Easy Beef Soup

Spanky's Beef Soup with Tomatoes and Potatoes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours

Freezes well

One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice, broken into pieces with

the back of a spoon

4 cups beef broth or water

1 pound beef chuck, shank, or bottom round, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced

2 medium potatoes, about 12 ounces, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

2 plump cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 bay leaf

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, about 1 sprig, or 1/2 teaspoon dried


Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, broth, beef,

onion, potatoes, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, until the

meat and vegetables are tender, about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Skim off

any foam that forms during the cooking process.

Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the



Overnight French Toast with Maple-Orange Syrup

Preparation time: 8 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

1-pound loaf challah or egg bread, sliced into 1-inch thick slices

One 10-ounce jar (about 1 cup) apricot all-fruit jam

3 cups half-and-half

1/3 cup sugar

4 large eggs

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Spray a 15 x 10 x 2-inch pan with pan coating. Spread the jam

evenly over the bread slices and arrange them in the pan, jam side

up, with each piece overlapping half of the one below.

2. Whisk together the half-and-half and sugar to begin to dissolve

the sugar. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks, cardamom, and cinnamon into

the half-and-half and sugar combination. You've just created a

custard. Pour the custard evenly over the bread. Cover with plastic

wrap and refrigerate overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap and bake the French toast

for about 50 minutes or until it's puffed and golden. Serve with

Maple-Orange syrup.

Tip: If you cannot find challah or egg bread, you can substitute a

dense white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm brand bread, if necessary.

It will change the dish somewhat, but it will still work.

Maple-Orange Syrup

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

1-1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

1. Heat the maple syrup and orange juice concentrate together in a

small saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave. Just whisk

together and heat.

2. Serve the Overnight French Toast right out of the oven with the

warmed syrup.


Baked Apples with Butterscotch Topping

Baked Apples with Butterscotch Topping

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 45 to 60 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

4 baking apples (McIntosh, Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Granny


Half of a lemon

1/2 cup raisins

2 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup butterscotch topping

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Core the apples (don't cut them in half) using an apple corer. Remove

the peel from the upper 1/3 of the apple. To prevent browning, rub

the peeled part of the apple with the lemon and squeeze a few drops

of lemon juice inside each cut apple. Place the apples in a 9-inch

square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the raisins, honey, and

2 tablespoons of the chopped nuts. Stuff each apple with the raisin

mixture. Pour a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan, about

1/4-inch deep.

Bake, uncovered, until the apples are tender (not mushy), from 45 to

60 minutes, depending on the size of the apples. Let the apples cool

for about 10 minutes before serving. Place each apple on a serving

plate. Drizzle each apple with some of the sauce in the pan, the

butterscotch topping, and the remaining nuts.

Kelly in IL