Remember when we woke up to an inch or two of that dreaded white stuff Saturday morning? Yes, I know, most people relish in the idea of waking up to soft powdery snow. I, on the other hand, can’t stand it’s partner in crime that always seems to accompany it: Inconvenience.
Well, I quickly brushed those pessimistic thoughts to the wayside, headed into the kitchen, and thought I better take advantage of a day with my loves, good food, and relaxation. (A little calm before the storm, if you will.)
Here’s what I came up with: A snowy day stew with sweet rolls. Mmm hmm!
2 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
3 stalks of celery, cut into diagonal chunks
half a bag of baby carrots, cut in half
half of a white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 Idaho potatoes, skin on, quartered and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups of organic beef stock
2 ½ cups of water
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
¼ cup of red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon — just happened to have a bottle already open from last night, but you could use whatever you have on hand. Preferably something you’d enjoy drinking, too!)
1 ½ teaspoons of the following three dry herbs: rosemary, thyme, & crushed bay leaves
¼ cup corn starch
I like to keep everything pretty chunky so it’s a nice hearty stew. I threw everything into my slow cooker, set it on high, and let it simmer and mellow together all day. (I’d say it was in there for a good 8 hours.) Right before it was time to serve, I removed 1/4 cup of the hot stock, whisked the corn starch into it, then stirred that slurry into the stew allowing it to thicken for about 10-15 minutes. I also threw a splash of heavy cream in at the end, too. Ya know, you can never add too much fat or flavor to the mix 😉 Plus, I like my comfort food nice and creamy! I served it with sweet rolls, which ended up turning into your basic (albeit flat) dinner rolls — total baker fail, but they satisfied my love for yeasty carbs to dip in the stew, so whatever. I’ll take it.
Now I knooow ya’ll want that sweet rolls recipe, (hopefully you’ll have better luck than me!) and thanks to my lovely and new-found addiction to Pinterest you can easily make them too. Just follow this recipe: Here.
I hope you enjoyed the serenity a snowy day can bring.
Last week I asked Dan what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he requested french toast. Go figure. ( 😉 ) Since then, I was racking my brain for fun and out of the ordinary things he might like to go with it — I think birthdays need to be exceptionally special. You only celebrate them one day out of the year, and it’s the one day you get to do whatever you want (well, mostly) and be showered with attention and love. I mean, who doesn’t love that?!
Della and I grabbed all the components for the perfect birthday dinner turned cafe style brunch: A huge loaf of french bread, thick sliced bacon, mangos and blackberries, cream for fresh whipped cream, and can’t forget orange juice and prosecco (Mimoas!). We also picked up a couple treats from Lola’s because what’s a birthday party without sweets?! Oh — and can’t forget the party hats!
Frozen blackberries make great ice cubes!
Dan snuck out front with his longboard to skate, while we played records and continued to stuff our faces. I’d say we all had a blast.
(Please excuse the poor quality of the photos. There’s no such thing as natural light at 6PM in this house.)
I know you’re probably reading this post thinking: Simple tuna salad? What tuna salad isn’t simple?! And yes, I’m sure you’re correct BUT! the way I make it is so so delicious (and yes, simple!) that I couldn’t not share it. Ya know? Plus! I wanted to share my new found AND new favorite way of eating it, too.
Here’s how I make my tuna salad: 1 12 oz. can of White Albacore Tuna (in water, drained) + 3 teaspoons of olive oil + 2 tablespoons of mayo + 3 scallions (chopped diagonally) + salt & pepper to taste. That’s it! Just mix and chill.
Now for the good part: The most scrumptious way to eat it is on sliced cucumbers! Saves you all those extra carb calories you get when you put it on crackers or toast (I’m grabbing cupcakes and treats from Lola’s this afternoon for Dan’s birthday — gotta keep myself in check ya know!) 😉 …and! the cucumbers give it a freshness and a nice crunch if you leave the skin on.
So there you have it. Simple and delicious. My kind of food!
Ps: For all of you anxiously awaiting updates on our new house front, yesterday our realtor submitted our counter offer. If Fannie Mae plays nicely, we should hear back in a few days. If not, we could be waiting for weeks. We’re still hopeful, but we’re starting to pack our rental and the reality that we have to be out of here in 15 short days is definitely weighing on us. Happy thoughts and vibes, people! Happy thoughts and vibes is all we can ask for at this point!
Happy Birthday to my husband! Without you, I wouldn’t be as active (think: completely out of shape). Without you, I wouldn’t be as fun (think: boring). Without you, I’d forget how to relax (think: frazzled). Without you, I wouldn’t be as frugal (think: poor). Without you, I wouldn’t be me.
Wishing you were home with us today so we could plant lots of birthday smooches on your cheeks!
I love you.
I’m sitting in bed this morning, soaking up the sun that’s pouring into the window, drinking my coffee. No babe begging for yogurt and a bagel. No husband running out the door for work. Just me and my thoughts.
Yesterday we got some pretty discouraging news about the house we’re supposed to settle on at the end of this month. This whole process has been stressful, emotional, and exciting — all at the same time, as it should be. But after weeks of daydreaming of what this house could be for us. What we could make of it. How we would grow there. I had a breakdown last night.
My heart is broken. But we will make the most of this situation and we will come out of it okay. Actually, better than okay! We’ll be happy with wherever this life of ours is leading us. If this house isn’t meant to be, then there’s another home with our name on it, that’s even more perfect for us — we just haven’t stumbled upon it quite yet.
I have my husband to thank for bringing me back to center. For easing my constantly impatient and worried mind. He always has a way of doing that and I love him for it.
This circumstance does not and will not define us.
I had a couple baked sweet potatoes leftover from dinner the other night and wanted to make sure they got eaten. My love for sweet potatoes is evident, but a plain sweet potato for more than 1 day for lunch can get boring, and fast!, so I whipped up this simple recipe using ingredients I had in my pantry.
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Nutmeg + 1/2 Tsp Ginger
2 Large Eggs, whisked
1 Cup Sweet Potato Puree*
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1/4 Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
+ 1/2 Cup Chopped roasted almonds, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, dash of salt mixture to sprinkle on top.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining wet ingredients. Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients just until they are combined (try not to over mix!). Place 1 tbsp of batter (I use a cookie scoop to get an accurate & consistant measurement) in each cup of greased mini muffin tins, top with a sprinkle of the almond & brown sugar mixture, then bake for 15 minutes.
* To make the sweet potato puree, bake sweet potatoes (or yams) in a 400 degree oven for one hour (depending on size), allow to cool, slice in quarters and mash flesh with a fork or in a food processor until smooth.
These little morsels are the perfect pick-me-up with afternoon coffee. I even crumbled some up & put it into my vanilla Greek yogurt — beyond delicious.
I’d love to hear how you use leftovers from one meal to make up a whole new dish or recipe!