Friday, December 30, 2011

A little Friday afternoon redecorating

Well, thanks to my new found obsession with Pintrest, I came across a pin yesterday that I looooved and had pretty much all the pieces for!  This morning i just went out and got a floating shelf (why are those things always so hard to install?!) and some spray paint.

Before of the wall:

Voila!  It's hanging over the chest with my TV on it...

The colors are a little off in the pictures, thanks to my crappy camera, but what do you think?  Success or unnecessary holes in the wall?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Soup, Stew, oh I love you!

It’s a rainy day in the neighborhood…  so that means I’m spending the day in my sweatpants inside!  I got tired of sitting in front of the TV, so I decided to get up and do a little cooking.  I’ve officially depleted my homemade frozen soups, so I needed to make more.  I made the squash soup I wrote about back in November, but this time I subbed plain Greek yogurt for the cream to make it a little healthier.  This is probably the best soup I’ve ever made!

To keep the cooking trend going, I decided to tackle a beef soup recipe I’ve had my eye on for a while now.  This recipe is from William Sonoma, The Weeknight Cook cookbook (slightly modified).  If anyone is looking for a cookbook with easy to make and very delishious meals, I highly recommend this!  There is a hardback version with main and side dishes and a binder version with starter recipes (sauces, doughs, etc), mains, sides, and desserts.  You will have people thinking you’re a gourmet chef after making something from here!

Hungarian Beef Stew (4-6 servings)

2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 lb Boneless beef chuck, fat trimmed, and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
2 large yellow onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic
1 ½ Tbs paprika
2 Tbs tomato paste
4 cups chicken broth
1 lb new potatoes
1 cup baby carrots, cut in half


  1. In Dutch oven or large pot over high heat, warm olive oil.  Add beef and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is browned and onions begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes.

The beef & onions braising!

  1. Stir in garlic, paprika, and tomato paste.  Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce heath to low, cover and braise about 1 hour.

Baby new potatoes & baby carrots!

  1. Add the potatoes and carrots, and continue to braise covered until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.  Serve or cool completely and freeze.
Cooling down!  This isn't the best picture, but it's the best my cell phone camera could do!

Now, for the beef I used the already cut up “for stews” beef chunks, rather than a whole slab of beef, just seemed a lot easier.  As for the tomato paste, seems like all you ever need is 1-2 tablespoons, but you have to buy a big can or tube.  I don’t use it enough, but I hate to throw away good food!  So, I store the leftovers in 2-3 tablespoon portions, I put portions in separate corners of a baggie, then freeze.  Then when I need some again, I just pull out the one chunk and thaw.

Tomato paste ready to be frozen!

The mailman just dropped by a gluten free cookbook I ordered ($2, heck yeah Amazon!), the new Better Homes & Gardens magazine, and a Burpee catalogue… I think I’ll spend the rest of my afternoon deciding what new recipes to make next and creating hypothetical dream gardens!

T minus 2.5 hours until trivia, Goooo Clark W Griswold, Jr. you can do it!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Internet heaven

Hello, my name is Anne and I am a pintrest addict!

Seriously, whoever invented Pintrest is AMAZING! I get lost on that site for hours on end and have to force myself to put the computer down.  I won't let myself start a board, because I know I'll just spend more time than I already do on there, but I love browsing others!

If you haven't tried Pintrest, check it out!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?

Is your house on fire Clark?  No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights!

I just love Christmas movies... Christmas Vacation, Elf, Love Actually (ok, not completely a Christmas movie), and the original Grinch Who Stole Christmas are my favorites.  I love putting on a holiday movie or music and decorating!

The one thing I really miss in a house is a fireplace.  Not only for the warm and cozy glow, but mostly because I have no mantle to decorate! So I gotta figure out something else instead.

Now, I don't go all out like my man Clark W. Griswold, Jr., but I like to have a touch of something in every room.  Behold

My (fake) tree!

My Hokie Tree!

Arraignment on my coffee table

My dining table (I need a table cloth or something)
A little snowman and jar of ornaments for the guest room

A Santa hanging on the mirror in my room

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Those turkeys were wobblin down the field!

Well, my Hokies tried.... sort of.  I guess I can't whine about it too much, we did lose to Clemson once already this year, I was just hoping for some redemption.  Instead, we got a slaughter!

Until next year (or the bowl game in a few weeks!) Gobble Gobble bitches :o)