Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kicking and screaming but I think I have to give in

OK - I admit it - I'm COOOOLLLLLDDDDD!!!!!! Today is 50 degrees outside and my house is 59 right now. I'm freezing. I wanted to hold off until next week before I turn on the heat but I think I'm going to have to fold. My nose is froze, my toes are froze, my ears are froze... (think 101 Dalmations). My fingers aren't even working properly! I went to church before and it's so nice and toasty there. LOL

So I think I just may fold and turn on the furnace. Maybe I'll start the pilot light this afternoon.

OH! Yesterday the house was freezing too and I decided to make a huge pot of stew for dinner and have my dad over. It's one of our new favorite recipes because it has such a great flavor from the balsamic vinegar! Try it out!

Beef Barley Stew
From Allrecipes

1 lb. Beef stew meat, cut into ½” pieces
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. Salt
¾ tsp. Dried thyme
¼ tsp. Pepper
1/3 cup uncooked medium pearl barley
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cold water
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
minced fresh parsley

1. In a dutch oven, cook beef in oil until meat is no longer pink. Add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stewed tomatoes, water, wine, broth, bay leaves, salt, thyme and pepper.
2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add barley; cover and simmer 45 minutes longer or until barley and meat are tender.
Combine flour and cold water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Discard bay leaves. Stir in balsamic vinegar just before serving. Sprinkle each serving with parsley if desired.

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