Archive | February, 2012

Soul Satisfying Beef Stew

29 Feb

The last few days have been bitter and cloudy in California.  Its like winter decided to present itself.  And to be honest, I like it. Sunny days can get old after awhile.  Not that I’m complaining or anything.  I like the sun as much as the next girl. With the cold though, comes fleece blankets and soup bubbling on the stove top.  Which brings me to this beef stew I made the other night.  It is downright comfort in all senses of the word. And while it’s doing its thing, go read a book and relax. The smell alone will make you happy.  Enjoy!

What makes you happy when it’s cold outside?

Adapted from here


  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 pounds Stew Meat
  • 1 whole small Onion, Diced
  • 1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
  • 4 cups Beef Stock (or 4 Cups Water + 4 Beef Bouillon Cubes)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 spring of rosemary
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, diced up
  • 4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced
  • 4 whole New Potatoes, Quartered


Heat the oil and the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Brown the meat in two batches, when done, cut the pieces in half and set aside.

Add diced onions to the pot. Stir until softened. Pour in beer and beef stock, add in Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper,sugar, rosemary and bayleaf.  Now is the time to put your beef back into the pot.  Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Go read a book or something.

Add carrots, mushrooms and the new potatoes, then cover for an additional 30 minutes. (If stew gets dry, just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


One Hour Homemade Bread

28 Feb

This bread is the bee’s knee.  I mean seriously people; if you are at all terrified at making homemade bread, start with this recipe. It is so simple that it should be outlawed.  Carbs are my weakness, there is nothing I love more then bread slathered in butter. MMM butter.   Maybe I  should now try my hand at homemade butter, actually no I shouldn’t.  That would be a down right disaster.

Tell me is there any recipes that make you quake in fear at making? 

Taken from here


  • 5 1/4 cups white bread flour
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. (rounded) saf-instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 cups hot water


Mix dry ingredients together. Then add oil and water. Mix for one minute and then check the consistency of the dough. It should be very sticky. If the dough is too dry, add more water.

Mix for 5 minutes ( Do not add any more flour after the dough has finished mixing)

Spray kneading surface with cooking spray and turn dough out onto surface.  Knead dough briefly until it has a smooth even consistency (this will only take several turns of the dough to accomplish).

Divide dough into 2 or more pieces. Shape loaves into desired shapes and place on greased baking sheets.  Cover with a large dish towel and let rise for 25 minutes.

While loaves are rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  When loaves are ready to go into the oven, use a sharp knife (you can lightly spray your knife with cooking spray to prevent dragging) to make several slashes in the top.  Make each cut about 1/4-inch deep at a 30 degree angle.  Bake loaves for 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Enjoy!!

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