House Update

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Sometimes it still feels like a dream… I can’t believe we’re homeowners!  Who knew buying a house consisted of buying lots of house stuff.  We always imagined ourselves painting the rooms, but we’ve only painted ONE room and that alone was exhausting.  Let me tell you… it was a small room.  A very small room.  My friend Jodee has been renovating her house and I honestly don’t know how she does it!  I’m weak. 

So, the picture above is taken from the entry way.  We kept it simple so far and there’s Frankie and Maggie’s butt wondering what I’m doing.  Frankie absolutely HATES it when I whip out my camera or point my iphone4s at him… he just knows.  Then there is Maggie who loves the attention, but never sits or stays long enough to care that her momma just want some photos.

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LOVE those prints I found at Ikea last weekend.  Our living room area is all dark brown/black with orange, yellows and reds and these prints just fit amazingly. 

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Here’s the living room area taken from the dining area.  The one thing about all this furniture (ie: entertainment stand, table to the left and hallway table) is all the holes that needs to be filled!  So far so good.  I would love to fill in the holes, but with what?!  What do you guys do??  I would also love to fill up more photos and things on that wall and try to add some greenery.

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Don’t mind the clutter and the huge dent in that seat when my butt was planted.  Our coffee are just cheap ottomans we purchased at Wal-Mart back when we were living in Drum.  The original Ikea coffee table we had was huge, but the bottom base board broke and when we got Maggie, her and her puppy teeth chewed up one of the legs.  See that lamp in the back?  LOVE IT!  Recent purchase from Marshall’s for about $35.  Deep down, I’m cheap and prefer not to purchase super expensive things especially when sometimes these dogs destroy things and when we move (that’s the Army for ya!), sometimes they mess up our goods. 

Upstairs is still a mess.  We did recently buy a bed frame, but we’ve been concentrating so much on the first floor we’ve pretty much neglected upstairs.  Except DH’s man cave. 

That’s all I got to show you for now.  Again, sorry for dark photos.  I used my iphone4s and then used a photo editing app.

Hearty Italian Beef Stew

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Sorry for the dark photo!  I apparently never take out my real camera and instead whip out my iphone4s because it’s just so much easier and what can I say… I am so lazy.  SO LAZY! 

 

Winter is still amongst us, but the snow has come and gone (i miss fort drum snow!), but there is still a slight chill in the air.  Nothing better than a hot steamy bowl of soup on a cold cold day.  Soups and stews are not specialty, but there’s no harm in just testing out recipes here and there. 

 

This Italian beef stew turned out good, but not great.  The meat and vegetables were tender and delicious, but I mistakenly added an extra can of tomato paste and on top, seasoned with a little too much salt.  If you make this soup, don’t make the same mistake I did!  I’m sure the stew itself is delicious!

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Hearty Italian Beef Stew

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided
  • 2 lb beef round roast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces (split in half if they
  • 8 oz red potatoes, skin-on, quartered
  • 1 14.5 oz can reduced-fat/sodium chicken broth
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 sprigs each thyme, and oregano (or 1/2-1 tsp each dried)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup basil leaves, chopped
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan over high heat until very hot.
  2. Cut roast into 2-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add half of the meat to the pan, searing for 1-2 minutes, until nicely browned, before flipping or stirring.
  4. Sear for another 2 minutes and use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to the crock.
  5. Repeat for remaining meat.
  6. Add onion, potatoes, carrots to the crock pot.
  7. Add the chicken broth, wine, and tomato paste (I dropped it in by the spoonful and let it distribute while cooking).
  8. Top with garlic and herbs.
  9. Cook on low for ~8 hours.
  10. At the end of the cooking time, remove 1/4 cup cooking liquid and whisk in cornstarch until smooth.
  11. Stir slurry into the crockpot, cover, and let cook for ~20 minutes.
  12. Stir in the spinach and basil and serve.

Recipe from Better Homes & Garden

Biscoff Crunch

 

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Just like Pinterest, Biscoff cookies are all the rage at the moment.  When Biscoff first started popping up all over the food blogs, I was in the middle of packing and moving cross country, but I was lucky to find a jar at Hannaford’s in Watertown.  It was definitely love at first taste.  After moving here and while shopping at the commissary the other day, I saw packages of Biscoff cookies and I was over the moon since I’ve been dying to make Picky-Palate‘s Biscoff cookies.

 

The original recipe called for 20 cookies finely crushed and 20 more for the extra crunch.  I only bought one package of cookies, but the crunch is still very much there.  DH even commented saying they’re better then Girl Scout Cookies!  That’s saying a lot, especially coming from him.  I won’t be posting the recipe here, but definitely check out Jenny’s amazing blog Picky-Palate.
Biscoff Crunch

Jubilee Cupcakes

We’re pretty much settled in and slowly getting back into the groove of things. A few homecooked meals here and there, but nothing too exciting to post about. Earlier this week, I popped into Jubilee Cupcakes on South Hill and was surprised how delicious their cupcakes are! The store itself is cute with beautiful chandlier’s hanging and the girl behind the counter was amazingly nice!


I purchased their Red Velvet, German Chocolate, Elvis and Macon Bacon. Their Red Velvet was THE BEST I’ve ever had! The cake was moist and frosting wasn’t overwhelming sweet. Elvis was also amazing and I want one right now. It’s banana cupcake with a chocolate filling and topped with peanut butter frosting with a chocolate swirl. The king himself would be proud. I didn’t try the German Chocolate, but the Macon Bacon was quiet interesting… I’m not a fan, but the bacon itself was pretty good.

I couldn’t find the address for the South Hill one, but check out the one in Tacoma anyways. The cupcake business around Tacoma/Lewis/Puyallup is building up and its fantastic for me, but not for my body. Oh well.

Jubilee Cupcakes
2510 North Proctor Street
Tacoma, WA 98406 | 253.503.0709
Website

A New Year

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A complete belated post, but <b>we’re homeowner’s!!</b>  After a long 3 weeks or so, our house finally closed on December 28, 2011.  We just got our goods a week ago and I have been trying to unpack as much and as fast as possible.  Just today, I finished unpacking our kitchen, though the kitchen is still a mess.  Who knew we had so much stuff!  So much stuff <i>after</i> donating/throwing away things. 

 

Just the other day, I have decided to change what I thought was going to be a food blog into an everything blog.  I haven’t really cooked a real meal in months, let alone bake.  Basically I’m just going to post whatever I want!

 

Alright, back to unpacking and maybe go check out this cupcake shop near my house.  Hopefully a food post soon.