Home Cooking at Its Best

I am very fortunate to have had a wonderful grandmother (and grandfather too!). They are long passed, but I think of them often and appreciate more and more all that they tried to teach and instill in me.

One of the best parts about my cuddly grandma was her cooking.

Oh my, when she cooked everyone was excited for dinner!

Now family wouldn’t be family if there weren’t a bit of sibling rivalry.

As you may have noticed, I have my grandma’s hand written recipe cards.

When she was ailing, she asked me to type out probably 100 of her recipes and I did, sort of expecting that she would give me the cards.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

One day I was at my sister’s house and I noticed that SHE HAD THEM.


I had spent hours and hours typing up those cards and double checking for errors and she gave them to my sister??? Her name is Kristina but for this post we shall pretend her name is Marsha – it’s always Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.

Well, grandma was right. My sister is the far superior cook (chef actually), and she gave her the cards to keep the cooking in the family going with its strongest prospect.

However, in the long run, I got the handwritten cards and I treasure them.

Here’s her Italian Beef Stew recipe which is great for these winter nights.


1 large round steak (yup, there’s no size specified so your guess is as good as mine)

2 large onions

3 (or more) cloves of garlic

1/4 cup chopped parsley

18 oz chopped tomatoes

1/2 can of tomato paste (about 3 oz)

1 bay leaf

About 1 cup beef broth

Oh, and the final ingredient, my grandma would say is “spit.” I’m pretty sure that meant “grandma’s love” but you never know…


Trim meat and cut up into cubes.

Brown in hot oil – about 1/3 of the meat at a time. Remove from pan.

Chop up onions and garlic and cook in pan that you fried the meat in.

Add parsley and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add meat and bay leaf and simmer slowly for 1/2 hour.

Add tomato paste mixed with beef broth (Not all the broth – you’ll have to wing it here as I do).

Takes a long time to tenderize the meat, so cook slowly, covered.

Keep adding beef broth as needed (see what I mean????)

Add salt & pepper to taste.

*** mushrooms and basil could be added if you like that — 1 teaspoon of basil is enough according to grandma ***

In the end, the tomato mixture is pretty thick and was always served over boiled potatoes with a side salad made with grandma’s homemade salad dressing.

Maybe my sister will share that recipe!

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