Jimmy's in Dallas so I'm solo for the weekend. The odd thing about this is that it's normally me that leaves him home so I'm a little out of sorts figuring out what to do with myself. Actually, I have a massive pile of DVD's waiting for me to watch, so I know I'll be cozy on the couch most of the time. Maybe, just maybe, I'll do a little crafting, too.
It was pouring rain when I dropped him off this morning, but by the time I left to meet one of my girlfriends to celebrate her bday at Junnoon's in Palo Alto, there were white fluffy clouds and blue skies. This place was awesome, so any of my bay area friends who occasionally read my blog, I highly recommend it if you like Indian. They call it "eclectic modern Indian." I just call it really good. It's kind of a special occasion restaurant and a little uber trendy but oh so worth it.
Afterwards, I wandered to downtown Los Altos and did a little window shopping. I was this || close to buying a Waterford crystal bowl because...well...I love crystal, and Waterford? Hello, can't go wrong with Waterford, AND it was 25% off. But I talked myself out of it because really, who "needs" a Waterford Crystal Bowl even if it was only $33. V, if you had been with me, you so could have talked me into it! But I walked away, hoping to find something more useful to spend my ducats on. Like cake.
No, actually, I didn't buy cake from this place. I certainly was tempted, but instead got the best fruit ice tea and a small package of cashew butter cookies. I would go back for the ice tea alone. Almost...almost as good as sweet tea from the Cracker Barrel and I don't have to go to the south to get it. Phin, it's "earl grey tea with syrup and assorted fresh fruit". And they describe themselves as "Japanese innovations of European style cakes." I know. Hard to believe that I walked away not buying a slice, huh?
On my way home I noticed fresh snow on Mt. Hamilton. (Click on pic to enlarge and see the snow, really, it's there)Now, I know there's a lot of controversy about driving while talking on a cell phone, but no one's ever said anything about driving while trying to focus an SLR digi camera, have they? Well, I learned today that you can clearly watch the road thru the little viewfinder and totally stay within your own lane. I digress. Yea, so that snow was from this morning's storm. And it was sunny when I took that photo. And my temperature gauge thingy in my car read 61 degrees. Cool!
So I came home and decided to make a big pot of beef stew. Jimmy doesn't like stew, so I could eat it the whole weekend. After all the ingredients were in and I was patiently waiting the 2 hours for it to cook, I heard the rain again. It was practically pouring. With the sun shining. Weird freaking weather we're having today.
Perfect stew weather, me thinkith.
4 T olive or canola oil
1 C flour
1 T garlic powder
2 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper
2 pounds beef for stew, cubed
12 small boiling onions
4-5 large potatoes, diced chunky
6-7 carrots, sliced chunky
3-4 stalks celery, sliced chunky
32oz beef stock
-In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. In a resealable plastic bag, mix together the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add a handful of meat at at time, shake and coat well. Brown small batches in hot oil till browned, about a minute per side. Remove and set aside.
-Brown onions in remaining oil for about 3 minutes per side. Drain any excess oil.
-Add to pot with the onions: carrots, celery, meat and beef stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Stir, cover and reduce heat to low for 1/2 an hour.
-In the meantime, peel and dice potatoes. Keep potato chunks fairly big if you don't want all of them to break down. Some will breakdown, which will create the thick stewlike gravy.
-Add potatoes and continue simmering for another 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Makes a lot.