Heirloom Recipe Series with Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo of ABCD Designs.

This week, I am so excited to have designer + blogger Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo, also known to many as ABCD Designs!
Aside from having fabulous initials, her taste for design resonates clearly through her beautiful line of papers and invites, as well as her divine blog. I just adore the black background with white script. Her tweets are friendly and her taste is just as wonderful as she is. And, now truly a blog-veteran, I am so proud to congratulate Amy on her third-anniversary of blogging this week (have you seen how we’re celebrating?) Blog years is quite like dog years at this point, so three is quite a wonderful accomplishment.

Heirloom Recipe Series with Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo:

Hello, my name is Amy Beth Cupp (ABC!) and in 2007, I married Mr. D! What are the chances that I’d be lucky enough to meet the man of my dreams and get to add a D to my already catchy set of initials? During the Fall of ’07, we were newly married and gut renovating an apartment in NYC. I was stuck at home during the kitchen installation. It was at that point that I thought it might be fun to write a blog about newlywed life. www.abcddesign.com was born! ABCD Design stands for Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo designs (fill-in-the-blank-here) her life! I write about all things that make a house a home. I am an artist, a trained chef and a floral designer. I have worked in interior design as well as events and photo styling. On ABCD Design, it’s a mixed bag of nesting topics, but it’s always about what inspires me, and living a well-lived life. You can also see me tweeting @abcddesigns.

Who’s heirloom recipe are you sharing with us today, Amy?

The recipe belongs to my dearly departed mother-in-law, Barbara. I think she’d be so proud to have a recipe featured on your blog! My mother in law read my blog as though it was a religion. Often, after I pressed ‘publish’ I’d receive a lengthy phone call to discuss whatever it was that I had chosen to blog about on any given day. One morning, she called the Mr. up at work to talk about how much she loved ABCD Design, and how it was giving her a whole new insight into the personality of her new daughter in law. During that phone conversation, (in her wonderfully rich southern accent) she said “You know, I even follow Amy’s Twitter!” The Mr. was like “Um, Mom… what’s a Twitter?”

What makes this recipe especially meaningful to you?

I prepare this recipe on occasion when I sense that my husband is in need of a little comfort food. I think losing your mother has to be one of the hardest things that a person can go through in their lifetimes. It’s been a year and a half, and the sadness is still pulling at our heart strings like we lost her just yesterday. Last Christmas, I went through my mother in law’s recipe box. I scanned in all of her handwritten recipes and presented my sister-in-law in book form so that she too can recreate the dishes she remembers from her childhood. Until now, I have kept them all private, and I intend to do so going forward. But on this occasion, (as I mentioned above) I think that sharing the beef stroganoff recipe is appropriate. Like I said, she was very proud of her new daughter-in-law’s blogging and I have no doubt she’d be delighted that I have kept the blog going for the last three years, and honored to be featured by IceMilk Aprons!

– Beef Stroganoff  –

The Mr. likes to have beef stroganoff on egg noodles – just like his mama used to serve it. I also know that she liked to make peas, and a green salad as a side dish. At the table, he likes to top it with a condiment called Tiger Sauce.  (It adds a little kick of heat to the dish.)

I have made my own version of Beef Stroganoff based off of Barbara’s recipe, mine is a little more descriptive! As a side note, I like to use organic ingredients whenever possible – it makes the dish taste cleaner, and more vivid. With the Mr.’s birthday coming up, I made beef stroganoff last week. This time I served it on fresh porcini mushroom ravioli. I must admit, it was a delicious addition to the recipe!

2 lbs grass-fed, antibiotic free, 85% lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1lb fresh sliced mushrooms
2 cans of Amy’s organic cream of mushroom condensed soup  (It’s available at Whole Foods)
Garlic – I use about 6-8 cloves, minced.
Salt – I think it is important to season throughout the cooking process – so just sprinkle on a little pinch with each step in which I suggest you add salt.
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1T Dry Mustard
1/2 Cup Water
1/3 cup Vermouth
8oz Organic, hormone free Sour Cream
Add fresh ground pepper to taste at the table

In a large sautee pan, melt a pat of butter on medium-high heat, being careful not to burn the butter. Sautee the mushrooms on medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt to release water in the mushrooms. This will help them cook. Once they’ve softened, add the onion, and season with a bit of salt again. This will help the onions release water and continue to keep everything moist. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic. Turn the heat down way low and continue to stir on occasion, or you can simply turn off the heat and set it aside.

In a large dutch oven or soup pot, brown the beef. There no need to brown in butter and drain fat as it says on Barbara’s recipe card. There is plenty of fat in the beef to brown properly without added butter. Season the meat with a bit of salt.

Once the beef is fully cooked, add your onion/mushroom/garlic ingredients to the pot with the beef.

At this point, add the ketchup, water, and Vermouth. Bring this up to a simmer so that the alcohol will burn off and only leave the rich flavor, not the taste of alcohol. I like to let it simmer for at least 10 minutes, if not 20.

Prepare noodles in a separate pot – by the time they are done cooking, your stroganoff will be too!

Right before you serve the stroganoff, add the 8oz sour cream. Be sure it is fully incorporated before you serve it atop the noodles.


Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

I’m an old soul based in Atlanta, GA and mom of 3 with a deep love of all things from the past with a story to tell, on a mission to keep heirlooms around for another generation - whether it be a tradition, splattered family recipe, or historic home.

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