MeHi.  My name is Mark and this is my cooking blog.

I get asked a lot for my recipes, so I decided to start this cooking blog.  What you’ll find here will be my recipes and my variations on others’ recipes, my cooking tips and who knows what else. 

I should say up front that I’m lactose intolerant (check out my lactose intolerance site and I also try to live a low-carb lifestyle.  So the recipes you’ll find here will generally be devoid of milk and milk products and try, wherever possible, to be low in carbs.

I hope you enjoy the site and the recipes.


Soups11 Dec 2009 05:09 am

This is a hearty soup, perfect for a cold evening.  Very flavorful and creamy, yet uses no butter or extra fat.  This recipe is for the slow cooker and is easy to make.

(makes about 8 large servings)

1.5 lbs lean beef – sirloin or top round – but just about any cut will do – cut into 1″ cubes
2 cups beef broth (see note)
2 cups chicken broth (see note)
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
6 ozs fresh crimini or brown mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup cream sherry
1/2 cup red wine (optional)

Put all the ingredients into the slow cooker (except the red wine) and stir well to combine.  There’s no need to pre-brown the meat, but you can if you like.   Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

You can serve it immediately or it’s even better the next night.  If you use the full 1/2 cup of barley, the soup may be too thick for your liking.  If so, cut the amount of barley in half or add 1/2 cup of good red wine at the end to thin the soup.

I use Better Than Bullion to make the stock, but you can also use low sodium canned/boxed or home-made stock.  If using 14 oz cans, add 1/2 cup of water or red wine to bring the volume up.  You can put everything in the slow cooker pot  the night before and put it into the refrigerator – then put in on in the morning.  If you’re doing this, make sure the stock is cool.