Beef Barley Soup

  • Oil
  • 1.5 lbs stew meat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cans beef consomme**
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 4 cups of water (more if needed)
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • sprinkle of thyme
  • pepper
  • couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup quick cooking barley

Directions

Over high heat, heat a stew pot and add a bit of oil. Add in the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the stew meat and brown until the brown juices are caramelizing on the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and stir a few times.

Add the consomme, broth, water, and bouillon cubes. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get the yummy brown bits up. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Add the thyme, Worcestershire, tomatoes, carrots and celery. Cook for a few minutes or so and then add the barley. Cook for another 10-12 minutes (Or what the package of barley says) and then serve.

** If you can’t find beef consomme just use beef broth.

**Sometimes the beef broth and/or onions don’t have a lot of flavor. Add an extra beef bouillon cube, a sprinkle of onion powder, or anything else you want that will add flavor.

**Sometimes I’ll add a cornstarch slurry to thicken the broth.

Potato Soup

This would be great with all that leftover ham from Christmas!

  • 6 T Butter
  • 6 T Flour
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 c water
  • 4 bouillon cubes
  • 5-6 medium potatoes, cubed
  • small sprinkle onion powder
  • small sprinkle garlic powder
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sliced green onions
  • cooked, crumbled bacon (or ham)
  • shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pot, melt the butter and whisk in the butter to make a smooth paste. Cook until bubbly. Slowly add the milk and continue whisk constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Add in water, bouillon cubes, seasoning and potatoes. Cook until tender. If soup gets too thick, add in more milk or water. Top with bacon, cheese and green onions.

No bake Oreo Tart

This Oreo tart is amazing. It looks so fancy and impressive and it is beyond easy to make. The only catch is you will need a tart pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan. It needs to chill for at least 2 hours, but it only takes 20 minutes to make. I found this recipe at La Receta de la Felicidad. All credit goes to them.

I often serve it with fresh raspberries or fresh strawberries.

No Bake Oreo Tart

Oreo crust

  • 300 grams Oreo cookies (about 26 cookies, not double stuff)
  • ½ cup butter

Chocolate Cream filling

  • ⅘ cup heavy cream (more than ¾ cup, less than 1)
  • 7 oz dark chocolate (semi-sweet would be ok)
  • 1/4 Cup butter

To decorate

  • about 4 or 5 chopped Oreo cookies
  • chocolate chips or chocolate shavings


Directions

To make the crust, using a food processor, blend Oreo cookies until the texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until well combined. Place the mixture into a 4×14 fluted rectangular tart pan (mine has a removable bottom for easy removal of the finished tart) and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly. Freeze the crust whilst preparing the chocolate filling

In a medium saucepan, bring cream to the boil. Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate and butter, and let rest for 5 minutes. Then stir until dissolved. Pour chocolate filling over Oreo crust, and decorate with some chopped Oreo cookies and chocolate chips

Chill for 2 hours at least, preferably overnight. Unmold, serve, and enjoy!

Variations: add raspberries or strawberries as a topping

Asian Inspired Salad

It doesn’t get any easier than this and you can find variations of this salad just about anywhere on the web. But this version is my family’s favorite. After a few days of Thanksgiving leftovers we needed something green and crunchy. I make this when we need something fast that requires little preparation. You can make this as big or as small as you need.

Asian Inspired Salad

  • Chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • Sliced cabbage (I often cheat and buy a packaged chop salad kit and discard the dressing)
  • carrot shreds (I buy them already shredded)
  • chopped green onions
  • diced red pepper
  • can of mandarin oranges
  • sliced or slivered almonds
  • won tons
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • favorite asian dressing (We like Girard’s Toasted Sesame)

Combine all into a bowl and enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins

Don’t worry, this isn’t a blog where you have to wade through a bunch of whimsical memories before you get to the recipe. I’ll keep it short and sweet! These are awesome. Everyone who has had them raves about them. They are easy and so worth it!

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Batter

1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour

3/4 Cup white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/3 Cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1/3 Cup milk

1 Cup fresh blueberries

Topping

1/2 Cup white sugar

1/3 Cup all-purpose flour

1/4 Cup butter, cubed

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. 

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. 

Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups about 2/3rds full and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture. 

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Easy Breadsticks

I got this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and they are my go-to when I need something fast and easy. I’ve made them twice this week. Once to go with Caesar Salads and once to go with Lasagna. The instructions call for twisting them, (hers are BEAUTIFUL) but when I do, it looks like a toddler has done it, so I leave mine alone. The only other change I make it to halve the butter that goes on the baking sheet. Enjoy these with a yummy bowl of soup and a good book!

Ingredients

Dough

1 1/2 Cups warm water

1 tablespoon instant yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 to 4 cups flour, about 15-20 ounces (see note)

Butter and topping

3 tablespoons butter, melted (for the baking sheet)

Dried herbs, garlic salt and grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

In an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or in a large bowl by hand), mix together the water, yeast, sugar, salt and one cup of the flour.

Continue adding the flour until the dough just clears the sides of the bowl; knead for about three minutes. It should be soft and slightly sticky without leaving a lot of residue on your fingers.

Let the dough rest in the bowl for 10 minutes.

While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the melted butter onto large, rimmed baking sheet (about 11X17-inches).

On a lightly greased countertop, pat the dough into a long rectangle, about 16-inches by 7-inches or so. 

Cut the dough every 1-inch (more or less) into strips with a pizza cutter.

Twist each strip slightly and place about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with dried herbs of choice, garlic salt and Parmesan cheese.

Let rise for 20 minutes (you can cover with greased plastic wrap, if desired, I usually go without). Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

Chile Verde Shredded Beef

I’m not sure where this recipe originates. I got it from a friend, who I’m sure got it from another friend. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

Ingredients

1 London Broil

1 Tbsp Heaping chili powder

1 Large can diced green chilis

1 Can El pato tomato sauce

1 Jar Herdez salsa verde


Directions

Combine in a crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred and serve as tacos, nachos, anyway you want. We like it with lettuce, pico, and cheese.

The Best Strawberry Ice Cream

This recipe comes from https://lmld.org/

It tastes amazing and there are no eggs or cooking involved.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar (divided)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 dash salt

Instructions

  • Mix chopped strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar in a medium sized bowl. Allow to set for about 15 minutes so strawberries release their juices. 
  • Blend strawberries up in a blender or food processor. 
  • In a large bowl combine strawberry mixture with heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla extract, salt and remaining sugar. Set aside.
  • Pour strawberry cream mixture into prepared ice cream maker. Allow to run according to manufactures instructions (Mine is about 30 minutes.) 
  • Serve now for soft serve ice cream. 
  • For scoopable ice cream, scoop ice cream into a bread loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 6 hours up to overnight.