Savory Shell Soup

1 pound (.45 kg) stew meat

3–4 tablespoons cooking oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon marjoram

6 cubes/teaspoons beef boullion

10 cups water

2 medium potatoes

2 1/4 cups large shell pasta, uncooked

  1. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces.

  2. In a 5-quart (4.7-liter) kettle, heat the cooking oil; add the stew meat and cook it over medium-high heat until browned.

  3. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and marjoram over the meat and stir. Gradually pour the water over the mixture and bring to a boil.

  4. Add the bouillon to the soup and stir until dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

  5. While the soup is simmering, peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces.

  6. Adjust the heat to bring the soup to a full boil. Add the potatoes and the shells, and cook over medium-high heat until done.

Cheesy French Bread

1 loaf unsliced French bread

1 pound (.45 kg) mozarella cheese, sliced

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup chopped olives, drained

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

  1. Without cutting through the bottom crust, cut the bread lengthwise and crosswise 1 1/2″ (4 cm) apart.

  2. Put the cheese slices between the cuts in the bread.

  3. Stir together the butter or margarine, olives, and sunflower seeds. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bread.

  4. Wrap the bread in foil, place it on a cookie sheet, and bake it at 350° F (175° C) for 12 minutes. Uncover the top of the bread and continue baking it until the cheese is melted.

Tutti-Frutti Salad

2 medium apples, cored and diced

2 medium bananas, peeled and sliced

1 cup seedless grapes, halved

1 can (11 ounces/312 g) mandarin oranges, drained

1 can (20 ounces/567 g) pineapple chunks, drained

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1/4 cup each sugar, sour cream, mayonnaise, and softened cream cheese

  1. In a large bowl, stir all the fruit and the marshmallows together.

  2. In a small bowl, blend the remaining ingredients. Spoon this dressing over the fruit and gently stir to coat.

Photos by Tamra Hamblin