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Beef Tips with my favorite rice

One of my favorite meals has always been beef tips and rice. Over the years, as I have grown, my tastes have changed, but still my favorite meal has stayed the same.

It all started with my mom. I am sure most of us can trace our favorite meals back to something our mom cooked. These remind us of home, our childhood, and memories. All the things we are fond to think back on. Back to my mom though, she was a whiz of making supper out of nothing.  However, this was not one of those times. I can remember many times we have had things which were close to beef tips, but never was.  She decided to use the last of the rice and stew meat. She also made her own gravy.  I was not expecting the result. It was truly amazing and I couldn’t wait for her to make it again.  Surely there were other times she made this but the first time is what sticks in my mind.

I wanted to share this experience with my daughter and husband. My first few attempts were not as successful as I would have liked. There was something I was missing and I could not figure it out. The rice always clumped together and made a very sticky mess. Even by following the directions on the package the rice was still sticky. My quest continued for the best beef tips.

Finally, I found the perfect rice for this dish. I happened to stumble upon it at my first blog conference. Riceland was one of the sponsors for both the conference and the Saturday lunch I attended. At the lunch we all got a box of some of Riceland’s products. One of which, I had not heard of, was Riceland Gold Parboiled Long Grain Rice.20161031_114906

I didn’t know how I wanted to use it. The rice sat in my freezer waiting for me to figure how to put into use. Then the light went off in my head. You haven’t tried this for beef tips. At first it seemed a little scary because I do not have a great track record of cooking rice. If you have the same problem this rice should be your go to.  When this was cooked the rice was so tender and the best part… it didn’t become one sticky mess!! Y’all in that instant this rice became my favorite.

Fast forward four years and I am still using this rice. Now when my daughter sees me get this out of the freezer she knows it is time to have her favorite supper too. I wanted to share our super easy recipe for beef tips and rice since you spent all this time reading with me. I cook for a family of three and enough to have leftovers the next day so it will be different if you just want to cook a single meal. Just reduce the amounts accordingly.

 

2 lbs of stew meat

1 ½ cartons of unsalted beef stock

3 tablespoons of better than boullion beef base

Brown gravy (enough to make 3 cups) mix

Salt and pepper to taste

Put your meat into the crockpot and season. Add the beef stock, brown gravy, and beef base. Stir well. Set on high for 6 hours.

In the last 30 minutes of the cook time, cook your Riceland Gold rice according to the back of the package.  I cook 6 servings of the rice.  But instead of using water use the correct amount of beef stock.

Put rice in bottom of bowl and add the meat and gravy to the top. It is really that simple.

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You can buy the Riceland Gold rice here. What is your favorite rice?

Until we next meet,

A

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Time brings change

As the old adage goes: Time changes everything. This applies to my little blog now.  In the past I have focused more on Glitter Bug but as she grows things have changed. The stories she is living now are hers to tell or keep to herself. She nows dreads the flash of the camera. This change has prompted me into rediscovering what makes me outside of being her mother. ( I will ALWAYS be her mother no matter what.)

I thought  a quick post about sharing this would help explain where things are going and I hope you stay around to see where we end up. If not, that is cool and it was nice to have you here. I have just been told by Glitter Bug there are still a few stories she will let me share so she will still be around a little.

 

Until we next meet,

A

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County Fair Time

Last week was our county fair. Let me tell you, it was crazy!! Bed time went out the window from the get go and it was wonderful. By the end of the week, we were glad for it to be over.

This year, we focused on Glitter Bug learning to craft and come up with her own ideas. She had fun and did pretty good with ribbons. She also showed chickens again this year. This was her first year to get to participate in the premium sale. Really this is a sponsorship from local businesses to give back to the 4 H kids to help offset the cost of raising the animals. Unfortunately Hubby or I were not able to attend however, she had her great grandparents. They made a day of it and she got to show off all her crafts to them.

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There were a couple of things she put in the fair, she couldn’t find. We found them finally which surprised her.
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Even though the sauce and pickles don’t have ribbons, she won first place on both of them. The pickles and the heart won best of show. G.B. was over the moon.
Do you put entries in your county fair or what you have? I would love to hear about it.
Until we next meet,
A

 

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Last hurrah of summer

A couple of  weekends ago we decided to send summer off with one last hurrah. With school starting, it was time to say goodbye to Summer. The best way I figured to send Summer off was to go visit a new Arkansas State Park. I will say we were not disappointed with our choice.

Hubby and I have been wanting to take Glitter Bug to Cossatot River State Park- Natural Area. We thought this would be a great park to visit because it is not far from us. Plus Glitter Bug LOVES rocks of all kinds and this park is full of them.

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These two wouldn’t keep still long enough for a decent picture. G.B. wanted to study the sign instead of taking a picture.
Our next stop was to the visitor center to check out what the park had to offer.
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This park is managed by both Arkansas State Parks and Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Cossatot became a park in February of 1988. There are hiking trails and lots of rapids for people to enjoy. Most of the rapids are for experienced rafters. However, you can still climb rocks to see the river up close or even swim in certain places. Also offered are picnic tables by the swimming area.

 

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This is where we found some people swimming. Doesn’t  the water look pretty? Plus look at those rocks! If you have a rock hound like me, then this is a must go place.
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Daddy and Glitter Bug spent most of their time doing this and I spent most of our time enjoying all the memories being made.
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This park is on our go back list. I can’t wait to see it in the fall. What Arkansas State Park have you been to lately?
Until we next meet,
A

 

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Update on my weight loss journey.

I want to say first this post has some profanity and it is about to get real here.

 Things this summer got out of control for me. I got to the point of not caring anymore. It was not just my normal not caring. (Summer have always been hard for me because I hate the hot weather and it is the time of the year I slack off.) My not caring got to the point of me not cooking nearly all the month of July. That is right we ate out every chance I could get. The heat this summer got me. I have been exhausted, feeling defeated and just trying to get through every day.

Don’t get me wrong, things have not been so bad where I wanted to give up. In fact in July had a special day for me. Hubby and I have been married for 10 years now. That is another story for another time. Just the heat has been so oppressive. This has meant my goals I have been working towards were pushed to the side with the intention of picking them back up when it got cooler. However, the call I got changed all those thoughts for me. No I am not going in to details about the call but will say it has to deal with my health.

It was a slap in the face and made me look hard at what I was doing right or wrong. I could have embarrassing events happen again or I could do something about it. Last week  I decided to do something about it and stop complaining. one of my friends shared this on Instagram a couple of weeks ago and it keeps coming back to me.

This past week I set myself goals and started working on them. And I smashed the shit out of them and for this week, I set harder ones and plan to smash them too. This includes what I am putting in my body. I realized I could do all the the necessary exercise but if I keep eating junk then junk is all my goals are. Eat better fuel and see my goals take off. This is how I am finally feeling. We are eating at our house with home cooked healthy meals. As you can see from our shopping cart, things are getting done here.
If you would like to follow along as I continue to smash my goals you can follow along on Instagram with the hashtag: getfitalicia 

Until we next meet,
A

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10 Free Printable Coloring Sheets to beat the Summer Heat.

Summer here is at full force. The temperatures have been close to triple digits and the feels like has been in triple digits for a while. This means slowing down and less time outside. On the other hand, we have been trying to find stuff to do inside.

Down here in Southwest Arkansas, there is the library, two local museums and not much else. After a couple of trips to the museums, Glitter Bug has tired of them. Instead we have been lots of coloring to beat the heat and boredom. Glitter Bug prefers the adult coloring pages because of the challenge for her.

We want to share some of our favorite free printable coloring pages.

What are you doing this summer to beat the heat?
Until we next meet,

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Summer Goodies.

Summer is here and  it has come on strong. This past week we have seen very hot to almost bareable for me. However, the vegetable game is strong this year.

We have the luck of being able to go to two different farmer’s markets. Normally I would be growing my own vegetables bu a storm washed all my plants out of my raised beds. Now we go to our local farmer’s markets on Tuesday and Saturday.  We have made friends with a couple of the local farmers which allows Glitter Bug to see where our food comes from. This has also allowed me to do some canning.

Yesterday was the first time I canned without my Hubby’s help. I have to say it was a lot of hard work and heat. Glitter Bug did help by packing the slices in, moving jars and putting in the crisper stuff. She also pulled a couple of the jars out of the canner. This made canning pickles much more fun and exciting for her. Here is some of our work.

As you can see we had lots of fun. I am looking forward to canning pasta sauce with Glitter Bug soon. What do you enjoy about summer?
Until we next meet,
A
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Not so amusing wake up call.

Last week was full of excitement for our trip to a local amusement park. I have never been and Glitter Bug could not wait to go. We picked up her cousin and off we went. The excitement in the truck was catching and continued the whole ride.

After entering the park, we hatched our plan of what rides to ride. The first couple of rides were the water rides of course. With a nine year old water rides are a must. The next rid had Glitter Bug waiting because it goes upside down. Hubby, cousin and I got ready to ride. Did I mention I HATE rides?! So here we are sitting waiting for everyone to board.  As the ride fills up the bar lowers to keep us from falling out. It is a snug fit. As the ride attendant came by he said I have to lower the bar more. Okay, now it is tight. It clicked and I thought okay let’s get this ride over.  Then the attendant comes back and says the ride still says it is not locked. Again he pushed down and now the bar is making it hard to breath. At this point I am thinking this ride is about to start. Nope, instead the attendant came back to let me know the bar is not locked in place. I told him to just let me off.

Mortified I am too fat to ride, I climb down to wait with my daughter. I had to do the walk of shame in front of a FULL ride. How did this happen? Don’t get me wrong I know weight has been put on but surely not enough to keep me from riding a ride. This felt like the lowest point of my life.

I have spent the last week in a funk about this. Question how I did this. Why I did this. I could blame stress, lifestyle etc, but really I did this. Now it is up to me to make changes to remove this weight. Small steps  are happening in our house. More fruits (tomatoes and clementines), fresh veggies and smaller meals. Lots of walking and pick up running again. You can follow my journey on Instagram with the hashtag; #getfitalicia. Also feel free to encourage when you can or want to.

Until we meet again. Pin It

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How we are doing gardening this year.

This year has been another wet year here in Southwest Arkansas. This means for us our yard/garden has standing water. Every time the water dries up enough to till for the garden, more rain makes it’s way to our little part of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love having the rain but it does make having a huge garden hard. Since we do look forward to eating fresh veggies out of our garden, we had to find a different way to make this happen. After much thought, looking on pinterest, and research the decision was made to do raised beds this year. Yes last year we had one raised bed (cinder blocks) but it was just not big enough and the extra soil I bought was not good for growing all we planted.  This year we are using these.

I like to call them my tomato bed and my squash bed. As you can tell I didn’t following planting instructions. (Sorry Jessica. But do go check out her post about gardening.) I wanted to make sure we planted enough for Glitter Bug to participate in the farmer’s market and still get our share of fresh veggies. 
So these beds started as four 2x12x12 boards. Hubby and talked about it and figured 2 feet wide would allow plants room and still allow me to reach anywhere in the beds with ease. Hubby measured and cut 2 feet off each of the boards to make the ends. and screwed them together.  The moving to the backyard was fun. (Thank goodness Hubby keeps things. He had a pair of wheels we used to roll them to their place.) 
Next we had to fill them in with some kind of dirt. We chose top soil from Atwoods mostly because we are limited living in our small town but bonus because the top soil was on sale. I was glad it was because we ended up using 48 bags of top soil. Glitter Bug was even working hard dumping bags.
Here are what the final project looked like. A great part is since we didn’t make a place for the raised beds. We just put plastic down and the ground being lumpy the water doesn’t sit under the bed. Yay! 

 Our hands after getting all the dirt done. The family that gardens together has some of the best fun.

What do you have growing? Any plans for a garden? Please share in the comments. 
Until we next meet,
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MAKE.. whatever happen

Let me first say Thank You for returning after the long break. It was a good break to recharge and renew. We made lots of memories.

The holiday season was the most laid back we have ever had. Truthfully I don’t think there were more than 10 pictures taken. For me the best part was living in the moment and not through a lens trying to get the best shot to share.

2015 taught me to slow down, enjoy life, and make time for the small things. We never know how much we have with anyone. That lesson was the hardest my little family had to learn. We had to say goodbye to a wonderful man. I am grateful for every day spent with my father in law and being a part of his family.  2016 tried to take off on us and complicate but deep breaths, slowing down prevailed.

Speaking of this year, I have decided to participate in the one word focus. (Last year was potential.) I kind of bounced the idea of not picking a word and just see what the year brought. However the word “Make” kept popping up. Thoughts like “make more memeories,” “make life happen,” “make time,” “make your dreams happen,” “make crafts,” “make chances happen.” These thoughts would jump out in the quite time like washing dishes, folding clothes and driving to work. This year is going to hold lots of make and truthfuly,  I am ready for it all.

What is your word or focus for this year?

Until we next meet,
A