Beef Stew That Will Stick to Your Ribs




5-5.5pounds beef stewing meat, cut into 2-3 inch pieces

Salt & pepper

1/3cup mixed olive and canola oil

2 leeks, washed well and cut thinly

1 large onion, diced

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, diced

4 celery ribs, diced

4ounces white mushrooms, roughly chopped

1/4cup tomato paste

1/2cup red wine vinegar

4 cups beef broth

1 cup canned whole tomatoes with juices

1 1/2teaspoons salt

3 bay leaves

3/4teaspoon dried thyme

1/3cup chopped parsley


Season the beef with salt and pepper on both sides. Brown the meat in batches in a 5-6 quart Dutch oven over high heat, adding more oil as needed. Remove to a plate.

Lower the heat and add all the vegetables. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and anchovies and cook to melt the anchovies and distribute.

Add the beef back in, with its juices. Add the wine, vinegar, and tomatoes with juice (breaking them up against the side of the pot as you go) and bring to a boil. Add the stock to cover (you may need a bit more than 3 cups). Put in the salt, bay leaf, thyme, bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.

When cool, skim off much of the fat from the top. Reheat over low heat, letting the stew simmer 30-45 minutes before serving.

Mix in half of the parsley and garnish with the rest.

Grits with Red Eye Gravy, Country Ham, and Fried Eggs

Grits with Red Eye Gravy, Country Ham, and Fried Eggs


Ingredients for Grits

4cups milk

1/2teaspoon kosher salt

1/4teaspoon nutmeg

1cup grits

1/2cup cheese

1tablespoon honey

Bring milk, salt, and nutmeg just to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Slowly whisk in grits and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent sticking. When thick and cooked through, remove from heat and stir in goat cheese, honey, and salt to taste if desired.

For Ham, Eggs, and Gravy

3tablespoons butter, plus extra as needed for frying

4 thin slices country ham

1/2cup brewed coffee

4 eggs

2tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

While your grits are cooking, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron skillet and fry your ham until browned over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side. I fry two slices at a time to fit them in the pan. Once all your ham is fried, deglaze the pan with the coffee, scraping at the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Simmer until reduced by a third and then swirl in one and a half tablespoons of butter. Pour off into a bowl and reserve. Wipe down your pan and fry your eggs in the rest of the butter, and serve the grits topped with ham, gravy, and eggs.

Chocolate Caramels

Chocolate Caramels



4cups heavy cream, divided

2 1/2cups light corn syrup

4 1/2cups granulated sugar

1teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling as desired

10ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate (30 to 40%)

8ounces high quality very dark chocolate (70 to 80%)

8ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

2teaspoons vanilla extract


Line a 12 x 16-inch baking pan with a Silpat or parchment paper and spray generously with nonstick spray. Place the pan in a spot that is easily accessible, but where it will not be moved (the caramel will wrinkle if you move it before it has cooled completely).

In a large pot, combine 2 cups of the cream with the corn syrup, sugar, and salt (be sure to use a large pot — cream has a tendency to boil over!). Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot (an infrared laser thermometer is pretty great, too), and bring it to a boil — stirring occasionally — over medium heat. Wash down the sides of the pot as needed with a pastry brush dipped into tepid water.

Cook, stirring constantly, until the temperature reads 220° F on the thermometer. Continue stirring, and add the chocolate and butter (you may need to adjust the temperature to keep it at a rolling boil). Once the mixture has returned to a boil, gradually add the remaining 2 cups cream.

Continue to boil, stirring constantly, until the temperature reads 240 to 245° F on the thermometer. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the caramel into the prepared pan (garnish with a sprinkling of additional salt, if using) and let sit — undisturbed and uncovered — for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

When the caramel has cooled completely, spray a cutting board and knife with nonstick spray. Unmold the caramels onto the cutting board, and peel away the Silpat or parchment paper. Cut into rectangles or squares. Wrap in wax paper or parchment and store in a cool, dry place.


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¼ cup of packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Ground black pepper to taste

1 pound thick cut bacon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix brown sugar, rice vinegar, maple syrup and black pepper in a small bowl.

Place bacon strips on cooling rack set over baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, turn slices and bake another 5 minutes.

Remove bacon and brush both sides with brown sugar mixture.  Return bacon to the oven and bake another 5 minutes.  Repeat basting every 5 minutes until bacon is browned and crisp, about 25 minutes.

Candy Bar Fudge

Candy Bar Fudge



1 tsp butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 can (16 ounces) chocolate fudge frosting

2 snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each) cut into ¼ inch chunks, divided


Line a 9-in. square pan with foil and grease the foil with butter; set aside.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Stir in frosting and half of the candy bar pieces. Spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining candy bar pieces. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

Cut fudge into squares

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Cornbread Salad


1 cup milk

1 /2 cup shortening

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 egg (beaten)

1 cup flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 /2 teaspoon salt

Bake at 350.  Cool. Crumble and put half of it in a bowl.


1 1/2 cup mayonaise

1 cup sour cream

1 /2 package Ranch dressing mix

Mix and spread half of this dressing over the cornbread.  Then in separate bowls have all of the following ingredients prepared:

1 /4 cup pinto beans

1 1/2 cup corn

1 cup tomatoes, diced

1 /4 cup onion, chopped

1 /2 cup pepper, chopped

1 cup bacon

1 cup cheese

Spread half of each ingredient over dressing.

Repeat layers. Refrigerate.

Mixed Berry Pavlova

Pavlova Mixed Berry Desert


4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of kosher salt

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

½ pint fresh blueberries ½ pint fresh raspberries

Sweetened Whipped Cream

1 cup cold heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Triple Raspberry Sauce

1 half-pint fresh raspberries

½ cup sugar

1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)

1 tablespoon framboise liqueur


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won’t get a pencil mark on the meringue.)

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk.

Bake for 1½ hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft inside. Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream.

Combine the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in a bowl and toss with about ½ cup of raspberry sauce, or enough to coat the berries lightly. Spoon the berries carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue.

Serve immediately in large scoops with extra raspberry sauce.

Sweetened Whipped Cream Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don’t overbeat!

Triple Raspberry Sauce Place the raspberries, sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.

Grandma’s Cool Rise Sweet Dough



My mother made these rolls for many years for our family when we had a holiday or special meal.  This is my favorite recipe for rolls or bread.


5-6 cups White Lily or King Arthur Flour

2 pkg Yeast

½ cup Sugar

1 ½ tsp Salt

1 stick Margarine, melted

1 ½ cups hot tap water (110 degrees F)

2 Eggs

Cooking Oil


Combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl.  Stir well and add butter.  Add hot tap water and beat with paddle attachment approximately 2 minutes.  Add eggs and 1 more cup of flour.  Beat on high speed until thick and elastic (about 1 minute).  Change over to bread hook and add enough remaining flour to make dough that leaves the side of the bowl.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.  Cover with plastic wrap and towel.  Let rest for 20 minutes.

Punch down and shape into 2 ½ dozen rolls or bread loaf dipping in oil before placing into pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and towel.  At this point, you can refrigerate for 2-24 hours.  If you are baking without refrigeration, let rise until double.  After refrigeration, let rise until double.

Bake at 350 degrees F until done.  Bread will sound hollow when done.

Mom’s Famous Spaghetti Sauce




4-5 Quarts Tomatoes

2-3 Large Cans Tomato Paste

1 Onion chopped

1 Green Pepper chopped

¼ Cup chopped Garlic

1 Cup Sugar

1 tsp Ground Thyme

½ Cup Ground Oregano

2 Cups Water, optional

Finely Minced Parsley or 3 Tbsp Parsley Flakes

Fresh Parmesan Cheese for grating over sauce


In large pot on medium high heat, sauté onion and green pepper in olive oil until translucent.  Add all the other ingredients.  Stir to incorporate all ingredients.  If you think the sauce it too thick, add the water.  Simmer at medium low heat for 2 hours.

Before serving, add Parsley and stir in.  Grate Parmesan Cheese over Spaghetti and Sauce.

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

Rich Chocolate Cake



3 c flour

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1 t salt

6 T cocoa

3 eggs

1/2 c vegetable oil

2 T vinegar

2 t vanilla

2 c cold water


In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients; add vegetable oil, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and water. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan or 2 – 8″ greased cake pans and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


1 cup unsalted butter softened (but not melted!)

3½ cups confectioner’s sugar

½ cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon table salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream


Cream butter for a few minutes on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.