Beef Stew with Merlot


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

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!


The Easiest Healthy Chili

Is January over yet? Because I am SO ready for Spring.

I can totally handle winter when the joy of Christmas season is surrounding me, but after? I turn into the I’m-always-cold Grinch. And don’t even get me started on driving in freezing icy conditions!

Of course, it isn’t quite as bad when you can stay inside and snuggle up with a warm bowl of soup or stew – like chili!

This chili recipe is the absolute easiest winter dinner ever – and it’s an often requested family favorite. I really have no idea where it originated – it’s quite possible my mom made it up. It’s simple and healthy, and definitely tastes homemade. The ground turkey breast is lean but will still satisfy meat lovers, and the beans make it protein-packed.

It’s a lot of fun to include a mini toppings bar with this – for instance: avocado, cheese, Frito’s, Saltines, or oyster crackers. You can serve it on top of rice to make it more hearty as well.

Easy Chili

The Easiest Healthy Chili


1 lb ground turkey breast (I use either 93% or 99%)

2 15 oz cans of (plain) tomato sauce

1 can of red kidney beans

1 can of black beans

1 can of white beans

1 packet chili seasoning (I like to mix 1/2 packet of the spicy with 1 whole regular packet)


In a large pot, cook the ground turkey breast, breaking it up as it cooks. Once it’s browned, add in the tomato sauce, beans and seasoning. Bring to boil, stirring, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add any extra seasoning to taste – and enjoy!