09 October 2012

Winner... and a Recipe

"I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work.
That is the recipe.
It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near."
~Maraget Thatcher


You are the lucky random winner of my Sari Snapshot Bead Soup. Please email me your address and I will ship it right out to you (and I would love to see how you are inspired by it!).

Do you know Miss Mona Rae? I discovered that she makes the most yummy glass beads. Like this one in her Etsy Shop.

{MonaRae Beads Vanilla Fleurs XL Lampwork Lentil - oh! The colors!}
 And these bumpy bits of fun. I love them for their textural quality and fun pops of color.

{MonaRae Beads Lady Lumps Big Hole Sliders - the name is so kooky and the colors are punchy!}
I am in awe of glass bead artists. That is something I would love to try someday. Until then, I am thrilled when I find a new-to-me artist. Check MonaRae Beads out!


I am not the best cook. Have I told you that I am lazy? Unfortunately, my family demands meals with great regularity. It counts as homemade if you use a box mix and add some unexpected mix-ins (and by unexpected I mean whatever you have on hand that isn't expired. Why did I buy those green chilies again?). Right? 
{No author....picked it up at a school book fair....}
I like cookbooks that show pictures (sort of like how I like bead resources that show me great pictures). A recipe is a success if I can use three ingredients and make it in 30 minutes...and it looks like the picture. ;-) I have a cookbook that has a lot of dog-eared pages on called Meals in Minutes. Not all the recipes have pictures, which is a flaw in my eyes, but I do like that they arrange it by the time it will take ("20, 30, 40 minutes from start to finish") and have a shopping list and pantry list. Of course, I usually don't have anything near what they suggest my pantry should hold, but that is beside the point.

I looked in the vegetable bin and noticed some aging mushrooms. My daughter Tiny Dancer is nuts about mushrooms. Her pizzas usually only have mushrooms as an ingredient. So I started with that. There were a few contenders that I could have made (Chicken with Pan Sauce... Pasta with Mushrooms and Aged Jack Cheese...). None that I had all the ingredients. And it was already 6:00 pm. No last minute trips to the store. But then I flipped the page found the right thing. I have made it before and everyone loved it. Surprisingly, I actually had all the ingredients on hand! I made this on Sunday and it is so good, I have to share.  

How about a recipe to go along with these beady appetizers in the spirit of the Soup party? Think of this recipe as your consolation prize if your name isn't MonaRae. ;-)
Pork and Chorizo Stew

Start to finish: 40 minutes (of course, I usually have to add about 20 minutes to the total for me standing dumbfounded in the middle of my kitchen, getting distracted, or my too-slow chopping skills or the fact that I usually have an epic fail at following printed directions and skip a step... or an ingredient)
1 1-pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes (whatever pork you have on hand...I think I used some boneless short ribs...chicken or beef would work, too. It's stew. Buy cheap meat ;-)
8 oz cookded smoked chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4-in slices (have you ever tried to slice chorizo? It is more like a paste. It doesn't slice. It mushes. I just squeeze it into the pan. This is what adds the flavor. It is flavorful, not spicy, so don't let that worry you. Put the other chorizo log back in the freezer for another time.)
1 cup coarsely chopped onion (1 large) (Does half of one mostly dried out onion count? I also added the MUSHROOMS for Tiny Dancer at this point)
2 cloves garlic, minced (Or two or three dollops of the already chopped and minced garlic, so much easier!)
2 T. all-purpose flour (This is actually the only thing that I always have in my pantry.)
1/2 t. dried thyme, crushed (I actually had this in the cupboard! Color me surprised. I was thinking of substituting Italian seasoning in case I didn't.)
2 1/2 c. reduced-sodium beef broth (Used the new Knorr concentrate. Heat some water and let the gelatinous dollop melt. So much better! No waste!)
1 c. frozen peas and carrots (I use a frozen California blend. Peas make me shudder.)
salt and ground black pepper (Of course, I forgot this ingredient. Put the salt and pepper on the table in case this happens ;-)
2 c. dried egg noodles (Not enough. I make up a whole bag. My family loves noodles.)

  1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook the pork cubes and chorizo in hot oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes until brown.Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a plate; set aside.
  2. Add onion and garlic (and MUSHROOMS) to pan juices. Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Return meat and juices to pan. Add flour and thyme. Cook and stir for 1 minute. (This would be where I lost my focus and started opening mail and cleaning the dishes. Stay focused and you might still make it in 40 minutes!) 
  3. Gradually add broth, stirring to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of pan. Add frozen veggies. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pan cook egg noodles. (And make Krusteaz Natural Honey Corn Bread muffins. Yum.) Drain well. Serve stew with noodles. (And a nice salad from the grocery store ready made deli case. Opening a bag takes too much work. ;-)

You're welcome! ;-)


Pearl and Pebble said...

Oh wow thanks for the recipe Erin! Believe it or not I was just thinking what I could make with the pork loin in the freezer-because it is the only thing in the freezer! Thank you Thank you!!!

Lori Anderson said...

I made a chorizo spoon bread that could bust your arteries it was that good. If you're not from the south, substitute "spoon bread" with "cornmeal souffle with lots of butter" you'd have it!

Brandi Hussey said...

I came across a pin on Pinterest that basically said "I have a great interest in not cooking" and I started laughing because that's so me.

Don't get me wrong, I like eating, but I cook because I have to eat. My sister's the one who actually enjoys cooking. Her Christmas dinner preparations start days in advance, requires 4 hours at the grocery store, at least two carts, and a volunteer (aka me).

Obviously, that's an extreme example, but that's just to show how much fun she gets out of it. She makes everything from scratch. She's got the Kitchen Aid with ALL of the attachments. She's got kitchen utensils for every little job, and more pots and pans than I have shoes. She can put together a three course dinner in two hours. In comparison, I just stopped squealing when touching raw chicken two years ago. It was a tough habit to break, let me tell you.

But I wish I did have some talent in the kitchen. I'm exceptionally good with the microwave, and I can follow a recipe, but being spontaneous and having something come out right (read: edible) is a little beyond me. I envy people who cook, though, a LOT.

All that said, I just wanted to say that your dinner sounds super yummy. :)

Shel said...

Congrats to MonaRae and thanks for the wonderful post Erin - I laughed my butt off because I could completely see myself in this post! So, get your camera out of my kitchen girl!! LOL!! Just kidding! Great post - thanks for sharing your yummy recipe.

MonaRae said...

Imagine me, opening my Treasures Found email, and all I see is the picture, the top half of a bead that looks like one of mine. "What? Is that MY bead?! Squeeeee, my beads are in this amazing blog!? Bigger SQEEEEEEE, I won!!!!" I'm thrilled beyond thrilled, and so honored to win your beautiful Sari Soup!!! I can't wait to show you what I make!

And I'm a pretend chef, and sometimes I just get lucky. I wanted to share a couple inspirational pins from my board. This one is a search engine that finds recipes based on what you have in your fridge and pantry: http://www.myfridgefood.com/index.php And this one is a pinterest type site just for food: http://foodgawker.com/popular/gawked/page/3/

Thanks again for showing my beads and choosing me as the winner!!

Off the Beadin' Path said...

My first comment got lost between Chrome and Google, so hope it's not published twice. Anyway, best wishes to MonaRae, there were so many entries for that fabulous prize!! The Vanilla Fleurs bead is incredible! Also enjoyed your cooking expedition, you're a whiz at everything you do, Erin! Even things you don't enjoy! Yummy recipe, I will show it to Dan! I'm a crock pot fan, also, soon as I find it!

MonaRae said...

Thanks for the congratulations and compliments on Vanilla Fleurs. I wanted to thank you again Erin, publicly. http://monarae-beads.blogspot.com/2012/10/im-fall-cleaner.html

Nadine @ Chic with the Kool-Aid Mustache said...

I came to your blog to check out your beautiful work and I'm leaving with this recipe! I too would love to try my hand at glass bead making but I know myself and once I make a few my itch would be scratched and that would be it.

Not to be a smarty pants cause I just found this out myself but...there are two types of Chorizo. The Mexican variety which is what you described (a paste)and a Spanish style that is more like Polish or smoked sausage. I imagine the recipe is calling for the later of the two but I'm gonna try it with the Mexican stuff cause it's what I can find in Small-town Ohio.


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