Beef Tips with Mushrooms

I’ve come to the conclusion that posting every day is just not going to happen here.  I don’t cook anything new some days.  Some, I don’t cook anything at all.  If I did, I have no idea where I’d put it, as the fridge is usually stuffed to the point of exploding!

Over the weekend, I made some chicken vegetable soup with noodles.  Of course, I forgot to take any pictures of it until it was at the leftover stage, and not looking all that pretty anymore.  😛

Yesterday, I made beef tips with mushrooms.  It was delicious!  And easy!  😀

And warm and beefy, too.

The ingredients list here is fairly short.  Olive oil, red wine, beef, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and carrots.  I forgot to put the carrots in!  Really, I probably shouldn’t drink and cook.  😛

You’ll need about 2 1/2 pounds of beef.  I got a boneless shoulder roast and cubed it myself.  Stew meat is always rather fatty, I think, and a roast isn’t that much trouble to cube.

Saute 1 cup of shallots and 4 garlic cloves in about 2 tbsp of olive oil.  This is my favorite part.  It smells SO good!

Add the cubes of beef, and brown.

They will get quite juicy!

When the beef cubes are brown, empty the skillet into the crock pot.

I decided to do the mushrooms separately, so they would be nice and brown without being mangled by the meat.

I do love browned mushrooms!

They go in the crock pot also.

Now, the wine.  Some for me…and you…

This was a really tasty Zinfandel, by the way…for under $10!  And my beautiful Christmas-themed glass by Lolita is always fun to use.

Add 1-1 1/2 cup wine to the crock pot.

Cover, and cook on low 6-8 hours.  When the beef tips are tender and almost ready to serve, add 1 bag of frozen carrots (12 oz), or a small bag of baby carrots.  Then, cook until tender.  Serve over egg noodles, or rice.

Bon Appetit!

I actually put some frozen peas into the crock pot, after I had served dinner.  As leftovers, this was even better.  I don’t know if it was the peas, or just because somehow the flavors always meld a bit more overnight.

Either way, this was a win with the family.  And that makes every day a good one.  😀

Christmas Cake

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought today I’d better get busy.  I decided that this would be just the thing to share, as I’m sure we are all experiencing the anticipation and excitement of this time of year (along with the stress).

This cake has a bit of a kick, as it has BOOZE in it!  NOT for the faint of heart…

Begin by sampling the Cuervo to check its quality.  Pour 1 ounce, and drink.  You may add salt and lime.

If the BOOZE meets with your approval, beat 1 cup butter until it is light and fluffy.

Add 1 cup sugar, and continue to beat.  Check teh tequila again to make sure it’s still OK.  🙂

While the mixture is creaming, check tequila.

Turn off mixer thingy.  Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl.  Stir well.

Have a bit more BOOZE!  It’s Christmas by golly!

Chuck a cup of dried fruit into the batter.  Whatever kind you like will be just fine!

Pick the friggin’ fruit off the floor.  Mix on the turner, and put the fruit in there.

Sample the Quervo to check for tonisisticity.

Turn the nister on low.  If fruit gets stuck in the beater, just pry it loose using a splatula,

Then, sift 2 cups salt, or something together in a small vole.

Check the Quervo.

Now shift lemon juice and strain nuts.

Add a stable of sugar or whatever you fine.  Greashe the oven at 350-.

Turn the cake tim and flour.  Try not to fall over.

Don’t forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl out the windoer, and finder the Quervo.  Try not to trype over the kat.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

Chicken and Pasta

I realize I’m falling down on the job of posting every day.  Yes, already.  But I will offer up the only excuse I have at the moment…I’m a slacker BEEN BUSY COOKING!!!

LOL.  Kat meme pics are amusing, but that’s not what I intended for this blog to be about.  And while I’m trying to turn Groovy Noms into a real life business, I AM still feeding Rat Boy and Hubby daily.  Some days, it’s just nothing new or interesting.  😦

Today I have good stuff.  The Pioneer Woman gave me the idea, and this is a slightly twisted version of her Penne Pasta with Chicken ThighsDeliciously twisted!

We will begin with chopped onion.  I chopped one half, and diced the other…just to be different.

Add some garlic, of course.

And olive oil.  Saute until tender and glassy.  It will smell divine!

Insert chicken thighs, skin side down so they will brown obediently.  I used my fingers to scoot the onion/garlic mix out of the way.  You might want to use a spoon, however.

I know.  Raw chicken looks…well, raw.  But when it’s brown, it looks golden!

When they ARE brown, flip those thighs over, and drain most of the grease from the pan.  I accomplish this by using a wooden spoon to hold the thighs, and carefully pour out most of the liquid into the sink.

It’s best if the sink is clean, due to occasional unplanned thigh-flight.  Obviously, chickens are unaware they do not fly.

Once the pan is safely back on the stovetop, add a jar of pasta sauce and a can of roasted tomatoes.

Add about 1/2 cup of a nice red wine, and give everything a stir.

This one is very nice.  So I had to drink it.

Let the chicken simmer, uncovered, about an hour on low heat.

Then add zucchini slices, and whatever other veggies you might desire.

Veggies are looking lovely right now.  The corn is for today.  But it looked so pretty, I just had to take a picture while the chicken was simmering.

When the zucchini has cooked, about 10-15 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove chicken, zucchini, and tomato chunks from the pan.

Turn up the heat, and stirring constantly, reduce what remains of the sauce.

Boil some pasta.  I was feeling the farfalle last night, aka bow tie pasta.  In whole grain, even!

After draining the pasta well, without rinsing, pour the reduced sauce over it and gently mix to coat.  The pasta will soak up the sauce and yummy chicken juices.

Serve chicken over saucy pasta.

Garnish with basil, if so desired.  Hubby and Rat Boy are getting a bit tired of basil this year, but it’s still going strong.  😛

Eat, enjoy, and LOVE that there’s only 2 pans to wash!  (And the collander.  but I’m not counting that one.)

A Day in My Life

Yesterday I planned to get an early start finishing up some brownies and cookies that Mum needed for a luncheon today.  When I stumbled into the kitchen, in search of caffeine, I found instead…

Thousands of the little bastards invaders.  They were boiling out from under the cabinet in the corner, and making for the trash. I did have rib bones in the trash, but I’ve never seen anything like this.  Actually, I didn’t see them at first, I stepped in them.  😦

They then made their displeasure known in a way only biting insects can.

As I hopped around the kitchen swatting at one foot and then the other, Hubby passed by and asked what I thought I was doing.  I answered that obviously, I was practicing yoga.  He nodded briefly, mentioned I should try not to hurt myself, and moved on.

After disengaging the ants from my body, I went to battle with the 409.  I don’t have any pesticides, but this product will kill ants, as it contains soapy agents and ammonia.  I then gathered up the carcasses, and mopped the floor to destroy the scent trail.

Then I went to have coffee.

When I came back to start the brownies, the ants were back.  Like I’d never killed hundreds of their population!  So I called the office, and started killing ants again.  Maintenance came, sprayed, and the ants subsided.

Then I made brownies.  Brownies with a cream cheese layer and swirls on the top.  Yum!

Then I made cookies.  While I put up shelves that I’d been asking Hubby to put up for some time.  😦

When the cookies were ready for delivery, plated and wrapped, I started to plate the brownies.  The recipe suggested lining the dark metal pan with tinfoil, shiny side out.  GREAT idea to keep the edges from cooking faster than the center, and rising up against the edges.  Brownies look much prettier when they’re flat, I think.

BUT, the  *$%%& cotton picking tinfoil was stuck like glue to the bottom of the brownies.  GLUE I say!!!

I pried carefully.  I put them back into the pan and heated them.  Nothing was working.

Hubby, noting my distress, suggested flipping the whole thing upside down and letting gravity help.  He help the tinfoil while I used the Chef knife to slowly scrape them off the foil.  Finally, I was able to rescue and plate the brownies.

Sigh.

I delivered the whole hot mess order to Mum for her party, only about 3 hours late.  Fortunately, the party was a luncheon today.

When I arrived home Hubby was asleep so I went into the kitchen to fetch a much needed bottle glass of wine.   The ants were still gone from the floor, but now they were on the counter.  And I just didn’t care anymore.

I sat down in the quiet house to relax with my wine and a book.  Suddenly, I heard a strange noise like water running.  In the closet where the AC unit is.

When I pulled open the door, there was about an inch of water on the floor, and the walls were wet about 3-4 inches up.  So, I called maintenance again.

I get the feeling they are tired of hearing from me.

The maintenance guys arrived…again, at 9 PM.  They blew out some hoses, replaced the filter, and threw down some towels to dry the floor.

I mentioned the ants.  Again.  Nicely.  🙂

They went home.  I got the rest of the bottle another glass of wine and went to play WoW while Rat Boy got ready for bed.

This morning, the exterminator came and sprayed the entire house.  So maybe the ants will leave.  Or die.  Not just relocate.

Guess I’m feeling a bit bloodthirsty.

Caturday Funneh

How to give a cat a pill:

Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your elbow as though you were going to give a bottle to a baby. Talk softly to it. Sit on the sofa.
With right hand, position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. Be patient.  As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.  Let go of cat.
Pick the pill up off the floor and go get the cat from behind sofa.

Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process. Sit on floor in kitchen, wrap arm around cat as before, drop pill in mouth.

Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of  ten.
Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of closet. Call spouse from backyard. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat’s mouth. Slide pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
Retrieve cat from curtain rod, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered Doulton figures from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
Get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet.
Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.
Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
Call fire department to get cat from neighbor’s tree.  Tie cat’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, force cat’s mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour one cup of water down throat to wash pill down.
Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call at furniture shop on way home to order new table.
Get last pill from foil packet. Go into bathroom and get a fluffy towel. Stay in the bathroom with the cat, and close the door.

Sit on bathroom floor, wrap towel around kitty, leaving only his head exposed. Cradle kitty in the crook of your arm, and pick up pill off of counter.

Retrieve cat from top of shower door (you didn’t know that cats can jump 5 feet straight up in the air, did you?), and wrap towel around it a little tighter, making sure its paws can’t come out this time. With fingers at either side of its jaw, pry it open and pop pill into mouth. Quickly close mouth (his, not yours).
Sit on floor with cat in your lap, stroking it under the chin and talking gently to it for at least a half hour, while the pill dissolves.
Unwrap towel, open bathroom door. Wash off scratches in warm soapy water, apply antibiotic creme, comb your hair, and go find something to occupy your time for 7-1/2 hours a LARGE glass of wine.

While finishing the bottle, call vet and arrange daily visits for cat medication.

Beer of the week

This is my favorite beer of all time.  Well, except for maybe Young’s Ram Rod, which I can’t seem to find, at least here in Texas, anymore.  Sad Face on that.

But this well-rounded British ale has excellent character and flavor that can’t be beat.  It’s a heavy duty ale, with a nice 6% alcohol, which is nothing for you rum and whiskey drinkers.  😛  However, when it comes to ales, any stronger and you’re moving into thick, rich double-bock territory.

I’ll just stay here.  😀  As with many British ales, cold is good, but not too cold.  It really tastes best around 78F, but in Texas if you’re outside, it will undoubtedly attain a warmer temperature than that.  I continue to hope this is less than body temp, but on some days in the sun it likely approaches 98 or 99F if you aren’t drinking it quickly enough!

A great stand by beer, if you like ales…not too hoppy, a bit nutty, not too bitter, not too sweet, and having a lovely amber shade with nice head.  I really DO consider this a middle-of-the-road kind of beer, and that’s not because I’m driving in that position after I’ve had a couple!  It’s quite smooth also, so several can disappear rather quickly.  As in…who drank all my beer out of the cooler? quickly.  And than you realize it was you.

Singles come in traditional pint size, but it is also available in 6-packs.  (I wish someone would invent a 6-pack of pints!)

Polygamy in Texas!

You heard me.  Polygamy.  For the Beer of the Week, we have Polygamy Porter.

It’s a long story, but I’ve got time!  😛

When Rat Boy was 8, we went to the beautiful state of Utah to visit an old chum of mine whose son just happens to be the same age.  On the way there, we visited Carlsbad Caverns and the bats.  We drove over the continental divide at 2 A.M. with only the moon and some 18-wheelers for company.  We traveled old Route 66 to Flagstaff, Arizona (yes, I DO love the song).  We saw the sky blue waters of Lake Powell.  We took a couple of unplanned detours, but rolled into Moab, Utah about 10 P.M. after having planned to be there around 6!  We also saw a Mountain Lion (felis concan) crossing the road and managed NOT to hit it!

As newcomers to the awesomeness that is Utah, the first place we stopped was a bar & grill to get a bite to eat…and a beer for me.  This was my first encounter with Polygamy Porter.  Somehow, I ended up with a glass in my purse.  STOP JUDGING ME!!

When we came out, refreshed and ready to hit the hotel room, I discovered that I had locked my keys n the car.  The AAA guy arrived speedily, and proceeded to work on getting the car unlocked…for almost 2 hours.  So I had another several beers while we waited.

 

They had great pizza too!

As I was leaving the market this weekend, I saw a 6-pack of Polygamy Porter!  Imagine my surprise.  Of course, I brought it home, and it’s just as good as I remember, which sadly I can’t say about everything.

Polygamy Porter is brought to the world by the Wasatch Brewery, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Now, I’m aware that Mormons, a.k.a. The Church of Latter Day Saints, do NOT drink adult beverages.  Heck, they don’t even drink caffeine!  I really wonder how they do that, but we can discuss my coffee habit another time.

This is a light porter, weighing in at only 4% alcohol.  Nonetheless, it is not light on taste.  It has a rich, slightly chocolaty, toasted malt flavor which is quite pleasing.  The drinkability factor is high, even in the heat of summer.

So I got to use my glass, which up until now has been serving a purely decorative purpose.

 

 

This is not a highly carbonated beverage, so no big head of foam.  Nor does it make you feel heavy or bloated.  I would recommend it if you can find it locally, or if you’re in Utah!  🙂

It was a little better on tap.  But then again, what isn’t?

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