It's that time of year again. The first day of daylight saving time, when we wake up and just like that we gain an extra hour of sleep. Sounds like the first paragraph of my biography, I wake up and just like that I gained an extra pound. The time of year when everyone leaves for work in the dark and returns home in the dark. When the excuse, "it's too dark to go to the gym" returns. I can only compare this time of year to the recent IOS update, no one ever asked for this change, it screws with you, and just when you can breath a sigh of relief, sit back and relax, they change it again!
For someone who is partially sighted like myself, this particular time of year comes with a huge trade off. Yes, I gain an hour of sleep which within a week my body will adjust and that gift of an extra hour is nothing but a distant memory however, the negative impact it has on my life will last for six months. Retinitis Pigmentosa decreases my ability to see in dark/dim lighting so rushing to run errands during 9am-4pm can get quite challenging. So I ask the question I'm sure so many ask. Why do we still observe this process of adjusting our clocks an hour when farming has progressed, groceries can be ordered online, and Amazon purchasing Whole Foods (I know!…..right! we'll table that for another day). This was a process that was created in the 1900's to make it easier for people to tend to their crops. Can't we just simplify things and keep it status quo all year round?
With so many more pressing matters in the world today that require our attention. My little daylight saving time questions can wait BUT what can't wait any longer is my belly! It's been growling for 15 minutes and the smell of Fall has filled my home. Although its cold, damp and miserable outside, I just filled a giant bowl with my Slow Cooker Hearty Beef Stew (recipe listed below) I had cooking while typing this post. So for now my loves, I bid you adieu. xo's
The Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 7 hours 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 8 hours
AUTHOR: Mary Mammoliti | Kitchen Confession | kitchenconfession.com
1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) boneless beef blade roast cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm cubes) or stewing beef
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 stalks celery, diced, 1 1/2 inch thick
3 carrots, peeled and diced, 1 1/2 inch thick (try to keep them uniform in size)
450kg (1 lbs) mini potatoes, cut in half
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
3 cups low sodium beef broth
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce (or balsamic reduction)
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups frozen peas
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Season beef pieces with 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper. If you have a sauté feature on your slow cooker add 2 tablespoons butter and brown the meat chunks on all sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. If you do not have this feature add the butter to a large pan or skillet and brown over MED-HIGH heat. NOTE: Add beef in a single layer (you may have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan).
Remove the browned meat from the slow cooker or skillet place into a bowl and set aside.
Back to the slow cooker or In the same skillet whichever you are using add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until slightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently until paste begins to loosen up, about 2 minutes.
Slowly stir in red wine and cook for 2 minutes scraping up anything at the bottom of the skillet and transfer to the slow cooker if using a skillet.
Return the beef and any juices in the bowl to the slow cooker. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, thyme, parsley, cayenne pepper and bay leaves. Stir, cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours
After 7 hours, mix 2 Tbsp flour into 2 Tbsp of beef broth or water. Use a fork or spoon to mix until the lumps have disappeared. Stir into beef stew, add the frozen peas cover and continue to cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste, add additional salt and pepper if needed and serve.