Coffee Talk 12.10.17

Well, hello from the snowy northeast! We got our first winter snow this weekend, along with the rest of the east coast apparently, and it looks like a winter wonderland outside. Everyone is feeling pretty festive and happy around here.

I think I shared yesterday — or maybe that was in my daily email; sometimes I lose track of what I write where — that we didn’t have any weekend plans so the snow wasn’t an inconvenience in any way. It was really nice to just hang out at home, putter around the house, and watch the snow fall outside.

We actually got quite a lot accomplished yesterday. Paul had the kids straightening up and cleaning, and I tackled my office, my bedroom closet, and the attic. We store all of our seasonal decorations up there as well as out of season clothes, and now that the kids are bigger, they go up there and rifle through stuff and don’t always leave it in the manner in which they found it. We had a stern discussion about that, ahem.

I went up and organized everything, labeled it all, threw away some stuff, and basically got it in tip-top shape. I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time, and it looks better than it has in years.

After that was all squared away, I tackled my office and my bedroom closet — two areas that I feel like I’m continually working on. I try to keep up with both since I spend so much time in those areas, but every once in a while I just have to do a big overhaul. I still have a ways to go on my office, but at least I can walk in here now without tripping over boxes. Ha!

My bedroom closet looks great. I should really take pictures before it gets cluttered up again. I’ve been wanting to do a “peek into my closet” post because I get a lot of questions about how I organize my clothes. That’s still in the plans… I was waiting for our 25 Days of Winter Fashion to wrap up because I prefer not to post 2X a day unless I have to.

Speaking of which, I do have a 2nd post going up this afternoon. I don’t know why, but the sponsor assigned me this date. I didn’t want to bump my usual Coffee Talk for a sponsored post so I decided to go ahead and double up today. I’ll be sharing a really nice and super easy (and affordable) stocking stuffer or teacher gift idea, so check back for that later this afternoon!

After my organizing rampage was over yesterday, I made a big pot of beef stew. I did the whole thing where you dredge the meat in flour (I used GF flour, and it worked just as well as regular) and brown it in batches, and then I did the diced carrots/celery/onion thing for extra flavor. What is it Emeril calls that? The holy trinity? No, that’s a Cajun thing with bell peppers. This is the French mirepoix. Oh, and then at the very end, you whisk in a butter/flour paste to thicken it… YUM!!!

Suffice it to say, it was quite a production, but I was feeling like cooking so I didn’t mind, and it turned out beautifully. My daughter made homemade biscuits to go with it, and everyone was happy.

Don’t ask me for the recipe because I probably won’t make it again for five years, and I hate taking recipe pictures. I got it from an old church cookbook so it’s not online anywhere that I’m aware of, but this one is quite similar. I expect that is very good. (Yes, I used beer.) I like how they place roasted potato wedges on the bottom rather than cooking them in the stew. I’ve never thought of trying it that way.

Oh, and look, I posted this one years ago. Pardon the gross pictures — that’s before I started actually trying to take pretty recipe pictures. It’s different than the one I made yesterday, but it’s a similar method. It uses wine instead of beer, and there are a few other differences as well, but both are good. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, water or beef/chicken/vegetable broth all work just fine.

Well, this is getting long, so I’ll let you get on with your day. I hope you all have a blessed Sunday!