Valentine’s Day will be here soon and I want to share the recipe for these sparkly heart cookies with you. This recipe turns your favorite buttery sugar cookies into a chocolate sugar cookie, which couldn’t be more perfect for this February celebration of love. These chocolate …
Swedish tea rings are classic thumbprint cookies. They’re made with a thick base of buttery shortbread, rolled in pecans and crowned with a jewel of jam. These beauties are a must on any of our family cookie plates! This recipe originated from my mother’s paternal grandmother …
Slow-cooker beef & barley soup is a cross between a French onion soup and a tomato soup, with tender beef – but not too much, lots of carrots and velvety barley. The rich broth is flavored with thyme, red wine and soy sauce (the ingrediento segreto!).
A slow cooker soup had never wowed me until I tried this one. In the past, I felt the ease and convenience of slow-cooker meals did not outweigh the lacking final product. Slow cooker meals always tasted the same to me, no matter what combination of ingredients were used.
After we returned from the hospital with baby girl #3, my aunt prepared this slow cooker beef & barley soup for us, and it surprised me for several reasons. First, it was a soup, and my kids ATE it! I am not exaggerating when I say they cleaned their bowls. This never happens when we eat soup. Secondly, it was made in a slow cooker! That, and this is the best part: it’s a true slow cooker recipe and doesn’t require adding any ingredients mid-cook. You can really “set it and forget it” while you do any number of leisurely daytime activities!
A few things to note:
There’s not a ton of barley in here, but because of that it’s extra-velvety and allows the tomatoes, beef and carrots to shine. You can certainly add up to ¼ cup extra if you like a thicker soup.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of onions in this recipe. Three onions may seem outrageous, but they really make the soup, and they cook down considerably.
This one freezes beautifully, so double it and throw half in the freezer (minus the parsley) for a night off next month. To double, depending on the size of your slow cooker, you’ll want to reduce the beef broth to 6 cups (instead of 8) because you may run out of room. My slow cooker is a standard size Revel brand “Crock Pot”.
Looking for more weeknight freezer-friendly meal ideas? Try these Sweet Potato Burritos.
Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup
- 3 onions chopped fine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried thyme or 1 T fresh, minced
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups beef stock or beef broth
- 3 carrots peeled & chopped
- 1/3 cup soy sauce or low sodium tamari sauce
- 1/4 cup pearl barley NOT quick cooking variety
- 3/4-1 lb beef blade steak, trimmed or flatiron steak, trimmed
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- In a large glass bowl, stir together chopped onions, tomato paste and thyme. Cook in microwave, stirring halfway through, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Place onion mixture, tomatoes, beef stock, carrots, soy sauce & pearl barley (everything but beef, parsley, salt & pepper) into slow cooker. Stir until combined.
- Trim fat from beef and season with salt and pepper. Nestle beef into slow cooker and cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 6-7 hours.
- Remove beef from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Skim extra fat off surface of the soup (if any), and return shredded beef to the soup. Stir.
- Top with fresh parsley and season with extra salt and pepper, if needed.
- Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- If doubling, reduce chicken stock to 2 total cups (instead of 4), so it will fit in a standard slow cooker.
- You can substitute 2 15-oz. cans of diced tomatoes for the crushed tomatoes. Just puree them in a blender for 5 seconds before adding them to slow cooker.
- There’s not a ton of barley in here, but because of that it’s extra-velvety and allows the tomatoes, beef and carrots to shine through. You can certainly add up to ¼ cup extra if you like a thicker soup.
- Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of onions in this recipe. Three onions may seem outrageous, but they really make the soup, and they cook down considerably.
- This one freezes beautifully, so double it and throw half in the freezer (minus the parsley) for a night off next month. To double, depending on the size of your slow cooker, you’ll want to reduce the beef broth to 6 cups (instead of 8) because you may run out of room. My slow cooker is a standard size Revel brand “Crock Pot”.
Have you ever tried Bircher muesli? This grated apple yogurt bowl is my oat-less version of Bircher muesli, made with an apple, yogurt, almond butter and lots of cinnamon. It’s a great make-and-go breakfast or lunch and doesn’t require any soaking time like overnight oats, …
In preparing for a different sort of Halloween this year, my daughters brainstormed some treat ideas to replace the standard trick-or-treating tradition. There were pleas for these candied apples, from a Pioneer Woman cooking show the girls watched with me last Thanksgiving. Although beautiful, we’re …
With such a simple list of ingredients, it’s surprising how addicting these sweet potato burritos are. The sweet potatoes, combined with almost-caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, cumin, oregano and chili powder, have that crave-worthy sweet and savory flavor profile. In fact, I find the pronounced flavor of sweet potatoes can hold up to a lot of spice, and here, these Mexican flavors really shine. Sweet potato burritos are a perfect fall dinner. It’s a dinner that can easily be doubled, or tripled (hey, I’m trying to up my planning and dinner game!), and it freezes beautifully. I serve them with black beans, salsa and guacamole.
We first found this recipe while on vacation in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, tucked inside this cookbook. We made them one evening after skiing in the tiny condo kitchen, and they’ve become a favorite ever since.
A word on sweet potatoes
This recipe calls for white sweet potatoes, but the orange ones (aka American “yams”) are equally delicious. So, if your grocery store only carries the orange varieties (as mine did on the day I shopped for the batch photographed here), it’s not a problem! I find the white sweet potatoes most often around the holidays since the stores tend to stock up on extra produce varieties at that time. But, I’ve found them at non-holiday times as well. Try the recipe with both kinds and see which variety of sweet potatoes you prefer. The white sweet potatoes, although still full of fiber and vitamins, have less beta-carotene than the orange variety, and also taste a little less sweet/more savory than the orange sweet potatoes. I’m curious to know which sweet potatoes you’ve tried, and which are your go-to?
To make the burritos
Grate 4 sweet potatoes on a box grater. Or, a food processor is a handy tool here, especially if you’re going to double the recipe.
Chop one onion (1 ½ cups) finely and sauté the onion in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the onion over medium-low heat until they’re softened and starting to give off some color, 5-7 minutes. Don’t let them burn!
Add 2 cloves of minced garlic to the onions and continue to sauté until the garlic is fragrant, up to one minute.
Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute or two until the spices are well blended and very fragrant.
Add 4 cups of grated sweet potatoes and stir well to combine. Continue cooking everything over medium heat, covered, until the sweet potatoes are cooked through and tender, 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
On each tortilla, sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese down the center diameter of the tortilla, and top the cheese with a heaping ¼ cup of sweet potato filling. Roll up and place in greased 9X13 inch baking pan.
Continue rolling and filling burritos until you have at least 8 burritos. I find that I often have extra filling, so I usually cram a few more burritos in the pan or you can place a couple in a smaller baking pan separately.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of burritos.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and burritos are hot throughout. Garnish with chopped green onions, and serve with black beans, spicy salsa and guacamole.
Need a delicious recipe for homemade salsa?
Sweet Potato Burritos
- 4 cups white sweet potatoes, peeled & grated about 3 potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 8-10 flour tortillas
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot. Saute onions on medium-low heat until onions are very soft and starting to take on some color, 5-7 minutes, being careful not to burn.
- Add garlic and continue to cook for up to a minute.
- Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt & pepper and saute for another minute or two, until the spices are well blended and fragrant.
- Add the grated sweet potatoes and stir well to combine with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking everything over medium heat, covered, until the sweet potatoes are cooked through and tender, 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- On each tortilla, sprinkle 2 T of cheese down the center diameter of the tortilla, and top the cheese with a heaping 1/4 cup of sweet potato filling. Roll up and place in greased 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
- Continue rolling and filling burritos until you have at least 8 burritos, using as many tortillas as your filling requires. I sometimes cram a few more burritos in the pan or you can place any extra burritos into a smaller baking pan.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of burritos.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and burritos are hot throughout. Garnish with chopped green onions, and serve with black beans, spicy salsa and guacamole.
- Orange sweet potatoes work well in this recipe too!
- To freeze, cover tightly with foil, and preferably, a casserole lid as well. Thaw in the fridge overnight, before baking at 375 for 30-45 minutes.