Let me begin by introducing myself, I am Lily; the woman who only used a slow cooker/ crock pot for nacho cheese during a birthday party.  Now that we got that out of the way, WOW!!! The things people make with the slow cookers are amazing!!!  I seriously had no idea what to do with them, hence the nacho cheese; but now; hold me back!!!

I was going to write a blog post about something I was going to cook in my NEW Hamilton Beach 5qt Slow Cooker, but
I couldn’t think of one thing; so I asked the kids to tell me what they felt like having for dinner.  Being that today has been the coldest night so far, it was an easy answer for them; they chose beef stew.  So I thought to myself that beef stew might be a little boring for you to read about, so as a second choice they said “happy-help me stew”
Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to know what that is, we happened to invent it one day as a result of cabin fever :/  Since then the kids ask for it often, even during warm weather.

So what exactly is “happy-help me stew” and how/why did we make it?  It all started with one of those weeks where husband is on the ship from 6am-2am.  He had the car and we were hungry as well as bored.  Not sure which one of those two feelings was stronger.  The kids voted that they didn’t want to order pizza, they wanted to torture their tired mother and have her cook up something good from what we had in the pantry; which was hardly anything.

I had some left over un-cooked sirloin in the fridge, vegetables, and every dessert imaginable 😉  Being that I had enough Will power to not feed the kids cheesecake for dinner, we were going to have to use our noggins…
so I told all of the kids to each get 1-2 things from the fridge or pantry that they liked.  We ended up with top ramen, potatoes, carrots, steak, celery, chocolate chips, peanut butter, whip cream, marshmallows and 1 orange.  Doesn’t it sound yummy? NOT!  So while I chopped up the sirloin steaks, I told the kids to pick things that fit together with the steak, why didn’t I word it that way to begin with right?!?

So into a pot of boiling water went the cut up steak, then each kid consciously chose their ingredient to add to our stew, making sure it was going to end edible.  We all worked together and the kids were so excited to help.  It ended up tasting 1000% times better than I was expecting, but don’t tell the kids.  When we were done eating, we started to choose names, and ended up with “happy-help me stew” because they were all HAPPY to HELP ME.
For a long time we cooked the stew in a pot, because where else was I supposed to cook it in right?!?!?  For Christmas I received in the mail a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker, and I was so confused; what am I supposed to cook in it?!?!  It was only a matter of time before the kids asked for the stew again, especially with this weather, so I decided to try making it in the slow cooker, it worked!!!!  One day we even made it the lazy way, using canned vegetables, and we learned that the cooking time should be reduced by 60% 😉   I know that you can’t wait for the recipe right?!? 😉  Here you go, and keep in mind that it was primarily made by children!

1-2 pounds of sirloin steak
1 can of corn
1/2 pound of carrots (feel free to use less,carrots are the kids fave veggie)
1 tb of minced garlic
1/2 chopped onion
1-2 “sticks” of celery
1 can of stewed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
4 chopped potatoes
5 cups of water
4tb of flour
salt & pepper to your liking
other veggies that you want
1 packet of crushed top ramen noodles (raw & w/o seasoning packet)
Frank’s RedHot sweet chili sauce (to your taste)
Frank’s RedHot original Cayenne pepper sauce (to your taste)

cook steak on skillet with 2tb of olive oil until brown

add salt, pepper, garlic, & onions, stir
put in 4tb of flour and wisk water slowly to make rue
add 2tb of Frank’s RedHot Sweet Chili sauce
add 4 tb of Frank’s RedHot Cayenne pepper sauce, stir well.
add to slow cooker
add the rest of the ingredients
leave on low for 5-8 hours (depending on your liking)
or on high for 4 hours.

serve with corn bread, biscuits, or anything that makes you “happy” 😉

I hope you enjoyed learning about our “happy-help me” stew, for other recipes and tips follow these hashtags on Twitter:
#FranksRedHot and #HamBeach
and on Whrrl join the Frank’s RedHot group

All opinions and ideas are my own, I received a Hamilton Beach 5qt slow cooker from Collective Bias so I could show you my recipe using Frank’s RedHot sauces and the slow cooker, all dishes were left for me to wash 😉