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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Slow Cooker Overnight Short Rib Breakfast Hash

My Slow Cooker Cookbook celebration week continues with another slow cooked breakfast wonder. I took my daughter on a special day trip to Disneyland last week and we stopped at the La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney for a special breakfast. I ordered the short rib hash. Oh my! It made for an amazing breakfast. Meat, potatoes, and even a vegetable...for breakfast. I knew I could turn this dish into a slow cooker breakfast. Toss it in before bed, and you wake up to a beautiful and hearty breakfast? This is my new favorite guys. I made a quick sunny side up egg to go on top, but you can always skip it and just dig in. It feels so good to wake up to a breakfast like this!

Prep Time: <15 minutes
Slow Cooker Time: 8 to 10 hours, low
Yield: Serves 4


1 lb. boneless beef short ribs
salt and pepper
3 TB worcestershire sauce
6 medium-size yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano


1. Heat a skillet over high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and sear them on each side. Transfer to the bottom of a 5 to 7 quart slow cooker. Pour worcestershire sauce over short ribs. 

2. Put the potatoes and bell peppers on top of the meat. Season with basil, oregano, and more salt and pepper.

3. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Serve topped with a sunny-side up egg (optional). 

Do I have to sear the meat?

Nope. You don't have to. Sear the meat will help keep the juices inside the meat while cooking, but ultimately you'll still end up with a fine product if you have to skip this step. The meat will just be slightly more dry. 

Want 120 more really great slow cooker recipes? Maybe you should buy my book! :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Welcome to Slow Cooker week at The Stay At Home Chef! This week I'm celebrating the launch of my first cookbook. It's all about Slow Cooking so what better way to celebrate than to share 5 more great slow cooker recipes!

I'm starting with breakfast because I absolutely love using my slow cooker for breakfast. One of the few ways I can convince my family to give up their cold cereal is to provide a hot and tasty breakfast for them that requires little to no work on their part. Since I am most definitely not a morning person the slow cooker saves the day. It's also the first of September so why not make it a fall recipe! Pumpkin french toast casserole. Toss it in the slow cooker before bed  and you'll wake up to a house that is just screaming fall which is perfect for those crisp and cold fall mornings. 

Prep Time: < 10 minutes
Slow Cooker Time: 8 hours, low
Yield: Serves 6 to 8


1 loaf french bread, cubed
2 cups half and half
1 can pumpkin puree
5 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch salt
pinch ground cloves

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves


1. Place the french bread cubes in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together half and half, pumpkin puree, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves until well combined. Pour over bread in slow cooker.

3. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork or pastry cutter to mix together brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the soaked bread.

4. Cook on low 8 hours. Serve hot plain or drizzled with syrup. 

Want 120 more great slow cooker recipes? You should check out my new cookbook!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Nectarine Caprese

You  may not need a recipe for this, but I'm seriously obsessed with this combo this summer and had to share the idea in case you haven't experienced the summer goodness that is nectarine caprese. I snuck it into my blog lineup early because summer is coming to a close way too fast and you need to try this! It is creamy and acidic and bright and I can't get enough of it. Peaches are good too, but I find that nectarines have a bolder flavor that just sets it off so nicely against the creaminess of the mozzarella. Yes, you can drizzle it with balsamic, but I find that it is absolutely perfect on its own. For an extra "wow" factor, use buratta in place of the mozzarella. Oh my. I can't even begin to describe that kind of perfection. This has been my lunch for the past few weeks whenever I can get my hands on some perfectly ripe nectarines. It's healthy, it's light, and it feels so luxurious!

Time to Make It: <5 minutes
Yield: Serves a greedy 1 (like me)


1 nectarine, pitted and sliced
1 fresh mozzarella ball, sliced


1. Just eat them together. You can be fancy and layer them. This is as uncomplicated of a recipe as it gets!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dr. Pepper Battered Fish Tacos + Video Recipe

I live in San Diego right now and I love it. There's nothing quite like a good fish taco. It is the definitive dish of San Diego. Sadly, our time living in San Diego has come to an end. I did not think I was going to say that anytime soon, if ever. We are moving to Salt Lake City, Utah. Can you say different? We are trading the beach for the mountains. I'm crushed to leave paradise, but at the same time I'm really excited about the new opportunity. Not going to lie, I'm also super excited to cut my rent in half. Paradise comes at a cost, right? I'm sharing our family favorite fried fish tacos today as an homage to this beautiful area. 

Time to Make It: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6 to 8


2 cups shredded cabbage
2 TB red wine vinegar
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Avocado Crema
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
1 avocado
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups Dr. Pepper
1 lb white fish (mahi mahi, snapper, etc.)
2 cups vegetable oil

Corn Tortillas
Cilantro, for garnish


1. Make the slaw in a medium-size mixing bowl by tossing together shredded cabbage, vinegar, and salt and pepper. 

2. Make the avocado crema by combining the cilantro, sour cream, avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper in a food processor and processing until smooth.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. The oil should be about 1-inch deep. Heat to about 350 degrees.

4. Prepare your batter by whisking together flour, baking powder, garlic, , ground mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Pour in 1 cup of Dr. Pepper and whisk until smooth. Add more Dr. Pepper as necessary to create a thin batter that will easily coat the fish.

5. Use tongs to dip fish into the batter until coated and then put directly into the hot oil. Work in batches, frying each piece for about 4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

6. Assembly tacos by putting fish on a corn tortilla and topping with some slaw, cilantro, and a generous drizzle of avocado crema. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quick Chicken Tortellini Salad

This is my new favorite salad. I've made it several times over the past couple of weeks and it was devoured each time. It is a whole meal in and of itself or you can use it as a really hearty side dish. I even brought it to a potluck and it was a great choice. I love that it is hearty, yet still so light and crisp and cold. It makes me feel like I'm eating well and still leaves me feeling full. Feel free to use a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken breast. I did because I've been seriously short on time lately. I did whisk up my own dressing because it only takes like 2 minutes, but if you are short ingredients you can always use a bottled italian dressing. It's quick. It's easy. It's healthy. And it is filling. How many wins is that?

Time to Make It:15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6


1 lb. cheese tortellini
2 cups cooked cubed chicken (use a rotisserie chicken if you want!)
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shaved paremsan


1. Cook the cheese tortellini according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, toss together chicken, lettuce, bell pepper, and cucumber.

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dijon, sugar, basil, salt, and pepper.

4. Rinse the cooked tortellini with cold water to cool down. Drain well. Toss with salad. 

5. Serve salad topped with dressing, shaved parmesan, and extra salt and pepper. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sage Mushrooms over Parmesan Polenta

This recipe is inspired by a recent trip to Disneyland. In Disneyland's Tomorrowland they grow all sorts of fresh herbs and fruits and vegetables. My kids love smelling the rosemary as we wait in line for the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Last week I noticed some fresh sage and snagged a leaf for the kids to swoon over. Yes, my kids swoon over herbs. They smell awesome! My 6 year old was in love with the sage so I promised him I'd use it in a dish when we got home. Sage just screams fall to me. It goes so well with those warm and comforting traditional fall flavors. This dish is super simple, but so comforting and delicious. It will be perfect on those crisp fall evenings where you just need a warm hug and a cozy meal. 

Time to Make It: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 3 to 4


4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cup polenta (or course cornmeal)
1 cup parmesan cheese
3 TB butter

2 TB olive oil
1 lb fresh cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
5-6 large fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper


1. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add in salt. Once the water is boiling stir in polenta. Cover and cook 20 to 30 minutes until polenta is creamy, stirring every 3 to 5 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add in mushrooms and sage and season with salt and pepper. Sautee until mushrooms have released all their juices and are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

3. When polenta is finished cooking, remove from heat and stir in parmesan and butter until melted through. Serve immediately topped with mushrooms and their juices.

Monday, August 25, 2014

S'mores Frappe

Aaaaahhhh! I did it again! I've come up with another ridiculously good frappe that we just can't get enough of. Seriously, I'm almost embarrassed how many times I made this before I was patient enough to photograph it before devouring it. But then I'm not because it was delicious and once you make it you'll understand that it is tough to wait for photographs when such deliciousness is sitting right in front of you. The goodness of s'mores in a cold and decadent dessert. And it is super easy to make! Score!

Time To Make: < 5 minutes
Yield: 1 Serving


1/2 cup + 2 TB milk
2 TB hot fudge sauce
2 marshmallows
2 graham crackers
12 ice cubes


1. In a high power blender, combine milk, hot fudge, marshmallows, and graham crackers. Blend on a low speed for just a few seconds until mixed.

2. Add in ice cubes and blend until smooth. 

3. (Optional) Serve topped with whipped cream or marshmallow cream for extra ridiculous goodness.