Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I know that Spring has sprung but there is still a chill in the air and it still feels a lot more like winter than spring. This is what I like to call Winter’s last breath time of year.  Being I am so much more of a morning person than a night person I love to cook in the morning, not elaborate breakfasts mind you but Dinner. I prep , chop and set up my slow cooker and it’s all in by 8 a.m. I cooked this on low for 8 hours and then on high for 2. You can do it on high for 6-8 as well. Almost fool-proof and you’ll love the benefits. When you enter your home at the end of the day your house will smell amazing, your dinner will be almost ready and you’ll have one pot to clean after dinner! Wow! Now of course you’ll have a bit of a mess in the morning but that’s OK because you’ll have more energy in the morning . Shop ahead and have all your ingredients ready and you’re set . I love slow cooker meals.

This is what I did:


2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes — the butcher usually has this meat already cut up. You can add an extra lb. of meat if you have more people.

5 medium size carrots, sliced into chunks

1 lb. baby potatoes — they come in a bag and are perfect just the way they are. Of course you can cut up larger potatoes if you wish.

1 small white onion–diced

3 cloves garlic–minced

3 cups Beef Broth

2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. Italian Seasonings–dry and available in most spice sections

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 cup Flour

2 cups Frozen Peas– I used frozen peas you can also add frozen corn if you like or use both.


Take out the meat and dry it off with a paper towel. Sprinkle liberally with Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper on all sides. Heat a skillet with a little olive oil and sear on each side for a few minutes just to get a crust on the meat. You will not be cooking the meat just searing.

I spray my slow-cooker with cooking spray (Pam) and then add the meat, the carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic.

Add the beef broth , tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, italian seasoning, and I added about a 1/2 tsp. of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill (6) . You can taste at some point and always add more.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or High for 6-8 hours. An hour before serving, I take out about a cup of gravy from the beef stew and whisk with 1/4 cup flour. Then stir into the stew along with the frozen peas. Stir and taste for S and P at this point.

I let it cook on high for 2 more hours. You should let it cook for at least 1 more hour after the addition of the flour. The flour will thicken the gravy, so you’ll want to cook for at least 1 more hour on high setting.

Enjoy! a loaf of crusty bread would be in order on the side.

My Favorite Macaroons–Traditional Style for Passover

macaroons for passover

I am not sure why I only make these macaroons during Passover. They are definitely my favorites; they are very easy to make, look totally professional, and are the Passover cookie in my book. These can be made ahead of time and stored. I usually make a few days before the Seder because I dip them in melted chocolate (just the tops). You don’t have to dip, you can leave plain. I dip up to 1/2 the macaroon in the chocolate. They are sweet and crunchy on the outside, and moist and chewy on the inside. After Passover, if there are any left over, I freeze them. Cannot have them lying around. Of course you may make these any time of year…they are always welcome on the menu.

*When dipping, just turn macaroon upside down (with peaked part into the chocolate). I usually go just a bit more than the top (probably 1/2 the macaroon into the chocolate). Use as much or as little as you like.

*just a little note, silpat is awesome to use for this recipe instead of parchment paper. You must cool completely before trying to lift off the paper. Also before you dip into chocolate I like to cool down completely.


3  large egg whites (When I bake, I always leave eggs out so that they are at room temp.)

1/2  cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (14 oz.) sweetened, flaked coconut ( I like this Angel Flake Baker’s Brand, but they’re all fine)

*1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (You can really use any semi-sweet chocolate to melt. It’s just easy with the chips.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you can use non stick cooking spray, like Pam, but I just line with parchment, which works really well).

In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt until frothy. With a fork, stir in coconut until moistened.

Using a level tablespoon (measuring ones are perfect), pack the mixture into the spoon, so all macaroons are equal size. Drop mixture onto prepared sheet (cookies will not spread). Bake until golden brown, about 25 – 30 minutes. Towards the end, check on them to be sure they don’t burn. I make a little peak with my fingers on the cookies before I bake them (this makes for easier dipping).

*To melt chocolate on stove top: I bring a small saucepan of water to a rolling boil, and on top of it put a small stainless (oven proof) bowl filled with the chocolate.( works like a double boiler if you don’t have one) When it completely melts, take off heat. Once macaroons are completely cool, you can dip the tops. Just make sure chocolate and macaroons are cooled off first. Just dip top of cookie in chocolate and place on a plate to cool. When I am all done, I refrigerate the macaroons to set the chocolate. You can leave in fridge until you are ready to serve and take out with enough time to bring to room temp. Before serving, I usually use a cool cookie sheet with parchment paper to cool off cookies once they’ve been dipped.

*should yield about 20 – 25 cookies. You can double if you’d like.

Un-Stuffed Cabbage

This is one of my favorite recipes and the most perfect recipe for Passover. This definitely brings back memories of my grandmother who made Stuffed Cabbage for us. Check this recipe out–you’ll thank me! Happy Cooking and Happy Holiday!

Cooking with Candi

photo 3 (4)photo 2 (2)photo 3 (4)photo 3 (5)photo 4 (3)photo 2I love stuffed cabbage and my Grandmother made the most amazing stuffed cabbage ever . I love stuffed cabbage but do not feel like dealing with the actual stuffing of the cabbage, it is way too labor intensive for me.  I have made several variations of this and found this one to my liking the best. You can play with the ingredients which is what I did . Original recipe is from Kosher by Design and it is perfect for Passover by just leaving out the rice and substituting matzoh meal in its place. Basically this is meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce with cabbage . I doubt very much that Joel would ever eat real “stuffed cabbage” but he liked this. The cabbage cooks down so much that you don’t even realize you’re eating cabbage. I also used 1/2 chicken ground meat and 1/2 beef ground meat , this is entirely up to…

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Peach Farfel for Passover – crowd favorite

This is most definitely a “must have” Passover recipe.  It has been a winning recipe ever since my friend Audrey gave it to me many years ago. This one is probably one of the most favorite Passover staples. Recipes are funny in that -they tend to spread out to a wide group of people and people start passing them down to their people and so forth and so on and before you know it no one remembers where the original recipe came from , they just remember that it was on their Passover table and they can’t imagine a Seder dinner without it.  Enjoy this one; it is sweet and makes for a delicious side dish with poultry or beef. This has always been a crowd pleaser. I know, the amount of eggs is obscene on this holiday! This one has 7 eggs in it!!!!!

Make this part of your Passover tradition, you’ll be happy you did.


1 box matzoh farfel (I think it’s in a canister now)

2 15 oz. cans sliced peaches

7 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks margarine, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups hot water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry farfel in a bowl, then pour hot water over it. Let stand until absorbed.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, syrup from peaches, salt, sugar, margarine, and vanilla. Add farfel and combine well. In a well sprayed 9 x 12 baking dish, pour 1/2 the mixture, then arrange a layer of peaches on top. Add remaining mixture on top, then top with remaining peaches. Sprinkle with just a bit of cinnamon if you’d like. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve hot out of oven, or room temp. It is quite delicious at room temperature, if you don’t have the room in your oven, and it makes for a pretty awesome leftover.

Can be assembled, cooked 1/2 way through, then cooked the rest of the way through on the day of the holiday.

Passover 2018

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of the year again!  Today is the first day of spring and I am ready to post my Passover Recipes once again. Passover and Easter fall out over the very same weekend this year and I am sure most of you are starting to think about what you’re going to make . I will direct you to my Passover recipes that shouldn’t be missed. If anyone has any thing that they feel I must add to my repertoire I would love to see it. Please email me and let me see it– I am always on the lookout for new recipes especially for the Holidays. I have a few new recipes that I tried out last year that will be coming out on the blog in another few days. Stay tuned for them. I will also be posting some of these delightful recipes in the next 2 weeks.

IMG_0771 (003)

Chocolate Bark Surprise




My family always loves to see the same old recipes on the table and honestly so do I. The dishes bring a sense of family, nostalgia and tradition .  It brings memories of my Mother and Grandmother cooking in the kitchen and of all of us eating together at the Seders.

Make some memories of your own and keep Cooking with Candi. Enjoy and Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all of you.

These are my standard hits and just put the name in the search bar or hit Passover Recipes or google the name of the recipe and cooking with candi.


Let’s start at the beginning:

  1. Homemade Chicken Soup with Not so Homemade Matzo Balls
  2. Passover Popovers
  3. Traditional Ashkenazi Charoset
  4. Chicken Marbella
  5. Bree’s Slow Cooked Skirt Steaks
  6. Slow Cooked Brisket
  7. Happy New Year Brisket–perfect for any holiday any time
  8. Old School Meatballs ( sweet and sour)
  9. Un-stuffed Cabbage–probably one of my all time favs in place of sweet and sour meatballs
  10. Apricot Honey-Mustard Chicken
  11. Honey Roasted Chicken
  12. Peach Farfel–a must!
  13. Karyn’s Cranberry Apple Crisp for Passover– a must have for every table you can even serve it as dessert
  14. Chocolate Bark Surprise
  15. Grandma Regina’s Farfel for Passover–my Grandmother lives on in this recipe and it is always on our Seder Table– a little difficult but totally delicious if you get it right!
  16. Judy’s Apple Matzoh Kugel for Passover
  17. Spinach Souffle for Passover– so very easy –Vegetarian/Dairy side dish
  18. Passover Cobbler
  19. My Favorite Macaroons–Traditional Style for Passover
  20. Julie’s Brownies for Passover
  21. Marcy’s Matzo Crunch Candy — most amazing dessert!

Green Pea Soup from Bergdorf Goodman – Happy St. Patricks Day

IMG_7457IMG_7459IMG_7455 IMG_7466 IMG_7469Let’s celebrate St. Patricks Day with this delicious green soup! The first time I had this soup was downstairs in BG and I thought to myself I must re-create this delicious light soup. Low and behold along came *The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook which included this delicious recipe.   My two favorite items to order on the BG menu are the Gotham Salad and  the Green Pea Soup and they are both right there in this wonderful little cookbook. There are many other delightful recipes in the book as well which make it a worthwhile purchase. The shocking part of this delicious soup was the addition of a sweet potato and soy sauce. I didn’t see that coming, I would have made it without either of those two items. The soy sauce adds an intense layer of flavor and the potato gives it some real texture. Blend well. I used my high-speed blender for this .

*The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook by Laura Silverman–available through Amazon or Bergdorf Goodman


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 whole sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, if you have white pepper use it but I didn’t so I used black

3 3/4 cups chicken stock

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 lb. fresh or frozen , thawed green peas. I used one whole bag of frozen green peas.

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat parsley


Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat and sauté the onion, celery, carrots, sweet potato, garlic, salt and pepper until the vegetables are tender but not brown. I let it cook down for about 1/2 hour.

Add the stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in the peas and just blanch them for a minute.

Turn off the heat. Cool slightly, then add the parsley ( don’t omit the fresh parsley, please) Taste for Salt but I found it was just right with the 1 teaspoon.

In a blender or food processor, do it in batches ( I did it in 3) , puree all the ingredients until smooth. Serve warm!

Love the taste and enjoy all the healthy benefits!!!

*can be made vegan with vegetable stock

Kale and Romaine Salad with Tahini Dressing

It’s still only March but out here in the Rockies and the temperatures are in the 50’s , it’s spring skiing and feeling a lot like Spring has sprung. I wanted to make a new fresh “spring” salad and I had seen a few dressings made with Tahini and I wanted to make my own. This is what I did last night and I have to say it was very tasty. I absolutely love Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and put it on eggs, avo toast, cheese and anything I think it will work on. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s go on Amazon and buy it! Buy 2 because they are that good. I put it in this salad and it added that extra layer of pizazz!

Here’s what I did: Obviously this is my salad but you can make it your salad by adding or subtracting any ingredients you’d like. The avocado adds creaminess and we love avocados — who doesn’t?????



a bunch of Kale chopped up

1 Package Romaine Hearts chopped up

2 Teaspoons Everything but the Bagel Seasoning — the real secret ingredient

1-2 Avocados , cut into chunks– I used 1 because it was just the two of us but for 4 people use 2

*if you like add croutons

Tahini Dressing:

I mixed my dressing in the blender: (see directions)

1/4 cup Tahini

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

3 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp. Water –I added a little more through the top (see directions)

Kosher Salt –just a little bit to taste


Using your blender put all ingredients –Tahini, lemon, oil and garlic. I added the 2 Tbsp. of Water through the top and blended it all together. After you blend I whisked until smooth and added a little water to get the consistency of dressing that I wanted . You’ll have to play it by ear but add a little water at a time.

Transfer the lettuce and kale to a large bowl and add the dressing and toss well to coat. Add croutons if you’re using them ( I didn’t)  Add the avocados and sprinkle the salad with the Everything but the Bage seasoning. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! We did!

This would be delicious with an added protein of your choosing.



Lamb with Orzo–Greek Style in One Pot

photo 1 (48)photo 1 (47)  Now that we put the clocks ahead 1 hour and it is starting to feel a lot like Springtime out here in the Rockies I figure it’s time for some new Spring flavors. The orzo is just delicious and has a real mediterranean feel.  I made this delicious dish which has real “Greek” flavor and if you’re looking for something new to make this could be the one.  This dish was a wonderful and fragrant meal with delicious spices , lemons and feta cheese.  I realize that there are people out there who are opposed to eating lamb and I get that and am not trying to convince you to eat it but I think that this dish was intended for lamb because of the distinct flavoring of the lamb. You can definitely tweak this recipe to your liking, I added the black olives to my dish at the end because Joel really doesn’t like olives of any kind. ( his loss). Tzaziki sauce would be perfect served alongside, and I have a recipe for that on my blog as well (look under A Taste of India and Greece posted on September 13 ’11) .  You can also make and freeze the lamb portion which is always a plus to me. I love the flavors that went into making this and while I realize that this recipe is a bit time-consuming it is well worth the effort. When you smell the mix of spices in your kitchen simmering alongside the lamb you will understand what I mean. This should serve 4 beautifully as a main dish, maybe you can stretch to 6. Enjoy!

I have to give credit to FOOD52 for this recipe, I made a few tweaks myself but the original version comes from there.


1 lb. ground lamb

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 average size yellow onion, finely chopped

6 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, drained and smooshed with your hands

14 ounce can of chopped/diced tomatoes

5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

*optional 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped — serve alongside in a separate bowl if you’re not certain everyone will like them

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


1 lb. orzo pasta

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed please ( app. 1 average lemon)

2 tablespoons olive oil


In a good sized Dutch Oven type of pot  heat one tablespoon olive oil ( by the way I always spray with Pam first for easier cleaning) . Heat the one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Add the lamb and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill. Cook, stirring to break up the lamb until it is nicely browned. Remove the lamb when cooked through with a slotted spoon to a separate bowl .

Add the onion and garlic to the pot , cook on medium heat , stirring occasionally, until onions and garlic are softened and onions are transparently golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices (cinnamon, oregano, cumin, coriander, and red pepper) and cook until they are fragrant , about 2 minutes. Then stir in the smooshed tomatoes. ( I placed a strainer in sink, drained the can of San Marzano whole tomatoes and with my clean hands smooshed up tomatoes, it’s actually fun).

Cook the smooshed tomatoes in the spices, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. Then add the can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add the cooked lamb back to the pot, give it a good stir,  cover the pot and leave it to cook, stirring and tasting for salt every once in a while, cook for about 1/2 hour.

After  1/2 hour , you can stir in the fresh spinach and cook for a few minutes till spinach is wilted. I only used 1/2 the spinach because Joel really doesn’t love spinach, if I wasn’t making it for him I would have added whole amount.  Taste for salt but keep in mind you will be adding cheese and olives which will add saltiness.

While the lamb and tomatoes are simmering away, cook the orzo in a separate pot of well-salted water. Cook orzo until al dente and reserve a cup of the pasta water .  I added pasta water to the orzo and a little to the sauce as well.

Drain the orzo and toss the orzo with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice  and the parsley, you may want to add some pasta water to this as well if you feel it needs additional liquid.

I served in individual shallow bowls placing the orzo first and spooning the lamb mixture on top.  I then sprinkled with feta and olives on my bowl and just feta on Joel’s bowl. Serve hot.

Pour a nice glass of red wine and relax and enjoy.

2 tablespoons olive oil

Baked Balsamic Chicken Parmigiana

As all of you know from reading my blog and following my recipes I have truly embraced the one pan meals. They are so super easy to prepare and cook not to mention cleaning up is pretty snappy.  I threw this recipe together the other night and I have to say it was pretty tasty.  Juicy roasted tomatoes and balsamic vinegar act as a delicious sauce for this wonderful week-day meal but why not for the weekend as well? You’ll love the tomato balsamic sauce not to mention melted mozzarella cheese! This is a keeper and the little bit of red onion added another delicious layer of flavor to this tasty dish. This is what I did, I actually gave you all a few options in the ingredients dept. so mix and match what works best for you .IMG_0265IMG_0266IMG_0269IMG_0272


3-4 skinless chicken breasts ( I used 3 breasts for the two of us) 1 nice size chicken breast per person is probably a good guess.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Italian Seasonings — if you don’t have this use 1/2 tsp. dried basil and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder — divided or use 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Garlic which would probably be 5-6 garlic cloves

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes which I left whole if you’d like for a mushier sauce you can 1/2 the tomatoes

1/4 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar–if you want to omit the sugar you can — I used it

3/4 cup to 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese — I used shredded

*you can garnish with fresh chopped parsley or fresh basil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place chicken breasts in a sprayed ( Pam or any other baking spray you like) and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with dried seasonings and if you’re using fresh garlic 1 Tablespoon of it here.

Rub seasonings all over the chicken.  Put tomatoes and red onion around the chicken in the baking dish.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic powder or remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of fresh minced garlic. Pour over the chicken breasts and flip each breast to evenly coat.

Bake in pre-heated oven for app. 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. You can cut into a piece to check for doneness.

When chicken is cooked through sprinkle with cheese and set oven to broil for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted .

This would be delicious served over rice or pasta but we just ate it as is and it was pretty delicious on its own.

Sheet Pan Chicken –Meditteranean Style-String Beans and Potatoes

I love one pan and one pot dinners! Just amazing! This is an easy no-fuss meal cooked in the oven on one sheet with a marinade that has a distinct Meditteranean flavor from the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.  Use chicken thighs or legs , I prefer dark meat for this but if you insist on using white meat –go ahead. Some green beans and potatoes make this a one pan staple. Delicious and Nutritious. Did I mention super easy to clean up? It was the Golden Globes so I wanted to eat and watch without a big mess to clean up. You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet for this recipe.

Enjoy! this is for 2 +people but you can double for 4. It will probably feed 2+ but depends on your people. This is what I did for the 2 of us. We ate the whole thing! no leftovers! If you are making for a larger crowd (4 or more) either use a very large baking sheet or 2 baking sheets .


1/2 lb. baby red potatoes- I quartered them but if they are very small you can cut in 1/2

1/2 lb. green beans , trimmed

2 Tbsp. olive oil plus for marinade

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, I salt chicken liberally and potatoes because they tend to be bland –see notes below on salt and pepperimg_3437

*2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley – totally optional along with some slices of fresh lemon for beautiful presentation


Marinade for the Chicken- Marinate for about an hour

app. 1 package of chicken thighs– bone in , skin on . When I say 1 package it is usually a little under 2 lbs ( 6 smallish thighs)  which is more than enough for 2 people. Usually about 6 chicken thighs in a package depending on the size of thighs.

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon- I used juicer because I wanted to make sure I got every drop

1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper , to taste–I used 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and about 10 grinds on the pepper mill for the marinade

In a large Ziploc Bag, combine chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano; season with app. 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds (10-12) of freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Marinate for at least an hour, turning the bag occasionally. Remove the chicken from the marinade by draining it, discard the excess marinade.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a large size baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place potatoes and green beans in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with chicken in a single layer. Salt is an important component here–I sprinkled a light amount over chicken and potatoes and string beans –probably another 1/2 teaspoon and a few grinds of the pepper mill

Place into the oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, should register 165 degrees with a meat thermometer after about 1/2 hour . After I check for readiness I place under the broiler for a few minutes, till skin is golden brown and a little charred ( but not too charred) watch chicken for signs of burning.

Serve immediately, you can garnish with lemon slices and parsley for a beautiful presentation!