Lifetime's The Picker Sisters and ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition's lifestyle expert Tanya McQueen is back and this time she's got some great new family traditions that will help us feel "rejuvenated" into the New Year.
And bonus! She also has a delicious recipe for New Year's Beef Stew! Nom nom nom!
"One of the best parts of growing up in a small town was being able to pop fireworks. Two times a year, July 4th and New Years, we waited with crinkled bills in hand to go buy our Black Cats, sparklers and roman candles.
Another great part of growing up in a small town, is that our parents seemed to not mind that a bunch of kids were running around in the pasture with open flames, lighting fireworks. Well, as we all know well, things aren’t always that carefree. For starters, I don’t think I’ve ever seen fireworks sold in the city, much less kids running around with matches and poppers in hand; obviously for good reason.
While I do miss those memories, I’ve started to create a few of my own. New Year’s is a great time for rejuvenation. Without sounding too mushy, I do spend the 31st of December thinking about my life, my marriage and my children. We usually spend the holidays in Texas, which allows for us to ring in the New Year with my extended family. The 31st finds us around a campfire, roasting marshmallows on sticks that each kid has to find on their own…(part of the thrill).
We always make a stew that is washed down with champagne, while the kid’s kick back with their sparkling juice. Dinner is followed with an annual hayride under the stars, while covered in blankets. Then, the pinnacle of the night, for ALL the kids, is that they get to stay up until MIDNIGHT…gasp!!! I can remember the thrill of fighting Mr. Sandman, when I was a kid. I would try so hard to stay awake for the ball to drop with very little success. Now it’s fun to watch my kids deny their fatigue and fight through the night waiting to usher in another year. Even though the kids put up a heck of a fight, we always find ourselves counting down the clock with very few of them awake. After a whirlwind of kisses and well wishes, we add another log to the fire, pour a celebratory glass of champagne and think about how lucky we are to be with our family.
May 2012 be your YEAR!!"
Making New Year's Eve family traditions for your children is a healthy and fun way to keep you connected for generations to come!
And for Tanya's New Year’s Beef Stew With Red Wine recipe, click after the jump!
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2-3/4 Pounds Beef Chuck (cut into 2-inch cubes)
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Cracked Black Pepper to taste
3 Ounces Fatback or Salt Pork (cut into 1/8-inch dice)
5 Celery Stalks (2 cut into 1/8-inch dice)( 3 cut into 2-inch lengths)
4 Medium Carrots (peeled, 1 cut into 1/8-inch dice)( 3 cut into 2-inch lengths)
1 Medium Onion (cut into 1/8-inch, diced)
10 Garlic Cloves (peeled)
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 Bottle Dry Red Wine (750 milliliter)
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
6 Small White Potatoes (quartered) Fresh Parsley (chopped)
1. Place flour in a shallow bowl.
2. Season beef with salt and pepper.
3. Lightly coat pieces with flour.
4. Cook pork fat in a large heavy pot over medium heat until it renders its fat.
5. Remove large pieces of pork fat.
6. For about 5 minutes brown beef on all sides in rendered fat.
7. Remove beef and set aside.
8. For approximately 4 minutes add garlic, onion, carrot and diced celery to pot and slowly cook until softened.
9. Add bay leaves, red wine and tomato paste and stir to dissolve tomato paste.
10. Add beef chunks, season with salt and pepper.
11. Cover pot and simmer over low heat until meat is fork-tender for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
12. Add potatoes and remaining carrots and celery.
13. For the next 25 or 30 minutes continue to simmer until they are just cooked.
14. Serve in wide bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.