Monday, December 22, 2008

SNOW DAY! (um... kind of....)

After this weekend's snow we woke up this morning expecting school to be in session. Apart from the otherwise 90-minute delay, we were ready to brave the 14 degree (F), frigid weather and winds, only to find out school was cancelled due to a lack of heat. Since I've been nursing a cold, it seemed like the perfect day to stay in our pj's and relax.

The first thing I wanted to do was log onto this blog... I think I'm hooked already! Thank you to all who have dropped me a note... and to Lisa for spreading the word! It was such a pleasant surprise to find your comments, and I'll look forward to corresponding with each of you in the future.

Last night I went though a few of my books to find a quilt pattern that I can use for my "weight loss quilt". I think I found one! It's called "Charming Baskets" out of the "Simply Charming Two" quiltbook by Moose on the Porch Quilts ( (picture attached). I think this will work out perfectly, as it's a 12-block quilt (one for each month), and each block can be modified to include a different color triangle for the number of pounds lost that month. Again, this is still an "idea in progress", but I feel I'm on the right path. Next week we are scheduled to head to our Vermont cottage, and I'm hoping to visit my favorite quilt store --Knits & Bolts in New Haven, VT -- to check out their fabric. Knits & Bolts always seems to have a great selection, so I'm sure I'll find something that will work! This is the same quilt shop where I picked up the pattern book, as they were offering a class for "Charming Old Maid." All the quilts in this book are made with Charm packs, so it should be fairly hassle free.
As promised, I'm including the All American Beef Stew recipe I made last night. I served it with crescent rolls and it sure was delicious! We enjoyed it in front of a coy fire, which seemed perfect for the first day of winter. Enjoy!!
3 lbs. well-rimmed beef round, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
1/2c flour seasoned with salt & pepper (I add onion powder and dried parsley to the flour also)
1/2c vegetable oil
2 large onions, cut into wedges or thick rounds
4 medium-size carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths or diagonal slices
1-1/4 lbs. small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch lengths or slices
About 4 cups beef broth (I have also used vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Coat meat with seasoned flour and brown in hot oil. Reduce heat to medium low, drain off all but 1 tablespoon pan drippings. Add onions, carriots, potatoes and celery to pot. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned. Add broth, tomato paste and mustard, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Bring to a boil. Return browned meat to pot. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring once. Taste; add additional broth and salt or pepper if necessary. Cover and simmer 1 hour longer, stirring once or twice, until meat is tender and sauce slightly thickened. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 279 calories, 36g protein, 17g carbs, 7g fat.


  1. Hi Christine,

    Welcome to blogland, it's very addictive, but loads of fun and very inspirational too. As well as your quilts, I look forward to seeing some of your nutritional recipes - perhaps you'll have the key to my weight problem!!!! Hasn't somebody designed low-calorie, no-fat chocolate bars YET!!!!!!

    Have a good Christmas:0)

  2. Yep! looks like your hooked already Christine..
    It's a lovely quilt pattern, I love the basket blocks..
    Hugs Julia ♥

  3. Julia, thanks so much for your encouragement and comments. I've checked out your site and have to admit I was quite intimidated... you are so talented! I don't know if my work will rival yours, but I look forward to sharing interests. All the best for a warm and wonderful Christmas ~ Christine