Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

Favorite Newly Engaged Couple:

A huge congratulations to my niece, Charlotte, and her fiancé, Ben (aren't they the absolute cutest?!) on their engagement last weekend in Savannah.  Can't wait to have Ben as an official member of the family (I feel like he's been one for a while now!) and have a front row seat to all the wedding planning!  Such fun!!

Favorite Eight Year Old:

I CANNOT believe you are going to be eight this weekend, Reece!  I wish we could be there to celebrate with you.  Mr. Toaster and I love you!!!

Favorite Eats:

Black Bean and Beef Stew

I made this stew this week with Charlotte in mind.  She likes to cook but she also has a really busy schedule with her job and all of her outside interests, so she loves a good slow-cooker recipe!

This one is perfect.....versatile (the original recipe called for a Boston Butt, but I subbed in a Chuck Roast because it's what I had), easy (not a lot of chopping required), fairly economical (doesn't require a lot of spices) and best of all delicious!

Chop your pepper and jalapeño the night before and you can throw all this together in the crock pot before you head to work.  And there will be could warm the beef/pork up for sandwiches, make quesadillas by adding a little cheese, etc.

Here's the recipe:

Black Bean and Beef Stew
adapted from Southern Slow Cooker Bible

1 16oz package dry black beans
1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast or pork should butt roast
2 12oz bottles dark beer or 3 cups low-sodium beef stock (I had about two cups of beef stock in the fridge that I needed to use and 1 random bottle of Sam worked great)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt (I had garlic powder so I used that and kosher salt!)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper

for garnish:
chopped tomatoes
chopped cilantro
sour cream

Place beans in the bottom of slow cooker.  Place the beef/pork on top of the beans and add the beer, red peppers, jalapeños, garlic salt cumin, and black pepper.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  Using two forks, pull apart the meat.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of chopped tomatoes and a garnish of fresh cilantro on each serving.

Favorite Cocktail:

click for the recipe

Favorite Discoveries:

Turn your instagram photos into iPhone and iPad covers and magnets

If you're like me and designing a new house, or if you just like to keep up on the new trends, these highlights from the 2014 Kitchen and Bath show are very exciting.....Mr. B will be especially intrigued by the humidor wall unit.

Favorite Links:

Wouldn't you love to spend the night here?

All you have to do is listen to the majority of athlete interviews and know this is true.

Favorite Instagram Accounts to Follow:

@harlowandsage...a Weimaraner and a miniature dachshund bring some serious CUTE

@humansofny.....New York City one story at a time

@natgeo.....because National Geographic photographers are some of the best in the world

@dallaspetsalive....Muttbombing is a project by Dallas Pets Alive aimed at finding homes for healthy rescue dogs.  Send them your profile pic and they'll muttbomb you with an adorable, adoptable pet!

Have a great weekend!!

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