happy Halloween

Hope you have a fun, candy filled day :-)
And, remember to set clocks back an hour before bed. Fall back = an extra hour of sleep!

-- posted from my iPhone


seeing stripes...

Our nursery paint job is complete - added the dark glossy stripes on the main wall where the crib and dresser will go. Love how they turned out and so excited to see this room coming together! Crib bedding has been ordered, bitty clothes are hung in the closet and we're buying (and hopefully getting the same day) the furniture in two weeks...progress...

-- posted from my iPhone


the one {not) about food...

Just realized that I haven't posted anything other than recipes in the past two weeks so, let's play a little catch up - complete with photos:
The bump at 26 weeks, 6 days. What's the significance? Today marks the beginning of the third trimester and exactly three months until my estimated due date. This pregnancy has gone by so quickly and I know it's only going to speed up as the weeks go on and the holidays approach. Two thirds of the way to holding this baby boy in my arms!
This past weekend was the grand opening of the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, NY. Mr. Boom had inspected this bridge two years ago, hanging from ropes 200 feet over the river, in preparation for the restoration and eventual opening. It was nice to be there for the event and for him to see this through to completion. It's a beautiful walkway and we look forward to going back again and again.
Missing these two a lot right now, my sister and nephew. I'm thrilled that they will be flying down to visit next weekend! We plan to spend one day in Manhattan. The little guy is excited to eat a Crumbs cupcake and visit the huge Toys 'R Us in Times Square. Fun stuff!

-- posted from my iPhone


recipe: crockpot beef stew

This recipe was great - simple, healthy, hearty and delicious!!! Served it up with some crusty bread and DH and I were both happy. I'm already looking forward to the leftovers tonight. Clearly, the cat thought this was a winner too...

Crockpot Beef Stew
[Credits: Martha Stewart & Rachel's Olive Bar]

3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup tomato paste (I used the entire 6 oz. can)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound medium onions (about 2), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound small white or red new potatoes (about 6), well scrubbed, halved if large
1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths (I used a 1 lb bag of baby carrots)
6 garlic cloves, smashed (I used jarred, crushed garlic)
2 bay leaves

Load the veggies into the crockpot, and then the garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, flour, tomato paste, the beef and salt and pepper into the pot, cover with lid and set temperature to low for 6-8 hours. NOTE: I use a 6 quart ckockpot and the ingredients nearly filled it. If you have a smaller version, reduce your measurements accordingly.

1. Next time, I will add half of the veggies/potatoes in the bottom, then add the meat and finish with the rest of the veggies on top. While the meat was flavorful, I think it would have been a bit more moist if surrounded by the veggies, rather than sitting on top on it's own. This way was a little dry for my taste.
2. I will mix the balsamic and tomato paste together next time. The tomato paste didn't really melt away on it's own and I had to mix everything in when the stew had finished cooking. It was still delicious but, I think taking that extra minute of prep might help things along.


recipe: crockpot ginger beef with onion and garlic

Yes, yet another crockpot recipe. I hope this isn't getting old but, I like to share things I think are tasty and, honestly, it helps me to refer to my own blog when I misplace the scrap of paper where the recipe was originally written. Yeah. Why no pics? Well, while many crockpot recipes are delicious, I don't always find them visually appealing. Guess you'll just need to trust my opinion!

Crockpot Ginger Beef with Onion and Garlic
[Credit: CrockPot365]

2 pounds beef strips (I used stir fry strips)
1/2 c. broth/liquid (chicken broth, wine, beer, etc)
1 yellow onion, cut in rings
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips (my addition)
1 head garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 inch peeled and grated fresh ginger

1. Spray inside of crockpot with cooking spray. Add meat, cut up onion, red pepper and peeled garlic. Add ginger and pepper. Top with liquid. (Tip - add 1 cup liquid if using larger than a 4 qt crockpot. I use a 6 qt, added the extra liquid and it was perfect.)

2. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

The verdict: Tasty, light and healthy. This took about ten minutes to put together, including cutting the veggies and grating the ginger. I it over brown rice and enjoyed every bite. The one thing that could have made it better? BEEF broth. The recipe called for chicken and, looking back, I can't figure out why. I think beef broth would have added more depth of flavor and I'll use it next time. I'm certain a good red wine would also be great but, I didn't want to open a bottle for 1/2 cup (considering I can't drink right now).
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