Monday, November 21, 2011

Fishy things, recipe, and a minor Stew-Splosion....

Fish. If you've ever tried to photograph a fish, you'll know how hard it is. Really, pets in general are hard to get nice pictures of. You'll see them doing just the cutest darn thing, but as soon as you pull a camera out they stop. Or worse, they wander over and stick their noses right up against the lens to see what you're doing!

But fish... I think fish are the worst! You've gotta compensate for the movement of water,t he weird lighting problems. If I had a dime for every weird, streaky blurry photo of Mage, I'd be rich!

I did manage to catch this adorable shot of him investigating under the bridge... That's his cute little taily sticking out :) And here's a nice shot of the cory cat, whom I've yet to name.

He's really cute. He spends his time nosing all over stuff with his little whiskers! This morning, no one was out and about in the tank when I switched the light on. Mage was resting at the bottom and when he finally decided to rouse himself I dropped in a few pellets for him and some flakes for the others. Suddenly, there were shrimp all over the bottom of the tank, all grabbing food and stuffing it into their little mouths. It was the cutest thing!

In other news, last night I decided to make Stew for dinner. It's my grandfathers recipe and it's pretty much my second favorite meal right after my mom's chicken noodle recipe. I've even asked for it for birthday dinners in the past! It's made using 2 McCormick Beef Stew seasoning packets, which look like this:

Make sure you get the regular old 'Beef Stew Seasoning Mix'. They have two others, one for a season-in-bag thing, and another for crockpot. I've not tried those at all, but I assume they've got thickeners and stuff in them you likely don't want. I make it almost exactly how he's showed me, except for perhaps some minor seasoning changes to the meat- down to the lima beans that my m um despises!

~~~~~Papa's Beef Stew Recipe~~~~~

  • 2.25 pounds of ground beef (I like it extra meaty!)
  • Diced Baby Carrots
  • Diced Celery 
  • 1 1/2 Diced Onions
  • 2-3 Medium to Large, peeled and diced Russet Potatoes
  • 1 can Lima Beans undrained
  • 1 can Whole Kernel Corn drained
  • 1 can Green Beans
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can Italian Diced Tomatoes (Basil and Oregano seasoned I believe)
  • Seasonings such as Worcestershire, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Parsley, Celery Salt, Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper, etc.
Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet. Just pull it apart and loosely toss it into the pan. Season with your meat seasonings to taste. I used Oregano, Celery Salt, Worcestershire, and garlic powder last night. Give it a good mix- this makes sure the seasonings are all nice and in the meat, and you don't end up with weird one sidey flavored meat! Once mixed, press the meat down into a giant patty and turn the stove to medium high. Let brown.

Meanwhile, dice up your carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes. I try to keep the amounts even between all the ingredients, you'll just have to figure out how much of them you like in your stew! Put them into a large pot. When the ground beef has been gotten nice and brown on one side, take a spatula and cut the patty in half, then again the other way, so you have 4 pieces. Flip each piece (Carefully, it likes to spatter as it falls back into the grease!) and brown the other side.

Once the ground beef is browned on both sides, use the spatula to cut those 4 pieces into slivers and then into bit sized chunks. Cooking it as a patty keeps it from crumbling when it's in the stew! Once you've got the pieces cut down to size, use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat into the pot.

Add in the canned goods. Take a large cup and fill with cool water, then using a whisk, mix the seasoning packets in and pour into the pot. I usually do one at a time, it keeps it from clumping. Once everything's in the pot, fill it up with water until everything is nice and loose when you stir it! Simmer at least 2 hours, to get the veggies done, but longer will help the goody combine! Do stir it occasionally and scrape the bottom of the pot!

Serve with hot buttered cornbread, crackers, or over a bed of seasoned rice! Enjoy!


I did just this last night, got it set up on the stove, flipped the burner on and went back into the computer room to see Mage and dink around on the internet. About 10ish minutes later I decided to pop in and give it a stir. I came into the kitchen and "OMGOMG!" Was all I could yelp. Stew was -everywhere-! I'm still not used to the electric stove and it was boiling! Hard!

There was stew on the linoleum, the counter top, the stove top, the pot, all down the front of the oven and the oven handle... It was not fun. I got it turned down and cleaned up the kitchen, and besides the minor 'stew-splosion' it was delicious! I wish I'd thought to get a picture of the mess- now that I look back on it, it's pretty hilarious!

Anyhoo, off to grab some more stew for lunch, and start a new puzzle! I'll detail those tomorrow, me thinks :)


1 comment:

Daffycat said...

Ewww, lima beans =P Don't worry, you will get the hang of that electric stove after a while. I never had gas until we moved in here!

The fish are looking great.