Sunday, January 21, 2018

Beef Stew

Beef Stew is one of my comfort foods.  I absolutely love it and it has been my mission to find the best beef stew recipe.  I don't know if this is the BEST recipe for beef stew out there but it comes pretty darn close!  I hope you enjoy!

6ox of thick sliced bacon, chopped into 1/4" wide strips
Olive oil
2- 2 1/2 pounds of boneless beef chuck or quality stew meat trimmed and cut into 1"pieces
1/4 cup flour (all purpose)
2 cups of red wine
1 lb sliced mushrooms
4 large carrots peeled and cut into 1/2" thick pieces
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP tomato paste
4 cups low sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 lb fingerling potatoes, halved or quartered

In a large, oven poof pot, sauté
bacon over medium heat until golden brown and fat is released.  Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces to a separate bowl.  While bacon is cooking, place stewed meat into a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle beef with 1/4 cup flour and evenly coat the beef.  Transfer beef in batches into the hot bacon fat and cook over medium to medium high heat until beef is browned and then transfer the beef to the bowl with the bacon.  Add 2 cups of red wine to the pot and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pot.  Add sliced mushrooms and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Return beef and bacon to the pot.  Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add 2 TBS of olive oil.  Sauté the carrots, onions and garlic for about 4 minutes then add 1 TSP of tomato paste and sauté another minute.  Transfer the veggies to the soup pot.  Stir to combine and bring to a low boil.  Add potatoes making sure they are submerged in liquid then cover and transfer to a 325 degree over and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Nothing is better than a bowl of soup on a cold winter's day!  I have tried thousands of chili recipes and I think this one is my favorite.  Hope you enjoy!

2 pounds ground beef, turkey or venison
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
46-oz. can tomato juice
28-oz. can diced tomatoes
15-oz. can tomato sauce
16-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
16-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Shredded cheese and sour cream, for topping

In a large skillet, cook ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain excess grease from skillet, but do not clean.
Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion, green pepper, garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.
If cooking the chili stovetop, add the cooked meat back to the skillet. If using a slow cooker, add meat-veggie mixture to the slow cooker. Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to either the skillet or slow cooker, depending on which you are using. On stovetop, bring to a boil, dial back to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours. In slow cooker, cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve warm with cheese and sour cream.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Smothered Baked Pork Chops


6-8 Center Cut Pork Chops
1 TSP Garlic Powder
1 TSP Seasoning Salt
2 Eggs, beaten
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Italian Style Breadcrumbs
4 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP Worcestershire
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Cup of Milk
1/3 Cup White Wine


Preheat Oven to 350.  Rinse chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl.  Dredge chops in flour, dip in egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Fry the chops 5 minutes per side or until breading appears well browned.  Place pork chops in a 9x13 baking dish and cover tightly with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.  While pork chops are baking, mix the cream of mushroom soup, white wine, milk and Worcestershire together in a bowl.  After pork chops have baked for 30 minutes, pour soup mixture on top of the pork chops and cover back with foil and bake an additional 30 minutes.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Spaghetti Squash

Shhhhh!!!  Don't tell my kids this isn't pasta!  This is one of my favorite side dishes and my kids think it's pasta!  It is super easy and delicious!!!


1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.

2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) - but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Creamy White Chicken Chili


1 TBS Olive Oil
1 Pound Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Onion chopped
2 Cloves garlic chopped
2- 15.5oz Cans great Northern Beans rinsed and drained
1- 14.4 oz can chicken broth
2- 4oz cans diced green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can white shoe peg corn
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 oz pkg cream cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook and stir chicken, onion and garlic in hot oil until no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.  (10-15 min) Mix Great Northern Beans, corn, chicken broth, green chilies, salt, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper into chicken mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended. (about 30 min)  Remove chili from heat and add sour cream, heavy cream and cream cheese until incorporated.  Turn heat back to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cream cheese has melted.

Crock Pot Version:

Add uncut chicken breasts, chilies, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, pepper, cayenne pepper to crock pot. Stir to coat chicken.  Cover with chicken broth and cook on low for 6 hours.  Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add beans,corn, and cream cheese and continue cooking about 30 minutes,  Add heavy cream and sour cream and stir till incorporated.  .

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Crock Pot Beef Stew

2 (1 oz) packages dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 pounds lean beef stew meat (cut up into bite sized pieces)
5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 to 3 cups baby carrots
1 small Onion, chopped
2 (10 oz.) cans cream of celery soup
1 cup ketchup

In a large plastic bag, combine the dry onion soup mix and paprika. Add in meat and shake the bag to coat meat with the seasonings. (You may have to do that step in two batches, for all the meat to fit)

Once meat is coated, spread out evenly into a greased 7 quart crock pot. Top meat evenly with diced potatoes, carrots and onion.  Mix the cream of celery soup and ketchup in a small bowl. Pour mixture over the meat and vegetables.Cover crock pot with lid. Cook on low heat for 8 hours or until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir to combine everything then serve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Homemade Spaghetti

5 pounds Ground Beef (I Used Ground Round)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 whole Large Yellow Onions, Diced
2 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
6 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 cup White Wine (or Low Sodium Beef Broth If You Prefer)
2 cans 28 Ounce Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (14 Oz. Size) Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (small, 4-ounce) Tomato Paste
1 jar Good Storebought Marinara Sauce (can Use Another Jar If You Like The Sauce To Be More Saucy Than Meaty)
1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
1 teaspoon Ground Thyme
4 whole Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper 
1/4 cup Finely Minced Fresh Parsley (or 3 Tablespoons Parsley Flakes), More To Taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 
In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside. 

Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute. 

Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid

After an hour, add the minced parsley and the grated Parmesan. Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.

***FYI- I usually freeze the sauce in several containers for future meals.  Saves a TON of time!!***