Friday, October 28, 2011

Favorite Cool Weather Dish

I stepped outside today to head to my prenatal appointment and actually shivered!  Little Man and I were both wearing shorts and t-shirts.  A glance at my weather app confirmed that it was 55 degrees!  Woohoo!  I quickly went back inside to get Gabriel a jacket and change into some jeans.

In honor of this special day--the coldest we've had yet here--I've decided to share one of my family's favorite slow cooker recipes:  Beef Stroganoff.  Besides roast beef, this is probably the meal that Drew requests the most.  It's just perfect for a cold (or cool) day, although I shamelessly make this even in the hot summer months because it's just that good. ;)

Start with some basic beef stroganoff ingredients:  beef, mushrooms, onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, flour, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, and sour cream.

My recipe calls for actual steak, but I've found that stewing meat works just as well.  It's cheap and you don't have to spend time cutting it up.  Just dump it in the slow cooker and there you go!

Mix the flour, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl then dump it over the meat in the crock pot.

Now here's the fun part:  coating the meat in the flour mixture!  I'm probably the only one who actually enjoys handling raw beef or chicken (but don't get me started on pork--that's enough to make me want to turn vegetarian).  I just use my fingers to toss everything, but feel free to use some sort of utensil. ;)

All done!  Now wash your hands, regardless of whether you used them or a utensil. :)

Next, combine the onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, and some water in a bowl.  I usually just use the same one; I'm all about cutting down on dishes!

Pour it over the beef and add the mushrooms, stirring to combine.  I don't use my hands here!

Set your crockpot timer (or kitchen timer) for 3.5 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low.  Then sit back, relax, and wait!  I always cook it on high, because I usually make it while Gabriel's sleeping.

About 15 minutes before the stroganoff is done, add the sour cream.  It'll turn into this creamy beefy color.  Yum!  (I always like to sample it a little here, too... just to make sure it turned out!)

Serve it over rice with a side of asparagus and you can't go wrong!  Just look at it!  (You're welcome to serve it over the egg noodles, which I did the very first time I made it.  My recipe calls for rice, however, so I tried it that way the second time and have never gone back.  So yummy!)

Hope you all enjoy!  And here's to hoping I can put my shorts away for good!

Beef Stroganoff Recipe
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 3/4 pounds boneless beef steak (or stew meat)
10 3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 package of mushrooms, washed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (optional)

1.  Combine flour, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika in a small bowl.

2.  Cut meat into strips (or use stew meat).  Place in slow cooker and toss in flour mixture.

3.  Combine mushroom soup, water, and onion soup mix in a small bowl.  Stir until well blended.  Pour over meat.

4.  Add mushrooms and toss until mixed.

5.  Cover and cook on High 3-3.5 hours or Low 6-7 hours.

6.  Stir in sour cream and parsley.  Cook on high 10-15 minutes.

7.  Serve over rice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fingers Crossed

I'm BEYOND excited for the Silhouette Cameo.  Like I mentioned here, it's number one on my Christmas list this year.  Just looking at all the different stuff one can do with this amazing piece of machinery makes me go crazy!

So... I entered two giveaways for it today!  I know I'll probably be getting it for Christmas if I don't win, but I'd absolutely love to have it before Christmas.  I have so many gift ideas to make with it that will have to wait for next year's birthdays.  I'd love to make some for this year!

I've never won anything before, so I'm trying not to get too excited.  Both giveaways I entered already had over 2,000 entries. -sigh- Still... there's always the chance, right? :)

Anyway... I have more crafts to share, so expect another blog soon! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

18 Days

Almost ready for little Hallie Ruth to make her appearance.

Been doing baby laundry for the last couple of days.  Love the smell of Dreft. ♥

Eeek... so much pink!!

Eighteen days until her due date!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I think Texans get gypped when it comes to autumn.

Seriously... middle of October and we're still getting 90-degree days!  I've worn my boots a total of one time.  And only because it was raining and I didn't want to slide around in my flip flops.

Basically, I wanted to write a Fall Bucket List, but to be honest, I'm having a really hard time getting into the fall season.  It doesn't help that every time I go outside, or even look out my windows, I see palm trees.  Beautiful in summer... discouraging in Indian summer.  I won't even know what to think this winter!

Anyway, I keep thinking, "Maybe next week it'll be cool and I can finally make some hot chocolate." Or, "Maybe tomorrow I can wear a long-sleeved shirt without feeling like I'm suffocating." (Okay, maybe this won't happen until after Hallie is born.)

Maybe, maybe, maybe!

All of you bloggers who are lucky enough to be in full-swing autumn, count your blessings... and have some hot chocolate for me! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nesting Projects

I have a little over three weeks to go until my due date.

I'm freaking out a little.  Okay, a lot.

I still have so much to do to get ready for Hallie's arrival!  I'm also a little worried because I never really started "nesting" with Gabriel.  I mean, I did get a lot of projects accomplished in the last couple weeks before he was born, but it was more me forcing myself to get off my backside and do them than an urge and the inexplicable energy to get them done.

Now, with an active sixteen-month-old, I'm even less motivated.  Scary.

When we moved, we stuck all of our miscellaneous junk in the spare room closet... the closet that is supposed to be Hallie's.  This week, my number one project goal is to get it cleaned out and organized.  Lovely.

Gabriel's room looks like a hurricane blew through.  He's in the middle of outgrowing his 18-month clothes, so all his 2T stuff that just arrived from my mom is everywhere.  He's been getting dressed every day from the floor.  I need to run out and get some plastic bins to store his old clothes, but haven't found the time/energy yet.  On top of that, his closet is also disorganized. -sigh-

I need to wash all of Hallie's clothes and get them put away.  Easier said than done, as I don't have any drawer space for her yet.  Only so much baby stuff can be hung on hangers!  I also need to get her more clothes and blankets.  Gabriel had tons and tons of itty baby clothes and he went through all of them in those first couple of weeks.  Hallie has very few things, and most of them are sized 3 months!

Well, I should probably get to work.  I need to get groceries and get a load of laundry going.  I've entitled this post "Nesting Projects" in hopes that maybe I'll actually start nesting for real.  Ha.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Homemade Bread

My husband's favorite food is bread.  No, seriously.  A few years ago, he told me that his favorite part about Thanksgiving dinner is the rolls.  Rolls!  At Thanksgiving!  I promptly told him he was crazy.  I mean, I like bread and all, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's my favorite part of any meal, much less Thanksgiving.

Anyway.  Like I said a few posts ago, I've been starting to try more new things in the kitchen and I started with desserts.  Well.  Drew and I do not have the same tastes in desserts.  My first few attempts at surprising him when he got home from work were less than satisfactory.  Knowing that his favorite Christmas candy is his mom's toffee, I tried my hand at this recipe (which turned out amazing, by the way).

After eating a piece, he said:  "You know, I don't think I actually really like toffee.  I think it's more the idea that I only get it at Christmas that appeals to me."

Well, excuse me.  (Not that I minded so much.  I have proceeded to eat almost the whole batch myself.  He has only had one piece and that is fine with me.)

So desserts are pretty much out.  If I can't make something that both of us like, I might as well not make a lot.  I certainly don't need the extra sugar and I am not going to labor in the kitchen for sweets that I don't like!  If I wasn't almost nine months pregnant, I might consider it; right now, being on my feet long enough to make and clean up dinner is rough enough.

But enough of the backstory.  Last week, I got a craving for fresh homemade bread after seeing seeing this recipe on Pinterest.  I knew I had to make it.  It looked so easy and my poor KitchenAid mixer has been somewhat neglected in the last three years.  Yesterday, while my teething tyke was sleeping, I threw everything together in the mixer and happily watched it go.

The recipe says to mix for 7 minutes, but that was way too long.
Mine was done after only 4 and I think I over mixed it.

After letting it rise for an hour, I separated it and let it rise again.

Then, I brushed it with an egg mixture and sprinkled it with oats before baking it.  At this point, Gabriel woke up.  He was not amused that the bread was baking and not ready to eat.  He stood at the oven for about five minutes saying "Mmmm?  Mmmm!"

Meanwhile, the smell of fresh bread permeated my house and possibly the building.

It.  Was.  Heavenly.

After baking for about thirty minutes, I pulled the bread out of the oven and turned the loaves onto a wire rack for cooling.

Totally scrumptious-looking (and -smelling)!

I promptly texted my husband:  "You are in for a treat tonight!!!"

When he came home, he was ecstatic that I'd made him homemade bread.  He couldn't say enough about it.  Between the three of us, we polished off over half a loaf.  Drew and I both ruined our dinner... but we couldn't help ourselves!  The bread was so yummy that it was worth it!

And you know what?  The bread was my favorite part of the meal. :)

Gabriel and I had some for breakfast this morning.  I toasted it in the toaster and then spread butter and strawberry jelly on it.  It was insane.

I use paper plates for breakfast.  Don't judge.
This bread is probably going to become a weekly staple for me.  I'm definitely going to have to bake a few loaves to freeze so that I can enjoy it after Baby Girl gets here!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...