Spike William is our new kitten and he was born January 30th, 2013.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

PhotoHunt Theme: Spotted

"Spotted" is the theme this week.
One morning my cats were meowing at the sliding glass door which leads out to the screened-in porch. This isn't unusual - even when it's cold they generally go out and "patrol the perimeter" before coming back to the door to come in. December 30th was cold and it had snowed the night before. Both cats went out and didn't come right back to be let in the house. I called them and Willow came in but China Cat was behind the hot tub where I couldn't see her. Finally, I went out to get her to come in but that's when I saw what had fascinated her. A large hawk was about 15 feet out on the lawn eating something for breakfast! I ran to get my camera and went back out in the porch. I rarely can get pictures taken through a screen however I was able to get some pretty good pictures of Mr. Hawk! I took the pictures at 8:00 AM and I figured that Mr. Hawk wouldn't stay around for too long. I was really surprised to see him still sitting there at noon! I guessed that he ate so much for breakfast and he felt safe sitting in the fenced yard, that he fell asleep sitting there - kind of like when we eat to much turkey on Thanksgiving! We weren't sure what he ate but when my husband went out to look he found some feathers on the ground.
Anyway, I picked Mr. Hawk for the SPOTTED Theme because you can see that he has white SPOTS all over his chest! I googled Hawk images but I can't figure out what kind of hawk he is - or if he really is a he or a she!

As always, you can find more of Tnchick's Photohunters here!
And here

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Stout Beef Stroganoff

My mother-in-law called Friday morning to see if we had any stout beer. My husband brings home all different kinds of beer, mostly IPA's but occasionally some stout beer. She had found a recipe for beef stroganoff in the newspaper that called for 3/4 cup of stout beer. It's not inexpensive and she didn't want a 6-pack of stout beer that she wouldn't use or drink. Well, my husband said that he would buy a 6-pack so that he would have 5 beers and she would have one for the recipe. However, she also had a book that she wanted to show to him so she stopped and bought the 6-pack and brought it and the book over to our house.
Yesterday afternoon we called to see how the recipe turned out and my mother-in-law said it was very good. My husband decided that since we had the stout beer he would make the stroganoff for dinner. The store didn't have any sirloin steak so he substituted some good quality stew beef and it turned out very good. The sauce is wonderful on the egg noodles but next time we will make it with sirloin steak strips as the stew beef was a bit on the tough side. He also roasted brussels sprouts with garlic for a side dish. We have them a lot as they are delicious when they are roasted - crisp on the outside and soft in the inside, plus we love garlic!

Stout Beef Stroganoff

Adapted from recipe in the Let’s Eat Section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2010-01-13

The flavor of stout adds depth to beef stroganoff


½ pound egg noodles

About 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound sirloin steak, cut into strips 2 inches long and ¼ inch thick

Ground black pepper

1 large onion, chopped

1 pound white button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced

¾ cup (½ bottle) stout beer (Guinness)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ cup sour cream, at room temperature

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles until they are al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, set a large skillet over medium-high heat and film the bottom with canola oil. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper to taste. Sear the meat in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Transfer browned meat to a plate.

3. Lower the heat to medium and add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, if necessary. Cook onions with a pinch of salt until they become translucent and start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they have release all of their juices and turned golden brown, about 5 minutes. Return the heat to medium-high to evaporate the juices.

4. Pour in the beer, scraping the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits. Return the meat to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and let the stroganoff simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced and the meat is cooked through.

5. Stir in mustard and sour cream. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve over egg noodles.

Per serving: 630 calories; 27g fat; 10g saturated fat; 155mg cholesterol; 42g protein; 52g carbohydrate; 6g sugar; 2g fiber; 260mg sodium; 80mg calcium.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mama Cat at the Winery

On January 2nd when we went to Sugar Creek, our favorite winery, we found Mama Cat waiting on the porch railing, ready to greet all of the guests.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year

My wish for everyone is a very warm and cozy,
healthy and happy New Year!