Wednesday, October 15, 2008

getting there

Finally, a chance to post.

We are in the home stretch. Mike delivered the third of the first four sims to the school yesterday, and spent all last night getting the fourth one started. He should be able to deliver that one by Monday, and then he will spend next week connecting everything and getting them up and running. Then he can take a break from day and night work before he starts in on the last three. It has been a manufacturing blitz!

Fall has flown by us, I have to make a conscious effort to appreciate the glorious color, and the crunch of the leaves under my feet as I walk to get Charlie from the bus stop. I make myself pause, every now and then, to look out the window as the leaves gently float to the ground, a little faster each day. Already some of the trees are bare, and I wonder how it went so fast. It seems it was just last week that Charlie and I were at the pool, and it was so very warm. I may turn the furnace on today, it feels like it's time.

It's clearly time for tummy warming food. Food that greats you with it's aroma when you walk in from outside, with pink cheeks and a runny nose. Dishes that are steaming when you sit down to enjoy them. I found this recipe in our local newspaper. We love stew in our family, and I usually go with our standard recipe. But I decided to try this one, and we have a new favorite!

Smoky Cider Beef Stew
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lg onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika (get it at Penzeys)
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
2 lbs stew meat, cut into chunks
1 c. apple cider
3 lg carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, cut into chunks
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1 14 oz. can beef broth
1/4 c cold water
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
In large Dutch oven, heat oil over med hi heat and saute onoin, garlic, thyme, paprika and ginger for 5 min or until onion is tender. Add meat, cook 5 min or until brown. Remove thyme sprigs. Add cider, scraping the good stuff from the bottom of the pan. Add carrots, potatoes, tomatoes with their juice, and the broth. Stir well, bring to a simmer. Simmer for an hour and a half or two (the longer you cook it, the more tender the meat will become). Mix the cornstarch into the cold water, add to the stew to thicken. Simmer for a few more minutes. Serve with warm biscuits and a hearty red wine.
Other options:-buy leaner, more expensive meat. If you do, you can simmer it for just 20 minutes, then finish it by baking it in the oven for 15 minutes. You can bake your biscuits right on top of the stew if you choose to do it this way.

Take a few minutes to appreciate our gorgeous landscape before the fall color spectacle comes to an end, and make yourself a pot of this stew!

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