Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli; No More Shopping!

Stir-Fried Beef and BroccoliBeef_broccoli

I'm sick of shopping.

I'm tired of spending money.

It's exhausting. So many decisions; so many stores.

I'd really like to go somewhere without hauling a trailer behind the car to hold my purchases.

Have you ever tried to park a car and trailer in a busy shopping center parking lot? One has to find 2 open places together. Usually that's in the far back corner, across the street and in the next county. It's even worse in the busy DIY stores where everyone is hauling a trailer. 

Fortunately, the French (as most Europeans) understand the fine art of double-parking and aren't  sticklers for things like bus and fire lanes. I mean, that's why they put flashing lights in cars, right? 

We've finished shopping, for the moment. Now we must put everything somewhere, preferably where it belongs.

To give you a taste….

Here's my kitchen tile for the counter top and wall between the counter and upper cabinets.


Wasn't that fun?

As to the work-in-progress:

It's been a slow week in the Lot et Garonne. 

It's been a messy week as well. 


We decided to see what was behind the wall covering the old fireplace in what-will-be-the-kitchen. 

A mess, of course… But it looks like we can get rid of the bricks they put in and get it back down to the original stone. If we can, it will make a great back-drop for our wood-burning stove. 

Once we find a wood-burning stove.

We took down the wall in the original entry.  Yes, we'll be taking the door down, too.  Or maybe not…


We have know idea what or why but it seems as if they put grain or seeds or something in the ceilings as insulation. It came raining down when the wall came down.

That's why we're putting the new kitchen ceiling over the old one.


Whatever it is, it's between the ceiling and the floorboards on the 1st floor.

We don't want to know what it is.

We just don't want to deal with it again.

Our best accomplishment was to figure out how to make all the floors in all the rooms on the ground floor the same level. (see Portuguese Level)

I have heard that one should work from the ground up – so boring….

Our next accomplishment was this:

Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli

Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli

10 oz (300gr) beef flank steak or any beef suitable for stir-frying
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 head broccoli 
1 tbs minced ginger, a piece about an inch (2.5cm) long
1 rib celery
3 – 4oz (125gr) water chestnuts
1 tomato
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup beef stock
2 tbs sherry
1 tbs cornstarch (Maizena, corn flour) dissolved in
1 tbs soy sauce plus 1 tbs water
Brown or Basmati Rice

Cut the beef at an angle across the grain into bite-size strips. Mix 1 tbs sesame oil with 1 tsp soy sauce. Toss with beef and set aside to marinate. 
Thinly slice onion. Mince garlic. Mince ginger. Open, drain and slice water chestnuts. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces, try to keep a bit of floret and stalk on each piece. Slice the celery at an angle. Cut the tomato into 8 wedges. 
Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery to skillet and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add water chestnuts, garlic and ginger and stir-fry another 2 minutes. Remove onions/garlic from pan and set aside. Add beef to skillet and stir-fry 3 – 5 minutes, until brown. Remove and put with onions. Add broccoli to skillet and stir-fry 3 – 5 minutes. Add tomato and stir-fry 1 – 2 minutes. Add beef stock and sherry to skillet. Return beef, onions, celery, etc. to pan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce. Remove cover and add cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened. Put into a pretty bowl serve. 

I lied.

I did a bit more shopping a minute ago – on-line. (I love that I can do that now.)

Matching sets of long underwear. 

Ain't I romantic?

12 thoughts on “Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli; No More Shopping!”

  1. Haha…they may not be romantic, but you will love them in the depths of the winter! Maybe I should put in my order for thermal undies too!

  2. You done good with the tiles!! And then moved on to the stone, can’t wait to see how that progresses. Fascinating how houses can be built.
    You’ve got a winner with the stir fried beef! Great photo.
    Shopping on line – romantic? at least it sounds wonderful to have the access.

  3. It’s been a very long time since I stopped by and I’ve just had to spend a very long time reading all that I’ve missed. Congratulations, lots and lots of work but what an amazing place. I love house renovations! Barking mad though I am.

  4. In New Mexico, they traditionally used sawdust as insulation. But whether it’s sawdust or seeds, it seems that it would be heaven for rodents. Yuck!
    Your tiles are gorgeous! Keep them in sight. You’ll need to be reminded that there will be beauty when this is all done.

  5. Sarah, I am most anxiously awaiting the package…. shiver…
    Thanks Joanna, and I’ll remember that!
    Lydia, and I could really use some therapy!
    Thanks Susan, can’t wait to see them is use!
    Zoomie, actually we just found out that they stored grain up there for the cows over winter…. The barn is connected to the house you know.
    Tanna, it is wonderful to have access… if only I had it all day!
    Amanda, I’ve been missing everything myself… and yes, barking mad it is!
    Susan, We try… in the absence of a scale we are eating for strenght – I shudder to think what the reults will be.
    Toni, there were feral cats living here when we bought it – maybe that helped.
    Cathy, it is a challenge.. yesterday they over-loaded it…

  6. Given the area you’re in and the age of the house, is it possible that at some point the people living in it attempted to store grain there to hide it from marauding soldiers? You know, like during the French Revolution or WWII?

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