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A torrent of rain and cooking
Press Your Luck
christopher575
I worried throughout our long, dry summer about our trees in the front yard. They're very tall and skinny and it seems like drought conditions could make them more susceptible to losing branches, or worse, falling over. I haven't done any research or anything, that's just a feeling. Well, I'm not worried about it any more. According to Garrett's weather station that's mounted on our house, we've had over five inches of rain in the last week. It was pouring this morning which made it pretty easy to choose yoga. But first, I had some cooking to do.



First up, my next batch of granola. I've made it several times, and have never tried any variations on it before. Sometimes I think about adding dried fruit or something, but haven't. I threw a little vanilla extract into the wet ingredients this time, but don't taste a difference.

20151209_085721

This recipe, like so many other Forks Over Knives recipes, is the maximum amount you can easily make. The ingredients completely fill the largest standard size mixing bowl, and it's quite challenging to stir it all together without making a huge mess. Then the mix completely fills two cookie sheets. It's nice, though, because the finished product fits nicely into two of the largest reusable containers I have on hand, and I don't have to make any more for weeks.

Forks Over Knives Banana Almond Granola

Once it was done enough that I could set the oven timer for another ten minutes and just leave it in the warm oven, I went to Safeway to pick up stuff for Stew. I already had lots of carrots and celery, so I was after stew meat, onions, and potatoes. I had onions and potatoes in my basket, and found when I got to the meat section that they hadn't put the day's meat out yet. It was almost 8am! I decided if I couldn't get everything I wanted there that they didn't deserve any of my money, so I put my stuff back and went to QFC. Thankfully, they had everything I needed.

I followed this recipe, only instead of beef broth, I used my homemade vegetable broth, because I need to get in the habit of using it whenever possible and replenishing my supply regularly. It was ok. I've made much better stews using jars of slow cooker sauce, but I wanted to make it without a shortcut. Extra Worcestershire and some aminos didn't do much to help, but we both added chipotle Tabasco and I had a little sour cream in mine. It was nice with our additions. And I found a really good cheese and onion flat bread to serve with it.

The best part about stew is the second time you serve it and add more stuff. I found some cans of diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, and I'll put at least one in, as well as some frozen vegetables like peas and corn. It'll be great.

I had a pretty fun afternoon as well. I needed to go to Total Wine in Lynnwood, so my coworker and her husband met me at Katsu Burger for lunch. I had a Tofu Tokyo Classic with wasabi slaw and nori fries. I barely made a dent in the fries, but don't mind that I didn't finish because I wanted to try both of those side. Nori sprinkles on fries is such a great idea. Trust me if you ever go there, they give you enough for two or more people. I liked Katsu Burger, but I don't make it down to Lynnwood often and there are tons of other restaurants to try. I'd definitely pick up takeout from them if they open an Everett location.

But that's the thing about Everett. It's a decent-size city but there's a lot of stuff you have to go to Lynnwood or Marysville for. And that's fine. I can drive and I'd much rather live here than either of those places.

It's been a while since I needed a "schmupdate" post, which I do on days where I have nothing specific to talk about, so there's a huge backlog of cat pictures over at flickr. And now is not the time to address that backlog. But here's a cute picture of Sam posing the way Steve usually does.

Sam copying Steve's signature pose

And a quick programming note. Some days, I'm not in the mood to type out my post, so I'll do it the next morning and backdate it for the day before at 11:59pm. :)

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I have a crockpot beef stew recipe that I really like. The major differences from the one you linked are:

1) You brown the beef in a pan with some oil before adding it to the crockpot. Then do the same with the onions. Then deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup red wine, add a little butter and reduce it, and add in just enough flour to thicken it into a roux. Scrape it all into the crockpot.

2) You also add a can of crushed tomatoes and a package of sliced mushrooms.

3) It only needs to cook for six hours on low. 10-12 hours seems like crazy overcooking to me. Maybe it's to get more browning action on the meat? But it seems like all the vegetables would just turn to mush.

I served it after more like nine hours and the vegetables were holding up well. It's funny you should mention it because I've made lots of boeuf bourguignon in and out of the crock pot, and specifically wanted to see how this recipe would turn out without any browning. All the really good good slow cooker recipes I've made require a lot of prep and I was hoping to find something that was good after just dumping everything in. :)

My family always saved tomatoes for the second day with stew. It would feel weird to have them on the first day. :)

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