Monday, October 31, 2011

Tricks on Trees

Happy Halloween (sort of)

We'll we survived Snowmagedon 2011. Just when the trees were starting to look pretty here in Northern NJ, Snowmagedon hit on Saturday.

We heard the first "Crack" of falling branches in the early afternoon and were hit with a power outage about 3pm.  Our neighborhood was hit very hard.  Luckily we have a wood burning fireplace, so were able to keep the Living Room somewhat warm.  Power resumed Sunday afternoon (thank goodness).

This morning we restocked the fridge and bought a chain saw.

The Lumberjacks, my son and his best friend.

Poor trees

This is about a third of the tree you see standing on left.

Big Daddy came out to show the boys how it's done.  They are really happy with the new toy.

the carnage

It's been a long standing tradition for me to make Sue's Stew and Tom's bread on Halloween.  When the kids were little it was an easy and quick way to get some dinner in while answering the bell and before they were totally sugar loaded.

The boys were very happy to sit down to a hot meal after the lumber hauling was over.

Happy Halloween! Back soon with Quilting.

Here are my recipes - they take about the same amount of time, so it works out great.  Enjoy!

Sue's Stew (Sue is my sister-in-law)

1 lb stew meat
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
1 onion, wedged
2 cans beef broth
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
4-6 red skinned potatoes, cut into chunks
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" slices.
1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1" pieces.

Dredge stew pieces in seasoned flour.  Brown in a dutch oven with a little olive oil and butter.
Add onion, beef broth, bay leaves and tomato sauce.  Simmer 90 minutes.
Add  potatoes and carrots and simmer 30 minutes.
Add green beans and simmer until beans are done, about 30 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

This is a basic recipe and you can add corn, peas, sweet potato or other root vegetables. 

Tom's Bread (Tom was a family friend who did the cooking on Rich's family boat)

1 Package dry yeast
2 cups hot water
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 - 3/4 cup honey
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour

Combine hot water, oats, honey, butter and salt and let cool slightly.

Proof yeast according to the package directions.
(1/4 cup warm water, 1 tsp sugar and yeast, until foamy)

Add yeast and whole wheat flour to the oats mixture.  Add and knead in remaining 3 cups flour.  Knead about 5 mins.

Spray large bowl with Pam and add dough and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (at least an hour) in a warm place.
Punch down and let rise again 1 hour.
Divide dough into 2 loaves and put into bread pans sprayed with pam.  Let rise 30-40 minutes.
Bake at 305 degrees for about 45 minutes or until its done and gold brown.

We like it best with butter and honey - yum!!


  1. They showed us a little on the news about the snow storm, sorry about your beautiful tree, glad nobody got hurt.
    Yes boys and their toys,grin
    Thank you for the lovely recipe, will try it soon.

    Happy Halloween

  2. It seems so early for snow, saw it on the telly too. What a shame about the tree, the boys look like they're itching to get the power tool revved up, lol.
    The dinner looks comforting and delicious.

  3. The recipes look wonderful!!! I make a similar stew, but the bread is new to me - so it is on my "to make soon" list!! Thanks for sharing. Sorry about the trees and early snow.


  4. Oh the power of power tools! I am so glad you all are warm now!
    I am going to try making Tom's bread. thanks for sharing the recipe!
    Happy Halloween!

  5. The stew looks amazing! Wish I was there to enjoy it!! I can't wait to be home for Thanksgiving. Love and miss you xoxo

  6. Here in Colorado we had that same storm earlier in the week. Same results. The sound of chainsaws everywhere.

  7. So sorry about all the destruction in your garden! Lucky you have a fireplace.
    The men look very pleased with their new toy!
    Thank you for the recipes. I will be trying Sue's Stew.

    Happy Halloween!!

  8. Always tough to lose those older, established all really got hit with early snow while here in Wisconsin we are unseasonably warm.

    Sending you a separate email about the red and ivory toile...

  9. What a shame to have lost so many branches, and losing power is always a drag - happy to hear that it wasn't for too long, and that you could stay toasty. It is just way too early for snow!
    I'm printing out your recipes. That bread was making my mouth water - it's been way to long since I made some.

  10. Oh poor trees! I saw the temperatures on our evening news the other night and thought that the East Coast was looking cold pretty early this year! Then the snow!! Wow! Hope this is not a sign of your winter to come.
    Your stew recipe sounds yum, I'll file that one for next winter!

  11. Lucky you! we are still out of power since Saturday around 1 too. town looks worse then after Hurricane Irene, so many trees down so many roads closed....hoping by Thursday to have power!
    We needed to call in the big boys and big toys! this time the trees came down not just the branches.
    will look forward then to whipping up these recipes they look yummy!

  12. Oh, my. I didn't realize that storm caused so much damage. What will this winter bring?!?!
    Yes, guys and their power tools. You might have to hide that chainsaw! lol
    Dinner looks yummy! Nothing better on a brisk afternoon.

  13. Well, at least a storm like that is fun for the boys! LOL

  14. Thanks for the bread recipe. There is nothing like hot stew and fresh bread to battle the winter cold...or in this case, late autumn cold!

  15. Thanks for the great looking recipes!! I can't wait to try the bread. What a storm!

  16. Sounds good and I am hungry! We also had lots of branches down. What crazy weather! It's fun to have lots of "he" men around to do the "tough" jobs and then we can stay in and cook and sew.....I guess that sounds a little old fashion? Oh well I am good with that!

  17. I was away at the cottage (no electricity there at any time) and missed the news about THE storm. Sorry about the tree but you all seem to have coped well and took everything in stride. Is this a taste of what is in store for us this winter?

  18. Golly! I'm glad the damage wasn't worse, enough to let the guys play with their chainsaw. I have to say the fall colours are so beautiful in your photos. That stew and bread sound delicious!! Thanks for sharing the recipe ( I could serve them in my pumpkin dishes :) )

  19. I wondered how you fared with the storm. It's a shame your tree got so damaged, but good that you had the guys around to help out.

    It's fun cooking a hearty meal that you know the guys are really going to appreciate!


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