.
Arrange peppers in crockpot (4 quart is perfect). Cook on LOW setting 4-6 hours. Serve with lime and sour cream.

If you're having folks over for dinner, it'd be a pretty presentation if you used several colors of peppers. Sigh. :D

Anyway, to catch you up some more: I'm pretty sure I'm lactose intolerant(yuck), so I'm using less dairy nowadays. Zach got me 2 nice cookbooks with healthy, veggieful recipes and *gasp* a 7-cup Cuisinart food processor. *commence happy ugly cry*
I opened my big mouth before the holiday break and challenged my students to some self-improvement. So, I've been calorie counting and I'm going to start a Zumba class tomorrow morning. To celebrate, I went to TJ Maxx and got a new pair of workout shoes, breathable socks and some comfy pants. Yee haw!