My Grandaddy loved stews and soups. He had a special bowl that he liked to eat stew out of and Grandmama always served him in that bowl.
I do much the same thing with my coffee, even though I know it may seem a bit silly. One of my favorite things to do is get up a little earlier than everyone else and creep into the kitchen to make the first cup of coffee in my special cup, then go sit down in the sun room and look out to the trees in the back yard. It is a little ritual that helps to center me, kind of like taking a deep calming breath before the day begins.
I don’t get to do that very often though because my Katy (who has informed us that from here on out she is to be called by her first and middle name of “Katy Rose”) - excuse me, my Katy Rose is an even earlier riser than her Mama. Some mornings I get my coffee made and get ready to head out into the sun room and a little curly headed pixie pops into the kitchen, so I turn around and head to the recliner instead where she will curl up in my lap and let me stroke her hair while we talk about her dreams.
And that’s a pretty good way to start the day, too.
I have one rule in my house about mornings, I don’t care how early you get up as long as you wake up happy. I don’t think this is very difficult to do, either, so I’m pretty serious about enforcing it. I have made my kids go back into their rooms when they emerge with sour faces and turn around and come back out again with a smile (surprisingly, it works!).
A positive attitude will bring you happiness every time, so why not start your day off with one? Even if you find yourself having to go back in your own bedroom and come out again! ~grins~
And to make your day a little brighter, here is a fuss free, economical, and delicious beef stew to warm you from the inside out. I just love stew weather!
I decided to bring this stew to you using ground beef because it is so economical and most of us have it on hand. This stew is incredibly flavorful and easily adapted to what you have in your pantry and freezer.
I have one special ingredient that I do hope you’ll try though, and that is Spicy Hot V-8 juice. It is what gives my stew such a full bodied flavor without me having to cook it all day and add a gazillion different spices. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t make it hot at all - I promise!
Have you ever had the beef stew from Cracker Barrel? To me, beef stew made with this spicy V-8 tastes a lot like that. I used to have to buy a big old bottle of this juice whenever I needed some but this time I found a six pack of cans, which makes a lot more sense if you are going to put it in your pantry to cook with. If you see a generic spicy hot vegetable juice, that will work just fine (y’all know I love generics).
You’ll need: Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Diced tomatoes, Green Beans, Beef Bouillon Cubes,Ground Beef, and 1-2 cans of Spicy Hot V-8 juice.
You can use beef broth in place of the bouillon cubes but I prefer them because they are less expensive and take up less space when storing them (a small container makes about as much broth as twenty five cans of beef broth). You can also substitute some other bean of your preference for the green beans or add any number of other vegetables.
Stews are great to tweak and really make them your own. Play! have fun!
When you’re done, you’ll still have supper.
Peel and dice your carrots, potatoes, and onion. Place in a large pot.
As a shortcut you can use a bag of frozen cubed hash browns for the potatoes.
Add can of tomatoes and bag of frozen green beans.
Add four bouillon cubes and two cups of water.
Add in your Spicy Hot V-8 juice.
I am using two cans in mine but you can use one and taste it to see if you want to use the second.
I used two and it still wasn’t hot, just very flavorful.
Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat and cover and simmer for an hour or so, until vegetables are tender.
Add ground beef.
My beef is already browned and waiting happily for me in the freezer to save making another mess.
To see how I process large quantities of ground beef with ease, click here.
Stir in a teaspoon of salt.
You won’t need any pepper because of the V-8 juice but you should salt it to your personal taste. I like to salt it shortly before serving because that gives me a chance to taste the finished product and see about how much it needs.
Serve with crackers or cornbread. I’m using little pieces of Dixie Cornbread. Oh my goodness, this was a good supper!
These dishes are called “Flamingo Pink” by Pyrex. They were made in three different colors and some of them had a gold band around the outer edge. They are milk glass with a painted on pink. ~sighs contentedly~ I just love them.
*This can be assembled in the morning and put in your slow cooker all day on low. If doing it this way, just go ahead and add the ground beef in at the start. I add it in last to keep it a little firmer.
BE the change you want to see in the World.
Submitted by Judy. To submit your quote, click here.
Yesterday I had an amazing opportunity that I never thought I’d have and of course, I have you to thank for it. I had a chance to go back to the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama (where I graduated) and speak to the freshmen in my department. I also got to tour the new culinary school and their kitchen was the most impressive one I’ve ever seen.
I was so honored to be able to have this bit of time with them and am so grateful that they were kind enough to give an hour of their attention to me and what I had to say.
I told them the story of Southern Plate, how I got started and where it has led with all of the incredible opportunities that have come my way as a result. I told them all about you, my Southern Plate Family. How wonderful you are to me every day and how much all of you have given me.
But most importantly, while I had their ear, I told them what I feel are the three things in life that will guarantee success and happiness to anyone, no matter what you do or where you go. I don’t think this is any secret, but just three things that many of us take for granted from one time to another that really do determine our future.
Good Manners – Good Education- Positive attitude
So thanks to all of the students who listened to me yesterday. I’ve heard from many of you and am going to reply to your emails after I finish this post. I truly appreciate the time you gave me and can hardly wait to see how you are going to make the world a better place!