Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

It really don’t make no sense how good this looks. Beef stew anyone? We’ll need:

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• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into 8 pieces
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
• 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 thyme sprig
• One 5-ounce piece of pancetta
• 15 pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled
• 15 cremini mushrooms
• 15 baby carrots, peeled
• Sugar
• Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the meat in the casserole in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat with it. Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

2. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.

3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the pancetta with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the pancetta and slice it 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.\

4. In a large skillet, combine the pancetta, pearl onions, mushrooms and carrots. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a large pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated, 15 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat, tossing, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes.

To serve, stir some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and scatter the rest on top as a garnish. Top with a little chopped parsley and serve.

– Contributed by Jacques Pépin

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All Natural Shea Butter Shampoo

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Yes, with a little effort you can make your very own version of Shea Butter Shampoo. Shea Butter is a natural conditioner for hair. Produced from the Shea-Karite nut tree in West and East Africa; it is a triglyceride derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion . It helps to soothe dry, itchy scalp, dandruff, locks moisture in, and protects against heat.

 

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I actually included Black Soap in my version of this ingredient but I decided to leave it out of this one for a number of reasons. Firstly, I did not like the result of how the soap felt in my hair when I got down to actually using the shampoo. Black Soap is a concentrated soap that must be diluted with oils and butter (like Shea Butter) in order to achieve the desired effect. For some it works, but for others it leaves the hair tangled, greasy, and dry. It can also make the scalp tingle because of its concentrated properties. It is, Black Soap, a very good product for hair and skin. It is good for rashes or any skin problem but personally I would like to become better informed on how to use it as a shampoo before giving information about it. For this reason, though I used it in my version, I will leave it out of this one. But, if you would like to add African Black Soap to this version there are plenty of YouTube videos available online on how to use it as a shampoo.

For this Sunday’s Recipe you will need:

Shea Butter
Aloe Vera Gel
Coconut Oil
Rosemary
Small Jar
A dark tinted bottle with a lid
Empty Shampoo Bottle
Knife

1. Melt your Shea butter: Place a couple pieces of aluminum foil on a skillet you don’t expect to really cook in again. Set stove to low heat. Place Shea Butter on foil and let it melt. (This is preferred over using the microwave). Watch it carefully; it only takes a few minutes to melt. You can also melt the coconut oil the same way if it is hardened

(Coconut oil becomes a solid above 76 F. But you can let it melt naturally just by leaving it out a day before you begin production since it’ll melt once it’s below that threshold).
3. Pour liquid Shea Butter and Coconut Oil in a bowl.

Rosemary:

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I chose to incorporate Rosemary a). because there’s a ton of it growing on the side of my house, and b). because it has been in use as an effective solution to hair loss for centuries now. It also helps in reducing hair thinning and balding. It will help in improving the circulation of the scalp and this will in turn help in hair growth. Rosemary works effectively on the hair when combined with olive oil (I also used mint).

4. So next, you want to extract the oils from your herbs which means you want to start this process a couple days before you plan to make the shampoo. Of course you can just buy the essential oils you want to add but why take the fun out of it? :

a). Cut up the Rosemary leaf. Then fill a small jar about half-way with the herb depending on how much of it you want to use in your shampoo.

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b). Cover the cut herb with olive oil. Make sure that all of the herbs are covered. How much oil this will require depends on the size and shape of your jar.
c). Put the lid on the jar and shake it gently to mix the herbs and oils. Place the jar in a sunny spot and leave it for at least 48 hours. Swirl the ingredients around gently every few hours.

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d). Pour the essential oil into a dark-tinted bottle with a good stopper. Label the jar with the ingredients and the date because essential oils lose their potency after six months.

5. Now, add this oil to your mix, not all of it, just enough to use for this batch.  Also add the Aloe Vera Gel to your mixture. Aloe Vera’s natural enzymes destroy the excessive dead skin cells and fungus that leads to dandruff. While also leaving the scalps ph levels balanced and moisturized.
Mix everything together with an electric mixer, or blend it in a blender you use specifically for this purpose (obviously not the same one you make your smoothies with 🙂 ).

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Pour into your old shampoo bottle and enjoy. (Note: This is an old Shampoo bottle with my Shea Butter Shampoo in it).

Whopper Pie

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Today’s Sunday Recipe is a nice sweet treat for all of our sugar addicts out there and is super-duper easy to make. There is also so much more you can do with this. You can make a cake or fill your pie with whatever ingredients you like. For this basic recipe you’ll need:

1 Pt. Softened Vanilla Ice Cream
8 oz Cool Whip
8 oz Whoppers Crushed (or Malted Milk Balls)
1 Graham Cracker Crust

 
Mix all of these delicious ingredients together. Make sure the Whoppers are crushed and be sure to leave some for the final touch.

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Pour mixture into the Graham cracker crust and top with crushed or whole whoppers.
Freeze for 4 hours and top with whipped cream, more whoppers and anything else that tickles your taste buds.

Enjoy!

Chicken and Potato Casserole

If there is one meal most appropriate and easy to make during the winter, it’s casseroles. I especially like them for those days when you’ve either had a late night or the times are hard, and you need to throw together a quick meal. Either way casseroles are a great idea to compliment your time and your appetite.

So today we’re making a Chicken and Potato Casserole.

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You will need:

 
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Medium Russet or Idaho Potatoes
Frozen Mixed Vegetables
Shredded Cheese
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder

 
This is gonna seem a little backwards compared to how most do it, but I’m an overtly paranoid “Must Be Well Done Or Else” kinda cook so I bake my chicken first actually before cutting them into pieces.
So set your ovens to 350 F and let your chicken cook. After it is done (make sure it’s not dried out though), slice the chicken into 1 inch pieces

 
*clearing throat* > in real life I don’t do much measuring. What I really wanna say is to just cut them into small pieces, but I don’t want the experts to get lost 🙂

 

Cut your potatoes into 1 inch pieces as well (for those of you who really don’t know how to cook or your on a low budget, just use frozen potato wedges. The world will never know).

 
Grease your roasting pan or baking pan of choice with some spray oil.

 
Spread the diced chicken, frozen veggies, and potatoes evenly on the baking pan.

 
In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture over the chicken, veggies, and potatoes; make sure to coat everything nice and evenly.

 
Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes. Since the chicken is already cooked it’s not going to take that long, but if your chicken is cooking with everything else, bake uncovered for about 50 minutes – 1 hour.

 
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake again for another 5 minutes so the cheese can melt.

 
Remove from the oven and smash the game < code for devour.