Beef Stroganoff Diner style

beef stroganoff, cooking, beef, creamy


I went to make this today and somehow lost the recipe.
I did eventually find it and decided that it needed to be put up on the Diner.
This is a recipe that is solely mine although I loosely based it off of a recipe from a 30 year old Betty Crocker cookbook.
My wife and daughters have always loved it and I thought it should rightfully find its way here.
I tend to make it a bit differently every time given my mood but this is really close.
It is a winter food and not something you would ever make in July.

This recipe supposedly serves 6.
Yeah, right.
I usually double it.
I have NEVER had leftovers.

You will need:
1.5lbs lean beef for stew, chuck works great just make sure it’s nicely marbled
2 tbls. butter
1 can Beef Consomme [10.5oz] ( a decent beef broth will work as well)
2 tbls catsup
1/2 cup red wine (Merlot, Pinot Noir or a Cab will do. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it!)
2 tbls paprika (not the smoked version, sweet paprika)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
1 tsp dried tarragon (I only add this when one of my daughters is not home. She hates it. Use at your own discretion)
1 clove of garlic, finely minced (I usually double this. The original recipe says, “or 1/8th of a teaspoon of instant minced garlic)
If you’re using ‘instant minced garlic’, please leave the room. There’s nothing to be learned here. 😎
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely diced (@ 1/2 cup)
2-3 tbls cornstarch
1+cup sour cream
Cooked and buttered egg noodles.
(add a tsp of poppy seed for some crunch and flavor)

Let’s seal the deal:

Cook and stir beef in two tbls of melted butter over medium heat until browned (not red!).
Reserve 1/3 cp of consomme and add remaining soup, catsup, garlic, tarragon, red wine and salt to the beef.
A few shakes of fresh ground pepper is nice too.
Heat to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer, covered for 1 – 1 3/4 hours.
Stir in mushrooms and onion.
Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Put reserved consomme, paprika, nutmeg, Worcestershire Sauce and cornstarch into a tightly covered
Tupperware container and shake that bastard until the cows come home.
Slowly add into the beef mixture while heating to a boil.
The sauce should be very thick, if not add a bit more cornstarch (not alot!)
When mixture is to your desired consistency, add the sour cream and heat through.

Toss the noodles with butter (and poppy seed, if you like)
Serve mixture over egg noodles and serve some warm, crusty rolls with butter.
A chopped salad will make it a feast!
Look for my chopped salad recipe soon.


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Michael’s MD Chili

Mad Dog, chili, spicy, Mexican


Today I realized that I don’t have a decent basic chili recipe posted here.
I made this recipe many years ago but have since changed many things about it.
What you see here is 15 years of futzing around before settling on a final draft.
If you are a chili purist there’s nothing to see here. Move on.
In the eyes of some I have committed culinary blasphemy here by adding beans to my chili.
I like beans and mine like me.

Shopping List:

2 tbls vegetable oil
2lbs (smidge over 1kg in Oz) – lean beef cut in 1/2 inch cubes or lean ground beef
A decent chuck or round will take much longer to make tender, FYI
I usually use ground beef. Follow cooking instructions.
3 medium sized onions, Vidalia’s if possible, chopped and finely diced
1 large red pepper, chopped and diced
4 lg cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
3/4 tsp Cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1.5 tsp paprika (not smoked)
4-5 tbls decent chili powder
1tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 can beef consomme
1 tbls Apple Cider vinegar
1/4 cup of red wine or Guinness
1 – 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1 fresh Jalapeno pepper, diced and minced (seeds removed) (use as much or little as you want)
1 large can of dark red kidney beans, drained

Crack a Dos Equis beer and let’s go.

Saute onions, red pepper and garlic in hot oil until wilted (not browned). (@4+minutes or so)
Add beef and brown.
Add remaining ingredients except for the beans and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Then add kidney beans and simmer for 30 minutes.

*if using lean beef, simmer until tender

This stuff is good on nachos, pasta with fresh diced onion and grated Jack cheese
or just in a bowl with a waiting spoon.
It freezes well and will last up to 3 months, safely.
Feel free to experiment with it and please let me know if you’ve discovered some amazing add on ingredient!

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Dad’s Marinated Mushrooms

mushrooms, appetizers, salad


I’ve made these for years especially at Christmas time.
They’re so easy to make that I’m not sure why I don’t make them more often.
Oh, right. No one in this house likes them!
I disagree with the females in the house on this one.
These are yummy little morsels (morels?) of happiness.
And I have a right to be happy.
I’m a fungi . . .  (my token ‘shroom joke)

You will need:

1 to 1.5 lbs of fresh mushrooms, washed and cut up
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp light brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, pressed with a cleaver (more garlic, if you prefer)
Dried basil, black peppercorns, crushed red pepper ( small amount of each)
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Heat everything except the mushrooms to a boil.
Simmer on low 10 minutes and add mushrooms.
Stir, cover and continue simmering for 5 minutes.
Cool, store and refrigerate.
(and find those toothpicks you know you bought last week)

Not sure what the shelf life is on these puppies because there are never any left.

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Purify Yourself

soup, purify, health, Kashi


I used to run many years ago but my lower back told me to stop.
I loved eating food that was good for me as long as I could make it myself.
This is my own version of a ‘runner’s soup’.
It’s high in every single thing that’s good for you.
The best part?
It tastes good.
Serve with a nice slice or two of multi-grain bread and you are golden.

Dad’s Purifying Soup

You will need:

2/3 cup of lentils
1 cup Kashi (7 grain)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
pinch of thyme
1 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup EVOO

Wash lentils and Kashi under cold running water for 3-4 minutes and drain.
Heat soup pot and saute garlic and onions in EVOO until golden.
Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 1.5 hours.
This soup is not only for runners.
It’s a healthy meal for anyone that needs something nutritional and easy to make.


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Dad’s Monterey Jack Turkey Burgers

turkey burger, Weight Watchers, BBQ

This is my version of a Weight Watcher’s MJ Turkey Burger.
They really need to be grilled to get the best and juiciest burger.
AND, only flip once.
Let’s begin.
You will need:

1lb. ground turkey
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 tbls reduced-sodium soy sauce (Use Kikkoman’s)
1.5 tbls ketchup
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1’2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried parsley
2/3 cup of shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
5 strips, turkey bacon, fried
5 hamburger buns, split
1 ripe tomato cut into 5 slices
1 Avocado, peeled and sliced thin

In a large bowl, combine turkey, onion, garlic, soy, ketchup, pepper and Jack cheese.
Form into 4-5 burgers.
Heat your grill and cook burgers 6-8 minutes per side. (be sure to oil the grill to prevent the burgers from sticking!)
When burgers are done, place some crispy bacon on each and serve with tomato and sliced avocado.



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Diner goes Tropical

Thought I would pull the Diner out of these bloody winter doldrums with a new theme.
Saw this theme and immediately liked it.
Scroll down and watch the sunrise and fall.
Very nice indeed.

I thought a cool summertime drink recipe would be nice.
Here’s my own version of Sangria that I haven’t made in well over 25 years.
Lord knows why I’m thinking about it today.
Must be the weather.

Dad’s Sangria Punch

you will need:

1 – 750ML bottle of decent red wine
1/2 cup of Gosling’s Black Seal rum
1 – lemon, orange & lime, sliced
1 pint of strawberries or fresh raspberries
1 – Granny Smith apple, cored, sliced and studded with 10 whole cloves
1 – small bottle of lemon lime soda (Mountain Dew is awesome)

Here’s what you do:

  1. In a large jar or pitcher combine wine and rum with sliced lemon, orange, lime, and strawberry.
    Push cloves into apples slices and add to mixture.
    Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight (overnight is always better).
  2. Before serving, remove cloves from apple slices and garnish drinks by spooning some marinated fruit into glass.
    Add ice and pour in the sangria.
  3. Listen to Chris Rea sing ‘On the Beach’ while sipping and relaxing.


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Betta Fetta Chicken

This is a nice easy chicken dish that requires little effort and wee little time.
After making this the other night, I had forgotten how good this was.
So, here you go . . .

You will need:

6 boneless breasts of chicken (@2 lbs)
2 tbls fresh lemon juice, divided
2 tsp dried oregano, divided
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Montreal Chicken Seasoning (McCormick Grill Spices)
1 pkg. (4-6 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled

Here’s what you do:

Pound out chicken breasts.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Drizzle some olive oil in a 13X9 (or bigger) glass baking dish and put in
the chicken.
Drizzle 1 tbls of lemon juice over the chicken.
Sprinkle chicken with 1 1/2 tsp of oregano and a liberal shake of Montreal seasoning.
Top with crumbled feta and sprinkle the remaining tbls of lemon juice.
Finish with a light sprinkle (or more!) of paprika (not smoked!) and the remaining 1/2 tsp of oregano.
Bake 45 minutes and brown feta under broiler.
Serve with a nice wild rice dish and Caesar Salad.
Good eats!


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Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

Coney Island, hot dogs, sauce, Worcester, diner

There’s a little dive on Southbridge Street in Worcester called, “Coney Island” and it’s been
a local icon of sorts for about 50+ years.
It’s a no frills place where you go if you want a cheap but decent hot dog.
Just don’t go on a Tuesday.
They’re closed.
Whenever I go there, my order goes like this, “Three ‘up’ please.”
‘Up’ means Coney Island sauce, mustard and chopped onions; it’s the quintessential Worcester condiment combo of choice.

The sauce recipe is quite simple and utterly delicious.
You probably won’t find this anywhere except here.
Please link!
I have a feeling Sarah will be the first to try this over the next few weeks.

Brown 1/2 lb ground beef slowly but thoroughly,
breaking up with a fork until ‘fine’ in consistency.
Add 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup minced onion, 1 clove minced garlic,
1 (8oz) can of tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp chili powder (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar.
Simmer uncovered, 10-20 minutes.
Load those puppies up with chopped onion, mustard and lots a sauce!
Make about 1 1/3 cups.


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Moe’s Awesome Aussie Sauce

Here’s a recipe that will go down in history as one of the easiest and quite possibly the tastiest.
I got this from Moe when she and Mark were staying here at the house last July.
I am making this tomorrow and have grown tired of trying to find the recipe. [found it!]
The girls love it so I post it for them tonight.
It’s so easy and incredibly delicious.
As far as the post photo goes, it’s Giada.
She’s Italian.
She cooks good.
She looks good.
Nuff said.
You should have seen the picture I originally wanted to put up.
Hey, she’s a babe, okay?
Anywhoo . . .

You will need:

8 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
3 large onions, chopped finely [have fun. chew gum. less tears, truth.]
As much salami/ sandwich pepperoni as you want
(I usually buy a 1-1 1/2 lb chunk of the stuff)
3 large tins crushed tomatoes OR 12 fresh beefeater tomatoes
Chili flake to taste
2 cups red wine/port (or 1&1)
2 tablespoons white sugar

Do this:

Sweat the onions and garlic until onion is transparent
Add chopped up salami/pepperoni and chili flake.
Once combined and cooked through, add the tomatoes, wine and sugar.
Simmer until reduced and sauce is thick.
I’m thinking about 2-3 hours, depending on how thick you want your sauce.
Pour over pasta of your choice.
Serve with fresh grated Parmesan or Romano, garlic bread and a nice fresh garden salad.


ps. my epicurean thanks to Moe for the Italian inspiration from Oz!

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Dad’s Slow Toasted Potatoes

I make these tasty spuds quite often.
I could make 10lbs. and they would all get consumed.
And my recipe seems to change every time I make them though, all depending on what spices I happen to have in the cupboard at the time.
This is my recipe du jour.

You will need:

3-4 lbs. of potatoes, washed and cubed, like homefries
[Idaho, Russet, Red, Idaho Gold work well]
EVOO [extra virgin olive oil]
Butter [3-4 tbls, sliced]
fresh ground pepper
Cuban Seasoning [salt, sweet paprika, red pepper flake]
[seasoned salt or Olde Bay Seasoning work quite well, too

Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Use a decent size glass dish and add cubed potatoes.
Season potatoes with fresh grated pepper and Cuban seasoning.
[be liberal. Seasonings wise . . . ]
Sprinkle with 2-3 tbls of EVOO and place pats of butter over potatoes.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
[Make sure you have added enough olive oil so the potatoes don’t stick.]
Remove foil and turn potatoes over with a spatula.
Bake for an additional 45-60 minutes, uncovered.


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