Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beef Stew and Herbed Dumplings

I love using my crock pot.  I can create a wonderful dish and still go about my day.  This stew is easy to make and it is savory and warm and comforting.

Servings:  6
Time:   Prep: 25 minutes Cook:  5 hours
Hardware: knives & chopping block, measuring cups & spoons, crock pot, wooden spoon, frying pan, fork, paper towels, bowls, whisk, pastry cutter (or forks), rolling pin


  • ½ pounds baby carrots
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1~8 oz package sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic~minced
  • 2 stems of fresh rosemary
  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Sangria (find it on the wine aisle)
  • 1 cup beef stock + ¼ cup
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables.
  2. Place the carrots in the bottom of the crock pot and top them with the other vegetables and herbs. (You can just throw the whole rosemary stem in the pot.)
  3. Cook the bacon on medium in the pan to render the fat from it.  Remove the bacon from the pan and drain it on paper towels to allow it to cool.
  4. Turn the pan up to high.  Add the stew beef. Sear the beef for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the beef and juices to the crock pot.
  6. Chop the bacon and sprinkle it on the beef.
  7. Whisk the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Sangria, and the cup of beef stock together.  Pour this over the beef in the crock pot.
  8. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. 
  9. Begin to prepare the dumplings at the 4 hour mark. (see below)
  10. Stir the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into the ¼ cup cold beef broth until there are no lumps.  Add this with the dumplings.
  11. Remove the rosemary stems from the stew and salt & pepper to taste.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon FINELY chopped rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed)
  • 3 tablespoons shortening or butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1.  Sift the flour, the baking soda, and the salt together.
  2. Stir in the rosemary
  3. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two forks until mixture is the consistency of big crumbs.
  4. Add the buttermilk, stirring just enough to moisten the dry ingredients.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times – but DO NOT OVERWORK.
  6. Roll the dough into a very thin sheet (1/4-inch thick), cut into strips or diamonds (2 x 2 inches).   Make sure to roll the dumplings VERY thin as they will plump when cooked.
  7. Drop dumplings into the broth and cook for 20 minutes. 
Garnish this with a dollop of sour cream.  Tastes like home.

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