Beef Stroganoff: Easy and Delicious Slow Cook Recipe

When I was in college I feel in love with this Beef Stroganoff recipe. We had roommate dinners in college, where one roommate would cook dinner for all the rest of the roommates one night a week. When we got home from school dinner was always there. My roommate made this Beef Stroganoff and every so often I would ask her to make it for us because I loved it so much. When we parted ways I made sure to grab the recipe and now I so excited to share it!


This recipe is super easy. Throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, boil the noodles and done!

I like to either grab any kind of beef for this meal. I have made it with several different cuts; stewing beef (pictured here), steak, and a roast. If I use a steak or a roast I throw in the whole thing and then cut the meat right before I serve it. I bought the mushrooms pre-cut to make it that much faster. The only thing I had to really prep was the onions and that was super fast.

Beef Stroganoff Recipe

1 onion, diced
5 to 10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 slab round steak, cut into pieces (stewing beef makes it easy)
2 to 3 Tablespoons Worcester sauce
4 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup ketchup
garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream or cream cheese
  1. Add all ingredients to a crockpot, except cream. 
  2. Mix together and let cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours. 
  3. Add cream just before serving. 
  4. Serve on rice or egg noodles.
Here is the finished product, yummy goodness.



I hope you enjoy this recipe as much I do. I brought it to a church function last night where there 20 other crock pot soups and it was almost gone when we left. (Some other soups were still full.) There is just enough for one more serving. Everyone really loved it. I think you will too!


I am sharing this recipe as part of Slow Cooker Spooctacular event hosted by Simple Simon and Company. Check out their tips, other posts and a giveaway to win your own slow cooker. 

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Easy DIY Fruit Bouquet

Have you ever seen a fruit bouquet? I think they are genius. Not only are they beautiful, but they are delicious to eat, and they are healthy! That is three wins.

Earlier this year I made this fruit bouquet for a friend. These can be made for any occasion, birthdays, holidays, thinking of you etc. And they are not that hard to make, the pineapples and melting the chocolate took the longest time. And that was not long at all.

Supplies for a fruit bouquet
  1. Fruit- I used pineapple, green and red grapes, and strawberries.
  2. Cookie cutter
  3. Skewers-I got these at my local grocery store meat department.
  4. Vase
  5. Tissue paper
  6. Foam or pool noodle to go inside
  7. Bow
  8. Simple syrup (water and sugar)
  9. Pastry brush
  10. Cookie sheet-can line with wax paper

Steps to Make a Fruit Bouquet
  1. Prepare the vase by putting the tissue paper in first, then put in the foam. Tie the bow around the vase.
  2. Wash all the fruit.
  3. Make a simple syrup, heat 1 part water with 1 part sugar until sugar is melted.
  4. Melt and temper chocolate using the double broiler method. Ie place a pan of water on the stove. On top of that place a heat resistant bowl. Heat water to a low boil or just below boiling. Melt chocolate in the bowl.
  5. Cut pineapple open. Slice in rectangles. Use the cookie cutter on the slices to make heart shapes or whatever shape is desired.
  6. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate. I did half and half to create a color differential on the arrangement.
  7. Place all fruit on the cookie sheet. Brush with the simple syrup. Let dry for a few minutes
  8. Place all the fruit on the skewers. This will be a little sticky depending on how dry the fruit is. The pineapples are the most tricky. They are slimy and like to fall off.
  9. Stick the skewers in the foam and arrange the fruit randomly.
That is all the steps to make the perfect Fruit Bouquet. Whoever gets it will love it! Let me know if you make one. I would love to see it.

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Magnolia Bakery Devil's Food Cake with the Best Chocolate Frosting

I do not know if you have noticed, but baking is one of my favorite things to do. I made this cake for my husband's birthday a couple weekends ago. This amazing Devil's Food cake is from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. I love making cakes and desserts from that book. This cake is super delicious and the frosting is TO DIE FOR. Next time I make this I think I will only do half or third it instead though because it makes a lot.


Magnolia Cupcakes Devil's Food Cake, modified and posted with permission
  • 1 1⁄2 (3 sticks) cups unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 cups light brown sugar 
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature, separated)
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted 
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1⁄2 to 2 3⁄4 cups flour 
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 
  1. Grease the pans, add wax paper to bottom. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Separate eggs before they come to room temperature. Leave milk, butter and eggs out for an hour to come to room temperature.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Combine the milk and vanilla.
  5. Using the double boiler method, melt the chocolate. This involves placing a pan of water on the stove and then a heat resistant bowl on top. Place the chocolate in the bowl, stir until melted. IMPORTANT-Do no let any water get in the bowl or the chocolate will seize. Let cool. 
  6. Whip butter for 2 minutes in a mixer.
  7. Add sugar and beat for additional 3 minutes or until creamed.
  8. Beat the egg yolks until yellow, add to mixture beating until thoroughly mixed.
  9. Add the cooled chocolate, mix well.
  10. Alternate between adding the milk mixture and the dry mixture 3 times.
  11. Whip the egg whites until fluffy.
  12. Fold in egg whites.
  13. Put batter in pan(s). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch.
  14. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan on wire racks.
  15. Remove from pans and let it continue to cool
  16. Ice the cake.

Chocolate Icing (Based on Magnolia's frosting recipe used with permission)

1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons milk
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup powered sugar
  1. Leave the butter, and milk out for at least an hour before making the frosting.
  2. Melt the chocolate using a double broiler method. Boil some water over the counter, place a heat resistant bowl on top.  IMPORTANT-Do no let any water get in the bowl or the chocolate will seize.
  3. Let the chocolate cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Beat the butter for 3 minutes, incorporating lots of air.
  5. Add the milk and mix well.
  6. Add the chocolate and beat for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the sugar gradually, beating on low. You may need more, you may need less depending on your desired frosting consistency and temperature of the butter.
  9. Spread on your cupcakes and enjoy!
*I use a Wilton straight spatula
*Sprinkles add a very nice touch
*If you do not have time to let the butter cool down, cut the butter into slices and leave on a plate for 5 minutes.  Put the milk in a wide bowl.


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Homemade S'more Cake and Churro S'mores SoBakeable Review


Have you ever had a really good S'more? You know the kind where the chocolate and the marshmallow is melted? We were on vacation in Utah a few weeks ago and had S'mores, but by the time the marshmallow got in the graham cracker, the marshmallow was cold and the chocolate hard. That reminded me why I generally do not eat S'mores. Not that I do not love the ingredients, I do not like the hardness of it all. Well today I just tasted the best S'more I have ever eaten and I want to eat some more. Notice the pun. :) And want to know why? Everything was perfectly melted, the way a S'more should be!

This very yummy post was sponsored by SoBakeable. (I love doing posts like these btw, ones where I get to eat yummy baked items)
What is SoBakeable?
I am so excited to share with you today my review of SoBakeable. They are a San Francisco based company founded by Chloe, who is from Australia and Jocelyn, who is from South Africa. They both moved to the US when their husbands started working here. They spend a lot of time together and really enjoy baking. They decided to start SoBakeable so others could eat the yummy things they made too. They focus on dessert items.

What do They Make?
SoBakeable has kits available on their website for different baked goods. The kits are for beginning to advanced bakers. They even have an app to download for videos and instructions on making their baked goods. Right now their offerings are; S'more Kits, Cookie Cups, Salted Caramel Brownies, Chocolate Lover, Crazy About Coolies, Fresh & Fruity, Fancy Celebration, Vanilla Cupcakes, Sprinkles and Baking Tools. They range in prices from 19.95 to 49.95.

I received the S'mores kit and I can tell you it was delish. The S'mores kit came with instructions for S'more Cake and Churro S'mores.

What's In the Kit?
Each kit comes with all the dry ingredients packaged nicely, a list of wet ingredients to buy, and instructions on how to make the dessert. Here's what came in my kit.

The S'more Cake Kit  came with chocolate chips, sugar, cake mix, crumbs, and meringue mix.
The Churro S'mores Kit came with delicious Smash Mallow Cinnamon Churro, Graham Crackers, and Chocolate Chips.
Baking
I was not too nervous to make the Churro S'mores. They looked pretty easy, melt the chocolate and warm the marshmallows. I was however nervous to make the S'more Cake. I kept putting if off scared I would mess it up. I have never made homemade marshmallow and I was super nervous about browning the top. I thought I would burn it. I decided to finally be brave and went to work. And am so glad I did.

I love to get all the ingredients and tools together before I start so I do not have to look for anything while I am cooking. I love my Breville mixer because it has a scraping mixer attachment so I do not have to scrape the sides.

Here's the finished cake. They even included a liner for the bottom for easy removal. They said to test the cake by toothpick. I did that, but I also like to feel the firmness of the cake. When it is springy everywhere, ie it pushes back up when you press it, it is done.

They had me make a ganache and melt the chocolate in the microwave. I usually use the double boiler method, but the microwave was super easy. I used a Wilton wand to spread the chocolate just like the instructions said.

Here I am starting the homemade marshmallow, so far so good.

And guess what? It turned out! I really surprised myself.  To get the little ridges I spread out the marshmallow and then dipped and raised wherever I wanted a ridge. I could have left it in a little longer, but I was nervous about burning the top. It was hard to tell if it was golden brown in the oven.

And here are the S'mores. They turned out amazing as well.

What did I think?
The food was delicious. The cake was to die for! The sponge was fluffy, the topping was sweet, but not too sweet and the chocolate added a nice layer in between. The S'more was so good. The marshmallows they use for the middle are covered in cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

I was super surprised how well I did. Their instructions helped me develop some more baking skills I did not even know I had. I made homemade marshmallow for goodness sake. I loved that the ingredients were premeasured so I did not have to measure anything. I just opened the bag and threw things in. The cake was super easy to make. I probably made the batter in 6 minutes using my mixer. The only thing I would change is to have more graham crackers. I only got enough for crackers to make three S'mores, but I definitely have enough chocolate and marshmallows to make 14. I will go buy some more graham crackers to finish the S'mores, because they were delicious. Other than that it was an amazing experience baking. I loved everything I made and surprised myself. Hurry to sobakeable.com, enter BAKINGFUN to save $5 dollars, and get baking! You will not regret it.

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French Toast made with Panera Bread


Recently I went to Panera and placed an order for fresh bread for a sponsored post I did on Instagram.  I was given a gift card to purchase the bread. They were out of the bread I ordered online. They gave me Challah bread instead and told me people liked it for French toast. So what did I do? I went home and made some French Toast and let me tell you, it was amazing! Thanks Panera for such a good idea.

French Toast made with Panera Bread

Makes 6-8
  • 1 fresh bread loaf, Challah bread from Panera, cut in to 6-8 pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs salted butter melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Heat skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes
  2. Beat egg
  3. Whisk in butter, milk and vanilla
  4. Whisk in sugar, flour and salt
  5. Cook on each side until golden brown
  6. Serve with your favorite toppings
*Any bread will do
*I used strawberries, whipped cream and powered sugar for toppings


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Grandma's Sugar Cookie Recipe

Have you ever had an amazing sugar cookie? This recipe by Grandma Rowley's is the best ever. Our whole family makes it. You can find it written on random 4x6 or recipe cards in all our kitchens. It makes soft and fluffy sugar cookies, the best ever. It can be made any time of year. The only change would be the color of sprinkles and frosting to coordinate for each holiday.


Grandma Rowley's Sugar Cookie Recipe, Printable Version
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
1. Cream the butter, add the sugar and beat well. Beat in the egg. Add the milk and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. 

2. Chill one hour. Cut out to desired shape on parchment paper.

3. Bake at 375 degrees.

4. Cook 10-12 minutes for thick cookies, 7-8 minutes for thin cookies.
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The Perfect Avocado, Ham, Tomato and Cheese Grilled Panini


Grilled panini's are one of favorite lunch items to make.  I like them ten times better than plain turkey and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Want to know the secret ingredient? Believe it or not it's not the panini press, they can be made without, it is fresh bread.  I've tried to make panini's with bread from a loaf, but it does not work, it does not taste the same.  It does not get as flat either. I really like using the avocado and stone ground mustard in the panini instead of regular mayonnaise and mustard. The avocado provides a spread inside, and is much healthier than mayonnaise and the stone ground mustard  provides a depth of flavor with a hint of sweetness.


Avocado, Ham, Tomato and Cheese Grilled Panini, Printable Recipe
  • 1 fresh bread loaf
  • stone ground mustard
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 slices ham
  • 4-5 slices of cheese
  • canola oil
  1. Slice the fresh bread into panini slices.  Cut the loaf the width of the panini's.  Cut four slices from the cut loaf.
  2. Slice and add the avocado on one side and spread the stone ground mustard on the other.
  3. Put on the cheese, turkey and tomato slices. Place the two halves together.
  4. Turn the burner on a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cover the pan with a thin film of oil.
  5. This step is important, Using a pastry brush coat one side of the panini.
  6. When the pan is hot, the oil starts to smoke, place the coated side of the panini on the skillet. 
  7. Coat the other side of the panini.
  8. Cook 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown, pressing down with a panini press or a heavy pan. Enjoy!
*Use canola oil or a high heat capacity olive oil, otherwise it will not brown well.
*If there is no panini press a heavy pan can work as a press.

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Amazing Steak and Cob Salad

I made this cob salad recipe up when I was shopping in the fresh section of the grocery store.  I love cooking with seasonal ingredients and love getting inspired by seeing what is at the grocery store. It happens to be the time of year again for corn and peppers.  I chose an orange pepper to give a little color to the salad and ham instead of bacon because ham is not as crunchy, but provides the same pork flavor in the salad. The egg creates a nice softness and adds a nice flavor to the salad. 


We have really come to enjoy cooking steaks around here since we learned how to cook them. With steaks and roasts being about the same price as ground beef we have been cooking them a lot more. My local grocery store was having a sale on steaks for the 4th of July so I picked them up and saved a ton.  I have included some of the tips I have learned cooking steaks.


Cob Salad
1 corn on the cob
1 boiled egg
2 slices of ham
1 orange pepper
1 head of lettuce
  1. Fill a pan with enough water to cover a corn on the cob, but do not put it in yet.  Heat the water to boiling and put in the corn on the cob for 10 minutes.
  2. Put an egg in a pan and fill with water 1 or 2 inches over the egg.  Heat the water to boiling over medium heat.  When the water is boiling remove from heat, cover for 12 minutes.  Remove the water and fill the pan with cold water to stop the egg from cooking more.
  3. Add oil to a pan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot add the ham.  Brown slightly on both sides.  Chop up the ham.
  4. Slice the orange pepper.
  5. Chop up the lettuce.
  6. Combine the ingredient and toss the salad.
  7. I like to dress this salad with Buttermilk ranch.
Seasoned Steak
1 steak, any cut will do
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Leave the steak out 30 minutes before seasoning.
  2. Combine the salt and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Spread the salt and pepper mixture on the steak.  Press the mixture into the steak.  See above picture.
  4. Turn the over to 375 degrees F.
  5. Heat oil in the pan.
  6. When the oil is hot place the steak in the pan with meat tongs. Do not touch the steak in the first 4 minutes.  When the steak has achieved a nice brown sear turn the steak over with the tongs.
  7. Sear the other side.
  8. Place in the over until the desired doneness is achieved.  It will be anywhere from 2-10 minutes.  Do not over cook.
  9. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes.
Seasoned Steak
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Fresh Raspberry Greek Yogurt

My dietitian recently told me to eat more yogurt.  She recommended Chobani Greek yogurt.  I bought the fruit flavors for a few months. It was okay, but I found the fruit flavors lacking, the fruit didn't taste right. I had a thought to make my own yogurt from fresh fruit and see how it compares.  And let me tell you I bet this yogurt is better than any of those flavored yogurts out there.  It would win in a yogurt tasting contest hands down. It is super simple to make too.

Fresh Raspberry Greek Yogurt, Printible Version
  • 3-4 fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1 plain Greek yogurt
Crush and stir the berries with a fork to release the juices.
Add the yogurt and sugar and stir.
Enjoy the freshest yogurt ever!
*You can put in other fruit besides raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, whatever you have in the house.  I have also made it without any fruit and it tastes pretty good plain, with a little sugar too.

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Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Icing

I used to live in New York, whenever I would visit the city I would stop at Magnolia Bakery and get a cupcake.  I was super sad when I moved away.  No more cupcakes :(  I put the Magnolia Cupcake Bakery cookbook on my Amazon wishlist and my husband got it for me for mother's day last year.  I've made several recipes from the book since then.  The recipes usually turn out amazing, especially the frosting, but the cupcakes are a little dry at times.  This time I put in a little less flour and they turned out great! I made the cupcake pictured below for a baby shower.  They tasted amazing. Now you can make them too!


PS. You will want to eat everything the icing touches, the real chocolate in the recipe gives this icing a very real delicious edge.

Vanilla cupcakes recipe (adapted Magnolia Cupcake's recipe used with permission)

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted self rising flour
1 cup sifted flour 
  1. Leave the butter, eggs and milk out for at least an hour before making the cupcakes.
  2. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  3. Put cupcake wrapper in cupcake pans. 
  4. Sift the flours, measure, and combine.
  5. Beat the eggs until well blended.
  6. Combine the milk and the vanilla.
  7. Cream the butter for at least 3 minutes with mixer.
  8. Gradually add the sugar and cream for 3 more minutes.
  9. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well.
  10. Alternate between add the milk mixture and the flour mixture.  Mix well but do not over beat.  
  11. Using a number 20 food disher scoop the cupcake batter into the cupcake wrappers.
  12. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry and the cupcake is spongy when pressed upon.
  13. Let cool and ice.

Chocolate Icing (Based on Magnolia's frosting recipe used with permission)

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons milk
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup powered sugar
  1. Leave the butter, and milk out for at least an hour before making the frosting.
  2. Melt the chocolate using a double broiler method. Boil some water over the counter, place a heat resistant bowl on top.  IMPORTANT-Do no let any water get in the bowl or the chocolate will seize.
  3. Let the chocolate cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Beat the butter for 3 minutes, incorporating lots of air.
  5. Add the milk and mix well.
  6. Add the chocolate and beat for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the sugar gradually, beating on low. You may need more, you may need less depending on your desired frosting consistency and temperature of the butter.
  9. Spread on your cupcakes and enjoy!
*I use a Wilton straight spatula
*Sprinkles add a very nice touch
*If you do not have time to let the butter cool down, cut the butter into slices and leave on a plate for 5 minutes.  Put the milk in a wide bowl.
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The Perfect Kettle Corn

I love the kettle corn from Trader Joe's. I get some every time I go, unfortunately is not often because there isn't one by me. My husband bought me a popcorn popper for Christmas and I was excited to try to make some kettle corn. I picked up some kettle corn topping at the store, popped some popcorn and sprinkled on the topping. Alas is did not taste like kettle corn. So I looked online, found a recipe, tried it and failed, was going to give up, but decided to try one more time. I adjusted the recipe, cooking method and walla, it was perfect. I'll probably be making this several times a week. You don't need a special popcorn popper or a special seasoning just a pot and basic ingredients that you probably have on hand.

                         

Perfect Kettle Corn, Printable Recipe

1/3 cup corn kernels 
2 1/2 Tbsp Trader Joe's canola oil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar

1. Heat oil and 3 popcorn kernels in a large flat pot over medium heat. 

2. Once one popcorn kernel has popped put in the rest of the kernels. 

3. Add sugar and salt evenly around the pan. Stir in with the kernels. Put the lid back on the pot. 

4. Wait for the kernels to start popping. When they start popping lift the pan and shake the popcorn side to side. Set down every once in a while for the pot to stay hot. 

5. When the popcorn starts to not pop as quickly immediately remove from the heat and lay popcorn on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Use a spoon to spread out the popcorn. It will be a little sticky. And should not be discolored. 

6. Wait five minutes and enjoy. If you don't devour it all right away you can store in an air tight container for several days. 

*I used a clear lid. It was very helpful to see what stage the popcorn was at and that it wasn't burning. 
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Fettuccine Alfredo with Reheat Instructions


This is one of my favorite recipes. I make it all the time.The recipe is adapted from the Fettuccine Aldredo recipe in the Pillsbury complete cookbook.  I am so excited to share with you how to reheat it too!

Fettucine Alfredo, printable version
  • 1 package fettuccine
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups Parmesan or Romano cheese 
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Cook fettuccine to desired doneness. I like mine slightly al dente.

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the pepper and cream. Cook five minutes or until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly. If the sauce separates add a little more cream.


Combine with fettuccine noodles or serve on top of fettuccine and save the rest of the sauce for later.


Reheat Instructions
What is the worst thing about reheating a dish with butter and cream? The two separate. I have the answer to the problem below.

Put the Alfredo sauce in a sauce pan and heat slowly over low heat melting the cream and butter.


Stir constantly with a whisk.


When the mixture is completely melted add cream until the mixture is once again white in color.



Now you can have fresh Fettuccine Alfredo two days in a row.
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Homemade Oreo Cookies



Homemade Oreos are one of my absolute favorite cookies. I've made them three times this last month, and usually gobble them up within two to three days. They are so easy to make too!

Homemade Oreo Cookies, Printible Version
  • 1 package of Devil's food cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil or 1/2 cup shortening, I prefer the taste of oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting
Mix all the ingredients together. You may have to mix with your hands. Roll into balls about 1 inch. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes depending on desire of crispiness. Let cool.

Frost the cookies. Pick up one cookie and frost one side, place another cookie on top, and wala, homemade oreos. I let them sit overnight in a closed container on a paper towel. It makes them taste so good. Eat and enjoy!

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