It was cold this morning. Not cold enough to force me into long pants and shoes, but cold, nonetheless. I headed out in t-shirt and shorts to the local hardware store for electrical supplies – I had to replace a socket on a lamp and change out a light switch – and thought that it wasn’t going to be long before I had to start putting on shoes when I left the house. Quelle horreur!! I am so not looking forward to that!

But while it was still semi-warm enough to leave the house in my summer finery, it was cold enough to get me thinking about beef stew and puff pastry. Not that I need a lot of encouragement to break out the puff pastry sheets, but I can milk a situation if need be…

I’ve been looking forward to the cooler weather and the heartier foods. I’m a soup and stew person at heart. As much as I really love all sorts of foods, feed me gravy and I’ll follow you anywhere. Real gravy, that is – nothing out of a can, jar, or packet. I do have my standards, low as they may be, at times.

I’ve never quite grasped the concept of packaged or canned gravy. I mean… Gravy is one of the easiest things in the world to make. It’s practically free food and can be made in minutes.

Tonight’s stew was beef cubes simmered in broth and a bit of coffee – my mom’s famous trick – with potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and frozen mixed vegetables, and then thickened with a flour and water paste. I used two sheets of puff pastry and then put the corner pieces on top to make it even more flaky.


It always looks prettier in the dish, but it was one tasty dinner! Even Nonna cleaned her plate.

And… there’s enough left over for lunches tomorrow.

Life is good. A bit chilly, but good.