Beef Stew

I’ve never been a big fan of beef stew until I made some a few months ago. Maybe my tasted buds have “grow-up” but the stew was just so warm and hearty. The beef was so tender and the potatoes and carrots were hearty and cozy. The whole dish just gave me the feeling of being wrapped tight in a warm,  blanket. I was probably experiencing a carb high but whatever the feeling was, it was great.

This past weekend, I made another batch of stew and it was just as good at the first time. Typically, beef stew has red wine in it and a bit of vinegar but this time I left those ingredients out and I think it made the dish even better. Being able to customize a dish exactly to your taste is one of the best parts of home cooking.

I would seriously encourage all of you to try out this recipe. If you’re on the east coast like I am, the forecasters are calling for a bit of snow this weekend. This stew would be the PERFECT snowed day meal. If you do decide to make this beef stew, be sure to leave me a comment and let me know how it turns out.

Happy Eating!


4 stalks of celery                                              5 carrots                                           1 shallot

1 yellow onion                                                2 cloves of garlic                     1 lb of beef for stew

1 stick of salted butter                                  1/4 cup of flour      4-6 cups of chicken/beef broth

Fresh thyme (according to taste)                3 golden potatoes           1 can of peas

Salt/Pepper/Garlic/Onion powder to taste


  1. Dice 3 stalks of celery, 3 carrots, shallot, onion and garlic into small pieces.
  2. Season vegetable and cook in a dutch oven until soft in a bit of butter or oil. Remove from pot when done.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, season the meat. Season with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder.
  4. Using about a tablespoon of flour, very lightly sprinkle over meat.
  5. Transfer meat to a lightly oiled pot (used the same dutch oven that the vegetables were cooked in) and brown on all sides. Be sure not to completely cook the meat. Remove from pot when done.
  6. Using the butter and flour make a rue in the same dutch oven. To make a rue, melt the butter in the pot. When hot, swiftly wisk in the flour stirring constantly. When the mixture begins to smell like “cookie dough” pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Be sure to wisk fast during the entire process or the rue to be lumpy.
  7. After your rue has been made, add in the remaining chicken broth and stir together.
  8. Chop up the remaining carrots and celery into big chunky pieces. Quarter the potatoes
  9. Combine the meat, diced vegetables, carrots, thyme, and celery into the pot and cook for about 20 minutes. Taste along the way and add seasonings if desired.
  10. After about 20-25 minutes, add in potatoes and peas. Cook until potatoes are done.
  11. Eat, enjoy and be happy!


A few notes about this recipe:

– I cooked everything in the same cast iron pot so that I could retain as much drippings/flavor as possible. Plus I didn’t feel like washing a TON of dishes.

– As usual, I didn’t measure out the seasons. People’s tastes vary so much so season this dish according to your taste. Use your best judgment!

Baptist Pound Cake

Hey There!,

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and it looks like I’ll be hosting Mother’s Day lunch/dinner again. I’m the only woman in my family with no kids, so I guess the task falls on me, that is until I have kids of my own. I’m still working on this year’s menu, but I do know that it will include this 5 flavor pound cake we like to call, “Baptist Pound Cake”. Now I made a version of this cake last year for Mother’s Day lunch but I have since then improved the recipe…at least I think it has improved. I simply added cream cheese to the recipe and I think it makes all the difference. The cake was moist before, but since adding the cream cheese it has become ever more moist and dense. It’s just so perfect.

Now, if you all grew up in “black church” or maybe you just attended a southern church, you’re all too familiar with pound cake. It seems that whenever there was an afternoon program (or afternoon pro-grim, as the old people say) it could be guaranteed that the following six things would be on the repast menu, 1) pound cake 2) after dinner mints 3) cookies 4) punch (preferably red or green and the kind that comes frozen that you just pour ginger ale over) 5) salted peanuts and 6) sheet cake. Some older church lady usually made the pound cake and it was always dense moist and perfect. This cake is just like that. The flavor is great, the texture is great and eating it just takes you back to fun times and times of fellowship (at least it does for me).

I think another about this cake that makes it so great is that you can dress it up or down and top it with almost anything you can think of. Sometimes it’s good all on its own, but other times a little icing, some fruit, nuts, ice cream or whipped cream and help take it to the next level. This cake is just so versatile and it’s just perfect for every occasion.

So if you love pound cake like I do and if it conjures up childhood memories like it does for me, be sure to check out the recipe for “Baptist Pound Cakes”. Be sure to tell me how you like to top it or if you like to eat it plain.

See you in my next post.

~Samantha J

Baptist Pound Cake

1 brick cream cheese at room temp
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks of butter (salted) at room temp
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 tea lemon extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and butter until it is light and whipped. About 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the salt and sugar and continue to beat for another 3-5 minutes until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl crack 6 eggs. Add them one by one to the mixer while on low speed making each sure each egg is well incorporated.

Add the flavorings.

Add the flour to the mixture in three parts.

Generously butter and flour two loaf pans. Divide mixture into the two pans.

Bake for 30 45 minutes or until done.

Top with your favorite topping and enjoy.