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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hearty Beef Barley Soup



  

I thought about making soup for dinner. My Daughter was feeling under the weather and we always have chicken soup. Running ideas through my head I decided to make a beefy vegetable type soup. I knew What I wanted to make I just couldn't remember the name of the little pearly grain that was sitting right on the tip of my toungue!

Off to the store I went. Retrieving all the fresh vegetables I needed, still no name came to mind. So I headed towards the grain isle. New store, where's the grains?  Two steps further down the cereal isle it comes to me "barley"!

A really healthy grain with a slight nutty flavor that stands up to a hearty soup.

I had the Butcher cut up a boneless chuck roast into 1 pound pieces. He wrapped them separate so I have the extras on the freezer. I wanted a nice and tender melt in your mouth cut when the soup is finished. Stew meat tends to get tough. 

Ingredients:

6 cups beef stock
1/2 large yellow onion chopped
3 carrots diced
3 stalks celery diced
3 cloves garlic diced & smashed
1 cup barley
1 sprigs thyme stem stripped
1 sprig Rosemary stripped & chopped
1 handful fresh Italian parsley chopped
2 bay leaves
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes 
Salt/pepper
1 Lb boneless chuck roast cut into cubes
Olive oil

Season your chuck roast pieces with salt and pepper. 

In a large Dutch oven add 3 tablespoons olive oil and heat to medium high. Sear your chuck on all sides until it's nice and caramelised. Remove from pan.

Lower heat to medium. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, add carrots and celery. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook an additional 10 minutes stirring often. 

Add the chopped garlic stir for one minute. When you start to smell the garlic aroma add your crushed tomatoes. 

Cook five minutes stiring careful not to burn the tomatoes. Add the beef stock to deglaze the pan. 

Add the chuck roast and fresh herbs back into pan.  Bring back to simmer cover and reduce heat to low. 

I let it cook for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add the barley and cook another hour until barley and meat are tender. The soup will thicken once you add the barley. 

Serve with crusty olive oil grilled bread.

Enjoy!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bacon Egg N Cheese Pop Ups


Making breakfast now that school is back in session can be a stressful thing. You want the kids to get a healthy start to their day with some protein not just sugar from cereal.  

These Bacon, Egg & Cheese Pop Ups are easy can be made ahead and warmed up in a snap.

You will need:

 A muffin tin
Sliced bread
2 eggs per person
1/4 cup half & half per person 
One tablespoon bacon bits per person
Cheddar cheese shredded
Chopped chives or scallions 
Salt/pepper
Butter

Heat oven to 375.

Combined eggs and half and half in a bowl whisk, season with salt and pepper.

Spray muffin tin with non stick spray. 

Butter one side of the sliced bread. Place in muffin tin buttered side down like you would a cupcake liner.

Sprinkle in your bacon bits, onion and cheddar cheese.

Fill cups with egg mixture. The bread will absorb some of the liquid. 

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until eggs are puffed up and done. 

To remove take a butter knife and run around sides to loosen from pan. 

These can be made ahead, place in container cover and refrigerate. Pop in microwave to

warm.

You can also substitute half and half with whole milk. I used whole wheat bread in the photo.


Enjoy!



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