Beef Stew


cook spray

1 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 oz box of mushrooms sliced thick

2 cups diagonally cut carrot

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

2 cups sliced celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup water

1/2 to 1 cup dry red table wine, rest of the bottle to serve at table (optional)

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 (28 oz) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes with liquid

2 bay leaves

1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (optional, i have made the stew both ways, my suggestion is to add a drop of vinegar to a spoonful of the broth and see if you like it)

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


spray cook spray large dutch oven over medium-high heat. add beef; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. remove from pan. add oil and mushrooms and leave alone for a few minutes for the mushrooms to brown, then stir and leave alone for another 2 mins, now add the carrots, onion, celery and the garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. return beef to pan. at this point, you can decide to use your slow cooker i used the slow cooker. so i dumped the beef and veges into my slow cooker, deglazed the pan with the wine and added that and the next 5 ingredients to the slow cooker and set it on low for 6 hours. if you are there, add the olives after 5 hours, otherwise, add them after the 6. i used the liquid from the olives to make a slurry, you know mix some flour into the cold liquid and added it to the stew to thicken up the stewing liquid.


if you decide to cook your stew on the stove top. stir in water and next 6 ingredients (water through bay leaves); bring to a boil. cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. stir in olives, and cook for 30 minutes or until beef is tender. here too add the olive liquid/flour slurry if you want to thicken up the stew. discard bay leaves. stir in vinegar. sprinkle with parsley.


yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

since it is only the two of us, i used this for two meals. peter got two servings and i got one each time.


Creamy Mashed Potatoes


horseradish adds a peppery kick, but the potatoes are also good without it. or add the horseradish last, just to the portion of potatoes reserved for the adults.


2 1/4 pounds cubed peeled yukon gold potato

1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, (set the milk on the counter while potatoes cook to get the chill off.

1 tablespoons butter, softened

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (adjust the amount to your taste. i used 5 teaspoons)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. bring to a boil. reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. drain. reserve cup of the cooking liquid. return potatoes to pan. add milk and remaining ingredients; mash to desired consistency. warm over low heat.