Today was England day. It was also one of those days where my brain was protesting so loudly that my ears, eyes and back hurt. One has nothing to do with the other but I figured it was worth sharing.

Ebabe was a handful today (shocking isn't it?!) and even though I desperately wanted her to take a nap so that I could try to get some quiet time myself, it didn't happen. She spent an hour reading to all the stuffed animals she carried into my room to keep me company while I rested. Then she put her sleeping bag on the floor and riled up the dog. Good times...

Resting aborted, we moved back downstairs and did a project. We made a palace guard.

You can find the pattern on DLTK-kids. It is a project rated for kids 3 and older. I'd suggest 5 and older would be more appropriate as there is quite a lot of cutting, following directions and coloring in the lines. I think he turned out rather handsome, although I'm not sure how he ended up with a red arm and a green arm.

For dinner we followed a recipe from my friend Lynne, a British ex-patriot. She's been here for a few years and we go to her with all sorts of questions (just to hear her accent!). Recently Boo wrote her an email asking several questions about the London Bridge. She's a great resource to have! Anywho, the dinner was Guinness Beef and it was cooked in the crock pot (about the only type of cooking we can do on our busy Wednesday nights).

To make Guinness Beef, you need:
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 1 ½ lb stew beef
  • Onion peeled, cut into 8
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 8 oz beef stock
  • 1 bottle of Guinness
  • 3 oz mushrooms (small size or button mushrooms)
  • 2 bay leaves
Brown beef in oil in the skillet. Move beef into crock pot and add all the other ingredients except mushrooms. Cook on high (if you have a headache like mine, you might accidentally cook it on low so be sure it's set on high) for 4 hours. Add the mushrooms about 1/2 an hour before you are ready to serve it.

Lynne tells me that she likes to serve Guinness beef with red potatoes and broccoli. We had baked potatoes and green beans since I didn't have any broccoli or small red potatoes.

The verdict: The kids didn't really like the flavor of the beef, gagged at the idea of eating cooked mushrooms and gobbled up the potatoes. Chip wasn't fond of the flavor either. I thought it was pretty good, although (sorry Lynne) it won't ever be one of my favorite meals.

Since I feel like I'm not appreciative enough of one of Lynne's favorite meals, I'll put in a quick plug for her favorite rugby team, the Northampton Saints. Funny coincidence, they are sponsored by Guinness!

By the way, if you are in the Naperville, IL area and need a great esthetician or massage therapist, check out Lynne's business, Madori Holistic on the web or on facebook.

To see what we learned about England (well, the UK) in 2008, click here.
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