This little girl cracks me up! I guess she thinks she's hidden since she doesn't look up. The first time she did this Nick and I were in the kitchen and the only reason we realized she was crawling away was because she first bumped into the wall because she wasn't looking where she was going! It was quite a pitiful sight...she had crumbs and dog hair stuck to her face because of all the tears and the fact that she literally drug her face over the living room and part of the kitchen floor! Sometimes it's hard to stay upset!
Monday, August 31, 2009
The first thing we had to do was brown the bacon and then remove it from the pan and then start browing the beef. Doing as Julia instructed, we made sure to completely dry off the meat first, because if the meat was wet it would not brown properly.
Once the meat was finished it was time to brown the vegetables.
We only had one little accident during this process...let's just say Nick is really good at sharpening the knives!
Then it was time to add everything back into the Dutch Oven. First you add a little flour to help create a little crust on the beef. Everything goes in the oven for just a few minutes, then you bring it back out, add 3 cups of red wine and enough beef stock to cover the beef and back into the oven it goes, this time for 2-2 1/2 hours.
While that was simmering away in the oven, it was time to get to work on the mushrooms and onions!
I failed to get a picture of the mushrooms cooking...but let me tell you, they were delicious! But then again, most things sauteed in butter are!
I will be the first one to say I'm not a big fan of onions. I've gotten to where I can eat them if they're sauteed with my meat and they're very small, but that's about it, so I was very nervous about these...but they were really good! And I thought they looked so pretty while cooking.
After the meat came out of the oven we strained the sauce so we could skim the fat off and reduce it down. Then everything was added back into the dutch oven and stored in the refrigerator until the next day. Let me tell you, Julia was 100% right about it being better the second day! We reheated everything, Nick boiled some red potatoes and then sauteed them with butter and garlic and we served some whole roasted garlic bread we found at Kroger. Overall, I'd say the dish was very good. The sauce is really what makes it! I wouldn't call it a beef stew more like a fancy roast. I was a little let down, I had built this recipe up like it was really going to be something spectacular, and it did taste really good, just not quite what I was expecting I guess. But nonetheless, Nick and I had a really good time making the dish together...we don't usually both work on the same meal, but I really enjoyed it. I would definitely say this recipe is worth making.And no, that is not my photo...none of mine turned out very well, so I stole this from Google.
Aside from the food, the company was great! The Nichols have a little girl, Emily, just a few months older than Bailey. I failed to get any pictures of the girls playing...mostly because I was busy trying to make Bailey share!! But I've blogged about a previous play date here.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I've been working on my stockpile, and that's what this trip was mainly for.
While I was there I also had to pick up some chicken for dinner, a head of garlic and some bread to make my garlic cheesy bread. Here's the breakdown:
6 boxes of cereal
5 boxes of granola bars
4 boxes of Macaroni Grill boxed dinners
2 boxes of Au Gratin potatoes
1 can of corn
2 packages of Simply Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies
1 loaf of bread
1 head of garlic
1 package of chicken tenderloins
Total spent before coupons/sales: $75.05
Total out of pocket: $23.87, over 68% savings!
And each of the Cheerios's boxes came with a $1.50 off Pull-Ups, which is what we use at night now, so even better!
That's like spending about $1 on each of the items!!! This was by far the best trip yet, and we're stocked up on some of our expensive boxed items for a VERY long time!!! And, on a side note, the new Simply Pillsbury cookies are really good. I love finding convenient food that actually tastes homemade. And these cookies taste really, really close to homemade ones!
Friday, August 21, 2009
On another note, I had picked up one of these Macaroni Grill boxed meals a couple weeks ago at the grocery to try one night. Now, I don't usually get real excited about anything that comes out of a box (not that we don't eat it, it just doesn't excite me!). But this was really good! And not just "came out of a box" good, but actually tasted good and made me want to go back for more good. I would really recommend this for a night when you just don't feel like doing a lot in the kitchen but want to eat at home. Nick made this last night since I was out all over creation showing houses (No, really, I was. At one point I was in Stringtown??) It's also a very easy clean up, I think he had one pot, one pan and a bowl. Doesn't get much easier than that! We tried the Creamy Basil and I think they also offer a couple of other options as well.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Nick, again this year, was great! He made dinner most nights, helped around the house more than usual and really got to spend some time with Bailey. This past school year was hard with him coaching two soccer teams and taking his first Master's class, there were several days during the week when Nick wouldn't get to see Bailey at all. As you can imagine this wasn't easy for her either. This made her even more of a momma's girl. This summer has been great for them! She no longer cries when I leave the house in the morning, instead just says "Bye mommy" and continues coloring with her daddy (or whatever toy they may be playing with that morning). They took several trips to the park, had a couple of play dates with another teacher and her daughter and even went swimming at a friend's house. Nick even got a little better at picking out outfits and doing Bailey's hair! He really worked with her on her counting and she can now pretty much count to 10 by herself. When they would swing at the park she would repeat the alphabet after him (I got to witness this when we went this past Sunday). I think they both thoroughly enjoyed this summer break.
This year will be hard again. He's taking 3 classes this fall and then coaching in the spring and taking at least 1 class then. But it will all be worth it in a couple of years when he's finished and has his rank I!
For now it's back to the real world. Having to get up earlier so I can get both Bailey and myself ready and take her to my mom's before work and then pick her up most nights and make dinner and clean up dinner and do the bathing and laundry and cleaning...I'm already tired just thinking about it. Not to mention my real estate career has been doing really well and I'm gone more now showing houses...which just adds a whole other bump in the road (a good bump, but bump nonetheless!).
Hope all the teachers enjoyed their breaks and hope you all have a great school year!