Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fennel & Yam Beef Stew

I've been wanting to make stew for ages. I for months I have had packages of beef stew meat in my freezer - just calling me to make something delicious out of it. For the past few months I have been buying yam after yam, with the intention of using it for stew but always, unsure of what else to put into a stewed, ending up using them for something not stew-like-at all.

As I took a bite of this today, my fear of making bad stew disappeared as I fell in love with the flavors of beef, fennel and yam together. It's so simple, easy and yet I was amazed at how delicious it was. It is naturally sweet and almost delicate in its taste.

To make this, you'll need:

2 Carrots (I used rainbow)
1/4 of a bulb of fennel (including the bulb, stalks, and seeds of that 4th)
1 Large Yam
1 Lb Grassfed Stew Beef
1 Medium/Large Shallots
1/2 TSP Black Pepper
1/2 TSP Salt

Begin by peeling and chopping your yam into 1 inch pieces - put it in your slow cooker. Chop your carrots, shallots and fennel and drop them in with the yams. Put your beef in the pot! Mine was still frozen at this point, so if your its don't sweat it! Add in the salt and pepper, then pour water over the stew until it is just covered.Cover and put on High Heat and allow to cook for 8-16 hours. I put too much water on mine to start, so it needed longer. The picture up this is from about 11 hours, but I had it again for supper and by that point the extra water was gone. Oh my oh my how delicious.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Homemade Mascara Saga

I've been trying to make better choices about what I put on my skin lately, and the more I do the more i realize just how difficult it is to find make up that aren't full of junk. So, I set out to find a mascara recipe that I could make at home, didn't smudge and left me feeling good about what was going into my body.

Along my search I came across this recipe! It is from the book Toxic Free by Thank Your Body. Getting to the point of actually making the mascara was quite the process. I had a choir concert a few days after I discovered this, and I was determined to have it ready by then....did not happen.

I was going to start with brown, because I couldn't find any decently priced activated charcoal anywhere. I ran into my fist problem when I was trying to clean out an old mascara tube. It was two hours of me banging on the end of the tube, cleaning with q-tips, more banging...hitting the tube on the counter (in a bucket...). Nothing worked. So, I ended up going to my concert mascara-less the next day. Luckily I have friends (I don't really care if I wear make up all the time, but for concerts its required.). Word to the wise, if you are going to make mascara, simply buy some off eBay.

About three weeks later, my mascara tubes arrived from eBay. And I made my first batch. Brown. I couldn't see the brown. So I ran all over the city looking for decently priced activated charcoal. At last! I found some! Yay! And here are the results! So far I am enjoying the mascara, and the more I wear it the more I like it. I'm getting used to the different feel of it, but sometimes wonder if it could benefit from a slightly larger amount of beeswax. Maybe I didn't press it down enough?

Oh look there I am chilling in the recliner with my new mascara! Great!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cross-Country Skiing!

For those of you who don't know, I haven't been allowed to be physically active for about 10 months now because of some medical stuff. However - as of last week I was allowed to start doing anything I wanted for the first time in nearly a year! I was ecstatic!

Last night we were supposed to get a huge snow storm, but when I woke up the roads were perfectly clear. Imagine our surprise when an hour later we had about 20 cm's of snow. Driving today felt I was driving through soupy jello. Yea...

This afternoon I had the opportunity to go cross country skiing for the first time. The shoes didn't fit (I stuffed them with cotton and wore a few pairs of socks....) and I biffed quite a few times but for the two hours we were out there we had a great time! I got to go with my brother. I love spending time with my brother. He's an awesome guy! Considering how little physical activity I've had in the last 10 months, I'm pretty sure that I will be hurting tomorrow - but it was so much fun and I plan on going again! Maybe even tonight if possible. Which it would be!

Hey hey! This is the first time I've posted a picture of myself on here! Check it out. Anyone want to take a stab at how old I am?

I love cross-country skiing!

And Canada.

And Snow. Most of the time.