Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Fall, Y'all!

I'm a routine-lover. I don't like surprises. And I could be happy eating the same thing 5 days a week for lunch, if I had to. I'm not too big on change.

Except for the seasons. Oh, how I love the changing of seasons. There is just something so refreshing about changing of temperatures and the changing of colors.

Here in H-town, its rumored that we only get 2 seasons. But, I know for a fact that we actually get all 4. And sometimes, they're all in 1 day! (Our weather is a bit temperamental. Sometimes we need the heat on through the night, and the AC blasting through the day.)

Yesterday, we welcomed Autumn with wide-open and anxious arms. The weather finally dipped below 90, and we excitedly spent the ENTIRE DAY outside marveling in the wonderfulness of 0% humidity and no sweat.  If I had any sense, I would have even indulged in a Pumpkin Spice Latte. However, my absolute giddiness over the weather prevented me from doing anything slightly productive.

Instead, I spent the day taking about 1000 mental pictures much like this one. 

When we finally did come inside, I made a big 'ol pot of beef stew. Sure, by the afternoon it had reached the mid-80's, but this is Houston, folks! The mid-80's in mid-September is almost downright chilly!

And because I just absolutely could NOT wait to try this trick out, I had quite a bit of garlic at my disposal. I chopped a couple of cloves up, and threw them into a pot with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Next, I threw in a couple pounds of beef stew meat. Amidst the stirring and tossing, I sprinkled in some salt, pepper, a dash or two of paprika, a pinch of allspice, and some all-purpose steak seasoning. Once the meat had browned just a bit, I added a couple of hard shots of Worcestershire sauce and a couple cups of water. I also added in small-medium-ish sliced yellow onion and a couple of bay leaves. My theory is, when boiling meat you can't ever have too much seasoning! It only makes the broth that much better!

I let that simmer for good LOOOONG while. And by LOOOONNNGG, I mean I had to restrain myself from sampling the concoction every 5 minutes. The next hour and half were spent trying everything possible to NOT GO INTO the kitchen!

But alas, I finally had to go back in! I added in a couple of chopped up potatoes, carrots and celery. Stirred it all up.. and had to wait AGAIN!

While all those yummy flavors and textures were melding together, I got some cornbread going in the oven.

My family has bought this brand of Corn Muffin mix for as long as I can remember. And it's what I buy for us! (Remember that part about not liking change so much?) I make it exactly like the box says... only, I also add 1/4c sugar to the batter. It is so stupid good, you won't believe it!

By this point, the littles were all in bed. My handsome hunk and I snuggled up on the couch with our beef stew, corn bread and sweet Tea, and settled in to watch Mr. Bohannon forge the railroad on another couple of miles.

What a great way to welcome Fall!

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