Have I told you lately...

THANK YOU SO VERY VERY MUCH for visiting my blog and for your lovely, funny, encouraging comments. It means such a lot to me, and it bothers me a lot that I don't always have enough time to answer each and every one of you. My world would be a lot less without all of you that is for sure.

OK mushy stuff aside.

Back to the food porn... I made a yummy stew today for dinner.

Shelly's Beef & Black Bean Crockpot Stew

2 pounds Stew Beef
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/4 cup Beef or Chicken Broth
2 large cloves Garlic, minced
1 large chopped Onion
1 large (28-oz.) can Tomatoes, chopped (I used S&W Petite Cut)
1 cup Salsa
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Paprika
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Frozen Corn (I used Trader Joe's Frozen Fire Roasted Corn)
1 (15-oz.) can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro


Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream

Toss beef cubes in flour. In a large skillet, brown beef. Deglaze the pan with broth. Pour into crockpot. Saute onion till golden, add garlic cook 1 minute. Transfer into the crockpot. Add tomatoes, salsa, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, corn, and beans. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Add green onions and cilantro during the last hour of cooking. Top with grated cheese, avocado, and/or sour cream.

I had a lot of fun today. It's getting chilly in Southern California and I only owned 2 pairs of pants (both capris) in my size. I think I'm finally at the size I would like to stay and I'm getting really cold wearing capris and sandals everywhere so I went shopping. I love TJ Maxx. I got two pairs of super cute jeans (size 10) and 2 great sweaters in my favorite color green. I also found a couple of treats to try a SF Maple Pecan Syrup (next time I make the Best Breakfast Ever I will give some a try and let you know) and a Da Vinci Amaretto Sugar Free Syrup (TJ Maxx is a great source for random SF syrups BTW). I also stopped at the supermarket to stock up on my Driftwood Dairy Cottage Cheese & Pineapple which I am completely obsessed with right now.

Highlights of the Day:

* Looking in a mirror and really beginning to like what I see. It took 36 years.

* I walked by people eating a huge pizza today and instead of coveting it I thought, "Damn, that is a lot of carbs" How's that for a mindset change??

* Ooooh I went to Starbuck's today and had them make me a Tall SF Cinnamon Dolce/SF Gingerbread Soy Latte with No Whip. They mixed the two SF syrups for me and it was seriously one of the best drinks I've ever had. Try it. Yum.

* The Christmas cactus blooming in my kitchen window (see above)

Listening to: Fleetwood Mac "Silver Springs"