Movita Beaucoup has a great addition for your Irish feast that won’t interfere with your parade plans!
Her Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a stick-to-your-bones recipe sure to please the meat and potato lovers in your life.

 

This simple twist of an old favorite had us at “slow cooker,” so you can bet we were ready to dive right in!

 

Please click here to visit Movita Beaucoup and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To whip up this crock pot stew for a warm and yummy dinner!

 

Details:

As I’ve mentioned before, I love crock pot cooking – it’s low mess, low maintenance and recipes cooked in the crock pot usually turn out tasty. I liked this recipe right away for it’s minimal ingredients; most of the items are things I typically have in my pantry and fridge.

  • I did all the chopping prep of my vegetables the night before and then started again early in the morning (I was up extra early due to my youngest cutting her teeth). I first heated up my pan and cut up the beef roast for browning. Once that step was done, I began to place all of the ingredients into the crock pot as directed and then set the temperature to high. I mean, how easy can getting a dinner going be – the hardest part was shredding carrots!
  • I ended up only having one jar of my mom’s canned Iowa garden tomatoes and peppers (they are amazing!) so was a bit short of the called for amount. I made a quick run to Target that day and added the rest in after the stew had been cooking for 4 hours.
  • At the end of the cooking time, I added the frozen peas and the cream mixture. Seriously easy peasy!

I served this stew with some buttered toast and a side of fruit. My husband and kids enjoyed it! I even tried to take some of the potatoes out first and mash them up before scooping the stew over the top. Yum!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you are using a beef roast you already have in your freezer, be sure to take it out the day before to thaw out.

Prep the vegetables the night before so your morning prep goes quickly.

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Pros:

EASY!!! Not much for prep work and an easy way to have a filling dinner. And being March, it has a wonderful Irish feel to it.

Cons:

A little on the heavy side, so may be more filling than you’d like.

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Conclusion:

This was a very easy recipe to follow and overall a tasty dinner.

It made a lot of stew, so I ended up freezing what was left over and plan to use it for another dinner soon. Might be a great dinner to prepare when you are having company over!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: Always enjoy a good recipe and we are meat eaters in my household!  In a crock pot, even better!

 

Details:

  • I used a mix of potatoes, chopped sweet potatoes for added nutrients and small red potatoes cut in half.
  • Picked up 2 packs of stew meat, already trimmed and cut at the grocery.  Easiest way!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Best product to use for easy crock pot clean up, Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners. Best Tip!

Cooking for two?  Halve the recipe.

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Pros:

Very easy to make in the crock pot.  Just a lot of chopping!

Cons:

Became mushy, not sure this could freeze well and it makes a ton of food for 2 people.  Hate being a food waster!

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Conclusion:

Mike and I both liked it, although not one of our favorite recipes.  Mike isn’t a slow cooker meat and potato guy.

It was pretty heavy of a dish, so definitely hearty for the cold winter months!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: When I saw this recipe I knew I would have to wait until my husband was home to make it. He is the beef stew lover in the house (me not so much on the beef part).

 

Details:

The recipe was very easy to follow. Not much in the way of prep other than cutting up some veggies and browning the meat.

  • I used regular red potatoes vs the small potatoes suggested in the original recipe. They worked just fine when cut into 4 pieces.
  • I have this great peeling tool I found at an Asian market that makes anything look “fancy” so I used that to peel the carrots. Gave the stew a little flair!
  • I cooked the stew for about 9 hours before adding the peas and slurry, then I cooked it another 20 minutes per the recipe. It had a nice thickness to it after adding the slurry.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Not a lot you can do to mess up this dish! Basically put it together, stir and wait.

One thing I think I would change for next time is to add a full cup of broth to the half cup of flour for a looser consistency. It was hard to mix the “paste” into the stew without lumps.

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Pros:

Simple, hearty and a real “man pleaser”.

My husband saw what I had made and said “REALLY??” as if I was serving ice cream for dinner. He LOVED it. My kids not so much but they tend to be funny about dishes where everything is in one pot.

Even though I am not much of a beef eater but I have to admit this stew was really good and because I chose lean meat it didn’t seem really chewy or fatty.

Cons:

I see none!

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Conclusion:

This stew was the perfect Sunday night meal that literally warms you from the inside out. Key for us Minnesotans who have endured a BRUTAL winter. There should be SOME perks after all right?

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 – Alicia

Mission:  To make a delicious beef stew from a crock-pot because I have tried and failed many times. Very optimistic about this recipe.

 

Details:

This recipe is very straight-forward and super easy to follow.

  • I had most of the ingredients on hand except for the stew meat (sounds gross but so good).
  • I omitted peas because I think they taste disgusting. Texture, people!!!
  • I also had to create an Italian seasoning because I did not have. I tossed in a pinch of each: oregano, parsley, thyme, garlic and a tiny amount of basil.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Browning/searing the meat is a must. I usually skip this step and the final result never turns out quite right

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Pros:

Add everything to the crock-pot and wait

Cons:

None – although I have no patience to wait 10 hours for the stuff to cook

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Conclusion:

Okay seriously, this weather and coldness is such a downer. I mean, full on depression over here. The only thing that makes this winter bearable is the hearty soups and stews we have been eating. This beef stew is no slouch and the flavor is perfect. My hubby loved it!!

 

 

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!
The savory Slow Cooker Beef Stew and it’s photo by Movita Beaucoup

 

 


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Six Sisters’ Stuff has done it again, showing us the easy way to a delish Italian dish!  Their Slow Cooker Lasagna recipe looks like a busy day’s dream come true!

 

Lasagna without an hour of prep work?  Sign us up!

 

Please click here to visit Six Sisters’ Stuff and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission: Love a quick way to put together a dish and come home to a yummy meal!

 

Details:

  • I added fresh chopped basil that I had on hand.
  • I used ground sirloin and cooked with chopped onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • All of the products that I used were organic!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Definitely watch it once it is done cooking. Mine cooked for 3 hours on high and was amazing as I took a couple of bites! Then I went on a shopping spree while it was on warm and I came back to a slightly drier dish.

Kristy - Lasagna 1

Pros:

Very easy, just layer and put on high or low then you will come home to a good meal.

Cons:

It needs a little spice! I think I may use spicy Italian sausage next time to get it a kick!

 Kristy - Lasagna 2

Conclusion:

YUMMO!! Mike loved it!  I thought I wasn’t going to get the crunchy edges that I love so much from pan lasagna, but you definitely get crispy edges.  Ideas to add more vegetables, I love adding shredded carrots to my tomato sauce and using zucchini slices instead of noodles!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: Okay, I have always wanted to try this. The one thing that has been holding me back is that no one in my family will eat lasagna! Weirdos.  I personally love it, so I was excited to finally try it.

 

Details:

Now usually when I use the slow-cooker, I prefer not to have to cook anything beforehand. However, this called for browning the ground beef or sausage.

  • I opted for sausage and I made my own sauce.
  • I also only used ricotta cheese on half of the lasagna just so I could get my husband to eat it…again, weird.

You basically layer the lasagna just as you would if you were cooking it in the oven, but you don’t cook the lasagna noodles first (regular noodles, not no-bake). I was curious to see if this would actually work!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Careful breaking up the noodles to fit in the slow-cooker. I recommend wrapping them in a towel or putting them in a storage bag before you start cracking.

Sheri - Lasagna 1

Pros:

I’m a big fan of the set it and forget it.

Cons:

The noodles were a bit soft for my taste, I prefer them a bit more al dente.

 Sheri - Lasagna 2

Conclusion:

Overall I was surprised that it actually came out well. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I think I want to try adding veggies next time. My husband ate it but requested that next time I add prosciutto.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I’m not generally a big fan of “American” Italian food, but I am loving learning more about this magical contraption they call the “Slow Cooker”.  I was really excited to give this recipe a try, especially since I love Six Sisters’ Stuff!

Details:

I stuck with the plan, but here are some specifics.

  • Prego Chunky Garden Combination Pasta Sauce
  • 93% Lean Ground Beef
  • Dried Parsley (as opposed to fresh)
  • I also added a little extra cheese… of course!

Also worth noting, my crock pot cooks food at warp speed.  I learned this after crying out for help to my Facebook friends when my last crock pot experience was done and bubbling out of the pot in 1/4 of the recommended cooking time!  It’s the Rival Smart-Pot 5 Quart Crock-Pot.

In my turbo crock pot, this dish was lookin’ pretty done after about 2 hours (on low), however we didn’t eat it until it had been almost 4 hours.  At the 2 hour mark, I used my “toothpick trick” (trick details forthcoming) which probably helped cool it down in there and keep the dish from overcooking.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray before adding any of the ingredients.  This trick not only helps get the food out, but makes clean-up pretty easy, too.

If your slow cooker starts to pop the lid with steam and make a “clink clink” sound, prop it open just a bit with a toothpick.  Works like a charm!

I picked up zuccini and mushrooms to add, but I forgot about them!  Next time, I won’t forget and I might also add just a little more sauce or water to compensate for the added ingredients and prevent the dish from getting dry.

Maren - Lasagna 1

Pros:

Where do I begin?  Although not a big pasta girl, I loved this lasagna recipe and was giddy about the two good-sized containers of leftovers that we had.  More for me!

Cons:

None!  With a little maneuvering, I was even able to get each piece out without turning it into slop!

 Maren - Lasagna 2

Conclusion:

LOVED IT!  So easy, so yummy, frickin’ awesome.  I feel excited to have this recipe in my book; since most of the items are in the cupboard, this is a great meal to make when you have a busy day at hand.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Amanda

Mission: To take lasagna where it has never gone before – the crock pot!

 

 

Details:

  • I went with an Italian pork sausage and think I would change that for next time. I found the meat a little chewy. I think I would actually mix it with ground turkey for the flavor.
  • I also used my own homemade sauce. I used 24 oz like the recipe called for. I ended up adding a little at the end however because I like it to be a little more saucy.
  • Also, I added 3 or 4 more noodles than what was called for. 6 just didn’t seem like enough.
  • After 3 hours it was pretty much done and I should have set the crock pot to “warm” at that point because after 4 hours it was really done – almost too done (mushy noodles don’t appeal to me!).

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use a slow cooker liner! They will literally change your life. I used Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners. They are amazing and made clean up seriously quick. Much quicker than a large pan of lasagna that is for sure! I would also suggest cutting the cook time way down. I don’t know if my crock pot runs really hot but it cooked almost completely at about 3 hours. Next time I make it I plan to switch it to “warm” at the 3 hour mark.

Amanda - Lasagna 1

Pros:

EASY! Delicious and basic ingredients for the most part.

Cons:

My kids didn’t like the ricotta cheese so I may need to omit that next time. Or maybe I will just force them to try it again! My hubby also prefers how the oven makes the top crispy so I may need to put a little section in the oven on broil to appease him too.

Amanda - Lasagna 2

Conclusion:

I will be making this again for sure! It would be ideal for a large group to have a few crock pots going.

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Janet

Mission: It seemed like an interesting recipe to try in the crock pot. I’m always game for trying new recipes and making a meal that is good left over for lunch at work.

 

Details:

I got all the ingredients at the grocery store!

  • I swapped out the ricotta for a container of cottage cheese.
  • I used dried parsley and added some shredded mozzarella cheese to the recipe as well.
  • I also had a half-full open jar of sauce that I added in addition to the full jar the recipe calls for.

Tips & Tricks Learned:Janet - Lasagna 1

The recipe only called for two layers of noodles, but I put in three. After making, I could have even put in another two layers. It all depends on the size of your crock pot.

I had put it on high for about 1 hour and then turned it to low for 2-3 hours. Once you notice that all the cheese is melted and the edges start to crust and brown, it is done.

Put extra cheese in on top, you know you want to! It is lasagna after all!

Pros:

Easy to throw together, but most lasagna recipes are that way. It made a lot and I ended up putting it all into small containers for lunch. I put half in the freezer and the other half in the fridge.

Cons:

It tasted good, but just wasn’t the same as cooking it in the oven. It fell apart and was a little too liquid-y. I wished I had put in more noodles when layering it.

Janet - Lasagna 2

Conclusion:

After getting it all started, I began to question why one would ever have the need to make lasagna in their crock pot? It might be a good way to make lasagna in the summer if you didn’t want to turn your oven on, but it just didn’t have the same flavor as it would if you were to cook in the oven. It was interesting to try, however I am not too sure that I will make it again.

The best part about this project for me though was not the food, but learning about the Six Sisters’ blog!  They have some awesome recipes and ideas; I urge you to check out their site!

 

 Lasagna Conclusion

 

The tasty Slow Cooker Lasagna and it’s photo by Six Sisters’ Stuff


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Six Sisters’ Stuff has shared their very own Copycat Recipe for P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef!

Always on the hunt for meals that the whole family will love, The Crafty Collaborative just had to try it out!

 

Please click here to visit Six Sisters’ Stuff and check out the recipe that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  To make a delicious dinner while trying to replicate the tasty P.F. Chang’s Mongolian beef.

 

Details:

  • Tasty ingredients
  • Sauté pan
  • Wok
  • Oil
  • Messy kitchen (during the cooking!)

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I replaced cornstarch with flour – at 2 T. flour to 1 T. cornstarch. It worked fairly well, but seemed to be a bit thicker than cornstarch would have been.

In addition, we love sautéed vegetables and I always have fresh veggies on-hand, so we made a mix of bell peppers and radishes as a side to this tasty entre.

Pros:

Easy to make – even for those faint of heart in the kitchen.

Relatively inexpensive for a family of four – cost under $25.00 total.

Cons:

Required a few ingredients that some may not have on hand – i.e. fresh ginger. But, such a key ingredient!

Conclusion:

This dinner turned out fabulous! It was a fairly easy process for preparing and cooking and was easy to pair with sautéed vegetables. My hubby LOVED this dinner.  The sauce was spectacular!  I’m so excited that we have leftovers! I plan to make this again for sure!!!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission:  The goal was to test the theory that this dish is a good as the one served at P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef.

 

Details:

  • I decided to use pork loin instead of beef (in my kitchen – I am the cook and since I don’t “do” beef no one I am serving does either)
  • I only used half the amount of oil required to cook the meat (1/2 cup)
  • I also doubled the sauce recipe in part because I am lazy and I also hate wasting fresh ingredients like ginger and garlic
  • I did not put the dish in the oven to warm through after adding the sauce and green onions. Instead I warmed the entire dish in the pan I cooked the meat in (I poured out the oil and wiped the pan out first).

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It is no joke that the garlic and ginger will burn brown VERY quickly if you don’t have the liquids ready to toss into the pan within seconds of putting the garlic and ginger into the oil. Also, dredge or coat the meat in small portions otherwise all your meat sticks together. Don’t cut the meat too thin either. I started with a serrated knife because I thought my other knives would be too dull. It caused the initial pieces to be far too small.

Pros:

The sauce was really simple and it will be great to have it for yet another meal since I doubled it. The meat got nice and crispy which added dimension to the dish.

Cons:

My children didn’t like it but that isn’t saying much since they are kids after all with unrefined pallets.

Conclusion:

This dish was fairly simple and REALLY delish! I think it could actually be great on chicken and even shrimp.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission:  I love Beef and PF Chang’s so this was a perfect recipe for me.  I try my best to eat Paleo friendly/gluten free when I can so I substituted and changed the recipe to better fit!  I found PF Chang’s complimentary recipe for Gluten Free Mongolian Beef so I went for it. Both recipes seemed easy to follow just a few changes to meet my dietary needs.

Details:

  • Instead of flank steak, I used 12 oz of beef tenderloin, which cut quite nicely and tasted even better.
  • I browned my meat in sunflower seed oil instead of vegetable oil from original version. Gluten free version called for soy bean oil…which I didn’t have so I used what I had.
  • I tossed in garlic with the beef then the soy, wine, sugar mixture.  Now here is where I may have gone wrong, I assumed rice wine vinegar and not rice wine. I am still not sure if that was a correct assumption.
  • I also used 2 tbsp. regular sugar instead of brown sugar, I wish I would have eliminated all together.
  • I used a natural soy sauce alternative instead of regular soy sauce.
  • The mixture was then reduced and tossed with green onions.  Looked delicious but some of the changes must have affected the outcome.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure your phone is camera and not record, ha!

Better meat equals a better dish!

Pros:

It was really easy!  Simple steps so not many to mess up!  It’s my kind of cooking…cut, mix and throw in the pot.

Cons:

Sugar, I wasn’t sure if the gluten version wanted brown sugar or regular sugar, next time I should call PF Changs!

Conclusion:

Overall, the recipe was very tasty, the beef was surprisingly tender. My finance found it was too salty.  I think this was because of the soy sauce.  I eyeballed it and I think I will measure next time.

We definitely, had different taste buds, I thought it was too sweet, so I would definitely eliminate the sugar next time or I think using a teaspoon of honey would have definitely been better than using sugar.

I will be making this again, it was really easy and fun to make!

 

 

The mouthwatering photo of the Copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef  taken by Six Sisters’ Stuff


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