Wasn’t it just Friday and the start to the weekend?! Boy, this weekend went fast and the only thing I wished I had a little more of is sleep!
So usually on Sunday, I meal plan for the week but this week my husband and I are traveling to Texas with our high school senior for a couple of days to do some college tours. So I am not doing a formal meal plan this week but I want to share a couple of my favorite and easy perfect fall recipes that I made today for Sunday dinner.
Sunday is family dinner night in our house. As my kids got older it became increasingly more difficult to all sit down during the week so I instituted Sunday dinner. No excuses, don’t be late we all eat together.
The rest of the week I cook and if we are lucky to all sit down at the same time that’s awesome but at least I know on Sunday, it’s a family affair.
Fall means stews, soups, chili, and roast so this being the first official Sunday of fall and there was a little chill in the air I decided to make beef stew and even baked my family’s all-time favorite, pumpkin bread. My house smells amazing and I already wished I had made 2 loafs of bread.
I am about to share with you the secret to the most amazing, no-fail beef stew recipe. My sister turned me onto this last year when we were visiting her and she made the most amazing stew that my kids and husband couldn’t get enough of. The secret . . . Wiliam Sonoma Beef Stew Braising Sauce. It is seriously no fail and puts the word easy into making stew!
And you can cook the stew in the crockpot, a great option for during the week or use a dutch oven and cook in the oven. I have a Le Creuset Dutch Oven which is expensive but will last forever – my mom actually still has hers from 60 years ago – but there are less expensive ones available as well, click here to see the many options.
William Sonoma actually has quite a few braising sauces, click here to check them all out. Some of my favorites are the Classic Short Rib Braising Sauce and the Yankee Pot Roast Sauce. They are a great way to help you get a great tasting home cooked meal on your table!
The beauty of these sauces is all the seasoning and the base is there. I just browned the meat and cut up the potatoes and carrots! Put the stew in the oven for 3 hours and served it over egg noodles and a green salad and of course a nice glass of red wine!
The most requested thing I get asked to make at this time of year is Pumpkin bread! I got this recipe from a Junior League cookbook I bought at a used book sale more than 25 years ago and this is the only recipe I have and probably ever will make from this book. It is the BEST!!!! It’s super easy and I recommend just doubling and making 2 loafs . . . we can’t keep it in the house for more than a day. One of my favorite treats is coffee and a slice of this bread!
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 2/3 cups flour**
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin***
- 2 eggs
** I use whole wheat white flour
*** use 1/2 can of pumpkin puree
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 70 minutes, or until bread tests done.