Thursday, March 29, 2012

comfort food

hello blog land!
it has been even longer than i thought since i last posted!  for those few of you who used to check this daily for updates on grandchildren...you have probably forgotten i even have a blog and will be blown away at the existence of a new post.  and i'll go ahead and warn you, it will probably be the last until after mallory arrives. 

i really don't know where to begin.  we have closed on our house in meridian and officially relocated here to mississippi!  the house is kind of settled and kind of looks like squatters may actually inhabit it; depends on what room you look at.  i may post pictures at some point in the next few weeks...that would require that i actually take some though so don't get too excited about that.  i have some sewing i'd like to cross off the list before mallory arrives (2 weeks from today at the latest) and of course there are still curtains to hang, built in book cases to "stage" and lots of little things like that so blogging is again, taking a back seat.  we are planning to deliver mallory in mobile so that meant a trip to mobile last sunday/monday and we will repeat next wednesday/thursday for my last check up before delivery.  then you just add in the move in general and the fact i am 36+ weeks and slap tired...  it is all enough to do me in but the good Lord is holding me up nicely.  most days i have just enough grace to survive and some days, like yesterday, i come up pretty short.  i am hoping that the girls are too young to remember and jay will just forget all together! 

jay and i did celebrate the "anniversary" of our first date last wednesday.  march 21, 1998...it has been a long, fast and crazy 14 years.  if you had told me 14 years ago we would be married and expecting baby girl 3, i would have believed some of that but not all of it!  i came across poppy and pinecone (i found her from a blog but heck if i can remember which one!  i would highly recommend elisabeth...it turned out wonderfully and she was super sweet to work with) and picked up a little gem for jay/for us.  i had her custom paint one for us that has the "heart" placed over the coast instead of the middle of the state; i thought it was extra appropriate with the move.  afterall, i moved to mobile the day after i got back from our honeymoon (jay had been there for about 18 months already) so it is pretty much all i have known as adult life and certainly where we began life together and started our family. 

so since my brain is far too feeble to leave you with anything else truly meaningful and if i tried to cover everything going on you would soon quit reading as it would be a post of record length and i'd probably develop carpul tunnel...i leave you with recipes.  beef tips and rice and banana bread.  in other words, comfort food to this nesting mother of almost 3 babies!

beef tips and rice
1 1/2 lbs round steak
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 T oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 T vinegar
2 clove crushed garlic
1 bay leaf

cut your round steak into thin slices about 3/4 to 1" long, trimming off any excess fat.  combine flour, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper pepper.  dredge steak in flour mixture.  brown the meat in hot oil in a large skillet.  add remaining ingredients, including extra salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  add cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 1 hour or until steak is tender.  remove bay leaf and serve over rice. 

we like extra gravy at this house, if you are like us, you don't need to alter the recipe to have a sufficient amount.  if you like less gravy cut the amount of water, bouillon, garlic and thyme by half.  if you like a crazy amount of gravy then you could easily add another cup of water, a bouillon cube, 1/4 tsp extra thyme and probably a bit more garlic as well. 



banana bread
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk (rarely do i have buttermilk on hand so i add 1/2 T lemon juice to regular milk and allow to sit for 5 minutes)
2 cups very ripe mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped (i know walnuts are probably more traditional but pecans are my go to)

spray two 9x13" loaf pans with cooking spray.  stir together the flour, salt and cinnamon and set aside.  using a mixer, stand or hand, combine the oil and sugar by beating on low speed until combined.  add the eggs and vanilla to the oil and sugar and beat until mixed well.  stir the baking soda into the buttermilk in a small bowl.  add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  follow with 1/2 of the buttermilk.  repeat, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  add the mashed bananas and nuts; i use a spoon and do not use the mixer for this step. 

pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the bread is golden brown; about 1 hr.  transfer the pans to a wire rack to speed cooling and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

i made the beef tips and rice the other night and the banana bread is waiting on the bananas on my counter to ripen one or two more days..can't wait!  y'all have a great weekend!  i'll be back soon with either pictures of the house or a smiling baby girl!

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