Had no electricity for a few hours – ohh my -we are SO dependent on the grid!


 For a few hours yesterday ( with all the bad storms in California) we were without electricity. OH MY we are so dependent on the grid – scary how vulnerable we are to sabotage and what damage it could do to our economy and indeed our lives. All is restored now  but it was a good reminder of all the things we take for granted.

Here is a great recipe that uses my favorite kitchen toy – the crock pot or slow cooker. But first – the lid to my slow cooker ( crockpot brand) cracked. I have had it for decades. I called the manufacturer – they apologized and replaced it – FOR FREE ( including paying the shipping!) HOW ABOUT THAT??? I was so surprised – and thrilled and said I was a huge fan but that I would let others know. Amazing service!

This recipe is really two recipes in one – the reason? I decided to make the sauce that went with it – instead of buying it – you can do either – you now have BOTH recipes! The combination of sauce and stew is about 300 calories a serving so a reasonable dish for a low calorie day. I adapted this recipe from ALL RECIPES website.

Beef Stew Spanish style 


·        1 pound beef stewing meat

·       1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion

·        2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups chopped red potatoes

·        1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

·        1 (12 ounce) jar sofrito ( this is the short cut – I actually made this sauce as it was not hard to do and that way I had lots over for another time)

·        1/2 cup pitted and halved green olives

 Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook beef in hot skillet until completely browned, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer beef to a slow cooker, retaining some of the beef drippings in the skillet.
  2. Return skillet to heat and heat the retained drippings. Saute onion and garlic in hot drippings until softened, about 5 minutes; add to beef in slow cooker.
  3. Stir potatoes, diced tomatoes, sofrito, and olives into the beef mixture.
  4. Cook on Low until beef and potatoes are fork-tender, 4 to 5 hours.

Sofrito Sauce

Goya Sofrito Tomato Cooking Base, 12 Oz _ Jet.com


  • ·        2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ·        1 medium onion, chopped
  • ·        1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ·        5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ·        1 teaspoon salt
  • ·        1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ·        1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • ·        2 bay leaves
  • ·        2 tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • ·        3/4 cup canned tomato sauce



  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is translucent.
  3. Add the bell pepper, and saute until tender.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and bay leaves.
  5. Continue cooking until the mixture looks like a yummy green paste with oil around it.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, if using, and cook stirring until all of the liquid is released.
  7. Gradually stir in the tomato sauce simmer until the sauce looks really red.
  8. Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired.
  9. Remove bay leaves.
  10. Now the sauce is done.
  11. You can add it to meat, rice, beans fish or potatoes.
  12. Thin the sauce down if necessary with water, wine, beer, or whatever is handy.



About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all - Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.
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