After searching for over a year, we finally moved to a new home! My emotions are a mix of excited for the months ahead and--if I am being honest- exhausted. It's true the move was tiring: packing up and hauling everything to a new place is always an ordeal, but we had great help from friends (thanks!!) which made it feel more like an adventure. The truth is, it was looking for a home that was the ultimate exercise in patience, convincing myself that even after a year of visiting at least a hundred properties, something would come up. Not only would something come up, but somehow, someway, we'd be lucky enough to move there. (No one tells you quite how exhausting it will be).
Now that it is done it is almost unreal, as if none of it ever happened and we've been here all along. We made a lot of compromises over the last year-- not between each other, but with ourselves. Coming to peace with hard decisions is never easy, but I'm not one to dwell. Personally I've always thought that worrying about the un-changeable is a painful waste of energy. Instead, I prefer to see my mark and make the most of it, determining my next play.
What helps is cooking up a storm, and filling the air with home scents like pumpkin pie and autumn stew.
As expected, I've been Pinning like a mad woman since the day we saw our new home for the first time. Looking at this blank slate of a home, my creative muscles stretched and flexed. I jotted down lists of projects to tackle, while simultaneously trying to reel in my expectations. Even as I write this my mind dances between what to try next. It's exciting isn't it? The pure idea of potential and change and projects?
I'm hoping to share some before and after pictures here, so get ready! But first, of course, there is work to do... the after photos are still a long ways off! For now, the recipe for a fall-inspired meal, which is filling our new house with the smell of home-sweet-home.
Serves: 8 | Total Time:
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cubed (as your butcher to dice it for you if it is not already diced)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/2 cup wine
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup broth
- 3 large carrots
- 1 small winter squash, peeled and seeded (butternut, kabocha, kuri, etc)
- 1 tablespoon herbs de province
- 1 star anise
- 1 pinch fennel seeds
- Several dashes salt & pepper
- Heat the coconut oil in your Instant Pot on the “Sauté” setting until it fizzles. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to the pot, a and sauté until the onion is translucent. Dice the celery, and add it to the pot, stirring briefly. Place beef in pot, browning it on all sides.
- Once the sides of the beef are browned, pour the wine into the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula, loosening any brown bits that are stuck to the bottom. Next, add the tomatoes and broth. Allow to simmer.
- Dice the carrots and the peeled and seeded squash into bite-sized pieces. Place in pot, along with the herbs de provence, star anise, fennel, and salt & pepper.
- Secure lid on Instant Pot and set to “Slow Cooker” setting on Medium. Set timer for 4 hours. (Alternatively, cook on low for 8 hours).
- When timer goes off release any pressure and serve stew hot.