It is certainly good to have goals for yourself, but sometimes we need to take a step back and realize that just because things aren't how you wanted them to look, doesn't mean they're not beautiful. And now, in addition to the great family, friends, pets and boyfriend that I have, I a new job and am starting to make more responsible decisions. That's all I can really ask of myself, right?
Moving on to more fun things, I regret that I did not get to post about my St. Patrick's Day earlier, as it was a GRAND one. I am pure-blooded Irish American, so this holiday has always been a big deal to me. My parents raised me to be very proud of my heritage, which led me to take Irish dancing, Gaelic classes, and I've already been to Ireland twice. This year Tom and I decided to throw a big bash with all of our friends and some live music.
Over the several hour party, roughly 100 guests passed through my apartment. The highlight of the night was definitely our friends Le Tour and Secret XYZ playing in my basement. Tall people had to hunch over, everyone got over the moldy smell, and the sound was great!
Patrick of LeTour making tunes off of the ceiling pipes.
Sexret XYZ, with this protagonist's own leading man on the left
More highlights of the weekend included making amazing vegetarian Irish stew, seeing local Irish-rock dudes, The Tossers, and spending St. Paddy's Day morning in downtown Chicago with the green river and parade (in 75 degree weather, no less!).
But let me tell you about this stew!! It seriously blew my mind. After sifting through several Irish stew recipes online, I decided to go with my gut.
Vegetarian Irish/Guinness Stew
3/4 package Gardein beefless tips
2 cans vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup Guinness
1 cup red wine (I used a cheap pinot noir)
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium-sized potatoes, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 spoonfuls tomato sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 bay leaves
With a nice coating of olive oil, I heated up the beefless tips in a large pan, making sure all sides got a nice dark brown color. Once they looked nicely cooked through, I added the garlic and let it simmer for about two minutes. Then I added the Guinness, red wine, tomato sauce, sugar, thyme, parsley and bay leaves. After bringing that mixture to a boil, I reduced the heat, covered and let simmer for a little over an hour.
While that was heating up, I sauteed the carrots, potatoes and onions with some butter for about 25 minutes.
After letting the main mixture simmer for the previously mentioned time, I added the vegetables and let the whole thing simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Before serving I removed the bay leaves and then, ENJOYED.
This stew was extremely flavorful in all the right ways. It wasn't too thick, but there also wasn't a lot of broth remaining in my bowl after I devoured the "meat" and veggies. I promise that this dish will impress even meat-lovers. And if it doesn't well, then I'm sorry for the blarney!
Of course I enjoyed it with a side of Guinness!