Crockpot Venison Stew

Crockpot Venison Stew

My husband has always been an avid hunter. Used to be, almost every weekend during deer and turkey season, he would be out hunting with someone. He was a bow hunter, rifle and black powder hunter. He’s given up the bow hunting now but he still hunts deer and turkey with a rifle and black powder (which seems like a lot of extra work to me–that’s why they made bullets). He’s never brought home a turkey, but generally, he does get a deer. Growing up, I ate squirrel and rabbit on occasion, but dad wasn’t a deer hunter so I had not eaten venison. Sometimes I still have a little problem eating venison although I think it is mostly the thought of eating Bambi that gets to me more than the taste. (I try not to think of those big brown eyes on the cows my grandpa used to raise).

Generally, we have most of our deer meat ground up and mixed with ¼ part beef and I use that  mixture just as I would ground beef. My husband usually gets a very small part of the deer cut into loin and roasts and its just been in the last two years that I’ve gotten brave enough to try and cook this cut of meat. I’ve found a really good venison marinade that I’ve used several times with wonderful results. All deer are different and the age of the deer and other things can affect the taste of the meat. We’ve been lucky the last two deer he has gotten, the meat has tasted very “ungamey”. (Is that a word?) My husband used to use a milk recipe, but here’s the marinade I use:


Adapted from


• 3 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 -2 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1⁄2 teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 (1 1/2 lb) package venison
1. Mix all marinade ingredients together in a small measuring cup.
2. Place venison in a large zip lock bag.
3. Pour marinade over meat and seal bag.
4. Place bag in a flat casserole dish so that the venison is in a single layer.
5. Refrigerate and marinate at least 4 hours, turning every half hour to marinate each side.
6. Drain marinade and cook meat as desired.
7. This recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on the amount of meat you have.

Venison Stew


• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 2 pounds venison stew meat (I used loin)
• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped (feel free to add more if your family really likes onion–mine doesn’t)
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed (or 1/2 tsp. minced garlic)
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pepper
• 3 cups water
• 7 potatoes, peeled and quartered
• 1 pound bag baby carrots
• 1/4 cup catsup
I also added some cut up tomatoes because I have plenty from my garden.


Frying venison
1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Cut meat into bite size pieces. Dip in flour and fry just until all sides are browned.
Potatoes and carrots
2. Peel and dice potatoes and  put them along with the carrots in the bottom of the crockpot.
3. Add meat, onions, tomatoes (if you want), garlic, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, salt, pepper, catsup and water.
4. Stir just to mix.
5. Cook on high for 4 hours.
Originally published as Venison Stew in Taste of Home February/March 1993, p29

To download a .pdf of the Marinade, click here.

To download a .pdf of the Stew recipe, click here.


Chocolate Mousse Cake

Carpediemdona chocolate mousse cake
Among my great loves of coconut and lemon, resides an equally great love for chocolate. And even more important, being a mother, my son loves chocolate; chocolate pie, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate fudge brownies, etc. Kids are so great. When my husband and I prepare to go camping, I usually do some cooking and baking ahead of time. The last time we went, I made the Frosted Flake Chocolate Chip Cookies and when my son came home from work the night before we left, the cookies were cooling on the countertop. He said “mom, do you realize every time you go out of town you bake cookies? Are you afraid I’m going to forget you while you’re gone?” I had to laugh. “No,” I said. “I bake because I like to eat them while we are gone.” Really hated to burst his bubble.

I came across a recipe for a Chocolate Mousse Cake from one of the websites that I follow and I decided this cake would be my Saturday morning dessert fix. Unfortunately, I found several problems with the recipe as it was written. My adapted recipes follows.

One question I had when I first read through this recipe was the use of raw eggs. How could it be safe to eat this dessert with raw eggs in it when you aren’t even supposed to eat raw cookie dough? (Yeah, like that never happens). Turns out that because of enhanced government protocols of egg producers in the last twenty years, the chances of getting salmonella from eggs commercially processed in the United States is relatively low. Egg processors wash their eggs in chlorinated water which kills bacteria and unless the shells are cracked or have come into contact with other decontaminates, you should be fine. I washed mine again just to make sure. The next next time I make this dessert, I may omit the eggs entirely and just go with the whipped cream.

Yield: One 9-inch cake


• 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs or 15 full size graham crackers crushed
• ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• ½ cup (one stick) butter or margarine, melted
• ¼ cup sugar (add more if you like a sweeter crust)

• 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, separated
• 1/4 cup powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups heavy cream (2 half pint cartons)


1. For the crust: combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a large bowl and mix until combined.
2. Pour 2 cups of the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan and use your hands to press it into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides. Reserve ½ cup crumbs for garnish.
3. Refrigerate crust until ready to fill.
4. For the mousse: place chocolate and butter in a large, microwaveable bowl and microwave at 20-second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and smooth.
5. Set chocolate aside until cooled, but still liquid. (Mine was very thick).
6. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar and vanilla, until frothy, then vigorously whisk mixture into the cooled chocolate.
7. In a large bowl or mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, 5-7 minutes, then gradually (and gently) fold egg whites into the cooled chocolate mixture until incorporated.
8. Rinse and dry your mixing bowl, then beat heavy cream on medium speed until firm peaks form. Gently fold into the mousse until incorporated.
9. Pour chocolate mousse into your chilled graham cracker crust and place in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours.
10. Release from pan, garnish with reserved graham cracker crumbs, and serve cold.

To download a PDF of this recipe, click here.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Mouse Cake from; however, there were a number of problems (errors?) with that original recipe.

Broccoli Cheese Potato Chowder

Broccoli Cheese Potato Chowder

This thick, cheesy chowder is perfect for the first crisp days of fall.

Yield: About 12 cups


¼ cup butter
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped onion
3 Poblano peppers or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt (can be omitted)
4 chicken bullion cubes
4 cups boiling water or 32 oz. chicken broth
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 ½ cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Head of broccoli


1. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat; add peppers, onion and garlic and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add potatoes, cumin and salt. Melt bullion cubes in boiling water (or use premade chicken broth) and gradually add to the pot. Bring potato mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender.

2. While potatoes are cooking, chop broccoli into florets. Place florets and small amount of water in microwave safe bowl and microwave on high 4 or 5 minutes until tender. Set aside.

3. Whisk together flour and milk. Stir into potato mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly 5 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat to low.

4. Add cheese, stirring until melted

5. Stir broccoli into potato mixture.

6. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes and broccoli until most are mashed. Ladle into bowls and top with crispy crumbled bacon if desired.

Adapted from Southern Living Queso-Broccoli Potato Chowder.

To download a .pdf of this recipe, click here.

Frosted Flakes Cookies

Frosted Flake Cookies

Dorothy from Crazy for Crust posted a blog the other day on Frosted Flake Cookies. She wrote about how she developed this recipe from a corn flake cookie recipe in an old recipe box. That brought back memories. My mom used to make a corn flake cookie and I remember how much I enjoyed them.

Another thing I liked about this recipe is its directions follow the way I usually bake. This recipe has all the ingredients being mixed in one bowl as opposed to most recipes where the wet ingredients and dry ingredients are mixed separately. I hate hand washing dishes, but I equally hate loading up my dishwasher with large bowls that take up so much space. And my dishwasher takes FOREVER to run a normal wash. 90 minutes. Is that normal? Every time I set it to a normal wash, I wonder just how much electricity I am wasting for what I’ve put in there. I like to make sure it’s REALLY full before I use that much electric.

And, of course, as my ADD brain wanders, the next thought I had was: Whatever happened to sifting flour? I remember when I was young that mom always sifted the flour before using it. She said it was to make sure that all the little husks were removed and it wasn’t until I was grown that I learned one of the other reasons was to remove the little weevils whose eggs are present in the flour. Incidentally, it’s not only flour that those little buggers get into. I one time made a beef stew and used dried parsley flakes. After my kids and I finished one bowl and were going back for seconds, was when I saw the little creatures floating on the top. I never told my kids until they were older and now they’ve never forgotten that I fed them “weevil stew”.

I made this recipe just at it reads, but when I make it again, I’ll make the following changes: I’ll omit the chocolate chips and add some type of dried fruit (or chopped Maraschino cherries), I’ll crush the frosted flakes before adding them and I wouldn’t refrigerate them for a full hour. My cookies spread very little after refrigerating them and I had to bake them for 12 minutes instead of the recommended 9-11.


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups Frosted Flakes cereal


Note: This dough requires chilling.
1. Cream butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer. Add oil and stir until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, mix until smooth, then stir in the salt and baking soda.

2. Mix in oats and flour until just mixed. Stir in chocolate chips and Frosted Flakes cereal. There is no need to crush the cereal; a stand mixer will do that for you. If you’re using a hand mixer, you may want to crush the cereal into large pieces before adding it to the cookie dough.

Cookie dough ready for the refrigerator

Ready for the frig.

3. Scoop 2 tablespoon balls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet covered in wax or parchment paper. No need to spread the balls out, you’re just going to chill them.
(I found that my “scoops” would not stay together until I rolled them into a ball.) Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour. (If you chill longer than 4
hours you may need to let them warm up a few minutes on the counter before baking.)

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats. Place cookies 2” apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the bottoms just start to turn golden brown. Cool at least 5 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Apple Pecan Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple Pecan Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Facebook is a wonderful thing, most of the time anyways. The more you like, link, share or copy posts on your timeline, the more similar posts you receive. I love baking and trying out new recipes and this recipe from The Recipe Critic come through my timeline. I knew I wanted to try it. Reading the ingredients, it reminded me of my recent post forDo Nothing Cake that my husband loved so much so I figured this would be a winner also.

4 cups Granny Smith Apples, chopped into small pieces
2 cups sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
½ cup milk
1 cup pecans roughly chopped

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup golden brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
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Peel and dice apples.
20150914_164234 smallerSlight beat eggs.In a large mixing bowl, combine apples and sugar. Stir in oil, eggs and vanilla.

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In another mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture. Add milk and stir until jum combined. Add chopped pecans.

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Pour into a prepared 9 x 13 inch pan.

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Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting:

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and continue to beat until smooth, scraping down sides when needed. Add vanilla and brown sugar. Beat for 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. Spread evenly on top of the cake. Refrigerate after frosting.

This cake is very, very dense and moist. I baked the cake for 40 minutes and did the doneness test as always using a toothpick and when inserted, it came out clean. However (and there’s always a however), I found after I’d iced the cake, the center fell. I’d never had that happen before and wasn’t sure what it meant until I cut it and found that the center had not baked completely and was still gooey. Other than that, the cake was wonderful. We just had to eat around the center.

To download a PDF of this recipe, click here: Apple Pecan Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting.