Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Recent Posts

Tilapia with Pesto

The first time I had pesto was with my friend Tammy. She was making pesto with pasta for a girl’s night out pot luck. I was in love at first bite. The history of basil begins in the regions of Liguria, Italy. This region of the […]

March National Nutrition Month

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with […]

Peppery Irish Beef Stew

Photo: Property of The Good Mood Food Blog

Traditional Irish stew begins with mutton (or lamb). It includes onions and other root vegetables such as turnips, carrots and potatoes. The use of Guinness beer in Irish beef stew is as Irish as the St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun. In America beef was cheaper than lamb, therefore, the beer was an Irish-American addition used to give the less flavorful beef stew more flavor. Traditionalists would rather use cheaper shanks and other boney pieces with little to no meat on them to flavor the broth rather than switch to beef. To thicken the stew they used potatoes, flour or barley grains.

In this version of Irish beef stew the potatoes are sliced then layered. During cooking the potato slices near the bottom of the casserole dish break down then meld with the juices to thicken the stew. The black pepper really compliments this stew but the 2 teaspoons might be too much for children and those averse to pepper. Reduce the pepper to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.

Source: The Good Mood Food Blog
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp oil
4 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large onions, sliced into half moon pieces
6 cups beef stock
Pinch course salt
2 bay leaves
5 large potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch discs
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Oven Safe Casserole or pot with lid

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the flour and black pepper in a resealable bag or plastic container. Add stew meat, seal and shake until meat is thoroughly coated with flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meat. Brown on all sides then transfer to a large over safe pot. Brown the other half of the meat and transfer to pot.

In the same skillet saute the onions for 2 minutes, adding a little oil if necessary. Transfer the onions to the casserole. Add the carrots, beef stock, sea salt and bay leaves to the pot stirring to scrape up all the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour into pot. Toss the potato slices on top of the onions and carrots. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. To serve pour into individual bowls and sprinkle with a little parsley.

Serves 6 generously

Family Togetherness: Sunday Brunch

Photo: Paul Horsch and his family during their Sunday dinner Courtesy of Art.com Sunday dinner at my Grandmother Jepson’s home was always pot roast with carrots and potatoes. As my Grandmother opened the front door to let us in the smell of roast accompanied by […]

Pistachio Pesto

I have been on a pesto kick this past month. I cannot get enough of the stuff. In years past my springtime addiction has consisted of cilantro and limes. Not sure why the sudden change. None the less I am not complaining. Pistachio pesto is a […]

March Website Review: The Thrifty Crafter

Photo: Property of The Thrifty Crafter

A Bargain Shopper’s Guide to Expressing Creativity

This months website review is on one of my three favorite go to craft sites: The Thrifty Crafter. The thrifty Crafter offers tantalizing recipes like Halibut and Chickpea Salad or a Sweetharts Sugar Cookies tutorial. You will also find fun zany projects and stylish elegant ideas. My favorite of all and the reason I came across The Thrifty Crafter was the huge paper pom poms.

Happy Entertaining!

Pecan Crusted Fish Sticks

Nuts have been given such a bad rap for their high fat content. The truth is raw nuts do contain a heart healthy fat and are packed full of protein. Pecans are high in plant sterols which can aide in the prevention of heart disease. […]

Family Togetherness: A Tradition of Handicrafts

A tradition of family handiwork has a long history. In centuries past mothers passed on the art of sewing to their daughters. Fathers taught their sons to hunt and fish. In today’s society there is a plethora of resources available for instruction in every facet […]

Flavorful Rice

Back when I was in college a friend of mine and I celebrated the news of her pregnancy over a plate of pork and rice. Her recipe began with a box of chicken falvored Rice-a-Roni and 2 pork chops. She cooked the rice according to the directions, sauteing the grain with a little butter. She then added the chops after she stirred in the water. Cover and in 30 minutes we had a delicious simple meal.

Occasionally when I see a box of Rice-a-Roni on sale I’ll pick one up to save for those busy nights when I do not have a lot of time to cook. If I do have time to spend chopping and sauteing vegetables I use this flavorful rice recipe. I like to roast a chicken in the crock pot throughout the day. Then when I am ready to make the rice I will add both of the legs with the water. The extra cooking time does not dry out the dark meat and the added chicken helps to give the rice that flavorful hint of chicken. You can also use raw chicken breasts.

2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced (optional)
7 small white mushrooms, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt & Pepper- to taste
1 bullion cube or 1 tsp condensed chicken base
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp dried parsley

Melt the butter in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables: onions, carrots, celery, garlic and mushrooms. Saute until onions are transparent and the celery is tender, about 8 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and cook until rice turns white. Cook 3 minutes longer. Slowly pour in the chicken stock stirring the rice mixture at the same time. Add the parsley. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until rice is tender.

*Add chicken if using with the broth.

Navigating the Meat Case

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop or supermarket, you must first understand the different cuts […]