Tag Archives: beef

Hearty Beef Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup 1

As a polar vortex takes hold of the country, there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hearty beef minestrone soup and warm homemade bread.

Chock-full of tender ground beef, vegetables, beans, and pasta, this soup is very filling and is especially good topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Minestrone Soup 3

Some of us here are avoiding pasta these days, so I sometimes cook the pasta separately and let people add it to their soup when they dish it up.

This soup also freezes wonderfully. So make a big crock-pot full and set some aside to eat another day. The one thing you need to do when freezing this soup is to freeze the soup WITHOUT the pasta stirred in. Freeze the cooked pasta separately and add the pasta when you reheat the soup. If you freeze the pasta in the soup, it will be mushy when you reheat it.

Minestrone Soup 4

For a delicious bread to serve with your soup, try one of these recipes:

Whole Wheat Bread, or Rolls:

Whole Wheat Bread

Crescent Dinner Rolls:

Crescent Rolls 2



Hearty Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup 3

2 Tbs olive oil
1-2 lb ground beef (use 2 lb for a thick soup)
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef broth
1 can white beans, drained
1 small can (6oz) tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet or beef bouillon base
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup small pasta shapes
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a large pot, brown ground beef in olive oil; drain excess fat. Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook until tender. Add broth, beans, tomato paste, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, carrots, celery, and cabbage. Bring to a boil; simmer 30 minutes. Add zucchini and cook 10 minutes. Add pasta and cook about 10 minutes, just until pasta is tender. Add additional water if soup is too thick. Remove bay leaf. Taste and add additional salt, if needed. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

To cook in crock pot: Brown ground beef, onions, and garlic as above. Place in crock pot. Add remaining ingredients (except for Parmesan) and cook on low for about 8 hours. Turn to high heat, add pasta, and cook until pasta is tender, about 30 minutes.

To freeze soup: Prepare as above, but do not add pasta. Place in freezer containers and freeze. Cook pasta separately in water. Drain, cool, and freeze pasta separately. Add cooked pasta to soup after thawing and reheating.

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Beef Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas 2

Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce. These are a definite kid pleaser, and so much better than the frozen variety.

These are also perfect for make-ahead dinners. Prepare the individual enchiladas and freeze on a baking sheet. Put the frozen enchiladas into a Ziploc bag and return to the freezer. Then pull out as many as you want to cook on a busy night and bake them frozen (no thawing needed).

Beef Enchiladas 1


Beef Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas 2

1 ½ lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 ½ Tbs homemade taco seasoning (recipe below)
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt (omit if taco seasoning is very salty)
8 flour or 12 corn tortillas (heat or fry corn tortillas to soften)
3 cups shredded cheddar or cheddar Jack cheese (save 1 cup for top)
Enchilada Sauce (recipe below)
Toppings: Diced avocado, sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13” baking dish with nonstick spray.

Prepare Enchilada Sauce.

Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet until cooked through. Stir in taco seasoning, garlic powder, salt and ½ cup of the prepared Enchilada Sauce. Cook for 5-6 minutes over low heat.

Spread about ½ cup of Enchilada Sauce on bottom of baking dish. Place about 1/3 cup (for corn tortillas) – ½ cup (for flour tortillas) down the center of each tortilla. Top with shredded cheese. Wrap the tortilla around the filling and place seam-side down in the baking pan. Pour remaining Enchilada Sauce over filled enchiladas.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Top with additional 1 cup cheese and bake 5 minutes more, or until cheese is melted.

**TO FREEZE: Prepare filled enchiladas, but do not top with sauce. Place enchiladas, not touching, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then place in Ziploc bags. Freeze sauce separately in a Ziploc bag. Enchiladas do not need to be thawed before cooking.

Enchilada Sauce
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbs flour
1 Tbs chili powder
1-1 ½ Tbs Homemade Taco Seasoning (recipe below), or use substitution below
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can chicken broth
½ Tbs brown sugar
½ tsp salt

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir constantly until flour just begins to brown. Whisk in chili powder and taco seasoning. Whisk for 1 minute and then stir in tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar and salt. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Taco Seasoning Substitution: 1 Tbs chili powder, ¼ tsp each: ground cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
1 ½ cups chili powder
4 Tbs paprika (Spanish smoked or regular)
2 Tbs coarse kosher salt
2 Tbs black pepper
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs onion powder
2 Tbs ground cumin
2 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs Ancho chili pepper
1 Tbs crushed red pepper flakes
½ Tbs ground cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients and store at room temperature in an airtight container. Use about 2 Tbs of seasoning per pound of meat. Makes about 2 ½ cups.

Note: Adjust amount of crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper to make milder or spicier

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Create-Your-Own Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry 3

Today’s post comes to you courtesy of Little J.


For a class assignment, Little J had to make a Family Favorite Recipe all on her own. This included planning, shopping, cooking and clean-up. This is my very favorite type of homework assignment! She chose to make a chicken stir-fry. Definitely one of her favorite meals.

My favorite thing about stir-fries is how adaptable they are to whatever you can find in your freezer and produce drawer. Little J chose to use chicken, fresh green beans, celery, carrots and onion in her stir-fry.

The recipe below is for a basic stir-fry that you can customize to your family’s taste. I also included Little J’s customization.


I look forward to more amazing creations from this amazing daughter!


Create-Your-Own Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry 3

1-2 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts OR thinly sliced beef (flank steak, skirt steak, or leftover roast beef) OR thinly sliced pork tenderloin

3-4 cups chopped fresh vegetables (onions, broccoli, green beans, carrots, celery, mushrooms, pea pods, asparagus, cabbage, red or green peppers, green onion—whatever is in the fridge!)

2-3 Tbs oil

½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp chili paste
2 tsp sesame oil

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir until cornstarch and honey are completely dissolved. Place sliced meat in a Ziploc bag and add ¼ cup of the sauce to the bag with the meat. Close bag and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet or wok. Sauté vegetables over high heat until crisp- tender. Work in small batches, removing vegetables from the pan when they are cooked (add additional oil if needed). Place cooked vegetables in serving dish.

Add 1 Tbs oil to pan; heat until hot. Add meat to pan and cook over high heat until meat is cooked through (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low and add sauce to pan. Cook until sauce thickens (2-3 mins). Stir in cooked vegetables. Cook 1 minute to heat through.

Serve over rice.

Little J’s Chicken Stir-Fry

Chicken Stir Fry 3

4 boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh French green beans, cut into 1-2” pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
2-3 Tbs olive oil
Hot cooked rice

½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs honey (or golden low-carb sweetener)
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp chili paste
2 tsp sesame oil

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir until cornstarch and honey are completely dissolved. Place sliced chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and add ¼ cup of the sauce to the bag with the chicken. Close bag and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet or wok. Sauté vegetables over high heat until crisp- tender. Work in small batches, removing vegetables from the pan when they are cooked (add additional oil if needed). Place cooked vegetables in serving dish.

Add 1 Tbs oil to pan; heat until hot. Add chicken to pan and cook over high heat until chicken is cooked through (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low and add sauce to pan. Cook until sauce thickens (2-3 mins). Stir in cooked vegetables. Cook 1 minute to heat through.

Serve over rice.

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Grilled Beef Kabobs

Beef Shish Kabobs 2

Summer may be ending for school kids, but it is still perfect grilling weather and fresh corn and zucchini are still plentiful at the farmers’ markets.

You can alternate the beef and vegetables on the same skewer, or separate them into meat skewers and vegetable skewers. I usually grill them separately so that I can better control the rareness of the beef (we like it medium) and how cooked the vegetables are.

I made these with fresh corn, mushrooms and zucchini, but you can use any combination of fresh vegetables that you like (including peppers, yellow squash, onions, cherry tomatoes). I especially like these with fresh rosemary in the marinade. It pairs really well with the beef, but you can also use other herbs like thyme or oregano.


Grilled Beef Kabobs

Beef Shish Kabobs 2

¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp salt
½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Fresh (2 Tbs) or dried herbs (2 tsp): Rosemary, thyme and/or oregano
2 lb top round or sirloin beef steak, cut into cubes
Vegetables: Choose a combination of: fresh corn (cut into 1” rounds), onions, peppers, whole mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes
Hot steamed rice

Combine marinade ingredients. Place the beef cubes and half of marinade in a Ziploc bag or lidded container and marinate in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours (or up to 3 days). Set remaining marinade aside to marinate vegetables later. Add vegetables to reserved marinade and refrigerate for 1-4 hours (don’t over marinate the vegetables).

Place meat and vegetables on skewers, discarding meat marinade and saving vegetable marinade. Grill skewers until cooked to desired temperature.

Heat vegetable marinade to boiling. Set aside. Serve over rice with heated marinade.

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Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

Ginger Beef 2

We eat a lot of stir-fries in our house. They are a fairly quick meal to get on the table, and they are one thing that I don’t hear complaints about from anyone. This Ginger Beef is not a saucy stir-fry, but is very flavorful. The beef marinates for about half an hour at room temperature and then is cooked in small batches over very high heat. Fresh ginger, cut into thin matchstick shapes, green onions and sliced serrano chiles (hot, but not overpowering) provide additional flavor. Because this dish is not as chock-full of vegetable as some other stir-fries, I often serve it with Szechuan green beans (recipe coming soon!).


Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

Ginger Beef 2

5 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs unseasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbs honey (or 5 drops liquid stevia)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp red chile pepper flakes
½ tsp ground cumin

1 ½ lb flank steak or top sirloin steak
2 Tbs oil, divided
2-3 hot chiles, preferably red serranos, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchstick shapes
1 bunch (about 5-6) green onions, cut diagonally into 1” pieces
1 Tbs sesame oil

Mix together all of the marinade ingredients.

Thinly slice the steak (partially freezing the steak will make this easier) and place slices in a Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over the sliced steak. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Remove beef from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

Place 1 Tbs oil in a wok or  large skillet and heat over high heat until very hot. Place a small amount of the beef (about ½ cup at a time) in the hot pan. Sauté beef slices over high heat until juices in pan almost completely evaporate. Transfer cooked beef to serving bowl. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add remaining 1 Tbs oil to the pan and sauté the sliced chiles, minced garlic and ginger matchsticks for 1 minute. Add the beef back to the pan with the sliced green onions. Stir in the sesame oil and cook for 1 minute. Serve immediately over steamed rice.

(recipe adapted from Simply Recipes)

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Hearty Beef Chili

092810 018-1This is my standard go-to chili recipe. Thick and hearty. Full of roasted vegetables, ground beef and sausage (chorizo is my favorite), and two kinds of beans in a thick, spicy sauce. No runny broth-that is soup, not chili.

I know that a true Texas chili does not have any beans, but while I love the flavor of a good Texas chili, I also love beans. I love the taste, the contrasting texture they give to chili, and the fact that beans are so good for you! So while my chili may not be approved of by hard core Texans, I will continue to put beans in.

Chili is a great crock pot meal, and tastes even better the second day.

You can make this chili the “fast” way or the “it takes a little longer but is so worth it” way. The difference is: to roast or not roast the veges (onions, peppers, garlic). I have definitely made my share of chili the fast way, but I do prefer the additional flavor you get by roasting the vegetables before adding them to the chili. To roast the onions, garlic and peppers: peel onions and cut in half. Cut larger peppers in half and remove seeds. Smaller peppers, like jalapenos can be left whole. You can roast a whole head of garlic, or roast individual cloves (this will be faster). Place onions, garlic and peppers on a foil-lined roasting pan. Brush with olive oil. Roast at 475°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until veges begin to blacken. See How To Roast Peppers or How To Roast Garlic for quick tutorials.

Top your chili with shredded cheese, sour cream or chopped raw onions (red onions or scallions are great). And make lots: chili freezes wonderfully for another meal another day.


Hearty Beef Chili

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1 ½ lb ground beef
½ lb chorizo or hot Italian sausage
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 onions
1 red pepper
1 large banana pepper
2 jalapenos, (use seeds for a spicier chili)
2 cloves garlic
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (or 1 tsp chipotle chili powder)
1 Tbs adobo sauce from chipotle pepper can
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
3 cans (14 oz) diced or crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
3 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried basil (or 2 Tbs fresh)
1 Tbs chili paste
1 Tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Tomato paste, if needed
Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped raw onions (red onions or green onions)

Cook ground beef and sausage until browned. Drain and place in a crock pot with the cooked bacon. If desired, roast the onions, red pepper, banana pepper, jalapenos and garlic (Brush with olive oil and roast on a foil-lined baking sheet at 475°F for 15-20 minutes). Chop vegetables and add to the crock pot with the remaining ingredients (except tomato paste and toppings). Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Taste after about 4-6 hours. Add additional salt or more heat (more chili paste or crushed red peppers), if desired. Thicken with tomato paste if chili is too thin. Serve with desired toppings.


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Grilling with Chipotles


As summer winds down, I find myself grilling even more. Trying to squeeze out every last drop of fresh summer goodness, before giving way to the rib-sticking comfort foods of fall and winter.

Grilled flank steak is one of our favorites. I love that I can prepare several at a time: preparing the marinade in the morning and putting one marinated flank steak in the fridge for dinner, and a couple more in the freezer for meals another night.

This flank steak has a wonderful smoky,  slightly spicy flavor. Which went perfectly with this Chipotle Lime Quinoa and White Bean Salad. Quinoa (KEEN-wa), is a gluten-free grain that has a similar texture to couscous, but with a slightly nutty flavor (which makes sense since it is actually the seed portion of a grain).


Grilled Chipotle Flank Steak

2 chipotle peppers in adobo
1 Tbs adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)
2 cloves garlic,  chopped
¼ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1  tsp oregano
¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
1 flank steak (about 2 lb)

Combine everything except the steak in a blender, and process until peppers are chopped. Place flank steak in a Ziploc bag or glass baking dish, and add the marinade.  Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight (or freeze in the Ziploc bag until another day).

Heat grill. Remove steak from marinade. Brush grill lightly with oil. Grill steak for 7-8  minutes per side for medium rare (adjust time based on thickness of meat and heat of grill). Let meat rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice across the grain.

Serve with Chipotle Lime Quinoa and White Bean Salad OR use it as a base for fajitas with grilled onions and peppers in tortillas.

Adapted from The Perfect Pantry

Chipotle Lime Quinoa and White Bean Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob (or 1 can corn)
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2-3 green onions, chopped (about ¼ cup)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 limes, juiced (about 6-8 Tbs)
Zest of one lime
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 chipotle peppers, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from can of chipotle peppers)

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool.

In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, beans, corn, red pepper, green onions and cilantro.

In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice and zest, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. Stir into quinoa mixture. Cover and chill until serving.

Note: This can also be made with cooked brown rice or couscous instead of quinoa.

Adapted from Picky Palate



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Crock Pot Italian Drip Beef

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This is a fabulous shredded beef sandwich recipe from Pioneer Woman. She cooked hers in a dutch oven, but I did mine in a crock pot. And I started with a completely frozen roast from my deep freeze. I put everything in the crock pot just before going to bed on a Saturday night, and it was all ready to serve after church on Sunday. It couldn’t have been easier!

A beef roast (any variety), a jar of pepperoncini peppers, Italian seasoning and beef broth. That is the simple cast of characters.

The vinegar from the peppers gives this beef a fabulous tanginess. And these peppers are not spicy, so the whole family will love it.

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Just before serving, toast up some buttered, cheese topped deli rolls.

050810 020-1 Top  rolls with your shredded beef and peppers.

050810 028-1 Serve your sandwiches with a small bowl of juices from the crock pot for a fabulous dunking sandwich.

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Just don’t forget the napkins!

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Crock Pot Italian Drip Beef

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1 whole beef chuck roast or sirloin tip roast, about 4 lb
2 cups beef broth
3-4 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1 jar (16 oz) pepperoncini peppers, undrained
Deli rolls
Provolone or cheddar cheese slices

Combine all ingredients (except rolls, butter and cheese slices) in a crock pot. Do not drain pepperoncini-pour entire jar into the crock pot.

Cook at low heat for 8 to 10 hours. (I started with a completely frozen roast and it took about 10 hours to be fork tender.)

Remove roast from crock pot and place in a large bowl. Discard any large fat pieces. Use two forks to shred the meat. Remove pepperoncini from the crock pot and stir into shredded meat (I like to remove the stems from the peppers at this point, but that is optional). If desired, strain remaining liquid in the crock pot, reserving the strained juices.

Slice rolls almost in half. Open rolls and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread with butter. Toast at 400°F for about 5 minutes, or until rolls are slightly crispy but not overly brown. Top with cheese slices and return to oven until cheese melts—watch carefully so that you don’t burn the rolls!

Serve meat and peppers on the toasted rolls with a small bowl of the juices for dipping.

Adapted from Pioneer Woman



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Comfort Food on a Snowed-In Day: Beef Bourguignon and 100% Whole Wheat Bread

We woke up this morning to a beautiful world of winter white! The kids’ only complaint: that it happened on a Saturday. FEB 6, 2010 018-1

FEB 6, 2010 020-1

After spending several hours digging our driveway out from the storm (no snow-blowers here), I was ready to warm up the house (and me) with some good old-fashioned comfort food. Beef Bourguignon and some Whole Wheat Bread were just what I needed. This had to wait, of course, until I was done helping kids in and out of snow clothes half-a-dozen times during the day (and mopping up puddles of melted snow). And making lots and lots of hot cocoa!


I know you are thinking that this is just a glorified beef stew, but it is so much more! This Beef Bourguignon is packed with flavor, and is thick and hearty, just begging for a slice of bread to mop up all of the leftover goodness in the bottom of your bowl.

DSC02163-1 And did I mention bacon?

Some of the heartiness (and tons of flavor) in this stew comes from first cooking some (okay, a lot) of chopped bacon in your stock pot. Remove the cooked bacon (to be added back later, of course), drain most of the bacon grease, leaving a couple of tablespoons in the bottom of the pot to brown your beef cubes in. I used some leftover roast beef from a few nights ago. Brown it up nicely in those bacon drippings and then add some mushrooms and onions.


I like to remove most of the alcohol from the red wine, so I add it first, and then reduce it almost dry before adding in the rest of the liquids.


Stir in some broth, tomato paste and seasonings and let it simmer for an hour or two to get your beef nice and tender.


Add carrots, potatoes and celery and continue cooking until those vegetables are tender. Add some cherry tomatoes just before serving. They will soften perfectly just from the heat of the stew. Adding them too early will turn them to mush, and you’ll just have floating tomato skins in your bowl.

Waiting (patiently? not-so-patiently?) for mom to snap a few pictures before serving dinner!

DSC02243-1 After a long day of fun in the snow, a good hearty bowl of stew sure hits the spot!

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Beef Bourguignon


½ pkg (8 oz) bacon, chopped
3 lb beef roast, cubed
1 pkg (8 oz) whole mushrooms
1 ½ cups red wine
4 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
1 Tbs tapioca
1 cup pearl onions, or 1 onion, diced
2 potatoes, peeled & diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes

Cook bacon in a large pot. Remove from pan when cooked. Drain most of the grease, leaving about 2 Tbs in the pot. Brown the beef cubes in the bacon drippings. Add mushrooms (quartered if they are large) and chopped onion (if you are using pearl onions, wait and add them with the potatoes later). Cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions and mushrooms just begin to brown.

Add the wine and let wine reduce for 10-15 minutes, or until almost completely evaporated. Add cooked bacon, beef broth, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper, salt, tapioca and pearl onions. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1- 1 ½ hours.

Stir in potatoes, carrots and celery. Add additional water if stew is too thick. Cook until vegetables are tender. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary. Add tomatoes 5 minutes before serving. Remove bay leaf.

Serve with Parmesan cheese and hot bread.

100% Whole Wheat Bread


2 ½ cups warm water
2 eggs
1 Tbs molasses
4 Tbs honey
¼ cup olive oil
5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat gluten
¼ cup dry milk
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs instant yeast ***
1 ½ – 2 cups additional whole wheat flour

Mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients. Mix in enough additional flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Knead 5-6 minutes.

Divide dough into 3 greased medium-sized loaf pans (or 2 large). Brush with additional oil, cover and let rise until doubled in size.

Bake at 350 °F for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pans; cool.

TO MAKE ROLLS: Shape into desired shapes. Place on greased pans; brush with oil, cover and let rise until doubled in size. For a shiny roll: brush with slightly beaten egg white just before baking. Bake at 375 °F for 15 minutes.

***Note: If using instant yeast, the dough only needs to rise once (in the pans). If using regular yeast, allow dough to rise before putting in pans, then rise again in pans before baking.

Yield: 3 medium loaves (or 2 large) or 3 dozen rolls


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Beef and Broccoli


After fabulous holidays full of rich, sugar-laden foods, it is time to get back to some healthier cuisine around here.

A stir-fry is one of my favorite ways to make a quick, healthy meal that no one turns their nose up at. This one is especially quick as the meat does not need to be marinated ahead of time.

I usually make this with just beef and broccoli, but I had a lone zucchini hanging out in the crisper just begging to be used as well.  So for dinner tonight, we have Beef & Broccoli (with a little zucchini thrown in for fun).

Cut fresh broccoli (and any other lonely veges you want to include) into bite-sized pieces. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1-2 Tbs oil. Add vegetables to hot oil and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until broccoli has turned a bright green, but is not cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside.


Slice a flank steak into very thin slices. This is easier if the steak is just slightly frozen. If the steak is really wide, you can cut it half first and then cut thin slices.


Add a little more oil to your pan and cook the steak slices over high heat until browned. Season with garlic powder and black pepper while cooking. If you are cooking a lot of meat, or using a smaller pan, cook the meat in small batches. Try to maintain a single layer in the bottom of the pan so that it will cook evenly.


Stir together sauce ingredients and add to pan, stirring until sauce just begins to thickens. I don’t like the sauce to be too thick. If you like more of a gravy consistency, just add more cornstarch to the sauce mix. DSC02016-1

Stir in broccoli. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until broccoli is heated through. Keep the veges crisp, not mushy! DSC02018-1

Serve over white or brown rice.


STIR-FRY COOKING TIP: Chop all of your ingredients and stir together the sauce mixture BEFORE you start any cooking. Then you will be sure to not overcook anything while doing prep work.


Beef and Broccoli

2-4 Tbs peanut oil or olive oil, divided
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 flank steak or skirt steak
ground black pepper
garlic powder

½ cup soy sauce
¾ cup chicken broth
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1-2 tsp chile paste
½ tsp Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet
2 Tbs toasted sesame oil

Chop broccoli into bite-sized florets; set aside. Cut steak in very thin slices (Partially freezing steak beforehand will make this easier); set aside. Combine sauce ingredients; set aside.

Heat 1-2 Tbs oil in a wok or large skillet. Add broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until broccoli has turned a bright green, but is not cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside.

Add an additional 1-2 Tbs oil to wok. Add beef (in small batches) to pan. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and garlic powder. Stir-fry until tender. Drain excess moisture from pan, if necessary. Add sauce to pan and cook for about one minute, until it just starts to thicken. Stir in broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Serve over hot rice.



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