Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped medium
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • table salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds blade steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, pureed with their juice in blender
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • ground black pepper


Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking.  Add onions, carrots, tomato paste and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits. (This can be done ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container overnight).

Transfer vegetable mixture into slow cooker insert and stir in meat, pureed tomatoes, broths, soy sauce, barley and thyme until evenly combined.  Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 9-11 hours (or on high for 5-7 hours).

Gently tilt slow cooker insert and remove as much fat as possible from surface of soup using a large flat spoon.  Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.



  • olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 12-oz can of beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 2 12-oz cans chili beans, rinsed
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 12-oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced


In a medium skillet, brown ground meat.  Drain and remove from pan.  Add olive oil to the pan and saute onion for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute another 2 mintues.  Remove from pan.

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 2-4 hours on high.

Herbed Potato Salad


  • 3  pounds  Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1  cup  dry white wine
  • 3  tablespoons  white wine vinegar
  • 2  tablespoons  extravirgin olive oil
  • 1  tablespoon  whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 3/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  cup  thinly sliced chives
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  teaspoon  chopped fresh tarragon


Place potatoes into a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, and cool for 10 minutes. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potato slices in a large bowl.

Place wine in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 6 minutes). Transfer wine to a bowl. Add vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, and minced garlic; stir with a whisk until well combined. Drizzle wine mixture over potatoes; sprinkle with chives, parsley, and tarragon. Toss gently to combine. Serve salad warm or chilled.

Best Chicken Enchiladas



  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 7-ounce can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 10-15 medium white corn tortillas
  • lots of vegetable oil


Blend tomato sauce, onion, garlic, chipotle, cumin, coriander, salt and broth in blend until smooth.  NOTE: if doubling the recipe only make one batch of sauce at a time or the blender will overflow.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add tomato mixture, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until mixture is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, 8 to 10 minutes. 

Boil chicken until done.  Shred.  Mix chicken, cheese, onion and cilantro in a medium bowl. 

Heat vegetable oil in a fry pan.  Dip each tortilla in the oil for 3 seconds a side.  Then dip each side in the sauce.  Place 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture in the tortilla and roll.  Place seam side down in a 9×13 dish (or two 9×9 dishes) that has been coated with cooking spray.  Repeat until pan is full.  Pour remaining sauce over the top and cover with some more grated cheese. 

To serve immediately: Bake uncovered at 350 for 15 minutes.

To freeze: Cover with foil and freeze.  Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes straight from the freezer.  Uncover and continue baking until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. 

Dill Chicken Salad


  • 1/3 cup mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, diced


Combine all ingredients, chill

Wild Rice Salad

* 7 cups chicken broth
* 2 cups uncooked wild rice
* 1 cup wild rice/brown rice mixture
* 5 green onions, chopped
* 1/2 red pepper, diced
* 1 cup snow peas, cut into one inch bits
* 1/4 cup rice vinegar
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon dijon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 lemon

# Bring chicken broth to a boil and add rices. Cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Mix lemon into rice and chill.
# Add vegetables to rice. Mix together rice vinegar, oilive oil, garlic, dijon, salt, pepper and sugar. Add dressing to taste. Chill and eat.

Beef Kebabs

* 1 pound steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
* 1 onion, cut into large sections
* 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, cut into large sections

* 1/2 cup red wine
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon worchestershire
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* fresh ground pepper to taste

# Combine marinade ingredients and beef in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally.
# Heat grill. Remove beef from marinade, reserve marinade. Place onions, peppers and beef on skewers. Grill for 8 – 10 minutes, turning and basting occasionally with remaining marinade.

The World’s Best Lasagna


  • 1 package of Lasagna noodles
  • 1 15 ounce container of Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 large ball of mozzarella, grated
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 3/4 lb ground meat (beef and/or pork)
  • OMIT 1 head of broccoli, steamed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablepoon (or more) red pepper flakes
  • salt, pepper, basil and oregano to taste


Preheat oven to 350F.

Cook Lasagna noodles according to directions on package.

Mix together Ricotta cheese and beaten egg. In a separate bowl, mix grated mozzarella and parmesan.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Saute onion for 3 mintues, then add garlic and continue to saute for 2 more minutes. Add the ground beef and pork and saute until done. Drain excess fat. Add pasta sauce, broccoli and red chili flakes to taste. Add additional spices if necessary.

Put 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Place a layer of noodles on top. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top. Sprinkle 1/3 of the grated mozzarella mixture on top. Repeat 3 times.

Bake, covered in tin foil, for 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted.

Chicken Enchiladas

Thad’s mom’s Chicken Enchiladas:


* Two packets Lawry’s powered Enchilada Sauce Mix
* Chopped up chicken you cooked or one of the already cooked chickens at the market.
* Grate up a lot of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. The two blended together have a good flavor.
* Can of chopped olives
* Can of chopped green chilies
* 12 tortillas


Make the sauce according to the directions on the packet. Pour a quarter of the sauce in the bottom of a casserole pan and put a corn tortilla in the sauce. The sauce will soften the tortilla and eliminate the need to presoak them in oil. After you have both sides of the tortillia completely covered in sauce, fill them with chicken, olives, chilies, cheese, etc. Roll them up and place at the end of the same casserole pan seam side down.

Keep the process up until the pan is full. Add sauce when you need it and when you get to the end of the casserole and it is hard to wet the tortillas, just dip them in the sauce in the saucepan. After you have them all rolled up, pour on the remaining sauce and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Be generous with the sauce, making two packages for about 12 tortillas. Also, they taste better when you are generous with the cheese.

You can cover and freeze for later, or better yet, cook the enchiladas for about 20 minutes (until bubbly) at 350F.

Thad’s Martha’s Vineyard Tuna


* 2 pounds tuna
* 10 ounce bottle soy sauce
* 2-3 tablespoons ginger, minced
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon wasabi powder


In a large ziploc bag, mix soy sauce, ginger, garlic and wasabi. Place the tuna in the bag, seal and refrigerate for several hours.

Remove from marinade and barbeque tuna for 4 minutes a side.