For some, Valentine's Day means a Whitman chocolate sampler in the familiar yellow box, purchased at the local pharmacy. Others present the people they love with chocolate in savory main dishes, like this turkey and white bean chili with chocolate, from Kalyn's Kitchen. Sweet or savory, chocolate adds a bit of romance to any meal, and it should definitely be on the menu for Valentine's Day.
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My husband Ted has never met a beef stew he didn't love. Yet, as I searched the interweb for recipes to share with you this week, I realize how limited my beef stew repertoire has been, and how much Ted is missing, like this stifado, otherwise known as Greek beef stew, from Framed Cooks. One thing I love about beef stew is that it's hard to make a bad one; just keep adding ingredients, and cook the meat long enough, and something wonderful is bound to come out of the pot. I'm looking forward to working my way through this week's recipe ideas, and I think Ted is looking forward to it, too.
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While cleaning out my pantry after the crazy holiday season, I discovered a mason jar of pearl barley buried deep on the shelf, and right away I began to look for new recipes that call for it. I love barley, chewy and nutty and substantial. Barley shines in soups and stews, where it absorbs any flavors from the broth that surrounds it, as in this barley stew with beans and herbs, from Turmeric and Saffron. A fiber-rich whole grain with many nutritional benefits, barley is an economical addition that thickens soups and stews.
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