The Spirit of Giving and Grandma's Beef Stew

It's a wonderful time of year, with the holiday spirit reminding us to focus more on giving than receiving . Whether with our family, colleagues or clients, it's great to feel the joy of being generous with others. The Word Chef, Tea Silvestre, author of "Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd."

One of the most generous business people I know is the marketing wonder woman Tea Silvestre, The Word Chef and author of Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd (see my book review here). Tea is always cooking up fun and engaging new ideas to help people with their marketing, often only for the "cost" of your interaction with her. Contests, prizes,  challenges, videos. private groups, awards, hand written cards, MORE prizes (see picture below for one of my faves - a Big Hairy Audacious Goal!!)- her prolific creativity and generosity surprise and delight.  And she's a hoot.  Fun, clever and kind - a great combination.

Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), courtesy of the Word Chef.

She also does mentoring, coaching, writing, all things Word Press and offers great online programs  too.  But she doesn't talk about that so much.  She's much busier giving to others and building a really loyal, connected, interested and engaged tribe (she's also a big Seth Godin fan, so you get the drift).

One of her recent challenges was to send her a picture of food, then she would write a marketing blog about it while also promoting the sender's business and web site in the process.

I got Tea's email around the time I was making the family recipe for beef stew this weekend, perfect for the rainy weather.  I had already taken a picture, so I decided to pass it along.  What's the marketing message here?  Maybe something about marketing mix.  Or Slow Marketing?  I'm sure The Word Chef will whip up something fabulous to go along with it.  Thanks, Tea, for all you give and do.  You're the bombe (i.e., something sweet, unique and delish)!

In the meantime, here's the recipe.  Most of the women in my family make stew this way (with some variation, like deglazing the pan with wine, peeling the potatoes, not using bay leaves), but I think the originator was my Grandma, an excellent Sicilian cook.  My mother says it's Italian because of the tomato sauce.  It's definitely great for fall and winter dinners.  Enjoy!

Grandma’s Beef Stew

1.5 lbs stew meat (as the title states, this is beef stew.  However, leave out the beef and you've got a delicious vegetarian stew instead). 1 T veg oil ½ onion 2 T-3T flour 1 8 oz can tomato sauce 1 lb green beans 3 potatoes, in large chunks (peeled or not) 3-5 carrots, in large chunks (peeled or not) Water (add a cup of red wine if you wish) S/P to taste 2 bay leaves (opt.) 1 cup frozen peas

Heat oil.  Sautee onion til soft.  Add meat to brown – season with S/P.  Add flour to coat meat.  Add tomato sauce plus two cans of water and stir, which will create a thick roux.  Add more S/P.  Add string beans, potatoes, carrots and bay leaves.  Add more water, can by can, until ingredients are just covered in liquid.  Add more S/P to taste.  Stir well (it’s nice to season as you go along – it layers the flavors).

Simmer at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally (you can also put everything in the crock pot and let it cook all day).  Add frozen peas about 30 minutes before serving.  Remove bay leaves, taste for seasonings and enjoy!!

Serve with freshly baked biscuits (the kind in the can is fine) or rolls.

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a business development and leadership coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She is passionate about helping others discover and develop their strengths to achieve greater business success through coaching programs, workshops, staff training, executive coaching and keynote speaking.  Visit her website at to sign up to receive helpful business development resources, including a free Business Planning Template. You can also connect with us at