Archives for category: beef

Inspired by a sweet and sour meatball sauce recipe in Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, I made these:

Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe - perfect as an appetizer, or serve on noodles.

They were great as fingerfood on toothpicks, but would also be tasty served on a bed of noodles! Of course you can always make the meatballs without the sweet and sour sauce, and serve them with spaghetti and red sauce. Here’s what I did…


  • 1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1/2 c. Italian-style Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg


  • 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 c. beef broth
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1 Tbs. steak sauce
  • 1/2 c. crushed pineapple in natural juice
  • 1-2 Tbs. orange marmalade
  • optional: cornstarch (if needed for thickening)

MAKE THE MEATBALLS: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine meat, Panko bread crumbs, milk, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 c. of the chopped onion. Shape mixture into meatballs; approximately 1-2 inches each. Place on cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

WHILE MEATBALLS BAKE, MAKE THE SAUCE: In a small saucepan, heat oil on med-high heat, then add 1/2 c. onion, and sugar. Cook for a few minutes until onions are soft and starting to brown. Add broth, ketchup, steak sauce, pineapple, and marmalade. Bring to a boil, and cook a couple more minutes. If too thin, add a little cornstarch a teaspoon or so at a time until desired thickness. Strain sauce into a bowl with a mesh colander, and discard “pulp” mixture left behind in the strainer.

TO SERVE: Dip meatballs in sauce, and place on serving dish or on noodles.


One-Pot Beef and Guinness Stew Recipe

Easy freezer-friendly beef stew. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime you crave warm comfort food. Just start everything in a dutch oven or heavy pot on the stove, and transfer the whole thing to the oven.


  • 4 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 lbs. small potatoes (I used a mixture of red and yellow), cut into chunks
  • 2 white onions, diced
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • Irish stout beer – I used one 11-oz. bottle of Guinness Extra Stout
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper, for seasoning
  • 16 oz. frozen baby peas, thawed


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a heavy pot or dutch oven (5-quart size or so) on the stovetop, toss beef with flour and stir in tomato paste. Add potatoes, onions, broth, beer, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat, occasionally.

Cover with lid and place pot in oven. Cook until meat is fork-tender, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in peas, then season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

TO FREEZE: Prepare according to recipe. Cool, then divide into a few containers, label, and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw, reheat, and serve.

adapted from


Crock Pot Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe - easy and delicious slow cooker meal

Slow-Cooker Cheesy Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 can (16 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 c. of your favorite shredded cheese (Monterey jack, colby, cheddar, etc.)
  • 2 jars (approx. 16 oz. each) salsa
  • 1 package corn tortillas, warmed according to instructions on pkg.
  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken), browned and drained
  • optional toppings: sliced olives, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, jalapenos, etc.

In a medium bowl, mix together the filling: onion, beans, spices, meat, and approx. 1/2 to 1 c. of the cheese.

Spread approximately 1 c. of salsa over the bottom of slow cooker, enough to evenly coat the bottom with a thin layer.

Fill each of the tortillas with about 1/3 c. of filling, roll tightly, and pack seam-side down into the bottom of the slow cooker.

Spread another cup of salsa over the top and sprinkle with more (but not all) of the remaining cheese. Continue rolling the remaining tortillas with the remaining filling to make one more layer; sprinkle any leftover filling on top. Finish by pouring another cup of salsa over the top of the enchiladas.

Reserve the last part of the cheese to add later.

Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on HIGH for 2 to 4 hours. For the final 15 min. of cooking, sprinkle remaining cheese over the top, re-cover, and finish cooking.

Serve enchiladas with optional toppings.

recipe adapted from

Slow Cooker liners for Crock Pot recipes

Crock-Pot Programmable Cook and Carry Slow Cooker

Italian Lasagna with Red Sauce Recipe – I took an Italian cooking class and learned how to make red sauce, and different types of lasagna. The instructor gave us recipes and some cooking tips and then we got to make some and bring them home. YUM.

This was my favorite:

Best lasagna recipe ever - includes freezer instructions - Not sure why but they always taste better the next day as leftovers!

I have since made a bunch of these, and froze some for later. Gotta love freezer meals!

If you want, you could use ground turkey instead; or even vegetables for a meatless option (just saute zucchini, broccoli, and carrots, and use them in place of the meat) and add a little pesto to the cheese mixture.

I used two 8×8″ pans, but if you want to make one batch just use a 9×13″ pan with the same recipe.

When I made the two 8×8 lasagnas, I baked one and froze the other for later.


  • 2 lbs. ground beef (or Italian sausage; or a mixture of both)
  • Red sauce (see recipe below)
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (or more if you’re a cheese lover) shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 package (approximately 12 oz) oven ready “no cook” lasagna noodles
  • Fresh Italian parsley, to taste, chopped


Brown meat in a skillet and drain grease. Stir in the red sauce and heat through.

Combine ricotta cheese, grated Pecorino Romano, eggs, and parsley in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Evenly spread the meat sauce in a the bottom of a 9×13″ pan OR two 8×8″ pans. Layer lasagna noodles on top, then spread on some of the cheese mixture and cover with meat sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella, and repeat for one or two more layers.

If preparing lasagna right away: Bake in preheated oven at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden (cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes or so then uncover until done).

If freezing for later: Wrap unbaked lasagna in foil/plastic wrap and label. Freeze. To prepare, thaw and bake at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden (cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes or so then uncover until done).

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later


  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 1 cup crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pinch of brown sugar (weird I know!)

Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent for 8 minutes or so. Add parsley and garlic and cook just enough to release fragrance (don’t let the garlic burn).

Add red wine and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper, salt, and brown sugar.

Simmer briskly until reduced to a sauce-like consistency and stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

20 Minute Baked Cheesy Taco Pie

Put a twist on Taco Tuesday! Add taco meat to a round casserole dish, add tortillas, salsa, and cheese, and you’re 20 minutes away from a baked cheesy taco pie! Customize with your favorite toppings: sour cream, cilantro, olives, green onions, etc.

5 ingredient Baked Cheesy Taco Pie - it's like a circle lasagna of taco-y goodness! Just 20 minutes.

20 Minute Baked Cheesy Taco Pie

– 4 large flour tortillas (burrito sized)
– 1 jar black bean & corn salsa
– 1 package taco seasoning
– 3 c fiesta blend shredded cheese
– 1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
– optional toppings: sour cream, cilantro, olives, black beans, tomatoes, additional salsa and cheese, green onions


Preheat oven to 400°F.

In medium-sized skillet, brown ground meat and drain then prepare according to taco seasoning package directions.

Once meat is cooked, pour a small amount of the mixture into bottom of a 2.5 quart round oven-safe casserole dish.

Place a soft tortilla on top of meat mixture.

Spread the tortilla with 1/4 c beef mixture, 1/4 c salsa and 1/4 c cheddar cheese.

– Repeat for each later and top with remaining cheese.

Bake in oven for approximately 15-20 min until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Garnish with optional toppings, if desired, and serve.


recipe adapted from

5 ingredient Baked Cheesy Taco Pie - it's like a circle lasagna of layered taco-y goodness! Just 20 minutes.

5 ingredient Baked Cheesy Taco Pie - circle lasagna of layered taco-y goodness! Just 20 minutes and only 5 easy ingredients. This one's a keeper.

5 ingredient Baked Cheesy Taco Pie - Just 20 minutes and easy ingredients. This one's a keeper.

 casserole dish

Teeny Tiny Taco Cups – Use won ton wrappers baked in mini-muffin cups for an awesome twist on tacos!

Top with your favorite fixin’s: sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, etc. Perfect for appetizers, or even your main course.

Teeny Tiny Taco Cups - won ton wrappers & your favorite taco filling & toppers. So tasty!!!

Baked won ton wrappers make awesome taco cups! So easy and delicious. Yum.


  • 24 won ton wrappers
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 Tbs picante sauce
  • 1/2 c. chunky salsa
  • 1 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, sliced olives, guacamole, shredded lettuce, black beans, chopped tomatoes


  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Press won ton wrappers into a 24-cup mini muffin pan.
  • Brown beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until crumbled and thoroughly cooked. Drain fat. Stir in taco seasoning and picante sauce.
  • Spoon beef mixture into wonton cups. Top with salsa and cheese.
  • Bake for 5 minutes or until the wontons are golden brown and cheese is melted.
  • Garnish with additional toppings (optional) and serve.
recipe adapted from

Part of my SHOP ONCE, MAKE 10 FREEZER RECIPES project.

I made two lasagnas and froze them, though you could always prepare one right away, and freeze the extra.

Creamy Onion Lasagna - makes 2 batches. FYI 1 sauce in the photo but need 2. Part of shop once make 10 freezer recipes.

Creamy Onion Lasagna

MAKES Two 9×13″ pans of lasagna — 12 servings each

Adapted from Taste of Home Ultimate Meals from the Freezer Magazine (page 49)


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 16 oz French onion dip
  • 2 large jars (45 oz each) pasta sauce – FYI I accidentally used just 1 in the photo, but you need 2 😉
  • 24 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Two 9×13 baking pans (I used the foil type)
  • If freezing: heavy duty foil, permanent marker, plastic wrap, jumbo storage bags (a 9×13 pans fit into a 2.5 gallon bag perfectly)


Cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl then add 1 jar pasta sauce, eggs, cottage cheese, and dip.

Spread a layer of sauce from the unopened jar in each of the 9×13 pans. Add a layer of noodles on each, then the meat mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers, alternating the noodles, meat mixture, and cheese until pans are full.

If preparing right away: Bake 50-60 mins at 375F or until cheese is melted. Let stand 15 mins before cutting.

If freezing:  Wrap in foil and plastic wrap/jumbo storage bag. Label with a permanent marker as pictured, and store in freezer. To use, thaw in fridge overnight. 30 mins before baking, set out. Preheat oven to 375F and bake 50-60 mins (or until internal temperature is at least 165F), until golden brown and bubbly.

Creamy Onion Lasagna - makes 2 batches - freezer friendly

Creamy Onion Lasagna - my little helpers

Creamy Onion Lasagna - freezer friendly - just mix up and freeze unbaked - then bake in the oven when ready

Creamy Onion Lasagna - freezer friendly - just mix up and freeze unbaked - then bake in the oven when ready

Best Lasagna EVER - secret ingredient is French onion dip. Includes freezer instructions - make 2 and freeze the extra. Throw all of your other lasagna recipes away! :)

Have a little more time to make an awesome lasagna with a homemade red wine sauce? Try this…

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later

Best lasagna recipe ever - includes freezer instructions - Not sure why but they always taste better the next day as leftovers!

We had an impromptu taco night, so I thawed some frozen ground beef and tried out a homemade tortilla recipe. It was fun to roll out the dough and the tortillas tasted great! You could also use the tortillas for quesadillas, burritos, gorditas, or even just to dip in salsa.

Here’s what we ended up with…

Homemade Tortillas - just 4 ingredients you probably already have. Great for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more!


  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour + more for rolling surface
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c. warm water


  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oil, baking powder, and salt.
  • Form dry ingredients into a mountain and make a hole (“volcano”).
  • Pour water and oil in the hole and mix.
  • When dough is firm, gently knead on a flat surface.
  • Break off golf ball sized pieces, and roll into balls.
  • Place dough balls on a floured baking sheet.
  • Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit for 30 mins.
  • Place dough balls on a floured surface and roll out into 6-inch flat circles.
  • Cook on a skillet at medium heat (no oil or cooking spray needed) for approximately 1 min per side (watch for bubbles, sort of like pancakes).

Makes approximately 12-14 tortillas

recipe adapted from

I can’t wait to make homemade tortillas again and I’m going to serve them in these taco trucks” that I just ordered. Aren’t they cute?!? 🙂 For now we used some fast food tacos…

taco trucks!


Homemade Tortillas - just 4 easy ingredients you probably already have. Mix, roll flat, then heat in a skillet for 1 minute on ea side.


Homemade Tortillas - just 4 simple ingredients you probably already have. Just mix, roll out, and heat in a skillet for 1 minute on ea side.


Homemade Flour Tortillas - just 4 easy ingredients you probably already have. Mix, roll out, and heat for 1 minute on ea side.


Homemade Flour Tortillas - so easy you probably already have the 4 ingredients. Awesome for tacos, burritos, gorditas, and quesadillas!


Easy Homemade Flour Tortillas - just 4 ingredients that you probably already have. Awesome for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and gorditas.


Here’s a CrockPot recipe I tried from the cookbook Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking by Stephanie O’Dea.

I must admit I had never purchased beef short ribs before and was sticker-shocked when they cost nearly $30 from our store’s meat counter! The original recipe called for 4 lbs. of meat, so I used 2 lbs. and stashed the rest in the freezer. 

This recipe is so easy to make – you just throw all the ingredients in your CrockPot!

slow cooker korean ribs - just put all the ingredients in the crock pot and go - so tender they fall off the bone

2-4 lbs. beef short ribs
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. water
3 whole seranno peppers

For this recipe, just call me Sister Maria because these are a few of my favorite things…

  • A ginormous can of soy sauce. One gallon to be exact. I lovingly refer to this as my gas can of Kikoman. It’s only $17 on Amazon, and with free Prime shipping, I love it. It’s great for marinades, stir fry recipes, and just sprinkling on rice.
  • Speaking of rice, here’s my new favorite appliance: a rice cooker! Yes I am excited about an appliance. I need to get out more, ha. You just pour in rice, water, put the lid on, and push the button. It pops up when it’s done! I haven’t used it yet to steam vegetables, but it came with a little tray for veggies. Bonus!
  • Here’s my must-have for any slow cooker meal: Slow Cooker liners. They make clean-up so much easier! No more scraping or scrubbing caked on food. I think they are a little pricey, but well worth the money.

Place ribs in a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, water, and peppers. DO NOT cut the peppers – leave them whole. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-8 hours, until thoroughly cooked. Approximately half-way through, flip ribs over. Discard whole peppers unless you’re feeling really brave and want some serious heat, but I wouldn’t recommend it, lol.

Serve with veggies or rice.

'no recipe' recipe CHILI

Ok, it’s time for my top secret chili recipe. Just kidding, it’s not much of a secret though it IS different each time I make it since I always switch up the types of beans and tomatoes I use. So it’s more of a “no recipe” recipe. But the basic ingredients are always there: meat, onion, garlic, tomatoes & beans.

I usually throw everything together in the slow cooker in the morning and let it simmer until lunch or dinner. It always tastes even better the next day, I swear! Not sure what it is about chili, but it gets more flavorful a day or two after I make it. Also, you can freeze the extras!

Best Ever 'No Recipe' Recipe Chili - freeze the extras. Perfect for weeknight meals, or give frozen batches to new moms, someone who is having surgery, or a new neighbor.

Part of my SHOP ONCE, MAKE 10 FREEZER RECIPES project.


  • 1 lb. ground beef OR turkey, browned and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 or 5 cans of tomatoes (I use a bunch of different types: stewed, diced, chopped, Italian-style)
  • 3 or 4 cans of your favorite beans (I usually end up with a mix of chili beans, drained black beans, and drained kidney beans)
  • Chili powder, to taste (I probably use 1 or 2 Tbs., depending on the batch)
  • Optional: bread bowl, toppings such as sour cream, crackers, shredded cheese, Fritos


Combine meat, onion, garlic, tomatoes, beans, and chili powder in a slow cooker (or a pot on the stove). Heat until it just starts to boil then reduce heat to low, and simmer until you’re ready to eat it. Before serving, top with your favorite toppings.

To freeze: Ladle chili into freezer-safe containers, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.

ALSO… If you have cream cheese and shredded cheese, you could use this chili in an awesome 3-ingredient baked Chili & Cheese dip!