So here we are, the first of a new month. May!! Already!! May Flowers! Spring weather. And most importantly – Secret Recipe Club!

This month I met Meghan of Cupcakes with Sprinkles. I know I gained at least 10 pounds just LOOKING at all the goodies on her site.

    I love all things sweet. I once had an aunt tell me that you might be dead before dessert so you should always eat dessert before dinner. That is something I love! It doesn’t matter how full I get I always have room for dessert.

This had to be month we gave up sweets. I mean really – gave. up. sweets. So while I drooled over all the sweet treats – which WILL be revisited at a later date – had had find some non-sweet recipes. **SIGH** But I persevered and narrowed it down to 6 (one of which is kinda sweet)and then down to THREE!!

Breakfast: Sunday is about the only day we eat a BIG breakfast. Eggs with bacon and grits, pancakes, or…..



P1010208Some with Blueberries.
P1010211Some with Pecans. All good!!

    2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
    2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
    1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
    1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
    1/2 teaspoon Salt
    2 cups Milk
    1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
    2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until blended and smooth. Coat waffle plates with non-stick cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter for 1 square of waffles. Let bake for about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.


Lunch: I needed something quick to go with some left over 5 Spice Chicken for Lunch, Meghan’s Very Quick Fried Rice.


    3 cups cooked White Rice
    3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
    1 cup cooked Peas and Carrots
    1 small Onion, minced
    2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
    2 Eggs, slightly beaten
    1/4 cup Soy Sauce

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peas and carrots mix, onion and garlic. Cook until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture to the side of the pan, then pour the eggs on the other side of pan and cook until scrambled. Now add the rice and soy sauce and mix together well. Stir until heated through. I added some Five Spice to the rice as well. I thought it brought out the flavor of the sesame.


Dinner: We had a cool evening the other night. It was a perfect night for stew.


Not just any stew, a stew made in the slow cooker. I usually fix mine using my pressure cooker or dutch oven so using the slow cooker was different for me. Long and slow gives you enhanced flavor for the potatoes, carrots, and meat.Mine was also a little different because I used 1/2 beef and 1/2 venison.

    1 lb chuck steak and 1 lb venison steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
    Salt and pepper
    2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
    2 medium Yellow Onions, finely chopped
    1-6oz can Tomato Paste
    2 cups Beef Broth
    3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
    2 Bay Leaves
    3 1/2 cups Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    3 1/2 cups Red Potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
    2 Tablespoons Minute Tapioca

1. After the meat has been cut into chunks, pat it dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat until the oil is hot. Cook half of the beef until it is well browned on each side, about 4 minutes. Don’t cook it all the way through – just get it brown on all sides. Toss the meat in the slow cooker and follow the same process with the second half of the meat. Remove the meat to the slow cooker, trying to keep as much oil in the pan as possible.

2. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the onions are translucent and golden, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth, soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil and pour it into the slow cooker over the meat.

3. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. On the counter, lay out a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and place the tossed vegetables on one side of the foil. Fold the foil over the vegetables and crimp the edges really well to form a little foil packet that will fit in the top of your slow cooker. >{I put 1/2 of the veggies in the stew and 1/2 in the foil packet to see if there would be a different taste. There wasn’t.}Stir the tapioca into the slow cooker. Place the foil packet of vegetables on top of the stew, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 10-11 hours.

4. When the stew is finished cooking, carefully remove the foil packet from the top of the stew. Discard the bay leaves from the stew. Carefully open the foil packet (be careful of steam that will escape as you open it!). Return the vegetables and any juices to the slow cooker and gently mix them into the stew. Serve.

I had never used tapioca as a thickener. I have always made a roux for thickening. The tapioca was a nice surprise. I liked the flavor the tomato paste added (also never used) but not so much for the soy sauce. Definitely a repeat – when the weather is cold/cool again.

Thanks, Meghan, for three keepers. I still have three recipes left over. And when I start using sugar again there will definitely be some Sprinkle treats coming out of the kitchen.

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