Saturday Beef Stew

Today I started with one pound of beef cubes out of which I wanted to make a stew.  This beef stew was supposed to be “scaled” down somewhat for just the two of us.  However, we wound up with enough for second meal.  I feel good about that for two reasons, one is that I don’t have to cook tomorrow, and I used up a lot of things waiting to be used in my refrigerator.  I also didn’t use a recipe.  I looked into my closet (at spices and such) and into the refrigerator for what we had on hand, and away I went to create dinner.  I want to call this stew “whatever you have in your refrigerator to use up beef stew” but the name is just way too long.  Fridge Leftovers Beef Stew?  Use it Up Now Beef Stew… well, you get the idea.  This stew isn’t going to be hurt by a little less peppers and maybe some broccoli, or green beans etc.  If you have leftover cooked vegetables, add them to stew about 10 minutes before it’s done.  Stir them in, put the lid back on and they should heat up fine. 

And if you haven’t already guessed, we are again using the cast iron dutch oven on the stovetop.  I use this pot because it’s just plain easy, the dinner is cooked super fast and it cleans up easily. I just can’t see a downside right now.

stew ingredients

First, I cut all my ingredients (onions, peppers, garlic, celery) which I specifically chose simply by what I had in my refrigerator and wanted to use in this stew. However these are all things that are going to give that great flavor you want in your stew

Then, I mixed the flour, minced garlic, minced union, black pepper and thyme. 

I dissolved the bouillon cubes in the cup of water, as well as having the second cup of water and the other ingredients ready to go.

I sautéd the onions, garlic and celery in olive oil in the dutch oven, on the stove top. Once they are done, remove them from the pot and set them aside.  I turned up the heat on the pot, put in additional oil and waited till I thought it was hot enough to sear the meat.  I dredged the meat in the flour mixture (made earlier) and then put it into the hot pan. You have to watch this and stir as your goal is just to brown the meat.

stew ingredients

 Once your meat is browned, the rest comes very fast.  I put in the dissolved bouillon and water and stirred. The potatoes on top of the meat, then the cooked onions, peppers and celery, the red pepper flakes and the bay leaves.

remainder of the stew ingredients


finished stewLastly I added the worcestershire sauce on top of it all and closed the lid and moved the heat down to low. 

You need to move the heat down to low!

I cooked mine for 45 minutes, took off the top and stirred the contents. 

It was perfectly done. Please remember to remove the bay leaves before you serve the stew!

It was a nice hearty, thick stew, and again it was delicious.   I served biscuits with this for a hearty Saturday meal. 

It’s Annoying to Have Wonky Eyes

Although I had heard the word wonky used before, I didn’t really think it was an actual word… till I looked it up.  And yes, it is a word.  Sadly, it means crooked, off-center, askew, unsteady, and shaky.  It’s probably the last word you want to hear from your eye doctor. 

As background, I could never see well.  My parents didn’t believe any of the eye screenings from school saying that I needed glasses.  So I did the best I could without really seeing anything clearly.  I sat in the front of the class and I listened intently because there was no way I could see anything that was going on.  When you know nothing more, having never seen clearly – you never have the experience of knowing how bad your sight really is.  You just go with the flow, accept the inevitable, and live with it.  As a child, I adapted the best I could.  Lucky for me at 7 years of age, my uncle took me to an eye doctor and I got my first pair of light blue, cat eye shaped glasses.  My world suddenly turned so much clearer.  I  was amazed — there is just other adequate description. 

Fast forward to 2002, I am wearing both contacts and glasses to see.  I have low vision.  My contacts are expensive and special order and if I tear one, it can take up to 6 weeks to get a new one.  It’s a long process to get a pair that works – because of the high Rx and the 3 astigmatisms in my right eye.  Yet I am so thankful they can make them.  Without them I wear coke bottle type glasses and see, but not nearly 20/20.  My eyes are -12.00 each and to put that in perspective, -7.50 without correction is legally blind.  So yes, when I have my contacts and glasses off – I am more than legally blind.  All I see without correction is foggy bunches of colors.  I cannot see the big “E” on the eye chart,  and I can’t even see enough to find my glasses.  And without seeing, I cannot do many of the things regular people take for granted, like drive a car, read a book, watch tv, or even dial the phone. 

So….  I had lasik surgery.  I was a good candidate for the treatment.  My eyes would not be guaranteed, and the risks were higher for me because of the high Rx.  It was still a  miracle.  I cried on the way home because I could see.  I could NEVER see without correction before in my life and now after a fairly painless and quick surgery, I could.  It was definately worth the cost.

But now it’s 2012 and 10 years have passed.  I have been wearing reading glasses for the last few, but recently found that my eyes don’t want to see far or near clearly.  I cannot read the signs at the fast food restaurant and I cannot read the computer or any paperwork without my reading glasses and even then it’s hard.  And the reason ~  my eyes went wonky! 

For me specifically,  it means that the eye that could see far after the lasix surgery – now can’t and it cannot help the reading eye.  The reading eye has gotten farsighted but not enough to help the eye that sees far.  If that’s a bit confusing, it was to me too…. but basically my eyes have reversed roles and taken ones they cannot succeed in performing.  Both of them have decided to be farsighted – which my brain cannot deal with after 47 previous years of nearsightedness.  And it’s crazy that they did that…. and scary.  I am going to try some progressive lens glasses (which I will  be wearing all the time) that should help – or I can get contacts and glasses again, or 2 pairs of glasses that I would keep needing to change.  There is no easy solution. 

For most people, the lasik surgery comes with a guarantee  to fix your vision for life.  That means you can have the surgery again, if necessary, to fix any issues you have as the years go by for free  ~~ but my eyes were over the maximum when I had my surgery and were never guaranteed.  But honestly, I don’t think there is anything that can fix wonky

Thank You ~ A $25.00 Gift Card Giveaway

 MY SECOND MILESTONE ACCOMPLISHED !  facebook 2500 fans and likes badge for its-annoying


What my readers might not realize is that each and every step of having a blog and progressing into the blogger community has its up and downs, triumphs and failures.  But, behind all of that is (or should be) a plan.   I am happy to report I have made it to the second step in my personal plan.  I now have over 2500 Facebook likes – and I am seriously excited by that!  So to celebrate this second milestone and to thank those who have liked my blog….  


I have decided to give away another $25.00 Gift Card. seems to be the most diverse shopping venue and it has just about anything your heart desires, from books, tapes and DVD’s to clothing, kitchen goodies and even tools. If you can’t find it there… it might not exist (smile). 

If someone asked me what I would want – I would chose to reserve a copy of this book in the audio version unabridged. It’s titled Delusion In Death and the latest in the “In Death” series.  My husband and I both love this series.  The characters come alive for us – and while we know it’s a stretch sometimes when you are writing about the future, we enjoy the authors’  (JD Robb  ~ aka Nora Roberts) portrayal of the characters personalities, interactions and even their altercations!

So here’s a way for you to get anything you want (up to $25.00) regular or sale priced  … from school supplies to clothing, and if you spend it all at one time, you might also qualify for free shipping.

The giveaway will start on September 7, 2012 and run through September 17, 2012
US and Canada, 18+ as long as you can use the card, you are welcome to enter.

*Actual gift card and not a code. I will be mailing the gift card to the winner once the giveaway is over. 
  This is not a sponsored post, and I am personally suppyling the gift card.

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