Monday, January 28, 2013

Classic Beef Stew Recipe

Classic Beef Stew

I have to start off by saying I don't love Beef Stew. My Husband does though, so I like to make this for him. I actually enjoy making it. I like the process of seeing how food comes together. So for me, not a lover of Beef Stew, I really like this one.

I'm pretty sure I got the original recipe from Paula Deen. Of course in classic Crystal style, I've tweaked it to make it work for me.

- 2 pounds stew beef
- vegetable or olive oil
- 1 cup water plus one 32 oz container of low sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 clove minced garlic
- half a medium onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- dash of allspice or cloves {I used cloves}
- 3 ribs of celery, chopped small
- 3 large carrots, chopped small {I used Baby Carrots}
- 2 tablespoons flour

Brown the meat in the oil. I do this in two batches, then drain on a papertowel. In a stock pot, add the browned beef,  water, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and cloves. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. {I did more of a slow boil to help it along quicker. Approx 40 minutes} Add the carrots and celery {I did this after about 30 minutes} Cover and cook additional 30 to 40 minutes. To thicken the gravy: remove 1 cup hot liquid and pour into a separate bowl. Sprinkle in the flour. Whisk until smooth. Add mixture back into the pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

L'Oreal Violet Vixen

Nail of the Day ~ Violet Vixen by L'Oreal

with flash

This is the second time I've tried posting this polish. It looks great on the nails but doesn't photograph well in my opinion. It also chips easily as you can see from the picture. I don't find that to be an issue with the other L'Oreal polishes I have. This color also needs three coats but I often find I'm somewhat lazy with darker shades and don't take the time. Overall, it's a beautiful color but a little hard to work with. I get asked a lot what color I'm wearing with this one. I wish it were more the color you see in the bottle than on the nails.
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