Winter Break

President's Day often coincides with a winter break, which means the kids are home from school...again. What a great time to explore some of the sights that Richmond has to offer! Take the kids to the Richmond Children’s Museum, Richmond Science Museum or event the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Before you head out for a day of adventure, take a few minutes to get dinner ready a head of time. Crock pot cookery is easy, fun and will ensure you have a delicious hot meal when you get home. Check out this recipe for slow cooker beef & potato stew!

1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1- 10.5 oz can condensed French Onion soup
1 cup water
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, excess fat trimmed
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half or quarters
1 medium onion, large dice cut
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into large chunks
2 cups frozen peas
additional salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup potato flakes (instant mashed potato), as need to thicken the stew

1. Add chicken broth, onion soup, water, tomato paste, and soy sauce into bowl of slow cooker. Whisk to breakup and distribute tomato paste.
2. In a large bowl, season beef with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
3. Add seasoned beef, potatoes, onion, and carrots to slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on high for 6-7 hours until the beef is tender.
4. Before serving, add frozen peas and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup potato flakes to thicken soup. Add additional potato flakes 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve desired thickness. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.