Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow day

We had our first snow day this last week. It only left enough snow to make a footprint. It was sad really. Yet schools were still cancelled. Schools are very cautious when it comes to snow here in our great state. Once, schools were cancelled because someone unexpectedly made a snow cone. Snow is a relatively infrequent visitor to Arkansas. In a typical winter we will see two or three snow “storms”. One of these occurrences will be considered severe. Severe translates into about two inches of snow. Here in the south, the first and only thing people do when it begins snowing is to buy bread, milk and eggs. It is critical to buy as much of these three things in whatever form they can be obtained. If the only thing available in the bread section of the grocery store is hot dog buns, that is what you should buy. No eggs? Egg beaters is going to have to do.

Last week's snow flurries qualified as one of these instances. The threat of snow caused mass pandemonium at the grocery store. I wish I had taken a picture. I was there on my regular weekly shopping run. I rarely listen to the news and had not realized the magnitude of what was about to hit our state. We were packed in like sardines. People were just grabbing what they could off the shelves. It didn't matter what it was, they were in a hurry to get out of there. They were all rushing around, I'd be surprised if some of them even stopped to pay. After all, they needed to get to the gas station, this is basic survival training. You absolutely MUST top off your tanks. You don't want to be caught without gas at a time like this.

Thankfully, I managed to get out of there in one piece. I can be quite scrappy when I need to be.

I am even more thankful for the pretty little snowman that Ryan made.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

C is for.....chocolate! I love chocolate, and usually in large amounts. It is very important to my over all health and more importantly, my well being.

Here is the food pyramid. These are all the food groups. See that top one there? They say this one is to be used "sparingly" Who decides this anyways? How on earth did they convince themselves this was a good idea? Sparingly? Come on people.

I leave you with a great recipe for Molten Lava Cakes. They are awesome!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Really Awesome Beef Stew!

This is a great recipe for the cold winter months. It is hearty and delicious! I never grew up liking stew at all, but this recipe is awesome. It is easy to make and so very flavorful, you will never see stew the same way. It's a must try!

You will need
1 to 2 lb chuck tender steak
3 to 4 slices bacon
3 carrots
2 potatoes
fresh green beans
1/2 of a yellow onion
4 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoons parsley
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic

Start by cutting up the meat and vegetables.
Feel free to add more meat and vegetables than what I have above. I don't really measure how much I put in, but the above is my best guess. I usually put in a couple handfuls of fresh green beans, and a couple handfuls of cut up baby carrots. If you use the big carrots, I would use two to three. Also I use three thick slices of bacon or 4 regular slices for this dish.

Place the cut up slices of bacon in a pot or dutch oven over med. high heat with a little oil so the bacon doesn't stick. Did I mention this is not low-fat? Don't be skeered....

Cook the bacon until done and transfer to paper towels, it will come back into play later.

Leave two tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot and save the rest for the next step. Then throw in the cut up meat. Sear the meat on all sides and remove to a plate. It does not need to be cooked through.

Once the steak has been removed, lower the temp to medium and there should still be some grease and juices from cooking the meat at the bottom of the pan, if not add two more tablespoons to saute the vegetables. Then throw in the carrots, onions, and green beans. Cook until the onions are translucent. About five minutes.

Once they are cooked add the two tablespoons of butter and let melt. Then add the 5 tablespoons of flour and stir. It will turn into a paste around the vegetables.

Next add in the beef broth and stir. Then add in the two tablespoons of tomato paste. Once these are stirred in add back the meat and its juices, add the garlic, italian seasoning, bay leaf, and parsley. At this point put on the lid and either cook it on the stove over medium heat or stick it in the oven on 325 degrees for
1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours add the cut up potatoes, then either put back in oven or on stove for 45 more minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

Here it is in all its goodness! Yum!

Then get you a big ol' helping and sprinkle the bacon bits on top! I also add a little salt and pepper. So So Good!

I serve this with either rolls, or garlic cheddar biscuits, or yummy cornbread. I will give you those recipes another day.

*Do not use stew meat in this dish, stew meat is tough and chewy. I use chuck tender steak which you can find at walmart, or you could use sirloin or any other tender cut of meat. You will not regret it. Also if you can add just about any vegetable...celery, mushrooms, etc. Try this as soon as possible it will make your winter a little more bearable!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You must listen to this!!!

If you want to hear more David Platt sermons or his entire series on what the Gospel demands go to
and below sermon resources for each chapter of his book he has sermons that go along with each chapter. I would highly recommend reading the book too! It has changed my thinking completely. It is time to make huge sacrifices for Christ. As he puts it "We are His plan A, there is no plan B."