LiveSTRONG with Cheddar Corn Chowder

When I saw that was hosting the LiveSTRONG blogging event, I knew immediately that I wanted to participate. The only problem was trying to figure out what I wanted to make that was yellow! This blogging event is something a little extra special in the blogging community and was created to remember how cancer affects each and every one of us, to remember those loved ones that are no longer with us, support those still fighting, and celebrate with those who have won the fight.

The A Taste of Yellow blogging event invites food bloggers to make yellow food (and blog about it) to show our support for LiveSTRONG Day 2008, which is on May 13, 2008. My entry is submitted in memory of my dad, David, who lost his battle with cancer of the blood on April 4, 1999.

His story and Cheddar Corn Chowder after the break…

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Hearty Beef Stew


Beef stew always reminds me of having fall and winter dinners at my Grandma’s. She would make a dish similar to this and I would always take as little meat and vegetables as possible and lots of juice so that I could soak it up with lots of bread! Stew is definitely a comfort food for me, and as fall started to roll in yesterday it was a perfect night to enjoy it. This recipe produced the classic flavors that I always associate with stew, and the meat was beyond tender – absolutely perfect! Thank you to Good Things Catered for sharing such a fabulous recipe – one that I will be saving as my standard stew recipe!

I went all out and baked homemade dinner rolls to serve with the stew. Stay tuned for another blog post dedicated to the rolls!

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Beef Mushroom Barley Soup

The weekly soup continues with a recipe for Beef Mushroom Barley soup, adapted from Elly. I couldn’t believe how fabulous this soup turned out. The flavor was amazing, the meat perfectly tender and it was amazingly easy to put together. This rivals homemade wedding soup as my current favorite – it was THAT good! It does take about 2.5 hours from start to finish, but trust me when I tell you that the waiting is well worth it!

The substitution you find below for the red wine was found in Cook’s Illustrated Fall 2007 issue. To replace wine in a dish, use the following ratio:

1/2 cup wine = 1/2 cup broth + 1 teaspoon wine vinegar (red or white, based on recipe)

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup
(Source: Elly Says Opa!)

1 lb. beef (I used stew meat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 cup water
1 cup red wine (I substituted 1 cup beef broth + 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar)

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced (about 3 carrots)
1 cup celery, sliced (about 3 ribs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper

1/2 cup barley
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add meat and brown. Pour in water and red wine (or broth/vinegar mixture) and simmer for approximately 1 hour.

2. Remove beef and cut into bite-size pieces. Skim fat and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid; discard remaining liquid.

3. Melt butter in the stockpot. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute until tender. Stir in garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in beef broth and add thyme, basil, bay leaf, beef and reserved cooking liquid. Simmer for 20-30 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add barley and mushrooms and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.

Italian Wedding Soup

Wedding soup is definitely an Italian tradition that both Nick and I grew up with. The last time I tried to make the soup it came out lacking some flavor and a little watery. I played with some recipes and came up with what’s below, and it’s amazing! SO tasty and hearty – we loved it!

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