Special Monday Guest: Ben in the Kitchen

Ben with the Beef Stew and Dumplings

Y’all, I know I say I’m excited whenever I have a guest on the blog, and I am, but I’m SUPER excited to welcome Ben!  He’s in sixth grade in Florida and is a BIG fan of cooking and Harry Potter – the perfect combination, in my humble opinion.  Today he combines his two passions by bringing us a special Harry Potter-themed stew recipe.  Wingardium Leviosa, Ben!  (Okay, that’s the only spell I remember.  I really don’t want you to fly away.)

POOF!!! The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz will bring magical dishes to the table. Dinah Bucholz not only has more than 150 different recipes from Harry Potter, but each recipe comes with a story that ties it to the series. Inspired by a recipe from the book, we made beef stew with herb dumplings and a simple ice cream sundae for dessert.

    Beef stew – the perfect holiday recipe.

The first step is to prepare the dumplings.

  1. Mix together 1 cup of flour, ¼ tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of baking powder, ¼ tsp. black pepper, ¼ tsp. of sage, ¼ tsp. thyme, ¼ tsp. marjoram, 2 tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley
  2. Add 4 tbsp of butter, broken into smallpieces. Mix until combined with flour mixture.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of milk and 1 egg. Mix until clumped in a dough.
  4. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.

Now for the stew:

  1. Heat small amount of vegetable oil in a large pot.
  2. Brown 2lbs. of stew meat in batches.
  3. After all the meat is removed, add 1 chopped onion and cook until soft.
  4. Add 1 tbsp. offlour and mix in with meat drippings.
  5. Add 1 can of chicken broth.
  6. Put meat back in pot and cook over medium high heat until bubbling.
  7. Reduce and let simmer for 1 ½ hrs.
  8. Add 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery stalks, and 5 potatoes in bite-size pieces.
  9. Let simmer for another hour.
  10. Get the dumpling dough out and roll into 1-inch balls.
  11. Drop dumpling balls into stew.
  12. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

If you have a liking of ice cream, you will love this simple dessert.

  1. Toast nuts of your choice in a pan for 4-6 minutes.
  2. Scoop ice cream (vanilla is recommended, but any ice cream is fine) into a bowl.
  3. Pour chocolate or caramel syrup over and add some nuts.
  4. Repeat the layer if you choose.

MMM!!! A meal that is sure to satisfy and will keep you warm and cozy in this cold upcoming weather.

Ben, you had me at dumplings.  Sounds YUMMY!  So tell me, dear readers – what’s your favorite dish for a cold winter night?

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21 thoughts on “Special Monday Guest: Ben in the Kitchen

  1. Ooh Ben, I love the Beef Stew recipe. My boys and I do Harry Potter movie nights. I have a feeling we’ll try out your recipe soon! (Gluten-Free, of course!) 🙂

    As for me…my favorite dish for a cold winter’s night is Vegetable Crab Soup. 🙂

  2. Mmmmm, dumplings. I’ve been wondering what to make for supper tonight (yes, already) and I think you’ve helped me out here.

    Oh, and speaking of Harry Potter, I tried making a chicken and ham pie once. I thought it was yummy, but the rest of my family didn’t agree. :-/

  3. You had me at dumplings. Any ideas for turning this recipe vegetarian? Maybe replace beef with portobello mushrooms?

    Great job, Ben! You’re invited to make dinner in my kitchen anytime! And you can teach my teenage boys while you’re at it. 🙂

  4. Ben, this looks SO good! I love beef stew, but never thought to add dumplings to it! I’m definitely going to make this. Thank you for sharing this with us! 🙂

    Chili or beans & cornbread are my favorite cold winter night meals.

  5. Ben, I think it’s fantastic that you cook! And what a great recipe, as it looks both delicious AND healthy. I’ll have to look for that cookbook. We have a couple of Star Wars cookbooks at my house, but my son has made almost all the recipes and I think he’s getting bored. I can’t have that, because I like his cooking too much!

    And my favorite thing to eat on a cold winter night? Anything I don’t have to cook myself! Glad there are chefs like Ben who can keep me happy!

    • To find “The Unoffical Harry Potter Cookbook”, you should look at barnes & nobles website or any book store near you. The recipe is definetely healthy AND delicious. I hope you’re able to find the cookbook. I know all the recipes are fun to make.
      Have fun cooking!

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