Sunday, November 8, 2015

Nesting Weekend

Last weekend, I must have been in a nesting mode. My weekend began with One Pot Chicken Soup on Friday.

Then Saturday I woke early--sleeping in with 2 dogs, so not gonna happen--made a light breakfast of  cheese omelet with toast and jam. And proceeded to over caffeinate myself --really, is there such a thing as over caffeination?--by drinking an entire pot (32 oz) of double strength English Breakfast Tea. Oh yes, I was wired!

Since I had energy to spare, I made a pan of chocolate chip walnut brownies. This was followed by 3 loaves of Oat bread. I baked 2 traditional pan loaves and used the bread maker for the 3rd loaf. 

You know what goes great with fresh baked bread? Vegetable Beef Goulash-Stew.  According to Taste of Home "Stew most often refers to a main dish that contains meat, vegetables and a thick broth made from the stewing juices. Goulash is a kind of stew, usually a Hungarian stew, made with meat and vegetables and seasoned with paprika."

Traditional Hungarian Goulash (Gulyas--which translates to herd or stockman) is heavily flavored with hot Hungarian paprika--often as much as a 1/2 cup and the use of red chili flakes!  Austrian Goulash incorporates both sweet/ hot paprika and caraway seeds. I kinda made my recipe up as I went  along, haha

2 slices of onion, 1/2 inch thick, separate rings
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 TBS flour
1 lb of stew beef diced into small cubes (I quartered my cubes)
1 (28 ounce) can of tomato sauce
3 small bay leaves
4 cups of low sodium beef broth
1 lb of baby potatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
3 ribs of celery, cut into 1/2  inch chunks
1 cup carrots
8 ounces of green beans, halved
1/2 of large green pepper, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 TBS paprika
1 & 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp sugar
1 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
1 cup okra (frozen)
1 cup of cabbage shreds

Coat diced beef with flour. Heat oil on med-low heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute for 10 minutes or until aromatic. Add the beef, cook until all sides are browned. Add tomato sauce, bay leaves, cover slightly ajar and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The beef should be very tender and the sauce will have thickened. Add the remaining vegetables EXCEPT the frozen okra and cabbage shreds. Add the paprika, pepper flakes, sugar and beef broth. Increase heat to medium, cover, cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The carrots and potatoes should be fork tender at this point. If not, continue to cook and check every 5 minutes until tender. Add the diced tomatoes, frozen okra and cabbage shreds. Once the temperature resumes the medium boil, cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, skim out bay leaves, cover tightly and let stand about 20 minutes.

The goulash base will have thickened, the cabbage and okra will be translucent and you can actually eat it without it be boiling-lava hot, ha! I added some black pepper and a quick grind of pink Himalayan mineral salt. This kept in the fridge for 2 days and the flavors melded beautifully!

Sunday, I rounded out my nesting by canning a small batch of Cherry Berry Orchard Jam.

This is a blend of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and grated / diced granny smith apples. Add some sugar, some lemon juice  and cook away!

I took some bread and jam to my coworker's and they lost their collective minds, haha. Overall it was a great productive weekend. Cooking, baking and canning are among my favorite hobbies.

How about y'all--anyone else been nesting?


  1. I'm so envious of the bread----darn gluten intolerance!! It looks so tasty. Oh, to slather that with butter. YUM!

    1. Sorry about your gluten intolerance! I know there are quite a few gluten free recipes, unfortunately I have not made any. .

  2. You were totally nesting! And in such a delicious way? Fantastic :-)

    1. Yes I have been nesting! Cold weather, stress, just because, the reasons don't matter I suppose. It does put me in a happy place though.


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