Flourless Beef Stroganoff

Our wedding is only a couple weeks away. There has been so much to get done I haven’t been in the kitchen as much. It amazes me, even with our simple backyard bash, how fast the tiny details add up into a lot of work. Last night, I spent hours gluing programs to popsicle sticks to make fan type programs. I will be posting a blog on those too – but first I need to regain the stamina to write about them. I have about 85 more to go. Wish me luck.

With everything going on for the wedding, and the weather feeling more like March than May, I decided we needed a comfort dinner. Specifically I was craving Beef Stroganoff. I decided to go with a recipe from Kansas City Steaks. I liked the simple ingredients, but I had a couple changes I made along the way. One of the biggest ones was I didn’t add the flour in. To be entirely honest, it was a mistake – but one that I ended up liking.

Beef Stroganoff, adapted from Kansas City Steaks

Serves Four

  • 1 lb. sirloin steak thinly sliced (your grocer can cut a steak for you at no extra cost)
  • 1/2 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 4 cups mushrooms, sliced  (I used a mix of baby bella and storebought wild mushroom mix)
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • few pinches of salt to taste
  • one package egg noodles, cooked

Directions: Heat heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp. butter and quickly saute the sirloin strips until well browned.

Remove meat and keep warm. Once rested, chop into bite sized pieces. Add remaining 2 tbsp. butter to skillet. Sauté onions until very tender, 6-7 minutes. (please ignore my very dirty stove – that is on the roster to be cleaned very soon!)

Add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes. (Due to the quantity of mushrooms, I would likely saute these in a separate pan and drain off all but a tablespoon of the liquid next time and then add to the onion.)

Stir in beef broth, wine and seasonings. Heat to simmer. Stir in browned meat.

Reduce heat to low. Blend in sour cream. (In lieu of flour, cook your noodles until almost done but not quite, then add your noodles to the sauce and simmer on low. The starch in the noodles will help thicken everything up just enough to give the noodles flavor, and it will still taste delicious.) Stir until sauce is heated and smooth and the noodles are fully cooked.

This truly was one of the most delicious stroganoff’s I’ve ever taste. Even though flour is in the original recipe, I didn’t miss  it a bit. It wasn’t as thick but it was plenty tasty. We ate it down so fast that we didn’t notice the different! You will be sure to like this recipe, it’s nice and solid.  If you want it thicker, stir in a couple tablespoons of flour before adding any liquid. Yum yum yum. This will be on the menu again!

Happy Cooking,




You get that? I just mixed Progress with Barn. A clever little soul I am. The last we chatted about this here barn, there was snow on the ground and framing had just started. It wasn’t until this weekend I realized how down I had let you all. So here we go – Barngress.

The last we discussed, the barn looked a lot like this.


Not long after that, the snow melted, the birds started chirping and this happened:

Not long after that, a window went in, more siding and some flashing.

Then came the waiting game for the roofing. After a little debate, Mr. A decided to go with a steel roof. Not only would it go up faster, but it wasn’t very expensive either. It took a week or so.  In that time, Mr. A built the barn doors, painted then and installed them. To be honest, I don’t remember the exact time frame for the doors – but they were up before the roof. While Mr. A was working on the barn, I was getting some yard work in as well. Once the roofing was up, and Mr.A’s hips were extensively sore from squatting on that angle all day, it looked like this:

This is where it will stay until after the wedding. The siding will be a barn board painted green. This is the same green as the garage, and likely as the house. So the one hitch to this whole thing? I had to talk Mr. A and Tom Cruise out of painting this on the barn doors. Rather, split the design down the middle, route it into the doors and then paint it sans the yellow. It sort of made me cringe.

Thankfully, they decided against it after me begging (nagging, harassing, plethora of other obnoxious pleads).  They could have been messing with me from the get go, just because it would be funny. I’ll never truly know. I did however admit that an old antique tractor sign on the side of the barn would be rather awesome. I’m crossing my fingers for that one, old signs are awesome.

So for now, this is where it stands. It looks great so far and are you ready for the total cost so far? Roughly $600.

No wonder Mr. A told me I’ve come a long way in frugality but he’s a purebred. I better up my couponing skills.

Happy Building,


When In Doubt ~ Sew

I come from a long line of seamstresses on both sides of my family. I also come from royalty too, according to my grandmother, but that certainly doesn’t make me royalty. In other words, I likely should have spent less time playing business when I was a kid and spent more time learning to read patterns like my mother wanted me to.

What can I say, I’m a rebel.

I still cherish sewing though, it’s a huge part of who I am – even if I’m not as skilled as the ladies I came from. The above machine is my pride and joy. We have our tussles, and we have our successes, but we get there together. She’s nothing fancy, just like me and sometimes her tension is wound a little too tight, just like me, but all in all she’s a sturdy hearty machine, just like me. She was also one of my Memere’s machines so the sentimental value is right up there.

My machine and I have been through a lot, and we have a long way to go together. She’s going to see this house whipped into shape someday. Since the plans are to renovate the house, and we’re stubborn, we refused to buy new furniture – or spend money on paint for a wall we’re ripping apart. For 3 1/2 years we have spent our time building a garage, building a barn, landscaping and taking care of necessities (like a new staircase into the basement).

Though we’ve come a long way, I decided this weekend our house needed a pop of color. Something I could eventually bring into the new living space, and something new for now. Our livingroom is currently wood paneling, and is rather dark so a bright super simple pillow was on the agenda.

These are the current pillows we have on one of our two couches. “Yikes” is the correct reaction.

These pillows are 2 yards long measured out. I decided to go with a handful of smaller pillows. First, I hit up mardens and picked out some fun fabric for only about $2.99 a yard. Then, I measured out the fabric on my incredibly awesome painted plywood floor. Each pillow, at finished, is roughly 24 inches wide.

Then my handy dandy singer and I went to work. I like to sew super simple pillows on a fold – it leaves only 3 sides to sew and a clean line on top. Turn it inside out, sew up the edges, but leave about a 4 inch hole for stuffing, flip it right side out and go to town with fluff. I happened to have a very large bag from a year ago that I finally was able to use up. A simple hand stitch to close the opening and voila, a pillow! I purposely made this a super simple pillow. The lines are perfect, and it’s not fancy but it gives me something bright to snuggle up to in a room that’s pretty dark and sometimes that’s all you need.

In the end I was able to get a pop of color, and a little sanity back. It helps me to keep visualizing the final goal.

We’ve come so far in the yard, but patience is a virtue. So until the renovations start, you’ll likely find me covered in thread and hear my little machine ticking away the days until we hear the first rip of wooden board off the wall.

Happy Sewing,


Wedding Chicks – Mason Jar Invitation Suite

I need to start this off by calmly saying I feel honored.

Then I need to get real and shriek and jump through the roof in excitement.

Why? Wedding Chicks turned my DIY Mason Jar Invitations into a custom download on their site!

*happy dance. happy dance. happy dance*

This now means that you don’t have to download the pdf files, mess with them in vector format or anything (unless you want to). Now you can just head over to the Wedding Chicks and choose the colors you want, fill in the blank spaces and they generate it for you! You can now get the Save The Date I created too (only available through Wedding Chicks).

Invitation Suite (Invite & RSVP)

Save The Date

This is huge to me. I’m no designer, so it’s a fantasticabulousomosity compliment.

How did this happen? I emailed them on a whim just to show them, and said if they knew anyone looking for mason jar invites, since they are so hard to come by, that they could feel free to send them to the link.

Then Amy wrote back and asked if they could make them a freebie download.

I about fell off my seat.

I didn’t keep my cool, at all. At least in person I didn’t.

I mean, I was totally calm and collected.

This is all very exciting, more so for you guys. I’m so happy there is *finally* a freebie mason jar invite out there that is fun, whimsical and totally easy to customize.

Go play with it, enjoy, have fun. I have three weeks until my own wedding and I can promise you that these RSVP’s are SO fun to receive back in the mail!

Much Love & Happy Designing,