Crock Pot Pork Stew

I usually would be doing a gardening post today, but I made the a really delicious stew on Sunday and wanted to share it with you.  It was a perfect Mother’s Day meal because I could just fix it and forget it.  Then when it was time to eat, it was ready to serve.

Crock Pot Pork Stew

Crock Pot Pork Stew

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb. boneless Pork Tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5-6 medium Red Potatoes
  • 3 medium Carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 lb. Mushrooms
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 2 tsp. dried Thyme
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose Flour (I used Brown Rice Flour to make it gluten free)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup Chicken or Turkey Stock
  • 2 cups Water, approximately

Cut all vegetables except celery into large chunks, all approximately the same size.  Chop celery.  Layer potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, celery and onion in crock pot in that order. Sprinkle with the Thyme and some salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, brown pork in olive oil.  When brown, remove from pan and place on top of vegetables in crock pot, leaving oil in pan.  Add butter to pan and melt.  Whisk in flour, salt and pepper.  Continue to whisk and cook on medium heat until flour begins to brown. Slowly add stock and then water, continuing to whisk while adding.  Once your gravy is smooth (you want it to be rather thin), pour it over your meat and vegetables in the crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  In the last hour you may need to stir the stew, especially if you notice that some of your flour is sitting on top of the meat.  I noticed this, but it may be because I used the brown rice flour.

This was such a delicious dish that my mom said she is going to make it for the next covered dish meal at her church.  For me, that is quite a compliment!

What is your favorite dish to cook in the crock pot?


A Happy Mess

When you are trying to make recipes your own, whether it is to make them healthier, or just to put your signature on them, they do not always turn out like you planned. Sometimes, though, they turn out to be a good thing crazy good!  Such is the case with the revamped cheese straws.  The DH and I were watching a cooking show I had recorded the other night (like he had a choice) and the cook was making cheese straws. So, DH decided he wanted me to make some cheese straws.  I told him I couldn’t have wheat (I have an intolerance for it) and he said, “so change the recipe so that you can eat it”.  The challenge was is on.  I have been reading about substituting chick peas, nut flours and other flours (like rice or oat) for wheat flour.  I know there are some other changes you have to make when you do, but I am still in the learning phase and don’t know all those things yet.  I have tried some other’s recipes with these substitutions, but have not tried making my own…before now.

Not Exactly Cheese Straws

I decided to use mostly chick peas in place of the flour, but also added a bit of pecan meal.  When I got the dough made, it was a little too soft, so I added a bit of brown rice flour.  They end result was not exactly cheese straws, they were more like cheese crisps.  They flattened out completely and were crispy and a bit chewy at the same time…and we (DH and I) absolutely could not stop eating them.  I made the first panful with the cookie press, like you would most other cheese straws, but when they flattened out, I decided to make the rest as crackers.  They are quite greasy and soooo tasty.  They are wheat free and gluten free, but nowhere near fat free.

Cheesy Cracker Crisps

Cheesy Cracker Crisps

  • 4 cups shredded extra sharp cheedar cheese
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pecan meal
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Put all ingredients except the brown rice flour in your food processor and process on high until it starts forming a dough (make take a couple of minutes), stopping halfway through to scrape the sides of the bowl.  Then add the brown rice flour and process just enough to get it mixed in well.  Form into 1″ balls, place on greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with a fork.  Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until slightly browned.  They will flatten out as they bake.

I think these would probably make a great little appetizer for a party.  Try them and let me know what you think.

What delightful mistakes have you made lately?

I will be sure to let you know when I get my wheat free cheese straws to come out actually looking like cheese straws 🙂