Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes


Home-Made Pasta with Franco’s Tuscan Ragout (Bolognese)

A new Christmas tradition! If you can’t be in Italy, you can cook like you’re in Italy. This year Jake and I went back to Tuscookany and spent a wonderful week with Franco and Paola cooking all of my favorite Italian dishes.  This Tuscan Ragout is so easy to make…and tastes so much better with home-made pasta. Making fresh pasta is a bit time consuming but after one bite, you’ll never […]

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Franco’s Bolognese–Perfect Comfort Food for a Rainy Weekend!

Just looking at this photo makes me hungry for Franco’s Bolognese, or as he calls it, Tuscan Ragout. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love going to Tuscookany , a villa tucked away in the hills outside of Arezzo to spend a week cooking with Franco and Paola. And the field trips we take to Ravagni, a family owned olive oil producer since 1421 and Villa La Ripa, a local […]

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"Italian Beer" Braised Pot Roast With Carrots and Potatoes

    Here’s another one of my accidental dinners. I found a great recipe for pot roast using 2 lbs. of chuck roast and went to the market to get all the ingredients only to realize when I got home it called for red wine and I didn’t have any. How that was possible is a whole other story.   Once again, I improvised. I had some Italian beer in […]

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"British" Beef Bourguignon For Your Valentine

I wanted to make a really special Valentine’s Day dinner this year and was torn between Shepard’s Pie and Beef Bourguignon.    I guess you could say my decision was made for me when I realized I forgot to buy mushrooms. I decided to substitute peas for mushrooms and call it British Beef Bourguignon–you know how the Brits love their peas.    When it all came together it was so […]

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Hearty Beef and Cabbage Soup for a Cold Winter’s Night

I love soup and I especially love this hearty beef and cabbage soup on a cold winter day. It’s best if it can cook slowly for at least a couple of hours so I like to start it on a chilly Saturday morning and let the house fill the with rich aroma of the simmering soup.   The other thing I love about soup is that you don’t really need […]

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A 1960’s Beef Stroganoff Any "Mad Man" Would Love

When I told Denny I was cooking beef stroganoff he said something like, “What? That’s a winter dish!” I told him to look outside–it was one of our classic “June Gloom” days that tourists aren’t prepared for when they come to town in shorts and flip flops only to realize they needed a Parka. The real reason I was cooking beef stroganoff was because the season finale of Mad Men is on […]

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A Sexy Steak Supper For Your Valentine

Doesn’t this look delicious? It’s the perfect sexy supper to make for your Valentine–and it’s fool proof, even if you’re a nervous cook. Just follow my easy tips and you’ll never need to cut into a steak again to make sure it’s done. (Admit it, you’ve done that before, haven’t you? I know, ’cause I used to do that, too!) Start with a heart-shaped appetizer to show how much you […]

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The Perfect 4th of July Burger… and Garden Update

In spite of our Southern California June Gloom, summer is officially here and it’s time to start thinking about burgers for the 4th of July.   There’s nothing like a great juicy burger, hot off the grill, perfectly cooked. It’s taken me years of trial, error and just plain bad ones to finally say I’ve unlocked the secrets to making the perfect burger.   And it’s so easy. Just follow […]

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