I made a beef and barley soup last winter and we really enjoyed it but then for some reason I never thought about it again. I stumbled upon a recipe recently and decided I would make another one as soon as it got cold. This time I filled it with veggies and it was absolutely delicious. It’s not often that I look forward to leftovers but I had this stew for lunch for 3 days!

I served it with the honey yeast rolls and they were perfect together. My husband opened up the rolls and put a little stew in the middle.. said it was amazing!

Beef & Barley Stew
  • 1-1/2 pounds chuck steak cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups broth chicken, beef, or veggie. whatever you have.
  • 1 can 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups frozen green beans thawed
  • 2 cups frozen corn thawed
  • 3/4 cup medium pearl barley
  1. Place chuck steak, onion, carrots, and potatoes in 5 quart slow cooker. Add water, broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Add beans, corn, and barley. Cover and cook on low for 2 more hours or until barely and veggies are tender.


I grew up putting sugar in grits. Yeah, it’s true. I’m a southerner who puts sugar in grits. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I learned this was weird. On the way up to Montgomery for a Super Chevy show with my dad and one of his friends, we stopped at Waffle House for breakfast and my dad’s friend put salt in his grits. I was disgusted. Why would you do that?! The next few days, I told everyone I knew about this weirdo and his salty grits and slowly began to realize that I was the weird one.

I’ve learned to appreciate (and even enjoy) real grits especially when they have cheese in them so I was super excited to find a recipe for cheesy grits bread. It turned out delicious too. To me, the grits texture was very obvious but I didn’t tell my husband (because he doesn’t like grits) and he didn’t seem to notice.

We ended up toasting most of the loaf and rubbing the pieces with fresh garlic. It was perfect with spaghetti.

Cheesy Grits Bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons quick cooking grits
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  1. Bring milk to a boil over medium heat; stir in grits and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt and cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Let stand 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add grits mixture beating until well blended.
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Dough will be slightly sticky. Shape into a ball and place into a well-greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Punch dough down and shape into a loaf. Place in lightly greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden. Let bread cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing.

This week’s CEiMB recipe was chosen by Marthe of Culinary Delights. She chose Ellie’s easy chicken mushroom quesadillas. And let me tell you, they were easy. and so good!

These quesadillas included chicken, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese. I love meals like this because they’re easy to customize. I left the chicken off mine, the spinach off my husband’s, and the kid – well, he ate everything. I used a sharp white cheddar and it was beyond delicious. I’m seriously craving one of these now that I’m thinking about it.

I do have to say that I’m not a huge fan of making quesadillas in a pan. They always feel greasy to me, even if I just lightly spray oil on the pan. I prefer using my George Foreman grill and after I made this one in the pan, I used the grill to make the others. ;) So if you have a Foreman, please use it for all your quesadilla needs! No need for oil and you get those pretty grill marks.

Now go visit Culinary Delights to get the recipe!


I know, I know. I just posted a pumpkin bread recipe a few days ago. But this one is actually supposed to be a bread and it’s full of walnuts, raisins, and dried cranberries which makes it that much better.

This bread was tender and stayed super moist for days after it was made. The nuts and dried fruit gave it a great texture and you get a little something different in each bite. My kid loved it and I’m pretty sure he ate half the loaf by himself and that is saying a lot because he’s having a picky month!

(The great big bonus of it all is that it’s actually healthy! No butter, no oil! I felt no guilt having this for breakfast!)

Pumpkin, Fruit, and Nut Bread
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and cloves; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture until blended. Fold in the walnuts, raisins and cranberries.
  2. Transfer to greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

I’m a huge fan of the heavier pasta dishes. You know, lasagna, baked ziti, manicotti, anything with ricotta and lots of cheese! But sometimes, especially in the summer, the idea of a heavy dish just doesn’t work. This dish turn out wonderfully light but still had that “cold weather” pasta feel.

The manicotti is stuffed with sweet turkey sausage in a white sauce, covered with pasta sauce and cheese, and then baked until the cheese is melty and delicious.

Turkey Sausage Stuffed Manicotti
  • 1 box uncooked manicotti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet turkey Italian sausage
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1/2 green pepper diced
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pepper
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella shredded
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage and brown in oil, crumbling it as it cooks. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Add milk, stirring with whisk. Return pan to heat; bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pepper to taste. Pour over sausage mixture and stir well.
  4. Preheat over to 350.
  5. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with spray oil. Spoon sausage mixture into manicotti and arrange in a single player in dish. Spread pasta sauce over top of manicotti and top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.