A Long Week

It’s been a loooong week…I’m glad it’s over.  I’ve not enjoyed the past year, but I- we’ve- made it.

We buried my mother a year ago today.   It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I know she’s doing okay.

So.  The new entry.  I know that Mom wouldn’t want me to sit on my ass and be all depressed today…I know she would want me to do what  I love to do.  So, here’s three of them.  Food, Tea, and Photography!

On to the food!

I got a new dutch oven.  I love my new dutch oven.  Everyone should have one.  This weekend’s recipe was Beef and Ale Stew with Buttermilk Scallion Dumplings.  Found it on From Away.

http://www.fromaway.com/cooking/beef-and-ale-stew-with-buttermilk-scallion-dumplings

Beef and Ale Stew with Buttermilk Scallion Dumplings

 

The verdict:

It was pretty good.  I’m not a fan of cooked mushrooms, so I subbed potatoes for them.  It was my first time making dumplings.  I need to make them smaller.  I also need a bigger dutch oven…at least for this recipe.  It was HUGE.  I actually had to transfer the stew to my big-azz stock pot.  I will have leftovers for a week.  Yum.  Any ideas on what to do with leftover stew?  Oh a side note… Dawn Bleach Alternative five min soak is AWESOME for getting little burned things off the bottom of your pan.

Next, the Tea!

This tea is special to me.  It was actually the tea that got me hooked on tea.  My Mom, Aunt Judy, and Cousin Donna took me to a little place in Augusta called Miss Muzzie’s Tea Shop, which sadly, closed several years ago.  Mom had ordered some Wild Strawberry Tea, and encouraged me to try it (without dumping 6 tablespoons of sugar in it), and I was hooked.

I don’t brew it very often, but I felt today was the day to do so.

Davidson's Wild Strawberry Tea

I love this tea.  I mean love, love, LOVE this tea.  It’s strawberry without the cloyingly sweet fake strawberry flavor.   It’s an organic black tea with natural flavors.  You can see the seeds and leaves in the bag.  I highly recommend it.  Without sugar. *grin*

http://www.davidsonstea.com/Wild_Strawberry_Tea_Bag.aspx

Oh, and that teapot was a gift from Mom when I went off to FHSU.  It’s the Assam, from Bodum, and I love it.  I’ve been using it for years.

http://bodum.bodum.com/us/en-us/shop/detail/1842-01US/?navid=272

And speaking of Tea…go  here…

http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/list.html?userId=273428

Right now.  I mean it.  That link will take you to Adagio Tea’s website.  Specifically, my best friend Steph’s blend page.  That Taurus Blend looks yummy. (Yes, I am one.  Just ask my family.  I am Taurus personified.)  Check out what she’s got!

And as for the photography…*points to the pictures* Duh…

And because I do this blog for my Mom…

Mother and Daughter

I love you Mom!

Relaxing Saturday

I love weekends.  I mean, REALLY love them.  I used to not have them.  That’s what happens when you work two jobs for six years.  So now that I have real weekends, I enjoy them.

I’ve found a routine that I’ve become rather addicted to.  I get up around 8 am, putter around for a bit, check email, facebook, etc.  Then I put a pot of water on to boil for tea.  Next, fresh Buttermilk Biscuits go into the oven.  Nearly every Saturday morning, and Sunday ones for that matter, for the last month, have been spent curled up of the sofa with a cup of brewed tea (this morning’s flavor was Orange) and fresh Buttermilk Biscuits with Goat Cheese and local Honey, watching Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

I think it’s a pretty good way to start the day.  *grin*

Saturday has also become the day I cook my meals for the work week.  And this time, I’ve got a new toy to play with!  A shiny new red (which Aunt Judy will love) Dutch Oven!  So, today’s experiment was Creamy Dutch Oven Chicken with Slow Cooker  Baked Potato Casserole.

My apartment smells really good right now!

So, I started with the potatoes.

Potato Cassrole

 

And tried to resist eating it long enough to put it on the plate with the chicken.

Admittedly, this doesn’t look as appetizing as I thought, but after reducing a little bit, it looked much better.

On the Stove

 

And the final product, on the new Corell my dad got me for Christmas.

Get In My Belly!

Okay…I can’t resist saying it.  “Get in my belly!”

This was sooooo good.  And did I mention that my apartment smells really good right now?

You’re hungry, aren’t you.  You want the recipes, don’t you?

Well…since you asked…

http://quick-dish.tablespoon.com/2012/12/16/slow-cooker-baked-potato-casserole/

http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/creamy-dutch-oven-chicken-recipe/1/

 

And just for good measure, because I like MHP… http://melissaharrisperry.com/

Happy Warm Place on a Cold Sunday Morning

IMG_2235

I’ve not always liked tea.  When I was a kid, the only way I would drink it was with about a cup of sugar mixed in.  Then, a few years ago, Mom, Aunt Judy, and Donna took me to a little tea shop in Augusta called Miss Muzzie’s Tea Shop.  Mom ordered their Wild Strawberry Tea, no add-ins, and I tried some.

I was hooked.

Unfortunately, Miss Muzzie’s is closed… 😦  But I’ve continued to drink the Davidson’s Wild Strawberry Tea ever since.  It’s a special tea to me, it reminds me of Mom.

In the years since, my taste for tea was expanded quite a bit, and I’ve found another favorite.  PG Tips.  And I’ve been a fan of Earl Grey for as long as I’ve been a Star Trek Fan.

I’ve made it a habit of starting every day with at least one cup of hot tea in the morning, and in the afternoon, I switch to iced.  And now, I can’t imagine why on Earth as a kid I dumped so much sugar into my tea, ruining such an awesome drink.  I guess my tastes have changed.

I’ll take my tea black.

http://www.pgtips.co.uk/

http://www.davidsonstea.com/

http://www.twiningsusa.com/