My 9 Favorite Dutch Oven Recipes

I wouldn’t say recipes have ever been a big topic on this blog. But I tend to write about interior design and whatever home-related topics are capturing my interest at the present moment. And right now, home cooking is a big one. In line with the values I shared in my post on intentional living , I’ve been focusing on learning to cook more with whole foods from scratch. Anthony got me this dutch oven (affiliate) for Christmas last year and it’s become my favorite thing to cook with, although just about any of these recipes can be made in a stock pot too.

Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

We don’t have any particular diet we follow, more just everything in moderation. We are trying to eat less meat, so I’ve been making a lot of vegetarian meals lately. Not all of these recipes would be considered “healthy” but in general they make healthier substitutions (like greek yogurt instead of cream, etc.). I don’t worry too much because portion control is more important and sustainable for me than eating just steamed vegetables and chicken breast all the time. But I will say I’ve lost a significant amount of weight in the last couple of years and I attribute that to changing my lifestyle to cooking more nutritious meals at home instead of eating out and eating smaller portions. So whether you are trying to be healthier, save money by cooking at home or live more sustainably by eating less meat, I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes that I find myself making again and again.

Our 9 Favorite (Mostly Vegetarian) Dutch Oven Recipes

click any of the images above to go to the recipe page!

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup: This soup is so yummy and easy to make. If you use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth, it’s' vegan too! If you want to add more protein, this would be great with rotisserie chicken.

Potato Soup: This is a great recipe to have on hand when you haven’t been to the grocery store in a while and need to make dinner appear out of the dregs left in your pantry. Or you can fancy it up with bacon or ham or any of your favorite baked potato toppings for loaded potato soup.

Split Pea Soup: I’ve always loved Split Pea Soup but I didn’t realize until now just how simple and easy it is to make. You can make it with or without ham. Next time, I think I’ll try substituting potatoes for the ham to make it vegetarian but still add some texture.

Red Lentil Masala: My favorite thing about this whole vegetarian kick we’re on? I’ve been learning to make Indian food! I love the flavors of garam masala, so it’s been well worth investing in a bottle.

Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry: The author of this recipe describes it as a fusion of Indian and West African cuisine, but it has a lot of the same ingredients and methods of the other curry recipes I’ve been making. It’s vegan and delicious!

Indian Butter Chicken: If you only make one recipe from this list, let it be this scrumptious butter chicken. The author of this recipe was the first one to tip me off to the fact that when Indian recipes call for chili powder, they mean cayenne pepper, not what we call chili powder here in America. I don’t like things too spicy so I reduce it to 1/8 tsp of cayenne and it’s the perfect amount of flavorful but not too fiery.

Orecchiette Pasta Primavera: Ok, this is another top contender! This is a one pan pasta dish and the trick is cooking the orecchiette in broth along with the sauteed veggies instead of water. So much flavor without any sauce! This is a great technique to use with any pasta and any veggies you have on hand.

Sunday Pot Roast: What’s a round up of dutch oven recipes without traditional beef pot roast? I don’t make this very often but when I do, Anthony is one happy camper.

Tomato Soup: Tomato Soup is another thing I didn’t realize was so easy to make, especially if you have an immersion blender! (affiliate) I like to caramelize my onions first to give it the soup even more flavor.

And what goes better with soups, stews and curries than bread? I got really into cooking yeast bread while I was pregnant with Sage but since she’s been born, I’ve mostly stuck with this delicious beer bread. It’s so quick to whip up and is DELICIOUS. For Indian recipes, I’ve experimented a bit with making chapatis and naan but I’ve had the best luck with this simple flatbread recipe. It takes some time and practice to make, but is so so yummy!

click the images above to get the recipes!

If you’re interested in more recipes, you can find my favorites on my HOMEMAKING : recipes board on Pinterest! Do you have any favorite Dutch Oven recipes to share? Comment below with the link, I love trying new recipes!

Upland Project | Family Room

I’m super excited to introduce the Upland Project to you guys! Since last fall, I’ve been working with an awesome family here in York to design their home. When I first met with them they had recently painted their family room and purchased new furniture but needed some help to finish the room. Their home is pretty traditional and their style is a mix of classic, transitional and luxe elements with a bit of rustic/antique mixed in.

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After our first meeting, I got to work on their Project Guide which included an inspiration collage to establish their style, a sketch of the room and an itemized budget with price ranges to help with planning their project. Here’s a look at what the room looked like when they moved in, and then when I first met with them after they had painted and gotten some new furniture.

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A great base, right? Their rustic coffee table is a family piece, a cut-down work bench from a local Piano factory. I love how it plays against the more elegant textures and materials in the room. My clients have great taste, they just needed help with figuring out that “top layer” of textiles, accents and accessories. Here’s the sketch I included with their Project Guide with my vision for the room. I wanted to create a space that felt very elegant and put together, but also livable, layered and cozy for a young family as their main hangout and TV watching spot.

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The star if this room is definitely this Gold Olive Leaf Ceiling Chandelier from Shades of Light. It makes the perfect statement and looks lovely with the lights on or off! This room had no overhead lighting before, and I’m so glad my clients were willing to run electrical so we could use this fixture. And a big thank you to Shades of Light for providing us with a nice press discount!

Shades of Light is a lighting company based in Richmond, VA. They are also the home of Young House Love’s lighting collection and have a bunch of other exclusive designs along with tried-and-true industry favorites. They are a smaller company, have great customer service and are definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for any new light fixtures for your home. Request a free catalog to see for yourself!

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For projects like this, I usually do a round of online ordering first focusing on bigger items like the rug, lighting, accent furniture, mirrors, large artwork, etc. Then I will go shopping at local home decor stores to fill in the small accessories and anything else we need to finish off the space. I usually get more than I think we’ll use on that trip so I can have some fun playing around with the styling and testing out different options. I really love the way this bookshelf styling came together! It’s the perfect combination for me - a few books, a little greenery, framed art, some ceramics and decorative storage/display. This bookshelf gets bonus points for having some more antiques and meaningful family heirlooms in the mix! Also, dominoes may be my new favorite bowl filler. I found the navy acrylic ones at Home Goods.

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Since their family room is just about done (there has been talk of swapping out the wall sconces, painting the fireplace and upgrading to a more modern fireplace screen ), we are now working on their kitchen! It’s a generously sized kitchen with great bones, but at the moment its just entirely too brown for my client’s taste. I’m excited to update you all as that project progresses!

Five Years

This past Friday, Anthony and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. FIVE WHOLE YEARS being married to my best friend. Man, has it been a wild five years! We moved home from Pittsburgh to York County, I started a business, we bought our first house, adopted our first dog and welcomed our first baby! A lot of firsts and so much learning and growing together in between.

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Every year around our anniversary, we get family portraits taken with Savannah Smith Photography and I share them here on the blog! You can see our previous years portraits here, including last year when we announced we were expecting Sage! 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014. It’s crazy to think in last years portraits, I had just gotten my first ultrasound and this year we have our little girl here with us! She slept through almost the whole photo session but I don’t think these photos could be any sweeter. I treasure these images and this beautiful family I’ve been blessed with. If I haven’t already made it abundantly clear in my posts about him, I am so unendingly grateful for this man. Anthony is more than I could have ever hoped for as a best friend, husband and now father. After 12 years together, I didn’t think we could get any closer but Sage’s birth and these first few months of parenthood have made me fall even deeper in love with him. He’s the rock of our family and he takes such good care of us. And even though we’re both cranky and sleep deprived, he’s just fun to be around!

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It’s been a wonderful five years, but this year easily tops them all. This is the year we really became a family. I’ve never been more happy or more grateful for you, Anthony!

My Favorite Things for Baby | Birth to 3 Months

Putting together a baby registry is hard work! There are way too many options and gadgets out there and it's hard to know what your baby will like and what you will actually use. I know so many friends and readers that are about to have babies, so I wanted to share my favorite products that I'm using with Sage everyday. This isn't a comprehensive list of what to put on your registry, more just a round up of my most-used items at this stage. Since I've been at this motherhood thing for all of 3 months, consider this "part one". If you guys are interested, I can share updates around 6 months and 1 year because heaven knows, what a baby needs and wants changes so much in the first year!

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1. Wrap Style Carrier - Anthony and I both LOVE this thing! We also have an Ergo baby and a Moby wrap (both I found secondhand for a steal!) but this is CuddleBug Wrap Carrier is the one we reach for the most. The fabric is strong but stretchy which makes it a lot easier to get Sage in and out of. There are some good tutorials on YouTube if you are mystified on how these things work like I was.  After watching a video and practicing tying it twice, I was a pro!

2. Pacifiers and Pacifier Clips - We introduced pacifiers around 3-4 weeks and Sage took the Natursutten the best. I like that it's made from natural rubber and has a large shield that touches her nose and chin to mimic the feeling of breastfeeding. I recently ordered a patPAT because it has a similar one piece design and love the idea of a pacifier and teether in one. Plus, Lindsey (the owner/inventor of Ryan & Rose) just rocks at Instagram stories. We were gifted a pacifier clip at our baby shower and I think these are the best invention ever. The pacifier clip also prevents her pacifier from falling on the floor and getting dirty and or lost. Sage mostly uses a pacifier for naps and at bedtime but it's so handy to just clip it to her outfit so I don't have to go looking for it when we need it!

3. Portable Changing Station - My cousin's wife has a SkipHop Portable Changing Station for her son, and I knew I wanted to add one to our registry! In addition to being a changing pad, it has pockets for diapers and wipes and folds up nicely so it's easy to carry or throw into the diaper bag.

4. Baby Swing - We have the Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing and Sage loves it! She takes her morning nap in it everyday. The seat can be taken off for it to be a standalone bouncy chair as well.  It takes up a good bit of room, but it's definitely something we'll save for future babies once she outgrows it! 

5. Sleep Sacks - The hospital was out of sleep sacks somehow during our stay so we used a swaddle blanket, but since we've been home we've put Sage in a sleep sack every night before bed. They are safer for babies than a loose blanket and there are options with a swaddle wrap and without. We used a newborn size swaddle style one for the first few weeks and now we have a few different 0-6 month sleep sacks we cycle through. I love the Blue Daisy pattern of this one!

6. Promptly Journal - This was a gift from my best friend and I LOVE IT! I was having trouble finding a baby book I liked and she surprised me with this one. She knows me so well! It's called A Complete Childhood History and it's a beautiful linen bound book with simple journal prompts from pregnancy to 18 years. It's really the perfect baby book! It comes in a bunch of pretty colors, ours is sage green, of course!

7. Muslin Hooded Bath Towel - These towels are so soft, dry quickly and look adorable on her! They are lightweight but very absorbent and they have little belts we can use to tie them like a robe once she gets a little bigger. 

8. Canvas Diaper Backpack - my other best friend who lives in Hawaii now (and just had a baby herself!) sent us our dream diaper backpack stuffed with all the baby goodies. I can't say how much I love this bag! I wanted something utilitarian and unisex, so Anthony wouldn't feel silly carrying it but also, because I'm not a super girly girl anyway. I love having a backpack versus a purse style diaper bag because it keeps my hands and arms free. It has just the right number of pockets and side compartments that are great for stashing a water bottle and your phone. I give this diaper backpack a 10/10! It's from Oliday on Etsy. They have really nice looking camera bags and laptop bags too!

9. Dr. Bronners Unscented Baby Castile Soap - This is the soap we've been using with Sage since she was born. I love that castile soap has a million other uses and you just need a few drops so it lasts a long time. It's a natural, vegetable-based soap with no added fragrance or synthethic detergents or preservatives. 

10. Baby Bath Support - I didn't want an enormous baby bathtub that was bulky and hard to store, because they grow out of them so quickly! This Angelcare Bath Support is perfect. It has a simple and streamlined design, a soft mesh material that comfy for Sage, drains easily and has a built in hook for easy storage. 

Other Frequently Asked Baby Questions

For our car seat and stroller, we have this Graco travel system. My sister-in-law suggested getting a jogging stroller instead of a regular one, and I'm glad I did! This thing can go over curbs, grass, gravel and rough terrain with ease. We'll probably get an additional lightweight umbrella stroller once Sage is a little older, but for now this is all we need!

We are cloth diapering and honestly, it's not as hard as I thought it would be! This is the podcast that convinced me to give it a try. We use Bumgenius 5.0 Pocket Style cloth diapers and I'm really happy with them.

One item I didn't register for but wish I did?  A manual breast pump. I have a Medela double electric pump that was supplied by my insurance but I recently bought a one-piece silicone breast pump. (Shout out to my instagram friend Sierra for telling me about these!) Now that Sage is sleeping longer stretches, I found I was leaking a ton from whatever side I wasn't nursing her on in the middle of the night. Now I attach this thing and collect a couple ounces every night, just from the suction and completely hands-free. It would have been great to have for relieving engorgement in the early days of breastfeeding. The one piece design makes it super easy to clean too! I highly recommend it for any breastfeeding mom or mama-to-be.

Last thing! There are so many parenting books out there but one book I highly recommend? Baby Meets World by Nicholas Day. This is the book to pick up when you are burnt out on reading pregnancy and parenting books. It's not a book about how to do things with babies, its a book about how babies do things. It's a great blend of scientific research, the often strange and confounding history of child-rearing (did you know goat wet nurses were once a thing?) and the author's personal experiences as a stay-at-home dad. It's feel like the antithesis of a typical parenting book, because it doesn't tell you what to do. It highlights the mysteries, complexities and everything wonderful about babies and has let me see the little life we created in a whole new way.  But I'm not a professional book reviewer, so here's a description from someone who is:

“Nicholas Day has birthed a perfect book: expertly researched, beautifully written, wise, warm, honest, funny. What makes it fascinating is the same thing that makes it reassuring: When it comes to caring for babies, there has never been one right way to do it, but dozens--contradictory, bizarre (goat wet nurses!), hilarious in retrospect but always well-meant. If you have a baby, expect a baby, were or still are a baby, this is a book for you.” ―Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Gulp

Ok, one more thing but this is the last one - I promise! I didn't originally include a baby monitor on my favorite things list because we just started using one more recently. But I really love the one we have now! It's the YI Home Camera. It works with an app on your phone, has the ability to add more cameras (if you have or plan to have multiple kiddos!), has sound and video and also works as an intercom. And the best thing? It's only $30. 

Was this round up helpful? Would you like to see more motherhood and baby related posts on Stevie Storck Design Co. or are you just here for the interiors? Let me know in the comments below or join the conversation on Instagram!

 

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