Friday, January 14, 2011

Beef Stew, Crab Wantons and Jam….What??!!



These things do not go together,but It is what I have been up to.

So here it goes….


First things first,It has been cold and snowy and just seemed like a Beef Stew kind of day. I did not have a lot of the normal vegetables I usually use(peas,corn,green beans) so I improvised. I liked the changes, I hope you will too.



Beef Stew


1 lb of stew meat

2 large carrots chopped

1 medium onion chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

2 cloves garlic  minced

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 tomato chopped

4 cups beef broth

salt /pepper

1/2 flour



Chop meat in to small bit sized pieces,images2

salt and pepper meat. In a lidded container put flour and meat and cover it shake to coat meat with flour. Shake off excess flour,set aside.

In a heavy bottomed dutch oven put oil in to coat bottom of pan. Heat to med high,and put in half of the beef ,brown on all sides.

images (42) Browning-Meat-3548-300x266

Remove with slotted spoon and repeat with remaining meat.


Add more oil if needed and sauté vegetables except the tomato, until the onions are tender. Add the beef back to pot and add the tomatoes and the broth.  Bring to boil and turn temperature down to simmer and simmer for 4 hours until meat is tender. The broth will thicken as it simmers. Taste for seasoning. We really liked the addition of the mushrooms,so good and beefy.

 images (37)



I love Chinese food! Those little Crab Ragoons are so good,I had to come up with a way to make them at home.

These are baked not fried so in my simple mind they are HEALTHY! Do not judge me. The entire package of cream cheese means nothing, I mean these are small bites….Lets move on.


Creamy Wantons


1 (8 oz. ) package cream cheese ,softened

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs( I used Panko )

1 small clove garlic (minced)

1 tsp sugar

1 pinch of salt

2 cups imitation crabmeat (about 3/4 lb)

30 refrigerated wanton wrappers


Pre-heat oven to 350* coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray

In food processor put crab meat and garlic, bread crumbs,and cream cheese. Pulse till combined..

Place 1 tsp crab mixture in center of each wanton.

images (41)

brush the edges lightly with water then fold in half (one point to point) and press to seal..

 images (40)

Place on the cookie sheet.


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden,turning once  halfway thru baking.


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These are really good! You could use Duck sauce to dip theses in,Ummm. I did not have any but yummy!

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If you really wanted to, you could pan fry,I won’t tell!

(Note) I put the filling in a container and keep in fridge,then as a snack ,you can just make up some as needed. I don’t know how they would do to make up ahead and freeze I’ll get back to you on that.


Now on to the Jam…. I love to make jam, the possibilities are endless, Just think of the combinations of fruit,once you learn the method it is easy!


Christmas Jam

Okay, I know Christmas is over ,but sometimes you have big plans and buy all the stuff to do something and then you forget to do it. So….to keep from having all the fruit go bad you make Christmas Jam in January…just let the season continue.


2 cups fresh cranberries

1 medium orange

1/2 cup water

1 (10 oz) frozen strawberries,thawed and crushed

3 cups sugar or more

2 pouches liquid pectin

1 Tbsp butter


Zest orange  into cranberries in the food processor,then discard peel and chop the orange and put in processor ,pulse to desired texture. Then throw in the strawberries and give a quick chop,then mix sugar in pan,add water and butter. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes,stirring constantly.(at this point I tasted the jam for sweetness, mine needed more sugar, it is to be sweet/tart but not that tart. So taste and add sugar as needed) Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in pectin. Stir for 4 to 5 minute:pour into sterile jars,leaving 1/4'”headspace. Wipe jar rims,adjust lids and rings . Water bath 10 minutes.

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See how pretty  it is in the jar? Christmas red ..or hey how about Valentines Day red ??Yeah …um ..that’s what I meant …

Valentines Day Jam..See I am ahead of the game!

Enjoy ,until next time!


Nana Nita

1 comment:

  1. This looks so wonderful. You are a good cook. Thank you for the tip about olive oil. Have a wonderful week. Kathi