Friday, December 31, 2010

Guinness Stout Stew

This week, I went to a local pub with my SATC girls and we enjoyed the fabulous Charlie Robison and Guinness Stout Stew for the first time. They were both TO DIE FOR!!

I knew immediately that I had to create a copycat recipe and I must say, this is pretty darn close. My boys went CRAZY over this recipe and insisted that we add it as an everyday meal! They will get no arguements from me!


2 pounds stewing beef
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch (or Two) of cayenne
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons of salsa
1 1/4 cups Guinness Stout (Do NOT Subsitute any other type of Guinness & No worries if you don't have Guinness on hand. MOST grocery stores are selling bottles individually now!)
2 cups largely diced carrots
6 small red potatoes quartered
Sprig of fresh thyme

6 small bread bowls
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Fried Onion Strings, for garnish

Trim the meat of any fat or gristle, and cut into 2-inch cubes. Toss beef with 1 tablespoon of the oil. In a small bowl, season the flour with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Toss meat with seasoned flour.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Reduce the heat, add the onions, crushed garlic and salsa to the skillet, cover, and cook gently for 5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a casserole and pour half of the Guinness into the skillet. Bring Guinness to a boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices on the pan. Pour over the meat, along with the remaining Guinness. Add the carrots, potatoes and thyme. Stir and adjust seasonings. Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat, or in a 300 degree F oven until the meat is tender, 2 to 3 hours.

Garnish the beef with parsley and onion strings. Serve in a bread bowl (as shown in photo).

This is a MUST try recipe... You will NOT be disappointed!


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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry CHRISTmas from The Jones Family!

(Photo by Southern Grace Photography)

As you and your family celebrate this holiday season, we hope and pray that you have joy in your hearts, great family and friends to share it with, and good times that build warm memories. We pray that you are blessed with all you need and much, much more!

Thank you Lord for Blessing us with another Christmas. May you alone be the Reason for the Season!

Wishing you and your family a VERY Merry CHRISTmas!

Much Love,

Abel, Tiffany & Ashton
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What a GREAT gift idea!

Little Birdie Secrets had this GREAT idea! A home-made hot cocoa mix and in the picture below, they found an electric milk frother at IKEA for $2.00! Score!

Here are further details she had posted on her blog...This simple hot cocoa mix is another great neighbor/co-worker gift that you can put together super fast. We used these mini "quilted" jars, mostly because they're just so little and cute, and because for one person, it provides several cups of cocoa. (One jar holds one cup of mix.) If you wanted to make some for a couple or family, try using a pint or quart jar. Just add more mix!

Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe
10 cups dry milk powder
4 3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups powdered non-dairy creamer
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Store in a jar or airtight container.
Yields 15 cups (enough for 15 of the small jars pictured here).

To make the cocoa, stir 3 heaping Tablespoons into 3/4 c. hot water or milk. I always advise topping it off with whipped cream as well, but that's just me (and my sweet tooth).Cheater version: Buy the bulk size Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix at Costco or WalMart and add 3 teaspoons of flavored non-dairy creamer per serving to make a gourmet flavor (see below). Try the Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate mix plus a few teaspoons of Ghiradelli Sweetened Cocoa for a dark chocolate flavor. Go ahead--cut corners. It'll be our little secret..If you really want to make an impression, why not make gourmet hot chocolate flavors? Or add layers of sweet treats for a cool presentation.

Here are a few more ideas for truly gourmet hot cocoa:
*Substitute the non-dairy creamer with a flavored non-dairy creamer, like hazelnut, amaretto, vanilla, or cinnamon for gourmet flavors.
*Peppermint cocoa can be made by crushing candy canes and mixing them with the cocoa mix in your food processor (this makes the pieces even smaller so they blend well with the cocoa). Add a layer of crushed candy canes in the middle or on top of your mix to show off the flavor in the jar!

*Add a few teaspoons of instant coffee crystals per serving for mocha cocoa.
*Layer fun dry toppings with the cocoa mix in your jar. Try mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, red and green jimmies (sprinkles), or crushed candy canes.
*Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave and dip the head of a plastic spoon in it. When it dries, wrap the chocolate-covered head in a plastic or cello bag and tie with a ribbon. Attach it to your jar of hot chocolate to be used with the first cup. The chocolate will melt when they stir, adding a little extra creaminess!

Now for the jar…. All supplies are Stampin' Up! We traced the inside of the ring lid on the back of patterned paper, cut it out, and glued it to the top of the lid. Then we layered a strip of coordinating patterned paper on a piece of card stock and wrapped it around the jar, securing it with adhesive. We stamped tag stamp, layered it on card stock, and adhered it to the front. Then we tied a matching ribbon around the top and tied on a little tag with the instructions for mixing the cocoa (see above). Another classic idea is to put a square of Christmas fabric between the lid and the ring for an old-fashioned look.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hot Cocoa & Marshmallows

I found this on Homemade By Jill's blog.

This is another "take" on the home-made version of Hot Cocoa & Marshmallows. What a great gift!

I really like how she packaged the marshmallows with cute labels...the recipe she used was from Your Heart Out.

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