Sunday, October 24, 2010

100th Post - A Family Classic

Yay, I actually kept this little blog up to make it to 100 posts.  And I have 40 more followers than I ever thought I'd have.  Thought it'd be just me and my mom reading!  LOL

Anyway, I guess I could've made a huge, lovely, four course, gourmet meal to "celebrate" my three digit post count status or a giant chocolatey dessert, but I'm once again feeling sentimental.  See, my brother just got married a few weeks ago (and is now enjoying the sights of Peru) and there were several portions of the ceremony and reception that got me reminiscing about my grandparents.  I know they would've loved to have been there.  Nan and Pop (a/k/a Betty and Ray - gee, where oh where did I ever get my blogger name from) have been gone for several years now, but I still miss them every day.  There is a hole in my life and heart that cannot be filled since they've been gone.
Therefore, my tribute to my Nan is her wonderful classic beef stew - made with none other than canned soup!  Now I did try to go 100% by her method, but much to my dismay, Campbell's soups contain high fructose corn syrup these days.  Poo!  So I ran to Whole Foods and picked up their 365 brand organic tomato soup.  Thankfully, the results were fantastic (and a little spicy which was awesome).

I think this is a great fill 'em up cool weather recipe.  And it's quick which is right up my alley.  Plus you can throw whatever leftover veggies, etc. you have right in the pot.

So break out that slow cooker and let's get going!  You'll need:

1 1/2 lbs extra lean stew meat
2 tbsp flour
2 cans tomato soup
1 cup beef stock
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
1 medium onion, cut into 1/8ths
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes green jalapeno sauce
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

And don't forget the Bisquick dumplings!

Recipe on the Bisquick box - if it ain't broke, don't fix it:
2 1/4 cups Bisquick baking mix
2/3 cup skim milk

First step is to dredge your meat in flour and brown in a frying pan.  Once you get some nice color, dump it in the slow cooker and turn that puppy on high (or low if you are cooking for more than 8 hours - I cooked mine for about 20).  Add in everything else except for the corn, peas and dumplings.  Go on about your day and enjoy the lovely smells wafting from your cooker.

For the last hour of cooking, add in the corn and peas.  Mix the Bisquick and milk together and drop by heaping spoonfuls into the stew.  I usually go around the circle and drop another in the middle.  Cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes.  Watch those wonderful dumplings take over the top of your stew.  Remove cover and cook until dumplings are cooked through.  Turn off your cooker, serve and enjoy.
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.  I enjoyed this very much!  Tasted just like Nan used to make and Pop used to rave about.  In fact, I remember the last time I made this for him.  Sadly, my nan was already gone and he was in a nursing home, but he still loved it.  The nursing home had him on a feeding tube as they said he wouldn't eat, but every time I brought dinner from home, he ate it all and enjoyed every bite.  There is great power in home cooking I say!

This recipe may not be 100% from scratch and contains some ingredients that I've sworn would never enter my home again, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!  There's nothing wrong with taking a day and eating whatever makes you feel good.  And remembering the meals I enjoyed with my grandparents made me feel great.

The tall gorgeous brains behind the stew:
A good day for stew!
And to my brother and his new wife, I hope you are enjoying the llamas.  Oh, llamas!  Those of you who have had to sit through Jimmy Neutron with their kiddos will know exactly what comes to mind whenever I hear the word llama.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my sentimental stew story (say that three times fast).  I'd love to hear the stories behind your old family favs!


  1. I like this sentimental tribute! Congrats on your 100th post. I'll have to email you the 100th post button to put up on your blog. I made a summer squash casserole with cream of chicken soup that was my MIL and was thinking about posting it. Sometimes you just have to do the classics! I never liked tomato soup much, but my mom used to make it with milk so I tolerated it. I tried it again a couple of years ago and I still didn't like it because it was too sweet, funny I don't remember it being sweet when I was a kid! I'm sure the Whole foods brands worked great in there!

  2. Thanks Lyndsey. We used to do the tomato soup with milk too. And a grilled cheese sandwich. :) I never minded the taste, but can't even touch a can of tomato condensed soup now. I do enjoy the recipes made with soups though even though they get a bad rap. Classic is just a must sometimes. Would love to see the recipe for your squash casserole. I just started introing squash to the kids and that would be perfect!

  3. Congratulation for your 100th post...Love your family classic too!

  4. Yay to 100! Here's to many, MANY MORE!!! Love the old pics... and the reason behind your blog name. So wait.. Is Betty not your real name? LOL...

    I love beef stew... May have to try this out on Wednesday when I'm home! (I made your pumkin choc. chip cookies again for my Halloween party on Saturday.. Everyone loved them!!!)

  5. Congratulations on the 100th post!! I enjoy your blog.. keep it up!!
    What a great tribute to your Nan!

  6. What a lovely tribute post and that stew looks yummy! Congratulations on your 100th post... I have enjoyed reading at least the last 25 ;) Glad you started this blog and that I stumbled upon it.

    Make it a great day!

  7. Thanks very much ladies. So glad to be able to get to know all these new people through blogging. Really great for a working mom who doesn't get out much. :)

    Laura - nope, I'm not Betty, not legally anyway. Betty Ray is my alter ego, the woman I strive to be. My real life name is Katrina.

  8. Oh, and so glad your family and friends liked the cookies. They are a fav at our house too.

  9. Congrats on the 100th post!!! The stew looks delicious, rich and satisfying just as a beef stew should be! I LOVE the story of your Pop eating the stew even though the staff said he wouldn't :) Take that medical professionals! Maybe he just didn't want their lousy food :) Thanks for sharing your family story and yummy stew recipe! Happy blogging!

  10. I know I'm late for this. Computer is running slow lately! However, congratulations on your 100th post! Wishing you all the best and looking forward more to come 200th, 300th, 400th..... Have fun!
    Best wishes, Kristy

  11. Congrats on your 100th post!

    The story is a hoot... I often wondered how you came up with BettyRay! :-)

    Keep on writing; I'll keep on following!

  12. Thank you very much ladies. Home cooked food can sometimes cure anything (even if it's made with canned soup).

    Some time soon I'll have to write down my whole Betty Ray alter ego thingy. Although it may confirm for everybody that I am, in fact, nuts.