07 December 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do Post #41: First Place, a Finish and One-Pot Beef Stew

 Dates on calendar are closer than they appear! 
(I recently read that...um, somewhere...)
Good gracious, here come those holidays!
and start checking things off the list!

First, I have big news to share on the cadet!
West Point had their first track meet of the season
on Saturday and guess who took first in pole vault?
And then he went on to set a new personal record:
16 feet, 4.75 inches!

This put him in the vaulters' "5m Club"--as they
call it--and he's now ranked #13 in the country!
After a couple rough years (injury & Covid), he's back and
he'll be climbing vaulting his way up that ranking now!

Update on the other son's stolen truck:
The truck is now fixed ($800) and he's back to a
normal stress-level for his last week of school--EVER .
Two degrees, (3.9 gpa) in 3.5 yrs at Creighton University. 
Always pulling a very full load of classes (18+ hours)
and working lots of hours.  He'll be taking a couple
days off and then going right into his big-boy job.
Way to go, kiddo!

Now, for my to-do's of last week:

It seems forever since I made any real progress in the
sewing room.  And with so much going on, I didn't
expect to get much done but here I am today with
!finally! a decent amount to show.  I've been pushing
myself through a funk and it seems to be working.
(Caffeine helps!)

Firstly, I finally finished G's quilt--binding and all.

It's too cold outside for a better pic so these will
have to do.  (Winter decided to show up finally.)

And for J's quilt, I completed about 160 flying geese,
stopping to wait on one last fabric to show up.  I now
have it in my hands so I'll be finishing those today.

Being short on time, I am using this

It finishes at 67x76; I'm making it for a twin
bed so I'll need to do some altering with the borders.
Pattern can be found at Bear Creek Quilting Company.
They have lots of free patterns if you have your coffee
handy and want to peruse away your morning.

No progress on the quilting of HVP but I need to get
on it if I'm going to get J's quilt done, too.

How is everyone else doing with their holiday to-do's?
If you're feeling bogged down like I was last week, might
I suggest first just get off your duff.  I know it's hard, just
do it--now.  Next, make a list.  Then blare some spirited
holiday music, get to work and start checking things off. 
The more you get done, the more you want to get things done! 

And now for our family's most favorite beef stew.  I never
thought beef stew would be among my faves but this one
just warms you down to your toes.  

If you have a good Irish soda bread recipe, I recommend
making that to go with it.  At some point, it became the
required companion for this in our home.
I might share that recipe next time.

I typically make this the nights the boys arrive home for
Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It just seems like the type of
hearty food that's good to come home to.  It warms your
body and soul; great for anyone under the weather!
The leftovers might even be better so you may want to
double it depending on how many are in your home.  If my
boys are both home, there won't be much left over so I
guess you could say it serves 5-6.  

I'm usually able to save some fresh parsley from the garden
before the elements get to it and we usually still have some of
our own potatoes and I freeze the carrots in big, hearty chunks
  just for this.  I realize these aren't usually options for most people,
but it sure makes a difference in flavor.  I buy beef stew meat
to make it easier, though it usually does need a little trimming.
Choose a nice dry red wine--sweetness would kill the flavor.
All chefs say never cook with any wine you wouldn't drink
so forget that grocery store "cooking wine".  Besides, you'll
need some to enjoy with your meal.   A nice weeknight wine
that works well in this is Bonanza's Cab Sav.
(I think I've used Coppola Claret as well?)

Southern Living Oct 2016
1 1/2 lb beef Chuck roast, trimmed, cut into chunks
1 t freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 t salt, divided
1 T oil
3 med carrots, peeled and chunked 
1 med yellow onion, cut into wedges
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 c dry red wine
2 T flour
4 c beef broth
12 oz baby new potatoes (larger ones halved)
2 T whole grain mustard
1 T red wine vinegar
1/4 c loosely packed flat leaf parsley

Sprinkle beef with pepper and 1 t salt.  Heat oil in Dutch oven.
  Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally till brown on all sides
(about 6 mins).  Remove to plate.   Add carrots and onions to
Dutch oven; cook, stirring often until carrots and onions start
 to soften, 4-6 mins.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 min.  Add
red wine; cook until liquid has almost evaporated, 10-12 mins,
stirring and scraping any loosened browning on bottom of pan.
Whisk flour into 1/4 c beef broth in a small bowl.  Add to Dutch
oven, stirring quickly (it will thicken); stir in remaining broth.
Add beef and remaining salt.  Bring to boil; reduce to low.
Cover and simmer 45 min.  Add potatoes and cook until
potatoes are tender, about 20 mins.  Stir in mustard and
vinegar.  (At this point you can "hold" it till dinner time,
aka, flights are in, kids get home, etc.)
Sprinkle each serving with parsley and enjoy.

If you love pepper, add some extra for a bit of kick.
Freshly ground, please!
And don't forget that whole-grain mustard
at the end.  It's what makes this pop! 

My to-do's for next week:
~Finish quilting HVP~
~Finish J's quilt top, backing and load up~
~Maybe squeeze in a weekday golf round by myself?~
I skipped this last week to get caught up; it's too cold
now but later this week...just maybe.

Other things
Plan Christmas menu
Finish garden clean up
Add curtains, straw to coop for winter
Wrap gifts; check Christmas list

Happy holiday quilting!


piecefulwendy said...

It was on my mental to do list to email you today - I was hoping you were nose to the needle and not dealing with anything else. Congrats to both of your guys for their accomplishments! You have every right to be a proud mama! That stew looks amazing and who can argue with fresh bread and a good cab? Yum! Well done on your quilting projects too - I'd say you've snapped out of the funk!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

G's quilt is so pretty - hooray for a finish! Your beef stew recipe sounds yummy, thanks for sharing the recipe. I make stew in my crockpot fairly frequently, but have not thought to add the red wine! Glad your boys are doing well - sounds like you have a graduation coming up soon, too. Have a productive week, Cheree!

chrisknits said...

My daughter was working from our house today and I was watching the baby and we discussed our Christmas menu. We have to wait until Dec 31st to celebrate with both daughters, but the baby family is coming Christmas Day, so she requested Chicken and Dumplings. A so not Holiday meal to me. LOL. For our Dec 31st bash we are doing Racks of Lamb!!! Oh I can't wait. But Chicken and Dumplings it is for my girl.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Cheree! WOWEE! 13th in the COUNTRY!! THAT IS AMAZING. I believe he will be vaulting his way up that ladder. I wish him serious good luck and I know (hope) you'll keep us apprised. So glad your other son's truck is all fixed. It's stressful enough to be going through exams without having to do it without your usual wheels at your disposal. He sounds like a smarty pants - I admire anyone who figures out that 18 credits cost the same as 12 credits . . . so load yourself up. And working, too?!! Good for him and you. What's his field? They will be lucky to have him. G's quilt turned out fab! It'll be in no time at all and you'll be binding J's quilt. I have to agree - the dates on the calendar are WAY closer than they appear. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

Needledmom said...

Congratulations to both boys! Those are wonderful accomplishments and need to be celebrated. You’ve accomplished so much this week. I love that Flying Geese pattern. The stew sounds delicious. Stew is such a wonderful comfort food around here. I hope it warms up enough for golf this week.

Vicki in MN said...

What awesome news on both your boys, congrats to them! And congrats to you for pushing through the funk. That is a great pattern from BC and you will work your magic on it for sure. Happy Holidays!

Linda said...

Wow - #13 in the country! I know you are just so, so proud of your boys, and what a great life they both have ahead of them. I know they are looking forward to digging into that beef stew - thank you for that recipe! G's quilt is beautiful, and I really like that flying geese pattern. Glad you found a way out of your funk, and I laughed out loud at "blare some spirited holiday music" - LOL! Well you are so right, you HAVE to get off the duff, and once you actually do it, it gets easier.
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