|Beef soup minus the dumplings bento with pistachios, orange and pear wedges and one of Keira's halloween goodies.|
|Playing outside and breaking in her new suit!|
It's been raining a lot lately but this weekend, we were blessed with sunshine! It wasn't warm but at least there was sun. Keira decided to try out her new salopettes (her new ski/winter pants) which I was able to buy at the Orage warehouse sale for... 25 bucks! And it matches her coat.. woot! To be honest, I wasn't sure the pants would fit her. It's a size 5t. It looked big. It fits her from the inseam and legs but I now realize that Keira has a short torso. So, the legs fit just perfectly, the straps are loose and hanging.. ah well. I don't want to cut the straps as next year, these salopettes will go to the donation bin and I want the next kid wearing it to have the option of adjustable straps.
Last week, I saw a lot of soups being made for lunches and suppers and I thought what better way to enjoy cold weather but to make some soup myself. I have my trusty Jamie Oliver cookbook and I like to make his Beef Stew with ale and dumplings. Minus the dumplings. lol. Call it what you want in different cultures: dumplings, gnocchi, shujebi.. I can't make myself swallow little slippery chunks of flour.
|Les Brasseurs de Montréal Écossaise beer, the last of my garden tomatoes and butternut squash..|
The recipe itself is quite simple: beef cubes coated with flour then added to sizzling oil in big pot, once all sides are nice and golden crisp add garlic and onions.. I don't usually add the pancetta as per Jamie's recipe. He's obsessed with pancetta! (Pancetta is everywhere in this cookbook!) Then I added my green stuffs and my stock (I also added a bit of beef bouillon) and 1 bottle of beer. I usually like to add a rousse or something with a sweet twist to it but this time, I tried Les Brasseurs de Montréal's Black Watch Écossaise, which is a deep brown colour with a caramelised flavour. I'm not a beer connoisseur by the way. But this beer added a deep flavour to the soup. Then I added butternut squash, rutabega, grelots (small potatoes), carrots and the last of my garden tomatoes. I waited til the end to decide if I wanted to thicken the soup as a stew or keep it as is with broth.
Since there is so much flavour and I added chicken stock to the soup, there's really no need to add salt. And voila! My bento lunches for this week! All I need to add is crusty bread with butter..