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Recipe | Beef Stew

22 Dec

I am constantly trying to find the perfect beef stew recipe and I usually end up winging it based on several recipes.  This was the case yesterday.  I really liked the results so I’m writing this recipe down for future reference!


  • 4-5 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1lb-1.5lbs top round roast
  • 1lb- 1.5lbs tenderloin
  • head of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced,
  • 1lb carrots, cut into bit sized pieces
  • 1 box mini baking potatoes, quartered
  • 1 750ml bottle red wine
  • 1 box Progresso beef stock
  • 2-3 tblspns tomato paste
  • 1.5 tspns thyme
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top off the garlic head, drizzle some EVOO on top, wrap up in tin foil and roast for 30 minutes.

Cut up bacon slices into bite size pieces and fry, use slotted spoon to remove from dutch oven and drain.

Cut beef into 1/2″ square pieces and toss with salt and pepper.  Brown in bacon fat.  Remove from pan.  Add some EVOO to pan and sauté onions, celery and carrot, until onions are translucent.

Remove garlic from skins and add to veggies, saute an additional couple minutes.  Turn oven down to 250 degrees

Add potatoes, beef and bacon to pan and pour in the red wine and beef stock.  Add thyme and tomato paste as well.  Roast in oven for an hour and forty minutes.

Heat on stove until boiling and add barley.  Cover, cook for 40 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread!

Beef and Barley Stew



Recipe | Pizza Roll Ups

25 Nov

This is easy peasy lemon squeezy! I saw pesto crescent rolls on Pinterest and decided that they would be even better with a little Don Pepino in which to dip them and more cheese!

Roll out the store bought crescent roll dough, spread pesto sauce across the dough, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Roll it up, slice into 1/2″ thick rolls, lay on cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Super easy, and they were a huge hit!


Recipe | Tomato Pudding

23 Nov

This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Thanksgiving side.  It isn’t traditional to most Thanksgiving feasts, and it wasn’t part of ours until my mother bought her Church’s cookbook many moons ago.  The recipe is from the pastor’s wife and she brought it with her from her childhood home in South Carolina. We’ve altered to suit our tastes and now serve it at every Thanksgiving.  It’s been passed on to me as my responsibility to cook and I’ve been doing so dutifully for over 5 years.

It’s an indescribable taste, it’s so delicious. There’s nothing really pudding like about it.  It’s main ingredients would lead you to believe that it would taste a lot like tomato sauce.  But that’s not the case.  And the beauty of it is that it marries so nicely with other, more traditional, Thanksgiving sides. And it contains bacon so it’s extra tasty.

First you fry an entire pound of bacon. I cut mine all up and tossed it in the dutch oven and stirred it around until it was perfectly fried.  I should note that while frying bacon all I ever think about is “Now fry like bacon, bitches!!!!” from Dazed and Confused.  Anyone else have this happen?

Then I scooped it out, and drained all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Set aside the bacon and then fry up 2 diced onions.


Then you add 3 28oz cans of WHOLE tomatoes and cook it for several hours until it reduces, thickens, and deepens in color.

Once that’s happened, add back in the bacon


Then add in 1/2 cup of PEPPERIDGE FARM country stuffing and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.  *Everything up to this point can be done a day ahead.  Then remove and heat in the oven before serving.*

Stir it all together and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tomato pudding just before it goes in the oven, once it comes out, you won't be able to discern the stuffing cubes from the rest of it


Serve to your guests and wait for the rave reviews!


Tomato Pudding Recipe

1 package of bacon cut into bits

2 yellow onions, diced

3 28oz cans of whole tomatos

1/2 cup Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Fry bacon, remove from pan.  Using 3 tablespoons of bacon grease, saute onions.  Add 3 cans of tomatoes.  Cook for several hours until reduced, thickened and darkened in color. Add bacon, stuffing and brown sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.