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Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe, Christmas

Last Christmas,
I gave you my heart
But the very next day,
you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special

George Michael
Last Christmas

What a FABULOUS week! 

The whole week leading up to the BIG day was relaxing and festive. πŸŽ„ I actually felt like we paused and reflected on the important things around us. Giving us the chance to look back on the past year and prepare for the year ahead.

On Wednesday  SBesty and I went out for a super delicious lunch at a new restaurant called The Nest and Nectar. I highly recommend it to all the locals! It was tasty, had a great selection and has TONS of gluten free options! Ninja watched the kids while we had Roasted Chicken, Brie, and Fig Jam Sandwiches with French Onion Soup! 

We also exchanged gifts. I hate opening presents in front of people. Actually that was probably the only stress I have had in the past 7 days πŸ˜œ. SBesty got me Holiday Poop Spray... so I can go and nobody will know πŸ˜‚. I regifted her present. Actually, I bought it for my Mom for Mother's Day before she passed and I have kept it in my drawer looking for the perfect place for it. It is a book journal. A book to write down the books you have read, lent out and want to read in the future. As soon as I met SBesty and she got me to read Outlander, the book my Mom had been telling me about for years, I knew she should have it. 

While I was out I had the crockpot simmering! We had a delicious Beef Stew with Fluffy Dumplings and spiced Rum and Eggnog! Nothing gets me ready for Christmas like Rum and Eggnog and a comforting Stew.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe
Adapted from Skinny Ms.

1.5 lb stewing beef
1 cup mushrooms, cut into quarters
4 large carrots, sliced into thick rounds
1/2 cup peas
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups beef broth
1/4 cup chopped flat parsley

Add all ingredients, except parsley, to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or when beef is very tender.

With 15 minutes left add peas and dumplings. (I forgot to add the peas πŸ˜ž)

Remove bay leaf before serving and garnish with chopped parsley. (I forgot to add the parsley πŸ˜ž)

Fluffy Dumplings
Adapted from Just A Pinch

1 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil

Mix all ingredients together so that it is sticky but able to drop from a tablespoon. Last 15 minutes before serving your stew drop in broth with a tablespoon.

Cover and cook for the remainder of time. Don't lift the lid while cooking.

HBear has been ridiculously awesome this Xmas break. She has been helpful and has been super kind to her Sister. In fact, both of them have gotten along so well this past week my heart wants to BURST πŸ’›. HBear helped me clean the bathrooms, vacuum and wash the floors. Ninja took SBean to the store for last minute things and HBear and I enjoyed our day cleaning and making Holly Jolly Shots for Dad to take to a Holiday Party the next evening.

On Friday morning Ninja and Dad went out shovelling at 5am. When they got home Ninja fired up the BBQ. MBesty and her family came over for a little holiday cheer and gift sharing. They are... picky eaters πŸ˜³. Not in a bad way but in a very selective way πŸ˜‚. The past few years I try to make things I know they will like, like Bacon Wrapped Potatoes because who doesn't like bacon wrapped potatoes tossed in a delicious honey sauce?!?!

This year we BBQ'ed and made miniature Yorkshire Puddings stuffed with Prime Rib drizzled with Au Jus.



Of course I was entertaining so I didn't take any good pictures of our tasty little bites. I was too busy opening...

Seriously. πŸ˜³

How lucky am I? I have some seriously good friends that are expecting a seriously good dinner πŸ˜³πŸ˜Š! I was so taken aback that I forgot to look at the clock and had to rush our guests out πŸ˜‰ to get to G & G's for some gingerbread house making. Thank you MBesty, PSBesty and M & D Piper!!! I hope you enjoy your Timmy's coffee and Movie pass... OMG πŸ˜‘ I suck.

When we got to my InLaws the driveway was too slippery to get up so we parked at the bottom and walked up. It was gorgeous. I love the quiet of fresh fallen snow. ❄️


While the Girls decorated their houses with Grandpa and Ninja, my MIL and I sipped on Rum Eggnogs. I also found the trick to an amazing eggnog! Fresh ground nutmeg!!! My MIL grated nutmeg she bought from the market in Grenada and it made my drink taste even better than ever! So good!


Dad went to his party that evening and we decided to play Pie Face for dessert. So fun! HBear and I got pied every time we went up πŸ˜‚ Ninja and SBean were lucky and only got hit once.

Christmas Eve Day was super low key. We didn't do much but watch Indiana Jones or Christmas movies and HBear opened up her new pearl necklace from PSBesty.

Around 4pm we finally got dressed. I took the Girls to a Church service. I haven't gone to Church in years but I really wanted to go this year. I asked around and 1 of HBear's friend's Mom from Brownies/Gifted told me about a special kids service. It was at the perfect time and it was absolutely lovely.

The service was actually a birthday party for Jesus. I have had such a great week I'm not even going to say anything about that πŸ˜‡. The Girls were allowed to pick their costume, wiseman, angel, or shepherd. They chose beautiful little angels. A narrator came up and told the "story" of Jesus's birth in a few sentences. In between the "actors" came up to the front and we sang carols to represent each event. It was 30 minutes long and was so uplifting and joyful. I had a great time and so did the Girls.


They especially liked the birthday cupcakes at the end of the service.


When we got home Ninja had dinner all ready for us. We had delicious brown sugared ham, cranberry almond rice and candied bacon green beans! Recipes will follow in the next few weeks.

After dinner we worked on our letters to Santa! HBear apparently had been working for some time on hers because it was 8 pages!!!! πŸ˜‚

After letters we FINALLY got to open up our Christmas Eve box! The Girls were so surprised and loved all the fun items inside!

Mommy and Daddy got new pjs too!

We all got into our PJs and grabbed our new mugs full of hot chocolate and got into the van for our Christmas Light Hunt!

When we got home we lit our sparklers to let Santa know where we live. πŸ˜‰ We also sprinkled the magic Xmas Dust that Maynard left us, on our key so Santa could get in when he arrived.

After all the magic was spread we all settled in to watch the movie that was in our box, Muppets Christmas Carol and have some of the popcorn that was in the box too!

SBean was exhausted and only made it through half the movie. Ninja read her our new Christmas book, Peanuts Christmas and she was snoring within minutes.

Once HBear set up (We totally ran out of milk lol so Scotch was suggested 😜) and off to bed...

We began to set up.

I mean Santa πŸ˜Š


The Girls slept until 7:30 am and G & G & Papa came in around 8am. We had a fabulous morning! The Girls are getting older so it was easier to maintain some order and patience. I especially loved the homemade gifts the Girls made for everyone! They got to pick out the 1st gifts and they chose homemade gifts they made for others instead of gifts for themselves! πŸ’›πŸŽ„






We all got so spoiled! I got everything I asked for and so much more! After presents we all sat down for our annual breakfast with cinnamon buns and mimosas. My most favourite breakfast ever!

Cleanup took a while lol but we all got into our new outfits,

and went up to do a shot with Mommies. It will NEVER be the same without her here for the holidays but when I look back at where I was 3 years ago... 2 years ago or even last year... I am grateful that I have come so far. I see the growth and the happiness that I can actually feel again makes me smile and know that she is with me in spirit. My Christmas miracle is to feel happiness despite the sadness. I got through a whole holiday without tears! Thank you Mommies for giving me the strength to not only get through it but enjoy it as well.

After amaretto shots we were off to my Inlaws for MORE gifts and a delicious turkey dinner complete with an amazing homemade yule log!

Someone got the LEGO Millennium Falcon!!!


Since Christmas we have been just hanging out. It has been snowing so we have just cuddled and played with all our new toys!

For the first time in a long time I feel refreshed after Christmas. Post Christmas has been less of a hangover and more of a holiday. I always look forward to the future but some years have been a lot of working leading to a lot more work and then life begins again and there is even more work. I am actually really looking forward to 2017!

It is amazing what a relaxing holiday with family can do for a Girl. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’›πŸŽ„

Merry Christmas to all my Family and Friends. I truly hope your holiday was filled with as much laughter and love as mine was. I wish you nothing but happiness and joy in the New Year.

Until then,
Be safe and have a wonderful New Year's Eve with your Loved Ones πŸ’›

P.S The only downer this past few weeks has been the loss of some of my favourite artists from my childhood

RIP Alan Thicke, George Michael and Carrie Fisher. You each had a profound place in my life for different reasons. I am so sad for your families. I know this was a hard Christmas for them πŸ˜ž.

Show me that smile again. 
Don't waste another minute on your cryin'. 
We're nowhere near the end 
The best is ready to begin.

Alan Thicke 
Growing Pains Theme



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