Monday, October 27, 2014


It still feels like summer in Az (91 today) but I'm once again trying to will fall into visiting us. I do this every year. Saturday I made beef stew - and decided I haven't been all that fond of my beef stew recipes all these years. I took some of my old ingredients, added some new and came up with what I think is the best beef stew I have ever made in my life! I think using beef base and wine in the broth did the trick. And not cooking wine - that stuff is NASTY! Now - I'm not a wine drinker and if you have objection to using it in your cooking, you can leave it out (the alcohol cooks out, so don't fret) but I would advise not to. It makes the broth so deep and hearty. 

 If you haven't ever used beef or chicken broth base, you should.  "Better Than Bullion" is good but Costco caries Tones and I think it's just as good. So much better than broth - and you can make it as strong or weak as you like. I make it from the container like the directions say and if you need your broth saltier, add a little more base instead of salt. More depth of flavor - once again.  I also use half chicken and half beef broth. I also cut the carrots in rather large pieces so that those picky eaters in our house there's only 2 of us and it isn't me can pick them out. 


1 1/2-2 lbs. beef stew meat (I cut them smaller than they come from store)
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3  glove garlic, chopped
2-3 ribs of celery cut into chunks

2-3T olive oil

In large stock pot, heat olive oil and saute chopped onion, garlic celery and stew meat just until meat is not pink any longer. Add:

10  cups broth (I use half chicken and half beef)
1/2 cup good red wine (not cooking wine - its awful)
1 1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 T. fresh flat leaf parsley (Italian) or 1/2 T. dried parsley
1/2 t. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 t. sugar
coarse black pepper
Kosher salt to taste (I usually add more broth concentrate if it needs salt)

Bring to a soft boil, cover with a lid and simmer on low about an hour until beef is tender.  Add:

1 1/2 lbs cubed red potatoes (don't peel them)
4-5 medium carrots cut into 2 inch chunks

Continue to simmer just until potatoes and carrots are tender.

If you like your broth a little thicker, mix 2 T. cornstarch with a little cold water and quickly stir into hot soup, stirring continually so you don't get chunks.  We like our broth soupy, so I don't thicken it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I have so many recipes pinned on Pinterest, I think its time I went through them and printed (yes - the old fashioned way to read a recipe). I always think maybe the source they came from will get deleted or someone will cancel their blog.  I found this and pinned it while looking for a different recipe.  This cute girl's name is Kathleen and her cooking blog is  And let me tell you, this bread is good for second or thirds or even fourths.  I only used 1 t. cinnamon, as I don't like my food too "cinnamony".  I know that's not a word.  It makes two loaves and I gave one to a neighbor.  Great fall recipe to use with all the wonderful apples that are appearing. The glaze is so delicious!! This bread is heavy and doesn't raise very high but is so dense, moist and delicious.

Apple Bread with Pecan Praline GlazeYield: 2 Loaves



Make The Bread:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 8X4 inch baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the first nine ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix eggs, oil and vanilla.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and combine. (The batter will be extremely thick). Mix in apples and 1 cup chopped pecans until evenly distributed through batter.
3. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans and smooth out the top of batter with the back of a spoon.  Bake in preheat oven for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean and edges of bread are just pulling away from baking pan.
Make The Glaze:
1. In a heavy bottomed 2 quart saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil over medium heat. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and using a hand held electric mixer beat on medium speed until smooth. Pour half the glaze immediately over each loaf of cooled bread and sprinkle evenly with pecans.
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