Recipe Save: Beef Stew

Origin:  Modified Internet Recipe
Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 4-8 hours
Number of Servings: 6-8


  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, cut in 1-inch pieces (lean beef round works well)
  • 1⁄4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 3⁄4 cup beef broth
  • 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
  • 1⁄4 cup red wine or cooking sherry
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb red potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 8 ounces whole mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 8 carrots, peeled and cut into either large slices or 2 inch pieces


  1. In a gallon zip seal bag, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and thyme.
  2. Place beef in bag and toss to coat.
  3. Heat a stainless steel or cast iron skillet (avoid nonstick skillets, if possible).
  4. Add a few teaspoons of vegetable oil.
  5. When the oil starts to shimmer or smoke (just slightly) add the meat but don’t crowd the pan (leave a few inches of space between pieces).
  6. Once you put the meat in the pan, let it be.  Meat needs a few minutes of uninterrupted contact to properly sear. (It will stick to the bottom and then release naturally when seared.  After a few minutes shake the pan.  If the meat releases it is ready to be flipped.  Complete until all side of the meat are seared.
  7. Put seared meat in the crock pot.
  8. In a small bowl combine the beef broth, tomato paste, wine and garlic. Mix well and add it to the beef in the crock pot.
  9. Add the potatoes, mushrooms and carrots to the crock pot and mix well to disperse the ingredients evenly throughout.
  10. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 – 6 hours, or LOW for 8 – 9 hours, until vegetables and beef are tender.
  11. Avoid stirring until close to finished but you can give it a quick stir near serving time just to check consistency.

Recipe Save: Tiramisu

Origin:  Chopping Block
Total Preparation Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Number of Servings: 8-10


For the syrup:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup espresso (or 1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in 1/4 cup water)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum

For the assembly:

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 15 to 20 ladyfingers
  • Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings, for garnish


  1. To make the syrup, combine the water, espresso and sugar in small heavy saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Remove from the heat, stir in the rum, and set aside to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the mascarpone cheese, vanilla bean pulp and sugar with an electric mixer to combine.
  5. Add the cream and continue to beat until mixture is thick and fluffy.
  6. Dip the ladyfingers into the coffee syrup until well moistened.
  7. Line a glass bowl, trifle dish or individual dessert dishes with a single layer of ladyfingers.
  8. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the soaked ladyfingers.
  9. Top the cream with another layer of ladyfingers. Spread the remaining cream on top.
  10. Garnish with a dusting of sifted cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.
  11. Chill for about 1 hour to set the tiramisu.
  12. Serve chilled, scooped into individual serving dishes.

Recipe Save: Alfredo Sauce

Origin:  Chopping Block
Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Number of Servings: 4


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped


  1. In a wide, heavy pan, heat the heavy cream over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer.
  2. Add the butter and whisk until melted.
  3. Sprinkle in the cheese and stir to incorporate.
  4. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Stir in the parsley, and serve with your favorite pasta.

Recipe Save: Tomato Sauce

Origin:  Chopping Block
Total Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Actual Cooking Time:  35 minutes
Number of Servings: 4


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with their juice, crushed in a sealable bag
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, leaves torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Granulated sugar if desired


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the onion and sauté until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook an additional 1 minute or until aromatic.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and reduce until almost dry.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes with their juice to the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until sauce has reduced and thickened, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of sugar if desired and serve. You can also puree the sauce in a blender if you want a smooth consistency.

Recipe Save: Chicken Marsala

Origin:  Chopping Block
Total Preparation Time: 40
Actual Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Number of Servings: 4


  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • Rice flour or all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°.
  2. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts until they are uniform in thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper to taste and dredge in flour, shaking off any extra.
  3. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Sauté the breasts, presentation side down, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and repeat. The chicken should be cooked through at this point. Transfer chicken to a platter, cover with foil and place in the oven to keep warm.
  4. Heat the same sauté pan over medium heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and browning around the edges.
  5. Deglaze with the Marsala wine and reduce by half of its original volume. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  6. Finish the sauce by swirling in the cold butter and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour the Marsala sauce over the chicken and serve.

Recipe Save: Sicilian Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Capers and Olives

Origin:  Chopping Block
Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Number of Servings: 4-6


  • 1 head Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup brine-cured black olives such as kalamata, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Red wine vinegar to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large salad bowl, toss together the lettuce, arugula, onion, tomatoes, olives and capers.
  2. Dress with the olive oil and vinegar to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Recipe Save: Tomato and Fresh Basil Bruschetta

Origin:  Chopping Block
Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Number of Servings: 4-6


  • 1/2 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices on the bias
  • 2 tablespoons garlic grapeseed oil or garlic infused olive oil
  • 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a grill pan over medium heat.  Brush the sliced bread with the garlic grapeseed oil, and grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly toasted.  Transfer to a platter.
  2. In a medium-size bowl mix together the tomatoes, onions, basil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and adjust with any additional acid or oil.
  3. Spoon the tomato topping on to the grilled bread, and serve immediately.

Recipe Save: Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Origin:  Internet
Total Preparation Time: 2 hours (includes chilling)
Actual Cooking Time: 4 hours (includes cooling)
Number of Servings: 12-20 cookies (depending on size of cookies)


  • 3/4 cup butter, slightly softened to room temp
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2/4 t salt


  1. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth (about 1 minute).
  2. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, as needed.  Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat on high until fully combined (about 2 minutes).
  4. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, as needed.
  5. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
  6. Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined.
  7. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combine.  If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 T more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
  8. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.  Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/3 thickness.  Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.  Chilling is mandatory.  If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper.
  9. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350.
  10. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  11. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes.
  12. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet.
  13. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
  14. Before baking, you can apply sprinkles.  Skip this step if you are planning to ice or frost the cookies.
  15. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges; rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time.
  16. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
  17. Make the icing and decorate the cooled cookies however you’d like.

Baker’s notes:

  • Unfrosted cookies freeze well up to 3 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Frosted cookies do not freeze well.
  • You can freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then allow to come to room temperature for about 1 hour.  Then roll and continue with the recipe as directed.
  • Room temperature egg is preferred to be easily dispersed in the cookie dough.  Rule of thumb:  always use room temp egg if recipe calls for butter at room temp or melted.

Recipe Save: Creamy Bacon Spinach Pesto Pasta

Origin:  Modified recipe found online
Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
Number of Servings: 6


  • 6 bacon strips
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 ounces spinach (1 bag)
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat fettuccine
  • ½ cup pesto
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy.
  2. Remove bacon pieces.
  3. Toss garlic in rendered bacon grease and cook until softened.
  4. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
  5. Add milk, salt and pepper and bring to boil.
  6. Add fettuccine into boiling mixture and cover.
  7. Cook fettuccine on medium heat until milk thickens and pasta is cooked (about 7 minutes).
  8. Mix back in the bacon. Stir in the pesto and Parmesan.

Recipe Save: The Best French Onion Soup

Origin: Cook’s Illustrated
Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: a couple hours with downtime in between
Number of Servings: 6


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 T butter (cut into 3 pieces)
  • 6 large yellow onions (about 4 lbs, halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • Salt
  • 2 cups water (plus extra for deglazing)
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme (tied with kitchen twine)
  • 1 bay leave
  • Ground black pepper
  • Cheese croutons (baguettes cut into 1/2 in slices)
  • 2-3 cups shredded gruyere cheese


  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Generously spray the inside of a heavy-bottomed large dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place the butter in the pot and add the onions and 1 tsp salt.
  4. Bake in the oven, covered, for 1 hour.  The onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven and stir the onions, scraping the bottom and side of the pot.
  6. Return the pot to the oven with the lid slight ajar and continue to cook until the onions are very soft and golden brown, about 1.5-1.75 hours, stirring the onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.
  7. Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat.
  8. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until liquid evaporates and the onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if the onions are browning too quickly.
  9. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the bottom is coated with a dark crust, roughly 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary.  Scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions.
  10. Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping the pot bottom to lossen crust and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom as formed another dark crust (6-8 minutes).
  11. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown.
  12. Stir in the sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until the sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in broths, 2 cups of water, thyme, bay leaf, and .5 tsp salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot.
  14. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer.
  15. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  16. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.

For the croutons:

  1. While the soup simmers, arrange the baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven until the bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes.
  2. Set aside.

To Serve:

  1. Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.
  2. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup.
  3. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyere.
  4. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Cooks Notes:  For the best flavor, make the soup a day or two in advance.  Alternatively, the onions can be prepared through step 1, cooled in the pot and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

« Older entries