Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Need to Get Busy on Christmas Gifts and Stew Casserole or Stewcarole Recipe

   I know you all probably think I have lost it but I said last year I would not wait to start crocheting and making Christmas presents till October. This year I am starting in July so that I hope to eliminate those late night hurry to finish projects this year. I am at the planning stage right now but ideas are in short supply. I don't want to do the usual afghans but probably will be doing a couple for my oldest grand kids since they have outgrown theirs. I don't know why they have since I made them when they were in grade school and they are both adults now 18 and 20. It is long overdue and they have been asking so guess that is what I will start on now. I am trying different stitches hoping to come up with a suitable pattern that is unique to each one of them.

  I am also thinking about trying some recipes now to get them just right to have for those get togethers and as gifts from the kitchen. I love gifts in a jar so I think the next couple of weeks will be fun trying to find some and adding my spin on them.

For today though, here is another recipe that was one of those, don't want the same old thing for dinner, recipes but on a limited budget and made with just what I had in the refrigerator and pantry. We call it Stew Casserole or as my Grandson says Stewcarole. There is no picture because the family ate it so fast I didn't have a chance, it was a big hit.

Stew Casserole or Stewcarole

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3 lg baking potatoes
1/2 pkg frozen mixed vegetables
olive oil
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
2 Tbl taco seasoning
2 Tbl chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
6-8 slice American cheese or cheese of your choice

In skillet drizzle the bottom with olive oil and heat. Add 1/4 of a stick of butter to skillet and melt. When the oil and butter are heated you can add the peeled and thinly sliced potatoes to the skillet. Potatoes should be thin like you would have them for fried potatoes. Heat the potatoes till they just start to heat through and are starting to get tender. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees while you are cooking the potatoes in the skillet. When potatoes are ready put them with the oil and butter from the skillet on to a sheet pan in a single layer. Salt and pepper to taste. Put in oven for 20 minutes or until they start to crisp and brown turning once half way through cooking time. Now while the potatoes are in the oven brown the hamburger. Drain. Also in a pan cook the vegetables like it says on the package. Add chili powder and taco seasoning to the ground beef give it a stir till it is mixed well into the hamburger. Add the BBQ and Ketchup to create the sauce on the meat ( if you need to you can add more BBQ sauce and ketchup) Add the cooked drained vegetables to the hamburger mix well. let simmer till potatoes are ready.
When the potatoes are done remove them from the oven. Pour the hamburger vegetable mixture evenly in a 9X13 pan. Layer the potatoes on top in a single layer covering the hamburger mixture completely. Top with the sliced cheese on top of the potatoes. Put in oven for 5 minutes or till cheese is melted. Serves 4-6 depending on size of serving or how hungry they are. Add a nice side salad and garlic bread and you have a nice dinner in no time at all.

This is a very easy meal to make and at our house it was a big hit. You can make it with gluten free BBQ sauce and Ketchup and spices like I did.  To make your own garlic butter and bread  you can   melt a 1/4 stick of butter. To the butter add gluten free garlic powder and mixed them together. Then I used my gluten free bread for myself and regular bread for the family. I didn't have a baguette so I used sandwich bread. I put on a cookie sheet the bread and  spread it with the garlic butter and placed under the broiler till toasted. It works in a pinch when you don't have French bread or baguettes. Since I made this meal I see that Udi's brand has a gluten free baguette that I will try next time.

Hope you will give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

2 Crocheted Bookmark Patterns

I collect bookmarks and so I have recently been coming up with crochet patterns for bookmarks. Here are two simple patterns of mine.

Delicate Flower Bookmark


#10 crochet thread multi color
D hook


Ch 55 join with slip stitch in 6 ch from hook
Ch 1 turn 
Now do 5 dc in circle, sc in circle 4 times ending with sc slip stitch to beginning dc and fasten off. Weave in ends  and block

Friendship Chain Bookmark


D hook
Size 10 thread I used multi color

First circle motif
Ch 20 join to form a circle with sl st in first ch
Ch 3 (1stdc) dc in same st, 2 dc in ea ch around join to top of beg ch 3 fasten off weave in end

Second circle motif
Do same as first but when you join to form circle go through center of first circle then do your dc in ea ch

Third circle motif
Same as second go through center of 2nd circle to join
Fasten off

Fourth circle motif same as 2nd and 3rd

For  band if you want one
Ch.60 dc in 4th ch from hook and ea ch across at end fasten off weave in ends weave through circles tack to first and last circle

Hope you give these patterns a try and as always let me know how you like them and show me pictures of yours if you try them.

Keep Crocheting!