Latest Podcast/fb live:

In Episode 16 of The Flying Kitchen Podcast I give you an update on how my transition to Germany went and how practicing “radical honesty” was my key to coming through a very stressful time. I talk about why you don’t need to be at 100% in order to show up in the world, and how just by being honest – you can help others. I explain the origins of my my cooking style, and describe some of my newest recipes. I also talk about coming to acceptance with how my family’s laundry will always be a time consuming part of my life, and how I’m learning to accept it and fit it into my plans. Large family life, military life, moving, adjustment, and authenticity – all here today.

You can also find my podcast on iTunes and subscribe there! Thank you!!

My Laundry Room to Office Makeover:

The Latest from My Art Loft:

My Lunches with my adult daughter:

In The Press:

Military Families Magazine

I was gleefully surprised to be contacted by freelance writer, Brunella Costagliola, and asked to be the subject of a feature article in Military Families Magazine. It was one of the highlights of my year in Kentucky, and actually gave me a much needed morale boost! The hardest part was not blabbing all about it between my interview in February and the publication in May! Click on link below to read the article.
Marine spouse utilizes Facebook TV to share her love of cooking

Latest Blog Post: A Reflection on the Book I Did Not Write…

I intended on writing a book on Okinawan foods while living in Okinawa.  But after I was blindsided by depression, I had to focus on getting better and making sure my family was okay.  I did get better.  Sometimes I still look at these photos and feel like I failed in some way, but I’m starting to admire my tenacity for trying, and my wisdom in stopping this project to focus on more important things.  Maybe one day I’ll write this book, or maybe I’ll just be grateful for the experience.

I do think, in retrospect, that a field study book on Okinawan cuisine written for Americans should contain a level of cultural awareness that I admittedly did not possess at the time these photos are taken.  Upon leaving Okinawa in 2017, I had resolved (Read More)

Featured Podcast Episode:

How To Care for Yourself During a Military Move:

Over 3,000 Views and downloads. Check out my truthy truth podcast about how to care for yourself during a military move. It’s not easy. And it’s definitely not a vacation. Click Here.

Featured Video:

Click here for full post and text recipe.

From the Cooking Archives:

On Mental Health:

From the Travel Archives:

My Favorite Recipe

My Family’s Favorite Braised Beef

My Family’s Favorite Braised Beef

There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day out and being greeted with the heady, spicy scent of this braised beef.  It cooks up so perfectly in the crock pot.  If you’re tired enough, and stressed enough, and overwhelmed enough, it may just bring a tear of relief to your eye.

I’ve been making this beef recipe for about six years.  It was one of my first “hit” recipes.  There are many reasons to love it.  First, it’s easy.  “Set it and forget it” kind of easy.  Second, it’s delicious and special.  It’s Sunday-worthy, for sure.  Third, it’s economical.  You use top round and cook it down in the crockpot for about nine hours and it shreds right up.  You can feed a big family (like mine) and have enough to make enchiladas for later.  I make beef and black bean enchiladas that freeze up very well.  I’ll post that recipe soon.
DSC_7173It’s very easy to get this recipe started in the crock pot.  I hate the crockpot recipes that require an extended measure of prep work.  The whole reason why I’m starting dinner at seven in the morning is because I don’t have time for anything else.  And at seven in the morning I have a limited threshold for annoyance.  I have the time and patience for about three minutes of prep work.

DSC_7224All you have to do is pour all the ingredients into the crockpot, set it to low, and nine to ten hours later, it’s done.  Although I have let it cook for twelve hours, and it’s perfect then, too.  It’s the ideal recipe for the over-extended, over-worked person who still wants to eat well.

Shannon’s Braised Beef:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 3-5 pound top round roast (bottom round works too)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 – 3 teaspoons salt.  This REALLY depends on what brand of crushed tomatoes you use.  I find that when I use my Contadina tomatoes (from amazon) 3 teaspoons (1 Tbs) salt is perfect, but with Hunt’s crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt is quite enough. 

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Add all the ingredients (in the order listed), into the crockpot.  Olive oil first, then the tomatoes.  Nestle the roast right into the tomatoes and cover with seasonings.  Top it all off with balsamic vinegar.  Set your crockpot to low and cook for 9-10 hours.   When it’s done, shred, cover with sauce and serve.
This delicious beef goes with about every starch, but I find that couscous works best for us.  It’s delicate and delicious, and it’s super fast and easy to cook.  I cook couscous in my rice cooker.  It takes about twenty minutes and is fail-proof.
DSC_7421-2My Olive Oil and Pepper Roasted Carrot Sticks go very well with this beef dish.  Recipe coming soon.

I hope your family loves this recipe as much as mine does.

Thanks for reading my post.  Have a great day!