Thursday, October 30, 2014

Savory Cinnamon Beef: Recipe

This recipe. Oh my goodness. I copied it down from a Paleo cookbook my old roommate has, and had to add/change a few ingredients, and this is what I got. Pure amazingness. The perfect cold-weather dinner.

Unfortunately I didn't photograph as I went, but I'll try to be as descriptive as possible in my directions. :) Just know that it will be wonderful.

For about 4 servings, you will need:
1.5 lbs stewing beef, cut in bite-sized chunks
A little olive oil
Salt & pepper
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
A few shakes of cinnamon
A few shakes of dried basil
3 cups water

What to do:
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Sprinkle the beef with a little salt & pepper and brown in batches. This is very important for well-browned beef and good flavor - don't crowd the meat in the pan. I used tongs and placed half of the meat around the pot in the oil. Let it brown on one side, and then gently turn to brown on the bottom. Remove to a plate and brown the rest of the meat. 

Now add your vegetables (the carrots, onions and garlic) and stir for about 2 minutes so that the little bits on the bottom get mixed in. Next add your tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat the veggies. Increase the heat to medium-high and gradually stir in the beef broth. It will thicken as you stir :) Add the vinegar the same way, stirring constantly. Stir in the spices/herbs. Last, stir in the water and bring to a boil. After the stew has come to a boil, turn the heat down to low and set a lid on the pot at an angle so some steam can escape. Let the meat simmer for 1 1/2 hours minimum, 2 + hours maximum. I let mine sit for about 2.5 hours and it was absolutely perfect. 

Spoon into bowls and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Glitzy Gloves: Holiday Spirit

I had a sudden burst of holiday inspiration and wanted to make a pair of party-worthy gloves. They were originally going to be just plain knit wristers, but I decided to crochet a few small flowers to adorn them and make them truly fancy. 

These are available in my Etsy shop and would make an absolutely gorgeous gift for the holidays. 

And if you are a knitter/crocheter, the pattern is available on Ravelry!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apartment Living Tips: Part 3

I'm back with more tips for apartment living! This is my third installment in this 'series' - I hope you find some of these ideas helpful.

Mmmm...dusty French press.
1. Save that coffee! Okay, so this isn't the most pleasant idea, but if you're short on time and money, don't waste the coffee. Make 2 cups in the morning, drink one and save the other to reheat the next morning.

2. Weekly dishes. Do you have roommates? More specifically, do you have roommates who don't enjoy doing the, ever? Make a weekly schedule - each week it's someone's turn to take care of the kitchen. Obviously ask everyone to make an effort to clean up their own mess, but if the dishes start to pile up, it's that person's responsibility to do them.

3. Food sharing. Label your food and ask for permission before eating someone else's food! (I actually wrote on my bananas with a Sharpie this week...)

4. No more holes in the wall! Start hanging pictures with binder clips instead of nails or screws! You can see some big holes from a previous tenant in the photo above - bleh! I think I found this idea on A Beautiful Mess a while ago - I can't remember. I definitely didn't come up with it on my own, but I think it's genius. I love the industrial-yet-creative vibe of it.

Hope these little tips helped! Nothing groundbreaking - just things I've learned while living with people.

Oh yeah, one last tip: take out the trash often. And I mean often.