Today, I choose joy.
Don’t you wish it was always this easy? To choose joy and love and happiness and live in that frosting-covered kitchen haven forever?
Of course my idea of bliss includes mounds of whipped sugar. That’s a given. But, sometimes it isn’t quite so simple, and we have to be more conscious in choosing positivity. There are days when we just need a little more reminding, a nudge toward happiness.
Well, here it is!
Go to yoga. Walk to the coffee shop instead of drive. Send a for-no-reason card or package. Call your family. Drink tea. Reread an old book. Laugh. Create. Add the sprinkles.
And, of course, cook. Make your favorite recipe for dinner, or try a new one. Drink a glass of merlot while preparing the hearty beef stew below. It is so good, and surprisingly easy.
P.S. I’ve also found that making these sugar cookies helps a lot.
Beef Stew with Merlot
Via EatLiveRun, Serves 4
- 1 lb lean beef stew meat, cubed
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1-2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup Merlot
- 3 1/2 cups beef broth
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp herbed sea salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Fresh minced parsley, for serving
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. When hot, add the beef, and sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper, tossing well. Brown the meat for a few minutes (it doesn’t need to be completely cooked through), then set aside on a plate.
Turn down the heat to medium and drizzle a little more oil in the pot. Add the onion and sauté for 4-6 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the diced carrot, celery, rosemary and garlic and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes.
Add the beef back into the pot. Pour in the merlot and the beef broth. Stir well and increase heat to a boil. Then, reduce heat and cover pot. Let the stew simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
After 2 hours, add the diced potatoes. You may need to add a little more beef broth at this point if the stew seems too thick. Continue simmering for about 30 more minutes – until potatoes are tender.
Season stew with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh minced parsley on top!