Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beef Stew with Bacon, Onion, and Sweet Potatoes

I've been meaning to share this recipe for awhile now. I actually found it through a blog reader who has a recipe blog. It is my FAVORITE! Some may say that stew season is over, but I disagree. Anything that can be cooked in the crockpot (and not the oven, thus heating the entire house) is worthy to be cooked any time of the year. We use pastured meats and homemade broth which only adds to the flavor. This recipe fills an average size crockpot so it's also great for having company. We love it with fresh homemade bread and coleslaw or cheese and mayo sandwiches.

Beef Stew with Bacon, Onion, and Sweet Potatoes

2 lbs. stew beef cut into 1 in. cubes

32 0z. beef broth

3-4 med. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 in. cubes

2 med. onions chopped

6 slices bacon, diced (I just cut it up with a kitchen scissors)

2 tsp. dried thyme

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

4 T. cornstarch

~4 T. cold water

Combine all the ingredients in crockpot except sweet potatoes, water, and cornstarch and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add sweet potatoes a couple of hours before eating (adding them too soon and they get mushy). Then turn off crockpot, remove all liquid and bring to boil over the stove and add cornstarch mixed with cold water and boil again until it thickens. Add thickened broth to crockpot and serve.

I hope your family enjoys this as much as we do. Oh, and grieving mamas - stop over at Ebe's blog here for a great post on spiritual stillbirth. It nearly brought me to tears - in a good way!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bedroom Redecorating

Here's a view of the BEFORE from our closet. We have a huge north-facing window. Routinely, we get great-horned owls that perch on roof above our room and hoot through the night. Sounds like it would be peaceful, right? It's actually really hard to sleep through. The door way on the right goes into our master bath.
This picture was taken with the window behind me (see the open closet). On the left is Paul's dresser. It actually looks pretty decent in this photo. It was not. The drawers did not have slides, so they would go all whopperjawed when they got pushed in (meaning not flush with the rest of the dresser) I hurt my shoulders and neck multiple times when pushing those bottom drawers in. And it was really beat up.
This is the view standing in the bathroom doorway. The duvet cover on the bed is our new one. I am currently in love with all things paisley. Our old duvet cover was a pastel plaid one. This new one is in shades of brown, dusky blue, and green on a cream background.
Now here is the new furniture: sleigh bed, dresser with mirror and nightstand, with a better look at the color of the walls as opposed to the photo below this one.
This picture looks like I painted the walls pink. As much as I like pink, I did NOT paint our bedroom pink. This was however, the only picture I got of the new dresser.

And here is the painting completed. Boston Coastline doesn't look that great in this photo, but in real life, it is perfect. The other three walls are a cream (fresh linen).

Now the only thing left is to hang something on this headboard wall. I had bought a sepia photo, but it just didn't look right. I've thought about a vinyl saying or design, but haven't found anything that "speaks to me." I would love suggestions. All in all, it feels great having another project done and with good results.