We first made this recipe when in Nerja, Spain. It is delicious! Little did we know, Cioppino was created in San Francisco!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large shallots, chopped (optional)
  • 2 Anaheim peppers (or 1-2 green bell pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp (a few shakes) of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 5 cups fish stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-4 shakes of dried oregano
  • 2-4 shakes of dried basik
  • 2 pounds clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into
  • 2-inch chunks


  1. Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, basil, a pinch of black pepper, and oregano, and saute 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open).
  7. Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve, yum! Serve with some toast!

The Best Stew of all Stews

Yum! Such good stew, even Amanda likes it! :)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat (or 2 pounds chuck roast, cut Into 2-inch chunks)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 or 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • one 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef stock , plus more if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 large carrots (or a bunch of small ones), roughly chopped into chunks
  • 1 or 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • one 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Jalapeno, chopped, seeds too if you can handle the spice (optional, but DO IT)
  • 2 bay Leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Generously season beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Working in batches if you need to, sauté the meat, turning every couple of minutes but not stirring constantly, until nice and brown on all sides (but just on the outside; you don’t need to cook the meat all the way through at this point).  Using tongs, move the seared beef to a plate, keeping all that brown juicy goodness in the pot.
  4. Add the onion garlic to the pot and cook, making sure to scrape up those brown bits and stains from the bottom with a wooden spoon. (in other words: Flavor!) Cook for a couple of minutes, then add your tomato paste again scraping those brown bits. Cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add beef stock to the pot, getting the last bits of brown up from the bottom one last time. Add the Worchestershire sauce and sugar, then return that seared beef to the pot, plus any juices that accumulated on the plate. Cover, reduce heat and simmer on low for 2 hours (this seems like a short time for stew, but there’s another step!)
  6. Uncover and throw in the carrots, celery, beans, jalapeño and bay leaves. Cover again and let simmer for another hour (if you can wait that long), until the vegetables are tender and the meat is totally forkable.  If you prefer a thinner stew, add some more beef stock (or water), a little at a time.
  7. Taste. Add some salt and pepper until you deem it perfect.
  8. Serve over mashed potatoes! Yum!


Holiday Cranberry Applesauce

A Colleen Nespor original! Delicious addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, mmmm!


  • 1# apples (granny smiths are great)
  • 1# cranberries
  • 1c sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 c water (start w/ 1/4 then add as needed.
  • Cinnamon (1-2 tsp to taste)HOW TO…
  • Cook over med heat until cranberries pop and apples are soft
  • Mash for chunky, or blend for pureed
  • Cool in fridge, eat!

Eric’s Made-up Spaghetti Sauce

I made this in Nerja and it was pretty tasty:

  • Brown 1 onion in big pot in olive oil
  • Add about 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • Add 1 pound of ground meat, I used half pork and half beef because that’s common and cheap in Spain
  • Once the meat is cooked, add 2 large green bell peppers or Anaheim peppers finely chopped
  • Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes with only some of the juice
  • Add 1/2 a small can of tomato paste
  • Add 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Add 1 cup red wine
  • Add a healthy amount of basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in to taste
  • Add 1 medium zucchini finely chopped
  • Simmer, stirring frequently for about an hour
  • Add about 1/2 cup almond milk just before serving to add some creaminess if desired

Yum! Served over whole wheat pasta for best effect