I am so excited about the upcoming holiday this week, Halloween! I haven’t had the urge to do any nail art recently but my excitement about Halloween has inspired me again. These are my nails to celebrate! So this is our first Halloween in our house. I’ve heard rumors that we get a lot of kids for trick-or-treating. I’m looking forward to this. Mostly because I will get to see how it feels to be apart of a holiday that is built around kids.
I am ready for my first child and am ready to start trying! We have decided to start trying in about 6 months. That will give us both time to start taking vitamins and making better choices for our health. I’ve already made some dietary changes as well as some changes in my activity levels. Walking and yoga have become a couple of things that I enjoy doing. Listening to music or talking to a friend have made the walking less tedious and more enjoyable. I have long since had an appreciation for yoga and the benefits of it on the body, now I just incorporate it into my daily routine. I have a night time yoga routine that has caused me to sleep so hard I don’t want to wake up in the mornings, yet when I do finally wake up I am refreshed and relaxed. That is a great advance from the position I was in just a few weeks ago.
With the cool air coming in I made one of my favorite things in this world, vegetable beef stew. My mother makes the absolute best but I took a go at it and was fairly successful, it tasted very similar to hers. (not quite as good mom 😉 ) Now before I post the recipe I want to state that I grabbed things that I had available in my pantry and you are encouraged to do the same. Being a stockpile couponer like myself is very helpful when the mood strikes for something like this.
Mama’s Vegetable Beef StewCook time: at least 45 minutes – 8 hours Prep time: 5 minutes… how fast can you open your canned veggies? Serves: 6-8 people Calories: 433 calories for 2 cups of soup 1.5 lbs of stew beef 2 cans of tomato soup (i used condensed cause that’s what was in my cabinet) 1 can whole corn kernels 1 can green beans 1 can sweet peas 1 – 1 1/2 cups of carrots (I had fresh so that’s what i used. feel free to use canned.) 1 tbsp of parsley 1 tbsp of onion powder salt and pepper to taste Directions: 1. Brown off the stew beef in a big stock pot. Cook until the meat is not gushing blood anymore and all sides are brown (about 10 mins). Remember that the whole purpose is to have tender beef so were just pre-cooking it here. 2. I drain about half of the fat off and leave the rest because I have high cholesterol and love to have a little meat juice in mine. Feel free to drain it off completely. 3. Add the meat back, with all other ingredients. Stir together and bring to a soft boil. Turn down to about medium low (you want it to be simmering) and put a lid on it. 4. Cook for as long as possible. (I let mine simmer for about 4 1/2 hours this time and stirred every 30-45 minutes.) While you are waiting for it to cook feel free to check in with friends on facebook and to catch up on pinterest. Don’t worry about the laundry, crying children, or mandatory errands. This is your time to cook so while it simmers away, do something for yourself so that you may simmer in your own awesomeness. 5. I made cornbread to serve with mine. (you can find that recipe on the side of the cornmeal bag 🙂 ) My husband went back for seconds, I had it for lunch the next day. I still have plenty for a whole 4 more meals.
If for some reason your family does not suck up all the goodness within a few days, freeze it! When those deep winter days come and all you want is a great cup of homemade soup, go directly to your freezer and thaw! The great thing about making this stew is that it is never the same twice, especially if you are using your pantry as the ingredients. Another fantastic thing about this, the leftovers get better and better because its been partying while in the fridge.
Try it out and let me know what you think!