Beef Stroganoff

July 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm (recipes)

Not a new recipe for us, but a new recipe for the blog, and one of our favorites because of how quick and easy it cooks. I whipped it up last week after a full day of teaching, since I didn’t have a lot of time to prep for dinner. It’s not particularly healthy, but you could probably adapt it – yogurt instead of sour cream?

This recipe is easily scaled to however many people you’re feeding, just multiply the sauce recipe accordingly. The amounts below are perfect for two people:
1 TB of butter
1 TB of flour
1/2 cup of beef broth
1/4 cup of sour cream
sometimes, I like to add a little red wine too for flavor, but it’s totally optional. Also, it makes the sauce pink, just to warn you.

Start by cutting up your beef into bite size strips. I usually use one steak for two of us, as this is pretty filling, so about 4-5 oz of meat per person. Melt the butter in a skillet on the stovetop, and when the skillet is hot, add your beef and brown. Once the meat is mostly cooked, add your flour and stir until combined. Then add beef broth, and cook until meat is done to your liking. Stir in the sour cream, and a little red wine if you wish, and keep cooking/stirring until sauce is hot all the way through. Serve over egg noodles, or another kind of pasta if you prefer. I served it with a side salad, and it was a perfect dinner for a summer evening – if it was winter, I might have added a bread and another vegetable as we tend to be much hungrier in the winter.

Right now, I’m sipping on some mint iced tea while working on some craft projects, and it’s making for a lovely afternoon! But I’d like to know: what do you want to see from this blog? I’m struggling to think of things to post lately… a collection of my favorite links? Things I’m working on? Books I’m reading? All of the above? (And is there an easy way to post from my Blackberry, does anyone know?)

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Links for the week

July 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm (links)

Things I’ve been amused by or found useful this week…

Monkey self portraits – I love an amusing animal story. But seriously, the first picture on this article makes me laugh every time I see it.

Easy English Bible – developed by Wycliffe translators, this is a translation of the Bible using a basic 1200 word English vocabulary. Super helpful for my Chinese students who have little English… spiritual concepts don’t always translate so well.

Koala Sewing Tables – my mom sent me a link for her dream sewing table, and now I’m ogling dream sewing rooms. (Ooo, new Pinterest category?)

Creating the Invisible Mannequin Effect – remember this for future Etsy shop.

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An upside

July 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm (recipes, resolution: 1 a week, teaching)

Since the last time I posted: I started teaching high schoolers from China, I went to Monterey and saw a baby otter, and I have now interviewed for 12 positions in three months.

And then, today, I got a job. Sort of. In six weeks I start teaching full time, in a special ed classroom, for a teacher who is on leave. At the moment, we don’t know when/if he’ll back, so maybe I’ll have a class after November, maybe I won’t. Right now, I’m not concerned. Either way, I am thrilled to begin – I felt so at home at the school when I interviewed, and I am highly impressed by my future boss.

I can’t say that through this whole process I had faith that God would provide. Oh, has there been doubting going on in this household (which I think is a fully human response and something every Christian faces during their life). But, I am so grateful to have made it this point, to see light at the end of this tunnel of unemployment, and to be soon doing what I love to do, what I was made to do. And, I am sure my students will be saying all sorts of wonderful things for the blog. 🙂

So for now, I go back to teaching high schoolers from China for the summer, then preparing for my classroom. MY CLASSROOM. I never thought I’d get to say those words!

In other news, I improvised a recipe for enchiladas the other day that I was sure would be a hit. The gist of it was minced bell pepper and onion and black beans inside with the meat and cheese. In my head, it tasted wonderful. Sadly, when we sat down to dinner, it didn’t taste wonderful. It was pretty awful, to be honest. Still edible, but it just didn’t work right. So, you don’t get to see all the pictures I took for that post, sorry. Unless you’d like to see some glamorous shots of ground turkey and cheese that have no recipe attached to them.

Any recipe successes out there this week?? I need something to get over these enchiladas, guys. Or can you commiserate in my attempts to be original?

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New Recipe: Soft Brown Sugar Cookies

July 6, 2011 at 9:45 am (links, recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

Have you checked out Pinterest yet? Here’s my boards. I wasn’t sure how often I’d use it, but now that I’ve played around with it, I’m really liking it! It’s so much easier to pin a picture of something I love to a board and then find it later, rather than bookmarking it and then trying to sift through the hundreds of recipes I’ve bookmarked. Someone gave me a good tip that you can use Pinterest when starting an Etsy shop to see what colors/patterns/styles are popular at the moment.

I found this recipe, for Soft Brown Sugar Cookies, on a friend’s Pinterest board. Tried them out the other night, and they are SO GOOD. The recipe was really straight forward, I didn’t make any modifications, but somehow I ended up with four dozen cookies instead of two dozen… but I only had enough frosting for two dozen. (And I was too lazy to make more frosting, so half of the cookies are plain.) Either way, I love this recipe! They are soft, with a wonderful flavor.

Any readers who are on Pinterest? I’d love to follow you!

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Not a fan of poetry

July 2, 2011 at 10:42 am (random, teaching)

I normally don’t like poetry. I’d always dread the unit in every English class where we had to read poems and analyze them. Short stories, I’m all over those, but poems are my nemesis.

Found this one today, though, and I liked it a lot:

Post-Graduate
by Dorothy Parker

“Hope it was that tutored me,
And Love that taught me more;
And now I learn at Sorrow’s knee
The self-same lore.”

I had finally gotten out of my funk, and actually just had a busy enough two weeks that I didn’t have much time to blog. I helped out at my church’s Vacation Bible School, went on a church retreat, a vacation day at Disneyland, then I spent a busy week interviewing for two jobs. I drove 280 miles for two interviews for one teaching position, and I thought it was pretty much a sure thing. Was SO excited to finally be getting somewhere.But oh, is God teaching me to trust Him lately. A late interviewee bumped me from the top spot. I got the call yesterday that I was their second favorite candidate, but they only had one job, so they were very sorry but they had to pick the other person.

Ouch. Been at Sorrow’s knee since getting that call.

I have no idea where my life is supposed to go from here. I’ve got exactly one month from yesterday to find a job somewhere else in the Los Angeles area, otherwise we’re committed to our (not centrally located) apartment for another year, and I’ve got to find something in this area. (One of the areas hit the hardest by the recession, so openings are rare around here.) I know I should be saying that I know God has a plan for me, and this will all work out, but right now? Right now I’m mad. And hurt. And frustrated.

So, I push on. I have chinchillas to pet-sit this weekend. They are freaked out by my apartment, sadly, so I mostly watch them instead of playing with them. I designed my first quilt and got most of the pieces cut out yesterday. (Which made me realize I really need a rotary cutter!) Today we’re using movie tickets a friend gave us to go see Pirates 4. I don’t like life right now, but I push forward. I am in Sorrow, but in Sorrow I will learn.

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