Beef Stew in the Crockpot

“Where’s the Beef?” ~ early 1980’s Wendy’s commercial

close up photo of cow

TodayPhoto by Matthis Volquardsen on

Today was a good day to teach a simple and basic recipe to Savannah.  Beef Stew in the crockpot — doesn’t get much easier than this!

Beef Stew

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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1-2# round steak, diced  (or alternatively1-2# stew meat)

1 T. olive oil

1 stick butter

1/4 C. flour

1 pkg (12 oz) mixed vegetables

1 small onion, diced

1 can diced tomatoes

6-8 cups water


Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the diced meat.  Brown slightly.  In the crockpot place the butter and let it melt on low heat.  When melted, stir in the flour to make a nice reux.  Add the meat with any drippings, mixed vegetables, onion and tomatoes.  Salt and pepper to taste. Add enough water to fill the crockpot halfway and stir thoroughly.  Cook on low 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally.  The end result will be a delicious, creamy beef stew.

There you have it.  Easy, peasy, comfort food.

Rotisserie Chicken in Your Crockpot

“I always think if you have to cook once, it should feed you twice.” ~ Curtis Stone

cooked chicken dish

Photo by Engin Akyurt on

I like to be thrifty.  I like to cook thrifty.  Much like Mr. Stone’s assessment above, I like to make meals that are available to be used in leftovers.

So without further ado, we’ll move on to the recipes: this post is a two-fer.

One recipe for the Rotisserie Chicken and the next recipe is for the leftovers in Chicken and Noodles — both created in the crockpot.

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 stewing hen, neck and giblets removed

1 T. smoked paprika

2 t. salt

1 t. ground black pepper

1/2 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. onion powder

3 medium sized balls of aluminum foil


Rinse the stewing hen and pat dry.  Set aside.  Place the balls of aluminum foil in the bottom of the slow cooker or crockpot.  This will keep the chicken up out of the juices allowing the skin to crisp.  Mix all other ingredients together and rub generously over the skin of the chicken.  Place the chicken in the crockpot breast side up and cover.  Cook on LOW 7-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.  Reserve the juice for later use.

** Disclaimer — some people like to include 2 T. light brown sugar with their spices.  I do not like the sweet taste on my chicken, but it is an option.  Also, the lid to the slow cooker cannot rest on top of the chicken, there must be some space between the chicken and the lid to allow the skin to crisp.

Now, moving on to the next recipe which is actually one of my favorite comfort foods.

Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Leftover chicken from Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken (above), shredded

1 package egg noodles, 16 oz.

6 – 8 cups water, depending on how juicy you like your noodles

1 chicken bouillon cube (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Leftover broth and pan juices from Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken (above)


Place the leftover broth and pan juices in the crockpot.  Stir in the water and add the bouillon cube if desired.  Set the crockpot on HIGH and bring to a steaming temperature, usually does not take more than 20-30 minutes.  Stir in the egg noodles and cook, stirring often until done – usually about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the shredded chicken and heat through.  Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.  Serve in bowls alone or over mashed potatoes.

There you have it.

Two of the easiest, tastiest comfort foods ever!

Bon appetit!!!

So it isn’t ALWAYS warm in Alabama

“Winter is the time for comfort — it is the time for home. ~ Edith Sitwell

adult bed bedroom book

Photo by on

With the weather patterns ranging across the country from extreme frigid cold to snow and ice, we cannot realistically expect to escape a dip in temperatures.  And we didn’t.

Last night and tonight, it’s to be in the 20’s with high daytime temps in the 40’s.

This is NOT what I signed up for. And Sam was quick to point it out as well.

Much as we would have liked to stay home today.. .. ..

Even though it was a holiday.. .. ..

We had errands.  Things to do, places to go, people to see.

Sam and Savannah met their new pediatrician, had their new year well-exams and Sam was updated on his immunizations.  In true Sam fashion, he was not phased by the idea of getting shots.  It was the paper exam gown that near did him in.  Savannah was nonplussed by the whole thing and took it in stride.

As a concession to hunger, we ate lunch at McDonald’s where both kids scarfed down Big Mac’s and fries.  While not my favorite locale for lunch, it hit the spot with the combination of grease and salt.  As an added bonus (insert sarcasm here. . .), Savannah and I had to use the restroom and got to eavesdrop on one side of a cellphone conversation by a woman who was apparently clueless as to the fact that there were three people waiting to use the facilities while she chit-chatted with the unknown caller on the prospects of pork chops for dinner.

From there we traveled up the road a wee bit to one of our favorite thrift shops.  Lo and behold there were a pair of track spikes, almost like new, in Savannah’s size for a whopping $2.  Fortunately I made her try them on only to find that they were not narrow enough to fit her feet.  We found several shirts for Sam to wear to school and . . .

a Yamaha keyboard that was marked ridiculously low as it was missing the power cord.  Since he loves playing, and plays by ear, this has been one of the hardest things for him to be without.  Savannah sleuthed on Amazon and found that we can purchase the cord with shipping for less than $15 and so she finagled the keyboard out to the van without catching Sam’s notice.

A quick stop at Walmart for school supplies and we were back home.  Even without central heat, the house felt positively cozy when we entered through the back door.

Now for a dinner of comfort food in the form of Chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes, and an evening spent reading.  All in all it’s been a cozy, productive day.

Stay tuned and in a few days I’ll share the recipe for Crockpot Rotisserie chicken and the follow-up Chicken and Noodles recipes.

Well That Didn’t Go As Planned

Sometimes life takes a topsy-turvy turn, throwing every expectation helter skelter.  Much like a car rolling end-over-end off a cliff, life has suddenly taken a turn and thrown everything for a loop.  Fortunately, Jesus has the wheel as I wouldn’t even begin to know how to steer this course.

While I am not trying to be mysterious, I have to be careful in choosing my words as things that are factual could be construed as accusations.

Let me just say that my children are here with me.  We will need prayers for 1) healing, 2) peace and 3) for adjustments for both the children and myself.  It has been a whirlwind of emotions for all of us — anger, hurt, frustration, disbelief, shock, amazement, entertainment, more disbelief, along with some serious WTF moments.  The kids are safe and my goal is to take time over the next few weeks and months to ensure that they remain safe, that they KNOW they are safe and cared for and to let them just remember to be kids.

I may share the details in the distant future, I may not.

I will say the kids are excited about being here, ready to start new schools, meet new friends and start working on their southern accents.

So in advance . . . thank you!!