Posted in Fiction Diner

Fiction Diner: Crockpot Alcohol-free Irish Stew

I found the inspiration for this recipe while scrolling through Pinterest. After viewing a variety of recipes and crockpot directions, I developed this recipe for you. Let me just say that it tastes as good as it smells and it goes great with a tall glass of sweet tea! 🙂 


Crockpot Alcohol-free Irish Stew: 

You can serve this stew over a mound of mashed potatoes as I did or chop the potatoes up and add them to the stew and enjoy in a bowl. It’s your call. For me, I was itching to try it out over a mound of mashed potatoes since this was a new idea for me.

1-2 lbs of stew meat
4 Tb tomato sauce
3 Tb flour
drizzle of olive oil
4 large carrots
2 cans of beef stock
*1 can of peas

Coat meat in salt, pepper, and flour. Toss to coat evenly, adding another tablespoon of flour if needed for an even coat. Drizzle olive oil in a pan and sear the beef until it’s brown on all sides.
Peel and chop carrots.
Add beef stock, meat, tomato sauce, and carrots into crockpot. Season to taste. Cook on high for 4 hr or until meat is tender.
Add peas into the pot in the last hour.

As mentioned this recipe can be served over mashed potatoes or you could add potatoes into the pot at the same time as the carrots.
The gravy didn’t thicken up as much as I would have liked, so if you have a preferred thickening method feel free to add that step to your process…and tell me about it so I can try it next time. 😉

Novel Quote:

85 Let me set the stage for this quote. We’re in Ireland in 1170 on the eve of battle. The faithful warrior enters in and informs our heroine of their plan to keep her safe. She thanks him, and he replies,

“You are my princess.” -The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert, The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection. 

There’s something so beautiful and simplistic about that line that made me sigh every time I read it.


Posted in Fiction Diner

Fiction Diner Recipe: Alfredo Meatballs

This Alfredo Meatball recipe was inspired by my pantry and two hours of Pinterest scrolling. My mouth waters every time I come across a recipe for Swedish meatballs. I’ll have to gather the ingredients to give this a try later in the year, but, for now, I’m working with what I have on hand.


Alfredo Meatballs:

Frozen meatballs (or your favorite recipe)
Your choice of pasta (I’m using elbow)
Jar of Alfredo sauce (or your favorite recipe)
Broccoli (optional, although I don’t know why someone would dare to leave it out. lol)

It doesn’t get any simpler than a quick throw together recipe! I’ll even share two variations with you.

On Pot Wonder: You’re welcomed to throw your pasta, (cooked) meatballs, and broccoli together in one pot of water and cook until pasta is done and broccoli is tender. Then drain and add your sauce, warming it up until the sauce is brought up to temp. Season to taste and call it done!

Three Pots a Charm: Or cook pasta separately. At the same time, warm meatballs and sauce together, and cook the broccoli solo. When all is cooked and ready, drain and season the pasta and serve it on the plate dry. Top the pasta with the meatballs and sauce. Drain and season the broccoli and top the sauce with a healthy spoonful. It makes for a prettier dish this way. Tastes all the same once you put your fork into it, though. So you decide if you want to dirty one pot or three. 😉

*I cooked my pasta and broccoli separate. Why? Because it hurts my heart to see broccoli break down in the pan as I stir it with the other ingredients. Lol Plus I can better control how long it cooks. We can’t have the pasta and broccoli finishing at different times while in the same pot. 😉
*When I work with frozen meatballs, I like to pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes to help them thaw. Then cut them either in half or in quarters. I like bite-sized meatballs and don’t appreciate trying to cut them on my plate or in my soup while I’m eating. This habit comes in handy when you’re cooking for children or trying to spread the meat a little further.

50Novel Quote: 

“Beneath hollowed cheeks and bruises, beauty sleeps.” ~ For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

Sometimes you just have to stop and pause after reading a line. This was one of those times for me.

Posted in Fiction Diner

Fiction Diner Recipe: Smoked Sausage and Black-eyed Pea Soup

Get ready to warm up with this dish I found on a recent Pinterest search. You can read the original post here on Aunt Bee’s recipes.


Smoked Sausage and Black-eyed Pea Soup:

This was like heaven on a spoon. Seriously! Now, I’ve come to understand that not everyone appreciates the flavor of black-eyed peas. I can remember kicking against the yearly spoonful my mother insisted we eat on New Year’s Day. But as I’ve grown and my taste buds have changed, I’ve come to enjoy their unique flavor. Paired with smoked sausage and peppers and the black-eyed pea is even more dear.
Needless to say, I rate it 10 stars and look forward to the next pot.

16 oz bag of dried black-eyed peas
2 lbs smoked sausage, sliced
2 Tbsp bacon drippings or oil
1 onion diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of rotel, mild or original
1 quart chicken broth
3 cups water

Soak peas in cold water overnight. Drain the next day. In a dutch oven or large soup pot, brown smoked sausage in oil over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook for 5 more minutes, Reduce heat to medium and add jalapeno and garlic and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add soaked peas, rotel with juice, chicken broth and water. Bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat to medium/medium low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 2 hours or until peas are tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Note: I’m sharing the original recipe which has this soup being cooked on the stove top. I chose to work with my crock pot and tossed everything inside and cooked until the peas were soft.
Since I don’t like onions and I happened to be out of garlic, I exchanged both for onion and garlic powders. The flavor was still wonderful.
The original recipe also had you adding a whole diced jalapeno but since I didn’t use it, I chose not to include it in the ingredients above. But if you enjoy a little extra spice, toss it in!
This goes great with a side of corn bread!

26Novel Quote:

“Promises are more easily made. I’m more interested in seeing them kept.” ~Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell

Great words to live by!