Beef Stew

The lid on the peppercorn wasn't tight, I spilled it Everywhere!

It has been pretty chilly here so we've been making stews and stuffings to warm our bellies and lighting candles to make us feel cozy. I love this time of year, when people settle in and eat long dinners together, drink warm beverages and huddle under all the blankets. mmm the best

I like crockpot beef stew but I wanted something that cooked faster and something that didn't mush all the ingredients together into a mash, something fresher and  this really hit the spot

Beef Stew
Serves 4-6 (depends on how many boys are eating :)

2 tbs olive oil
1 lb of stew beef; cut into 1" pieces
6 cloves of garlic; minced
4 cups beef stock
1/2 cup red wine
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs dried thyme
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tbs butter
4 medium sized yukon gold potatoes; diced
1 yellow onion; diced
5-7 carrots; peeled and diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbs fresh parsley; chopped
1 bag egg noodles

1      pour the oil into a large! pot and heat, add in the beef and saute until all sides are brown
2      then throw in the garlic and saute a few more minutes
3      add in the beef stock, wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme and bay leaves
4      stir it all together and bring to a boil, once boiling cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour
5      in another pot melt the butter and toss in the potatoes, onion, and carrots, simmer
        them for about 20 minutes
6      then add the vegetables, S&P to the beef  and simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes
7      at about 10 minutes left boil water and cook the egg noodles
8      serve beef stew over egg noodles and top with a fresh heap of parsley
          this reaheats really well!


Bartholamew the Christmas Tree

once again using a neighboring tree as a tripod :)
We got our Christmas tree on Sunday. It was a crazy beautiful day full of sunshine. Oddly last year was a randomly sunny when we cut down Anthony. We went to a different place this year which had more trees and free candy canes. We also got a mistletoe which I'm happy about

 the quintessential Agin picture of each person taking part in cutting down the tree.

 Then we stopped in the middle of cutting it down because I found a kitty and needed to go pet it, of course!

 The 3 of us, Bartholamew, hubs and I

 the ground was colorful glass and pebbles, so pretty

Great way to end an amazing weekend.


Madre's Birthday!

Happy happy birthday to the best mom ever!
How adorable are my parents!!!

Mom I couldn't make it out here so far away from family if it wasn't for you. Your support and encouragement means so much to Joshua and I and we are so so thankful for it. You are truly amazing.
Joshua keeps telling me I'm a lot like you, I was made up a song about camping, and now that I'm not a bratty teenager I really hope that he's right.

I hope you have a great birthday. Wish we could be there to celebrate with you!

Thanksgiving in Olympic Penninsula Pt.2

Continuation of our trip...
We went back to Rialto Beach the next morning because the sun was out and we wanted to see if the beach looked any different. Driving up to it before we could really see anything we saw white foam being tossed high into the air and we knew it was a good idea to go back. It was high tide and the waves were HUGE. They were all foamy and fluffy looking. It was a totally different ocean. The sun was shining and we were hopping on trees and running from waves.

Later that day we drove to Hoh Rainforest. It was so lush and so green. There were waterfalls everywhere and the trail took us along a gorgeous river for most of the hike. Plus as we were driving out we saw elk! Only a few feet away from us, I was really excited to see a boy and girl one!

We missed spending Thanksgiving with our families but we also really enjoyed going out exploring something new together. Really really cool place!


Thanksgiving at the Olympic Penninsula Pt.1

Joshua and I went on our 2nd annual Thanksgiving weekend trip. This time we took it to the woods and went camping on the Olympic Penninsula, which is the northwest corner of Washington and the US. We got to take a ferry over and stayed in a campsite near Forks. (like the Twilight books so I had to get a picture)
We were blessed with a mostly rain-free weekend and even sun on of of the days. But the first night we were there there was a wind advisory and we could hear the wind rush across the water behind us and then catch in our tarp and blow so loud we couldn't hear each other talk, it was kind of fun, we stayed warm and played rummy in our tent.

We walked along Rialto Beach for most of Friday. It's a wild untouched beach with GIANT trees washed up and piled along the shore. The waves were massive and rolled in raging and we had to run away from them at times so we didn't get our feet wet. Also we were there for part of the high tide so we could only walk on the logs at some points to avoid getting wet. The waves foamed up and left traces of it along the rocks. There were also giant rocks off shore that jutted up from the waves only to get swallowed by a really big on next. We just sat and watched at times, it was truly breathtakingly wild.

Don't worry we still had Thanksgiving dinner! It was actually quite a gourmet meal and we cooked it entirely over the fire. We made a thyme and spices rub and put it on our turkey breasts & gravy, roased garlic was mixed into our mashed potatoes, green beans and leeks, and biscuits. It was heavenly! I can't believe how delicious it turned out, o and wine drank out of stripey straws :)

more of Rialto Beach

Our friends came out and camped with us the second night :)

we were yelling - adventure is out there : from the movie Up

that's me in the middle of the picture, jiggling the foam

We also hiked to Third Beach which had a waterfall flowing off the cliff at the end of the beach

part of our hike to 3rd beach

the waterfall at third beach, with the cool rocks looming off shore
 The next day we went back to Rialto Beach and it was sunny and felt like a totally different ocean, we also went to a Rainforest which I'll show in the next one...


Joshua did ... karaoke!

We had a busy past weekend. We biked, in the rain, to see the 
James Bond movie and grabbed some pizza.

 Then had pizza again the next day :) at a place that hubs always goes to 
with work people, I'd been wanting to check it out
And to the the Boeing Future of Flight Museum. One of Joshua's company's machines is in it and he wanted to show me. Plus we checked out and engine that my dad worked on :) 
So proud of the men in my life! They are so good at what they do
 Tried out a new church and grabbed top pot donuts! Pumpkin one 
and raspberry glaze, of course a sprinkles one too
 But the best part was that on Sunday night we went to Rock Box with some of Josh's co-workers and did karoke! If you know Josh you know this is not something you could easily see him doing. But he sang Katy Perry and many 90's hits that night. We had a blast! They put you in a small personal room so by the end of the night everyone was singing every song and laughing. Joshua was nervous at first but now he's a fan!