Beef Stew

stone soup

This is family recipe, but like with many of the recipes I have found… it turns out they aren’t so secret, haha. So here is what my family calls, Stone Soup. It keeps your belly warm, it isn’t expensive to make, and you can read the old book, Stone Soup with your children just before you make this delicious goodness. I have made changes to our family recipe… because that’s just how I operate.


  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • bay leaf
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 2 containers of beef broth
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes (I use fingerlings)
  • around 1 pound of beef stew meat
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • vegetable oil, around 2 tbs

What to do:

  1. Using a large pot, turn on the heat to around medium high. Once hot, put in the oil.
  2. While pot gets heated, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the meat.
  3. Throw the meat in the pot. Cook til well done, occasionally stirring.
  4. Once the meat is done, add enough water to the pot to cover the meat. Next, add one container of beef broth or stock and onion. Bring to simmer with a bay leaf.
  5. Once onions are opaque, add can of tomato sauce. Reduce heat to simmer.
  6. Add the rest of broth, celery and carrots an hour before serving and potatoes about 30 minutes til.
  7. Just before serving, pull bay leaf and add a little more salt and pepper to taste.

My family likes to do this with homemade breadsticks…. or you can do it with focaccia bread… or french or sourdough loaves…. or crackers! Your choice! I hope you enjoy every drop as we do 🙂

Want to add spice? Throw in 1 tsp of cayenne, 1 tsp of cumin, and a tsp of chili powder to the meat. Or just add some tobacco or white pepper to your individual servings.

Halibut with caper lemon sauce

halibut close

Hi there! My brother went fishing on a work trip and brought me back halibut. I LOVE halibut! I made one of my favorite dishes tonight and I wanted to share. Also, check out the view I got to gaze at while eating:

dinner view


  • 1 lb halibut, around 2 6-8 oz pieces
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • Fresh herbs on hand: I had chives, rosemary, and thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced white onion or shallot
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • lots of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs capers
  • 3 strips finely chopped bacon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Dredge your halibut in a dish with the flour that is generously seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. In an oven safe pan, heat on medium heat the oil. Once hot, add your bacon. Cook until brown and just crisp. Remove bacon from pan.
  4. Add 1 tbs butter and the fish fillets. Cook one side until lightly brown. Turn the fish over.
  5. Place into the oven for about 8-10 minutes. You want the fish firm, flaky, and browned on both sides.
  6. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside onto paper towels to drain and rest.
  7. Place the pan back on at medium high heat. Add your remaining butter, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the wine and lemon juice to deglaze the pan.
  8. Add the capers, herbs, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Cook until sauce thickens.
  9. Plate the fish, top with the bacon, drizzle with the sauce.

halibut far


Shrimp Scampi (the easy way)


Our eldest had a birthday party this weekend and I had bought a shrimp cocktail platter. I thawed it and totally forgot about taking it out for our guests. Needless to say, we have a lot of shrimp right now. We haven’t had pasta in a while, so I decided to make some shrimp scampi. This is literally the easiest throw together dish ever and it took me… maybe 20 minutes? Most of that time was waiting for the water to come to boil. Turns out, a watched pot won’t boil. This recipe is literally made with ingredients we had on hand. I wanted to make sure our meal wasn’t just pasta, so I added a huge salad and broccoli to the dish.


  • 1-2 cups cooked shrimp (no tails!) This is dependent on how much you love shrimp.
  • 1 package thin spaghetti noodles
  • 1 lemon (for zest and juice)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • fresh herbs- I used thyme, chives, and parsley
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced finely


  1. Bring a large pot to boil, add pasta and cook til al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, on medium heat, cook onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add butter, zest of one lemon, lemon juice, herbs, and capers. Stir in the shrimp and cooked pasta. Cook on medium-medium low heat for 1-2 minutes so flavors can meld into pasta.
  4. Top with the shaved parmesan.
  5. Plate and devour.

You can add so many more things into this dish such as: cooked broccoli, peas, carrots, leeks, mushrooms, bell pepper…. list goes on!

Beef Ragu

I opened the fridge this morning and remembered I had a chuck roast thawing. Actually, truth be told, it was well thawed and on it’s way out if I didn’t do something with it today. My usual go to is a crock pot version of a shredded beef taco. We love it. The thing is, I make it all the time and I wanted a challenge. Why? I’m not sure because frankly I am incredibly worn out. I decided on a crock pot meal, but with more labor intensive ingredients.

This page contains the recipe for the sauce. I also hand made the pasta as well as the focaccia bread. I will put up more recipes as time goes on that you can do if you want the undertaking of an all scratch dinner.


  • beef chuck 1-2 lbs
  • 2 cans diced tomato (I get the oregano basil kind)
  • 1 can 6oz tomato paste
  • healthy dose of salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 red wine
  • 2 cups bone broth (you can also use beef or chicken stock)
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 tbs olive oil


ragu 1

  1. Place your diced onion, garlic, carrot, and rosemary at the base of your crock pot.
  2. Mix together your stock, red wine, tomatoes diced and tomato paste in a separate bowl.
  3. In a heavy bottomed skillet (to help collect heat) on medium high heat, add your oil.
  4. Salt and pepper liberally the meat.
  5. Brown all sides of meat in skillet. It takes about a minute each side.
  6. Place the meat on the goodies in the crock pot.
  7. Add your tomato mix on top.
  8. Heat on low for 4-6 hours.
  9. Pull meat out, shred. If the sauce is too chunky or runny for you, feel free to use an immersion blender to help break it down and/or transfer the sauce to the stove. Heat on medium to a simmer until sauce is thicker. I placed the meat back in and put the crock pot on high for about an hour with the lid slightly open to release some of the liquid. Replace meat and serve over cooked pasta, with polenta, or potatoes.

Some More Pictures:


ragu finish


Mussels and Cod

For dinner, I was looking for something rich, something deliberately flavorful. I mostly wanted to use the odds and ends we had… but let’s be real, this lady went to the store anyway.

I started with the bone broth I had thawed. What to do with this large mason jar of goodness? I remembered we had mussels in the freezer. My husband and I were just discussing Cioppino and how it is one of his favorite seafood dishes. I started with that for the base of my idea. In the end, we had a random mix of things for dinner (including risotto) but it all turned out yummy.

I add zoodles in this recipe. It is because it is better for you than pasta, and I had some pre made/spiralized zoodles in the freezer.



  • 20 mussels. cleaned and ready to go
  • 1 medium sized cod fillet, chopped
  • 2 tbs each of chopped chives, chopped parsley and thyme
  • 1 can fish stock
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3/4 white wine
  • 2 tbs capers
  • 1 tsp bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • Zoodles (optional) 1-2 cups

I know I know…. this is a lot of ingredients, but the flavors are divine. I did include a sliced baguette that was toasted lightly in the oven to help soak up the juices.


  • Put some olive oil in a deep pan on medium heat
  • Mix in the carrot, celery, leek, onion and garlic and heat for 3 minutes.
  • While the veggies are heating up, mix together the mustard, fish stock, fish sauce and white wine.
  • Pour the mixture into the pan, add bay leaves and saffron if desired, and crank up the heat to med. high
  • Cover with a lid and you want the veggies to cook til just before al dente. This is about 5 minutes when the pieces are very thinly sliced.
  • Add the mussels and cod. Bay seasoning is added here too. Cover and cook on medium high for 6-8 minutes. Zoodles can be added the last 3 minutes. The mussels should be opened. If not, discard any closed remaining.
  • Add butter, herbs, and capers as well as the zest and juice of one lemon. Give it a stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.


What happened at dinner, was the risotto was essentially ignored for the first time in history and the family focused on this bowl of yummy right here.

Blackened Tilapia Tacos


I haven’t posted in a while. There’s been a lot happening in our family and it hasn’t always been good things. I realized this morning that I really wanted to cook something. Something yummy that filled a void and opened my heart. So… I decided to try to something new mixed with some of my old favorite things.

Never had I ever made blackened tilapia. It was a first for me. Guys, I won’t ever go back. It was so good.

My first step was to make the avocado topping. I call it, “the goop”. I was so proud of Ellie. We were at the store today and as I was picking a few out, she shouted, “avocado!” as loud as possible. Everyone looked up and applauded her. That is no easy feat for a newly 2 yr old to belt out.


For the avocado goop:

  • 2 avocado’s, halved, pitted, and insides thrown into the food processor.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • 1-2 tbs red onion
  • 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 of the juice and zest of a lime
  • 1/2 tsp of: salt, oregano, cumin, paprika, cayenne, pepper
  • 2 tbs chopped cilantro

Run everything in the food processor, except for the cilantro. I like to add this in the end and give it a pulse or two for texture and appearance.

Next, the parts that go with the taco:

  • Corn or flour tortillas *we are very flour tortilla in this household
  • green cabbage very finely shredded
  • 1/4 jalapeno finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion very finely chopped
  • 1-2 limes cut into wedges
  • cilantro- a lot! chopped
  • olives if you like
  • a mix of 1/4c mayo, 1 tsp sriracha,  1/4 sour cream mixed together


For the Fish:

  • Tilapia (1 lb makes about 4-6 tacos)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs oil for cooking


  1. Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the fish with the seasonings.
  3. Heat your pan and oil to a med-high heat.
  4. Cook each side of fish for about 4 min/side.
  5. There will be a fragrance. This means good things!
  6. Pull the fish from the pan and it should flake apart as you dig in.
  7. Place a tortilla (warmed is our preference) on a plate. Add the cabbage, jalapeno, onion, fish, cilantro, and goop along with whatever you want such as the sour cream/mayo/sriracha sauce. Squeeze some lime on there too, for good measure.

Oh man.


Take a bite,