Fiesta Friday Fun: FireBonnet Cooks for the Family

I have never cooked for Tim’s family before. He was the designated chef for years before I met him, and as I was not into cooking when we got married, all was good.

BUT, when Tim and I were on vacation in Idaho recently, I began preparing meals for us that I designed to help with our health (both of us have inflammatory issues). Low and behold, I really enjoyed it. See my posts Fiesta Friday Fun: It’s a Miracle and Let Them Eat… Pumpkin Muffins for my first forays into cooking after a few years.

I don’t want to step on my hubby’s toes in the cooking department since he raised his boys on his own and has nurtured them with food for years. It’s a way he shows them his love. However, I realized that I need to make food that doesn’t aggravate my own arthritis (as in gluten, additives and sugar free). Why not take a few nights a week to make some meals the family can share that I can eat (and store) for myself? I can also augment Tim’s ‘world famous’ grilled meat with things like sweet potato fries and luscious salads.

The opportunity to prepare a meal presented itself this week when Tim was laid up with a kidney stone (he still hasn’t passed it but heads to the specialist soon). I decided to dust off Tim’s slow cooker. I had to tape the control panel back on, but it works just fine.


Then I looked for a recipe that I could adapt to make it gluten-free. I headed to my new Food Network app. It’s kind of weird using your phone to follow a recipe, and the screen gets a little messy, but it works!

family fiesta 6

I got out all my ingredients (I like being organized in the kitchen to avoid too many snafus… like missing ingredients!)

family fiesta 7It killed me to pay for fresh thyme but one of my goals is to cook with fresh ingredients when possible (I’m going to have to have my herb garden!) If you notice I’m using white rice flour to replace the flour the original recipe calls for. That simple replacement makes it gluten-free.

I don’t know about you, but I have to wear an apron to cook. It puts me in the mood … that and listening to sassy music. 😀

family fiesta 3

Yep, I’m a messy cook. I have a habit of wiping my hands on my hips and this helps keep my pants clean.

Slower Cooker Beef Stew ala FireBonnet
Serves 8
A wonderful slow cooker beef stew recipe made gluten free.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 hr 20 min
Total Time
8 hr 40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 hr 20 min
Total Time
8 hr 40 min
  1. 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  2. 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper blend
  4. 1/3 cup white rice flour, plus more for coating
  5. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 pound red potatoes, quartered
  7. 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  8. 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  9. 1 medium onion, chopped
  10. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  11. 1 cup red wine
  12. 2 cups beef broth
  13. 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  14. 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  15. 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley
  1. Toss the beef with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat in flour and shake off any excess.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning the beef as needed, until mostly browned, about 3 minutes more.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker; add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions and stir to combine.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the flour and wine and whisk until thick (it's OK if there are some lumps).
  6. Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of mixed pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking; continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.
  7. Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The meat and vegetables should be tender.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
Adapted from Food Network Kitchen
Meghan aka FireBonnet
Tim’s boys never know when dinner will be ready because of Tim’s work schedule, so it’s always a pleasant surprise for them when a meal appears (they are in their early 20’s and forage when Tim doesn’t cook). I decided to introduce my first meal for the family with this on the fridge:

family fiesta 1How did it turn out? Terrific! I’m pretty sure all the bowls were licked clean. It turned out so well I’m bringing it to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener with  Margot and Saucy this week, woohoo guys, let’s party!

family fiesta 2

I finished this last bite of meat and Tim sopped up the rest of my gravy with the bread (which I skipped) and let Cooper the cattledog lick the rest of my bowl 😉

I actually got an email from Tim’s shy son telling me how good the meal was and that I should cook more often. That put a great big smile on my face! So Meghan’s Chillin’ Chili is scheduled for the family soon!

As always I am so pleased that you visited. Your comments warm my heart and put a smile in my day. :D 

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8 thoughts on “Fiesta Friday Fun: FireBonnet Cooks for the Family

  1. Meghan Post author

    I can’t believe it but the boys now (eagerly) want to know what I’m making for dinner (or adding to their dad’s dinner). Wow, who knew?

  2. Margot @ Gather and Graze

    Aww, what a gorgeous post Meghan! Sounds like this Beef Stew was so well enjoyed by the family – it really looks delicious…and I love the idea of adding caraway seeds. I also love cooking with a little music playing too – makes it such a great way to unwind in the evening. Thanks so much for bringing this along to FF#28!

  3. Hilda

    That is a great stew recipe. I tend to get lazy with stews, but I think I should take your lead and make a proper one.

  4. Meghan Post author

    Thank you so much! I love the apron too… so cheerful… and luckily with the print it’s hard to see all the gravy stains… lol

  5. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #28 | The Novice Gardener

  6. saucygander

    Love the apron! And the beef stew sounds absolutely mouth watering. Thank you for bringing the recipe to Fiesta Friday, it sounds like a real winner! And enjoy the party!!

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