Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My favorite tea towels and an amazing crock pot meal!

I'm often asked where my favorite place to purchase tea towels and aprons is. Without question the one shop I return to over and over again is Studiopatro! From the very first day I stumbled upon the owner Christina Weber's website I was hooked! There is even a wonderful video which highlights the many ways you can use a tea towel. Recently Christina offered to send me one of her amazing tea towels if I would shoot some photos for her and I was thrilled to do so! I, of course, was especially excited about the theme, "keep it simple!" In the October 2012 issue of Williams-sonama is an A.MAZ.ING crock recipe for Beef and Pumpkin stew. Crock pot cooking is such a simple and wonderful way of providing healthy, home cooked meals for your family and so I thought how appropriate this would be with the "keep it simple" tea towel from Studiopatro which should be available sometime next week!

I try new recipes all of the time and usually they're enjoyed once. Either they're too difficult or didn't make enough of an impression on me to remember to ever make them again. This beef and pumpkin stew is different! It's going into the make it over and over again pile! It has already become a family favorite! The flavor is outstanding and it's quite exciting that is made in your crock pot! I highly encourage you to try this recipe! It really isn't even difficult to prepare and it makes your home smell amazing!

So without further ado:

William-sonoma's beef and pumpkin stew

prep time 35 min/ cook time 3 hr 15 min

3 lb beef bottom round, trimmed of most fat and cut into 1 1/4" chunks
salt, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves- fresh works wonderfully!
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 c dry red wine
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 c beef or chicken stock
1 lb pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4" chunks
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint

** my directions are just a tad different here only because I don't have the pan they were using for the recipe. **

Season beef with salt and pepper and warm 1 Tbs. of oil in a pan on the stove. Brown beef in batches, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Discard most of the fat and add onion, thyme, and bay leaves to the pan; sauté 4-6 minutes. Add garlic and cinnamon stick; cook 1 minute. Stir in wine, 2 Tbs. vinegar, carrots, tomatoes, stock, and beef. Transfer to your slow cooker. Cover; cook 2 hours on high. Scatter pumpkin over beef. Cover; cook until tender, 1-2 hours more. (mine was done in 1 hour) Discard thyme, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Skim off fat.

In a small bowl, whisk 1 Tbs oil, 1 tsp vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and several grinds of pepper. Stir in green onions and mint. Serve stew topped with green onion mixture. serves 6

Hope you enjoy it! And since I know you're off to explore the beautiful website of Studiopatro, make sure to tell Christina I sent you!! I know you'll love it!

** I felt the need to add a little disclaimer. ;) I did not tell my youngest there was pumpkin in her stew until after she had finished her bowl. Otherwise she may not have wanted to try it. But in the end she found that she loves it! This was the first time that I ever cooked with pumpkin and if you have not ever tried it I would like to encourage you to give this recipe a go. I truly found the flavor to be amazing and comforting! ** Pin It


  1. I have always wondered where you got your towels! Definitely checking out studiopatro!!! That recipe looks amazing but do you think I could adjust the time and cook it on low?

    1. I would certainly try it. I do that all the time if I'm going to be away. Can't hurt to try! :)

  2. ok. stop it right now - KEEP IT SIMPLE on a tea towel...in YOUR colors...now THATS love right there!

    And your photos are SO beautiful. Not that you needed classes to learn how to take beautiful photos....they're simply stunning. Composed but not fussy, rustic but not unkempt and natural without the hairy armpits... haha!

    LOVE YOU TO PIECES my dear friend. xoxo

    1. this had GOT to be the funniest comment of all time!!!

  3. Ever since I first saw your tea towels in your photos, and you referenced where to get them, I have been purchasing towels from Studiopatro (and I told them where I heard about them). The keep It simple towels look wonderful!

  4. My folks come Fri. This sounds perfect:)

  5. Keep it simple! Such an wonderful towel and you can never own too many tea towels, right?!
    I love the recipe and I will definitely give it a try! Very rich and Autumn -ish photos! Enjoy the splendor of the season!

  6. Love your new towels ~ they suit you to a tea! I love a good hearty stew but tend not to make them as I am the only one here that eats them. I may have to try this one out ~ it will be perfect to freeze portions to take to work for lunch when the weather gets cooler.

  7. Lissa, how beautiful is this! You are amazing in the kitchen, will be adding this to my must try list.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. I'm SO glad you added the disclaimer. :) The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking that I wanted to try it this Sunday evening for our big family dinner with my folks and my brother and his crew, but I wondered if it would taste too pumpkinish. I'm glad to know that you didn't think it was overwhelming and that your little one didn't either. :)

    Your photos are gorgeous. I'm still counting on a cookbook to come out from you one day! If not a cookbook, then I sure hope you end up taking pictures for someone who is writing a cookbook....you are truly, truly talented.

  9. Oh goodness you are good! I'm going to try the recipe sounds/ looks amazing and those towels, gorgeous.

  10. We eat mostly gluten free. This sounds amazing with the roasted garlic!

  11. This stew sounds so good! I wanted to let you know that I featured it in my "What I Bookmarked This Week" post - stop by and see.