Carne Asada

Via Instant Pot

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One of my very things to make in my slow cooker is Carne Asada, but I recently got a Crock-Pot Express Multi-cooker and thought this would be the perfect recipe to try out in it. Instant Pots seem to be all the rage lately and I can definitely see why. They are so great when you are pressed for time, but still want a home cooked meal without all the fuss and cleanup. This recipe is super easy to throw together and can be switched up to please the pickiest of eaters. It also gets better and better with time and makes for a yummy lunch the next day.

Here is what you will need:

  • 3 lbs steak ( I usually like to use skirt steak, but most cuts will work out just fine)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes – chopped in large pieces
  • 1 large spanish onion – sliced
  •  mini sweet peppers – left whole – just cut off tops and remove seeds
  • cilantro – big handful chopped
  • olive oil
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • teaspoon – garlic powder
  • teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoon – cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • generous sprinkle of salt & pepper
  • flour tortillas
  • avocado
  • sour cream

Here is what you need to do:

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Add your steak, along with olive oil, soy sauce, minced fresh garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper, a bit of cilantro leaves and juice of a lime into a large zip lock bag. Give it all a good handling and set it aside.  Get to chopping and slicing of your veggies.

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My instant pot is a little different from the pots that everyone else seems to have, but I have learned that beans/chili button works like the manual button that the other pots have and is used for most recipes.

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Add everything to the pot and give it all a good stir. Lock you lid in place and turn the valve to sealed. Set timer to 15 minutes. When time is up, wait 10 minutes and then release the air by opening the valve on top.

And just like that dinner is done…

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I sometimes make these cute little tortilla boats. All you have to do is brush them with olive oil and give a sprinkle of salt & pepper. I bake them in the oven at 300 degrees in a mini loaf pan until they are set and toasty.  They make a cute presentation, but heating up the tortillas in the microwave  works as well and is just as yummy. :)

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Add your favorite toppings and…

Enjoy!!

xoxo

Jill ♥

P.S. Just as good in a slow cooker.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8.

2018 in Review


Favorite Photos and Memories…

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To say I’ve been a slacker this year would be an understatement!! I just couldn’t seem to get myself organized and stay on track and I really felt like I was always playing catch up. But with that said, 2018 was really a great year for us and I wanted to share some fun memories with you.

So let’s start with Savannah…

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As soon as we moved to Georgia, I couldn’t wait to get a chance to go visit Savannah.. So after the holidays wrapped up and the big kids were back at college, we packed it up and made our way there for an awesome extended weekend.

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Tybee Island

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And it so didn’t disappoint. Savannah really is a magical place and I can’t wait to go back. There was nothing I didn’t love about it.  Especially the amazing spanish moss trees.

Sean turns “21”

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The one who made me a mom!!

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My Numero Uno

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We so loved having him home right before his actual 21st birthday. His loving heart and awesome wit are so enjoyed by all.  He ended up celebrating his exact birthday with his friends back at college and that’s all I would really like to know about that. 😉

Easter

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We colored eggs, made lasagna and waited for KK to make it home, so we could all enjoy the day and it’s gorgeous Georgian weather.

Brody’s 4th Birthday

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Special Little Brody

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This years theme was a Paw Patrol Pool Party. It also was the first time Brody had a party with friends of his own to invite and he had a ball from beginning to end. There honestly is nothing better than this beautiful little boys smile. :)

Orange Beach, Alabama

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It was so great to be by the ocean for a whole week. Beautiful white sand beaches, yummy seafood and some of the best chocolate stuffed beignets that a girl could ever ask for. :)

KK’s Birthday

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Favorite Girlie in the World

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Beauty inside and out

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Someone really cute decided his sister needed a unicorn cake, so I got right on it.

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This beautiful girlie is a true delight in our lives and we so love getting time together to celebrate her!!

Summer Fun

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4th of July

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Sunflower Success

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Dawnie’s 50th Birthday Party

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My Birthday

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And barbecuing in the rain.

Back To School

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Brody

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Yes.. she sends me a first day of school photo.. even though she is away at college.

and I love it. :)

 

School Visits

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Roll Tide

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I just love him.

 

Destin, Florida

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To say I loved it here would be a true understatement!! We are already booked to go back and I can’t wait!!  One of my dreams is to have a cute condo right on the beach and I think Destin just might be the spot.

Halloween

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Its me… Mario

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Halloween is Brody’s favorite holiday. In his opinion, Home Depot is the best place for decorations and he makes sure that we visit often so he can check it all out..

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a holiday where we stick to the same traditions every year. We cook and cook and cook while we watch the Macy’s Day Parade… Try to take holiday pictures… Eat and eat and eat… And then finish the night off watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”

And I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

Getting ready for Christmas with some Elf fun

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This was the first year an Elf came to visit us and I really was not sure how well it was going to work out. Thankfully my cutie of a Colombian husband totally embraced it and did a wonderful job. Brody just loved having Tide visit and can’t wait to see him come back next year.

Hubby’s Birthday

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Here’s to the best Husband,Father and Friend.

Christmas

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1st Christmas Sweater Christmas Eve

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Christmas really is the best and this year did not disappoint. Christmas Eve is the bigger night for us which is followed up with a calm, present enjoying, relaxing Christmas Day.

Road Trip to New York

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It’s so great to get back to N.Y. and visit with friends and family. This year we stayed a bit longer and got to see and spend more time with everyone, which was so great.

Start to a New Year

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Which I plan to enjoy everyday of and keep on…

Just Rolling With It  😉

 

xoxo

Jill 

Pandebono

Colombian Cheese Breads

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I had my first pandebono over 25 years ago when I first started dating my cutie of a Colombian husband. We would drive to these wonderful bakeries in Queens  N.Y. and stuff ourselves silly. I eventually learned how to make them at home, but with our move to the South..I was no longer able to find the ingredients that were readily available back in New York.

But!!!

With some Pinterest searching and a lot of trial and error, I do believe I have finally gotten a close enough recipe for them down. :)

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • big pinch of salt
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ( please do not buy already shredded, do not use fresh mozzarella and make sure it is not part skim)
  • ½ cup finely grated Queso Blanco
  • 2 room temperature eggs

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Just wanted to share with you these two ingredients incase you aren’t familiar with them.

Here is what you need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

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Combine milk, oil and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil. Giving a good stir from time to time.

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Remove from heat and quickly stir in the tapioca flour.  It will turn into a gooey gelatinous mixture.

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Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on medium for 2 minutes.  Add in your cheeses and mix for another minute and then add in your eggs, one at a time. Beat for another 2 minutes. The dough will be very sticky when done with mixing.

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Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and fill a glass with water. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the dough, making sure to dip it into water after each scoop.

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You should end up with 12 rolls on each baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until they are lightly golden.

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Let them cool for a bit…

But not to long because they are the best when warm….

Hope you like them :)

 

xoxo

Jill 

Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern Success…

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I had my first taste of a fried green tomato about a year and a half ago when we moved to the south and instantly fell in love with them. I loved the crunch that the chef created and how he paired it up with a sweet goat cheese sauce that totally complemented the bitterness of the tomato. I was then determined and went on a mission to recreate this dish at home. There was a lot of mixes being made and frying going on and unfortunately very little success happening. I researched a bunch of recipes, but still couldn’t get it right. Then… Panko happened and success was mine. :)

Here is what you will need:

  • 3 green tomatoes
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry’s Season Salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • olive oil for frying

Here is what you will need to do:

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Get yourself assembled and measure out the ingredients.

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Mix the flour with the seasoned salt, garlic powder and pepper.

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Slice your green tomatoes and let then sit on paper towel for a few minutes.

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Blot the top of the slices to remove any extra moisture and start heating up about an inch of olive oil in a frying pan.

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Time to get ready to batter. Coat the tomato slices in the seasoned flour mixture, then dip in the beaten eggs and finish them off with a good coating of the panko breadcrumb.

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Make sure your oil is hot before adding the battered tomato slices to the pan…

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and fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and crunchy.

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I like to serve them up with a yummy sweet chutney or jam and crumbled up goat cheese.

YUMMY!!!

xoxo

Jill 

P.S. I haven’t tried it yet, but was thinking how great these would be as a B.L.T..  😉

Family Vacation… 2017

Aruba

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There is nothing I love more than a family vacation to the Caribbean.  So… when our very generous, wonderful friends offered us one of their time shares in Aruba, we jumped at the chance and made our schedules work for some much-needed time together and fun in the sun.

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Aruba really is beautiful..

Its full of gorgeous beaches, wonderful shops, fun activities, perfect temperature pools, delicious restaurants, friendly people and a constant relaxing breeze…

And we did our best to try to enjoy it all. :)

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Friends for over 10 years.

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It wouldn’t be a vacation without Brody asleep on a lounge chair.

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My Babies.

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Favorite girlie in the world.

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Fun.

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Not Fun 😉

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Go-Cart Racing

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A visit from a local.

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My People.

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Mexican Dinner.

Becs poor toe will never be the same.

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Night life with a three-year old..

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BEST DINING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!!

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Beach Dining..

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♥♥♥♥♥

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Aruba Souvenir

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Thank you Braunstein’s for your generosity and friendship.

Love you all…

 

xoxo

Jill 

Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce

I know… It’s been a while..

But I’m back 😉

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Ok, so today I am going to share my super easy tomato sauce recipe. This is the sauce that I use for dipping, pizza pies, parmesan dishes and pasta. It is also perfect as a start off sauce. Feel free to add meatballs, seasoned cooked chop meat, seafood and even some yummy cooked veggies.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 – 28 ounce cans of San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste
  • olive oil
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • generous sprinkling of kosher salt ( you will most likely add a little more after sauce comes to a boil)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley

Here is what you will need to do:

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Coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil and mince in the garlic. Stir it together and then cook on low heat until the delicious smell of garlic cooking takes over your kitchen.  Make sure to keep an eye on it. No one likes burnt garlic!!!

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Drop in the 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and mix all together. Cook for about 2 minutes continually stirring.

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I just love these tubes of tomato paste that you can store in the refrigerator. They are available in most supermarkets, so definitely pick this up when you see it.

Time for Tomatoes

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And these are hands down my favorite!!

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Add the 2 cans of peeled tomatoes to the pot and then use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes and mix all the ingredients together. Give a good stir and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, lower the heat to simmer, taste for any extra needed seasoning and then cook for about 30 minutes with a vented cover. Make sure to give the sauce a good stir from time to time.

And there you have it….

Hope you like it :)

xoxo

Jill 

Fried Mozzarella Patties

Yum!!

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I love, love love cheese of any kind!! I especially love hot melted cheese on everything from veggies to pasta.  These fried mozzarella patties are a cross between a mozzarella stick and an Italian recipe called mozzarella en carrozza and I just can’t get enough of them…

Here is what you will need.

  • Package of Fresh Mozzarella

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( I like to use this brand because it is easy to find and comes pre-sliced, but whatever you find will be great )

  • 1 cup of italian style bread crumbs.
  • 1 cup of flour.
  • 2 beaten eggs.
  • olive oil for frying.
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • sprinkle of dried basil and dried parsley.

Here is what you will need to do.

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Get your ingredients measured out and mozzarella ready for some dipping.

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Coat a slice of cheese in the flour.

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Then dip it in egg followed by the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the rest of the slices.

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Get your oil nice and hot and fry each patty until they are golden brown and crispy.

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Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and dried basil and parsley.

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Serve it up with your favorite marinara sauce and…

Enjoy

xoxo

Jill 

P.S. My favorite quick and easy Marinara Sauce will be coming soon :)

Holiday Season Wrap Up

And Our Forever…

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Here’s to our first Christmas tree in our new home. :)

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We ♥ Christmas

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Santa came…

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And our stockings were filled. Christmas was so fun and followed up with a quick and first ever 12 hour road trip to New York for the New Year.

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It was such a last-minute event and we didn’t get to see everyone we would have loved to see, but the smiles on my kiddies faces made the long trip so worth it.

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You just have to love stolen iPhone photos. :)

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2016 was a pretty good year for us…

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And I want to wish everyone nothing but the best for 2017.

xoxo

Jill 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

With potatoes on the side….

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In my opinion, nothing is better than a big warm dish of beef stew on a chilly winter night. I love it even more when I get to throw everything into a slow cooker in the morning and end up having a clean kitchen and a wonderful meal ready for my family in the evening. I do not include potatoes in my stew because I don’t like how they come out. But every good stew needs a potato, so I love to serve it up with either mashed or scalloped potatoes on the side.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2½ – 3 lbs of beef stew meat
  • 1 medium spanish onion – chopped
  • handful of baby carrots
  • handful of baby bella mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 2 bay leafs
  • generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 2 beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • sprinkle of dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Here is what you need to do:

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Chop the onion, clean the mushrooms and mince the garlic. Toss into a slow cooker along with the stew meat and baby carrots.

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Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper and toss in two bay leafs.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together the beef broth, bouillon, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, parsley and italian seasoning.

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Pour broth mixture into slow cooker and..

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Give a good stir to mix all the ingredients together.  Set to cook for 4-6 hours.

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An hour before your stew is set to be ready, mix flour with the tablespoon of butter and pour a little hot broth from the slow cooker over it. Mix it all together and add flour mixture into your stew. Give it all a good mix and continue cooking.

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You can serve it up with yummy buttered noodles or crunchy warm bread. Me, I’m a mashed potato kinda girl. 😉

Enjoy

 

xoxo

Jill ♥

Garage/Mudroom Cubbies

I just love organization…

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I love our new home, but the lack of a mudroom was driving me crazy. Tripping over shoes at the door and constantly looking for lost items is not my idea of a good time. The garage was quickly becoming a big dumping ground and something had to be done about it. So I stepped up my Pinterest game and discovered so many wonderful ideas that I am now able to share with you the final product that was just finished recently.

Here is what you will need:

  • Ikea Billy Bookcases
  • white screws and nails
  • hooks of your choosing
  • shims
  • crown molding
  • baskets or fun boxes
  • wood letters

Here is what you will need to do:

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Build the bookcases according to the directions that come with them. Adjust the shelves and then shim up the bottom to make them even and flush. Screw each bookshelf into the wall.

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Screw in the hooks at a height that works best for you….

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And then finish off the top with crown molding to give the cubbies a more finished look.

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The baskets are from Target and fit perfectly in the top slots. The letters were just a fun touch that I thought finished the cubbies off. I did find pictures of cubbies with chalkboard name tags that I thought were a great idea as well.

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I can’t even tell you how useful these cubbies have turned out to be. Definitely one of my most favorite projects so far.

Hope you like it.

xoxo

Jill ♥

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