Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Sisters are such a blessing, and I am so very thankful for mine! Yesterday afternoon Leah and I worked on dinner preparation together and as usual with our times in the kitchen, we had a delightful time. From teasing each other, to discussing different issues, to singing along with one of our favorite CD's, there was no lack interaction. :)

The dish that we made has a wonderful smell while baking and helped lend a 'fallish' feel to the day.
Hearty Beef Casserole

--3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

-- 1 teaspoon salt

--1/2 teaspoon pepper

--2 pounds boneless round steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
(or some other cut of meat - we generally use whatever is on sale at the time such as a roast.)--2 tablespoons vegetable oil
--1 cup water

--1/2 cup beef broth

--1 garlic clove, minced

--1 tablespoon dried minced onion

--1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

--1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

--2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

--2 cups frozen peas, thawed

--3 cups mashed potatoes (with added milk and butter)

--1 tablespoon butter, melted


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper; add beef in batches; shake to coat. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat in oil until meat is no longer pink. Place beef and drippings in a greased shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. In the same skillet, add the water, broth, garlic, onion, thyme and rosemary; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes; stir in mushrooms. Pour over meat; stir to coat. Cover and bake at 350° for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until beef is tender. Sprinkle peas over meat. Spread potatoes evenly over top. Brush with butter; sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake 15-20 minutes longer Yield: 6-8 servings.

Last evening was gorgeously beautiful out! (And no, that is not an exaggeration. :) The wind was chilly enough that a sweater was needed (at least for me!), leaves were fluttering gently to the ground, the air had a different and exciting feel to it . . . the change between summer and fall weather had taken place. Words cannot quite describe how much I enjoyed my time outdoors yesterday. Standing out there with eyes closed listening to the wind in the trees and feeling the coolness of it on my face . . . it was truly a sensory delight. A delight that turned to praise and thankfulness to the Lord for the wonders that He has made . . .

"O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions . . . I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being . . . Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!" (Psalm 104:24, 33, 35b)

The first fall leaves (not very pretty yet, but still an indication of the new season! :)

While fall feels like it has arrived, spring seems to be taking place in the garden as the plants continue their growth. One blessing of a fall garden is that insect pests have been rather minimal! That has been a blessing!

After dinner and dishes, it was chore time so Ryan, Leah and I headed outside. Mandy (Leah's dog) was rather anxious for her food and was hilarious to watch. All of our dogs are trained to stay in their kennels unless released, so instead of racing all around, Mandy has found other avenues of expressing her anticipation . . .

It was so funny listening to her excited barks! And in between barks she would give her most pitiful looks to Leah . . .

She did eventually get her dinner, but not before giving us quite a show! :)


  1. Oh Sarah, I LOVE your aprons! I've seen that fabric before - we even have some of the blue version. I like the style, too.

    You're right - Sisters spending time together in the kitchen is something special. I just spent some time there yesterday, with my littlest sister. I hadn't done that in quite awhile, and it was a blessing.

    And I like being able to see Mandy.

    Fun post, Sarah. Thank you!

  2. Your dinner sounds so delicious and very "fall like". Of course, anything with mashed potatoes is good! :o)

    I find myself wishing that I had a sister around our house and I even find myself wondering what kind of things we would do together. I do love the times that the boys come and help out in the kitchen! You are blessed Sarah! :o)

    I love that first picture of Mandy! She's obviously expressing herself to the best of her ability! :o) Dogs are great; not only are they wonderful loving companions but they do the goofiest things at the most opportune times (such as when you're feeling down).

  3. Dear Sarah,

    What a wonderful post! I was wondering if you could tell me the pattern number for your aprons? I would like to make some for my sisters and me.

    You are very right about sisters.

    Thank you,

  4. We rather like them too, Amber! :) The fabric we bought at Wal-mart many years ago and it is so cheery! Aprons seem to make cooking even more enjoyable. :)

    How wonderful that you had the opportunity to work in the kitchen with your littlest sister! I am sure that she loved being able to spend that time with you!

  5. Sisters are a blessing, Ashley, and I am sure that if you had one you would have delightful times together! At least you have a wonderful mother with whom you can work together with as well as being able to spend time with Thelma also. :)

    Yes, Mandy is certainly expressive! That is something that I appreciate about dogs too, they always seem to have a good attitude and do much to brighten a day!

  6. Welcome to my blog, Annemarie, and thank you so much for commenting! :) The apron is from a company called “Friends Patterns”. We got the pattern many years ago so I do not know if the company is still in business or not, but their address is:

    Friends Patterns
    Dept. TOD
    1006 Elm St.
    Rolfe, IA 50581

    They offer catalogs for $1.00 (at least that is the last I knew!)

    The pattern number is #222 and is called the Woman’s Canning and Kitchen Apron.

    I also just did a search online and found the apron here:


    and here:

    www.candleonthehill.net (go to women’s patterns and then click the link ‘apron and pinafore patterns’ . . . the apron we have is the first one on the page.)

    I hope that this is helpful to you! And thank you again for commenting!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)