This has been a busy week full of appointments and school meetings and I am so glad that Friday is finally here. Kids keep you on your toes, be they little or grown. There is never a dull moment and time just flies by. Thankfully, we have been having great weather – warm and full of sunshine. This made it very pleasant to be out and about. I did share some pictures on Facebook on the fall colors happening here in the prairie. Do check it out.

I have been making a lot of simple one pot meals lately because of the busy schedule. Stewed beef is one of the family’s favorite and this dish can be prepared ahead earlier in the day. I normally add barley to the mix but since I had a can of beans sitting in the pantry, I decided to throw them in. I am glad I did as it made the stew so warm, comforting, and hearty, great for healthy teenage appetites! As the weather cools down (I know it will but I am hoping it will stay warm for as long as possible), this will be a wonderful dish to prepare for those cold evenings.

Beef and Bean Stew

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Beef and Bean Stew


  • 2 lbs (900g) chuck roast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 can (14.5 oz/400g) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (16 oz/450g) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups apple juice
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Roux
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp rice flour


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Brown meat for about 5 minutes. Push meat aside and add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in dried basil and thyme.

Add stewed tomatoes. Pour in apple juice and beans. When liquid comes back to a boil, season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1¼ hours.

Prepare the roux while stew is simmering. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook till smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.

When stew is ready, ladle about a cup of hot liquid into the roux and mix till smooth. Pour the mixture back into Dutch oven, gently stirring until thickened. Turn off heat and serve warm with rice or crusty bread.

After blogging for almost two years now, it is a joy to still be included in blog awards. In the past I have received the Versatile Blogger Award but the Cherry on the Top award is new to me. I want to thank Katherine Martinelli, an accomplished American freelance writer and photographer living in Be’er Sheva, Israel for both these awards. Please do check out her blog for fantastic recipes, photography, and writing. She has also just started a new blog hop and this week it is all about pumpkins. You can link up your pumpkin recipes there.

The rule is to share 7 facts about me and pass it on to 15 other bloggers. Here are my 7 facts…

1. Before I decided to stay home with my boys, I was once a computer analyst, designing and coding programs but that was a long time ago.
2. I am a proud mom of two teenage boys who are now taller than I am.
3. Home is currently in Minnesota and I am still learning to make hot dishes and ice-skate.
4. I used to live in beautiful Colorado and still miss the mountains, sunshine, and great outdoors there.
5. My beverage of choice is tea.
6. I collect tea pots.
7. Besides cooking, I also enjoy making tea cozies. :)

And now to pass on to 15 bloggers. They are…

1. Ann of Anncoo Journal
2. Rebecka of At Home with Rebecka
3. Pola of An Italian Cooking in the Midwest
4. Hyosun Ro of Eating and Living
5. Elin of Elinluv’s Tidbits Corner
6. Elisabeth of Food and Thrift
7. Nami of Just One Cookbook
8. Joyce of Kitchen Flavours
9. Sanjeeta of Lite Bite
10. Lyn of My Little Messy n Cheeky
11. Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover
12. Christiane of Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time
13. Tigerfish of Tezcape – An Escape to Food
14. Lyndsey of The Tiny Skillet
15. Shirley of Welcome to Shirley’s Luxury Haven!

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend! 8)