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Beef Stew VI

Reviewed: Dec. 19, 2013
I've made this recipe several times now, and while the basic recipe is very good, I have always longed for a thicker and richer beef stew and have tweaked it a little every time to achieve that. I nailed it tonight! I have to admit that I went overboard on preparation, so this may not be for everyone. Also, I don't think that the original will yield 10 servings - When I make it, I serve four 1.5 cup bowls for adults and a .5 cup serving for the toddler, with perhaps one adult serving left over. What I did: I split the stew meat, did half per the directions and splashed olive oil,liberal amounts of kosher salt, extra fresh ground pepper and a little smoke flavoring on the other half (made of the larger pieces of stew meat) and grilled it instead of browning it. Then I cut those larger grilled pieces up to mix them back in with the other pieces and then followed the boiling and simmering instructions. At the end of the simmer I transferred everything to the slow cooker and added 2 cups more beef broth and slow cooked for 6 hours. At the end, the cornstarch wasn't gelling the liquid enough, despite doubling, so I sifted a 1/4 cup of flour in and stirred it up to make the thick gravy. Nothing else changed. Absolutely what I was looking for! Smoky slow cooked beef melts in your mouth with a thick gravy for dunking your homemade rolls or biscuits. Stellar.
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Yellow Pickled Eggs

Reviewed: May 2, 2013
Made exact recipe but only had 7 massive eggs - brine did not cover them, so I agitated them in the 'fridge every day for good coverage. (This issue will depend completely on the size/shape of the jar and your eggs, mathematically I assume...). They hit day 5 today so I jumped in - OUTSTANDING! It has been difficult to not eat them all in one sitting. Despite following the recipe the eggs were not yellow as expected, more like beige-ish. Still perfect, however. Next time maybe more mustard.
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Hearty Split Pea Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 13, 2011
Been making split pea soup for years, but this recipe was better than the old- something about he layering, I think, made the consistency perfect.
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Simple Pancakes

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2010
Needed substitute for Krusteaz mix I usually use. This was as the name suggests, simple. Changes I made: I tripled the recipe, added 1/3 wheat flour and added a couple of tablespoons of flax seed meal for nutrition. Flavor was good (Better than Krusteaz), but as others said, there was a noticeable greasy mouth-feel to the pancakes (similar to a diner pancake, not a turn off). It is baking powder, not baking soda. The addition of softened margarine made for little pockets of buttery flavor in the finished pancakes, and made it so no butter was needed when eating them, and perhaps the cause of the greasy mouth-feel. All in all, satisfying, filling, simple and recommended.
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