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A perfect comfort meal of stew and cornbread

Rest-A-Lot Stew, doesn’t that sound like the perfect dish to serve on a cold wintry day? It’s one of those meals you can throw together in the morning and let it slowly cook all day while you’re curled up reading a good book or watching a good movie. Serve with a soft dinner roll with butter or a piece of cornbread and a cold glass of milk — a perfect comfort meal that warms you and makes you feel cozy.

■ Rest-A-Lot Stew

Servings: 8

1 pound Beef Stew Meat

4 potatoes; peeled

5 carrots; peeled

1 bell pepper

1 onion

3 stalks celery; chopped

2 cans beef broth

Worcestershire sauce


Vegetable Oil

Salt and pepper

Seasoning salt

Add oil to the skillet, just enough oil to lightly coat the entire pan. Heat. Toss meat in flour until well coated. Brown meat in skillet of oil. Cook on high heat to make the outside of the meat crispy brown, but not to completely cook the inside. Add cans of beef broth and pour the vegetables into a slow cooker. Pour the meat (oil and all) into the slow cooker. Stir and add salt, pepper for seasoning. Add a splash or two of Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flour over the ingredients and a little sugar to taste. Stir slightly. Cover pot and turn to low. Let it cook all day, eight hours. If cooking for four hours, cook on high.

■ Sweet Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan, cast iron fry pan or 12 muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and melted butter until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

■ Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 bag mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and mix together. Mix dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients and blend well. If the dough is crumbly, stir in water, one teaspoon at a time, until it just holds together. The dough should not be sticky. Add in chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed. Place dough in the freezer for two hours or up to three months. Place frozen cookie onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Giving does not drain our resources, but provides a space for us to refill.

GARY’S TIP: To clean a copper-bottom pan, sprinkle table salt on the copper bottom and pour a little vinegar over it, then rub slightly.