Red Wine Beef Stew-For the Hungry Hearted

              Hello! Thanks for stopping in! I wanted to start out by saying,  I'll be the first to admit that I am definitely not a chef. I mean I make a decent chicken tortilla soup, my buttermilk biscuits are satisfactory, and I only just recently mastered chicken & dumplings so I have a long way to go but I wanted to share a beef stew recipe that my husband and I love. 

I've made beef stew plenty of times but never with red wine. My husband is usually the cook of this recipe but since he had to work all day, I thought I'd give it a try myself.

 For this dish I followed another recipe that can be found online but I tweaked it here and there and changed the proportions a bit. The ingredients list below are in the proportions that I used but feel free to change it as needed. I don't think it's too picky. 


2 1/2lb Beef Chuck Roast or Pre cut stew meat
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine ( I used Merlot)
4 cups of chicken broth
3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil 
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 medium yellow onion 
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme 
1 package of regular carrots (about two pounds), peeled and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces. 
1 1/2 pounds baby white potatoes, halved

The ingredients I didn't already have and actually had to purchase are pictured below 


Preheat the oven to 325°F

If you didn't buy precut stew meat go ahead and cut your roast into 2 inch pieces. 

Season the meat with salt and pepper, place in a large bowl, and toss with the flour.

Heat the oil in a large pot(the recipe I followed called for a dutch oven but I don't have one so I just used a regular cooking pot), with a tight-fitting lid, over medium-high heat.  

   Cook the meat, in batches, until slightly browned on all sides, transferring the pieces to a plate as they are browned. 

At this point I realized I forgot to buy the tomato paste.  I put the plate of browned meat into the fridge and decided the pot needed to be cleaned before the next step because the bottom had gotten kind of dark, which probably wouldn't have happened if you were to use a dutch oven like the recipe said to. Oops. After cleaning out the pot, I headed to our closest store which is a Walgreens and prayed that they had tomato paste because I really didn't feel like going back to Albertsons. Lo and behold Walgreens does, in fact, carry tomato paste and that brings us to the next step.

In the same pot you browned the meat in, add the wine, tomato paste, broth, onion, bay leaves, thyme, and 2 of the carrots, then bring to a boil. 

Those colors 💜

I then transferred the liquid from this pot...

To this pot...(way easier said than done 😆) Because I didn't think the pink one would have held up well in the oven. 

Once the liquid was transferred, I returned the meat to the new pot as well.

The recipe I was following stated that the meat should be "barely" submerged in liquid but ya win some, ya lose some. 💁

Place the lid on, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours.

Remove from the oven, add the potatoes and the remaining carrots to the pot, cover, and return to the oven. Cook until the meat and vegetables are fork-tender, about 1 hour more.

And there you have it! A beef stew that your household is sure to love.

Our home smelled so good and my husband was full & happy. Win/Win.

If you decide to give this recipe a try or if there is anything you'd add or change, I'd love to know! 

Thanks for reading!


Note to self:

    So often we find ourselves constantly busy, constantly working. We're unable to really hone in on some of the things that we experience in our lives. Things that make us feel happy-go-lucky, joyful, content, or at peace. We forget how important it is to take a step back from tasks and to-do lists and just be. Be silent, be still, be all here. Enjoy the little things, free things, weird things, and sweet things.

 For example..

1: Church bells on Sunday mornings

2: Breakfast dates with your Husband

3: Quoting funny movies with your older sister

4: Quoting funny vines with your younger sister

5: Phone calls with your grandmother

6: Choosing a fingernail polish at the nail salon

7: Sonic drinks during happy hour

8: McDonald's fries when they're extra hot

9: Finding out the item you want is cheaper than you thought

10: The season finale of your favorite show

11: Taking off your tennis shoes and socks

12: Being told, "I love you."

13: The smell of the beach

14: The smell of bacon frying

15: Cleaning the bathroom mirror

16: An ice cold can of coke with a reallllly good hamburger

17: Someone else getting ready while you're sleeping

18: Fresh sheets

19: Your husbands legs as heaters when your feet are freezing

20: Compliments from strangers

21: Complimenting strangers

22: Sunsets, sunsets, sunsets. The pretty pink cotton candy ones.

23: A new tube of chapstick

24: A new bottle of perfume

25: Opening new mascara 

26: Getting a haircut. Your ends are all fresh and full of life.

27: Dinner dates with friends

28: Cooking your favorite recipe

29: Your softest blanket, the couch, Netflix. In that order.

30: A margarita with chips and salsa and queso and quac IS a meal

31: Putting fresh flowers in a vase 

32: Christmas lights, Christmas trees, the whole Christmas season

33: A new journal

34: Warm showers

35: Hot bubble baths

36: The smell of popcorn in a movie theater

37: A really good pen

38: Receiving a package in the mail

39: Hugging family you haven't seen in a while

40: Sleeping while it rains

41: Rewatching FRIENDS for the 347th time

42: Finding a song you love and listening to it on repeat

43: The color pink

44: Holding a puppy, kitten, any baby animal really

45: Holding hands with the person you love

46: Thank you notes

47: Not having to set an alarm for the next morning

48: Your favorite sleep shirt

49: Really relating to the quotes or books you read

50: This list

I could go on forever but you all get the idea

As my grandmother would say in her adorable German accent as she's getting off the phone, "an wit dis I letchu go"

Enjoy the little things peeps. They're the big things, after all. 

Photo source: Pinterest

What people DON'T tell you about the first year of marriage.

 When Tyler and I told people we were getting married, they, more often than not, had some not so reassuring things to say about the first year of marriage. They were quick to inform us that the first year isn't exactly one they care to reminisce about. Of course we understood that no marriage or relationship is 100% perfect every single day, but to sum up your entire first year of marriage as "rough" or a "doozy" seemed a little crazy to me. As of 12 days ago, Tyler and I have been married for a whole year and with 2017 right around the corner I decided I wanted to put a stop to that stigma and let you in on all of the wonderful, crazy, awesome things that the first year of marriage consists of. Things people don't tell you.

You're going to learn a lot. 

         Like a lot, a lot. You're going to learn that when you wake your husband up by laughing because he's sleep talking, he's not a happy camper. Even though it's so funny and cute. You'll also learn that he doesn't really snore in his sleep and you'll wonder if this is all too good to be true. You're going to learn that it's nearly impossible to have dinner decided on every single night, much less days ahead of time(or is that just me?). You'll learn which corners of the house are perfect to hide in, in order to pop out and scare them. You'll learn that your husband likes his coffee with literally only one drop of creamer and that he likes to sing in the shower.  In all seriousness though, you'll learn how to read each other inside and out. You'll learn every facial expression, tone of voice, and all of their body language. You'll memorize all of their birthmarks and wrinkles, their freckles and laugh lines. Ultimately you'll learn that marriage is an art form and at the risk of sounding cheesy, you two are the artists. How the picture turns out all depends on how patiently you paint it. So, be patient, caring, and kind because love is all of these things.

You're going to shed some tears.

  And that's completely okay because life happens and you'll inevitably go through some trying times. You might lose your childhood fur baby because of old age and that's a surefire way to get you down. You'll cry and your husband will shed a few tears with you because losing a pet is hard. He'll understand. He's so great like that. Just try to remember that what you're going through, they're going through too. That's what they signed up for, "for better or for worse." Don't push them away when things go awry, let them be there to lift you up. Now let us not forget about happy tears. I seriously can't tell you how many times Tyler has made me cry from laughing so hard. You'll laugh yourself to tears on your long car rides, while you're out shopping together, during your weekly Sunday breakfast dates and especially when you're deliriously lying in bed together talking about life at 2 in the morning. You'll(most likely.. if you're anything like us)share tears together, most happy, some sad, embrace them. Encourage them. Be vulnerable and love each other through it all. 

It's going to be the start of the foundation for which you build the rest of your marriage.

    Because of this, it's so important not to rush through it or take any moments for granted. You want to make sure your foundation is sturdy. Our first year of marriage flew by. I mean FLEW. Im okay with that because we enjoyed so much together. We moved to a new city, we traveled a lot, and met some cool people. We made mistakes and cleaned up a lot of messes. Literal messes. At one point I had to mop curry up off of the kitchen floor(If you want to refer back to one of those times I laughed so hard that I cried, this would be one of them) but that's okay because mishaps teach you how to handle life which is never going to be smooth sailing all of the time. Just don't forget that you and your spouse are a team, together you can take on anything.

It's going to be one of the best years of your life.

    I say ONE of the best years because while it might be a really great time in your lives, it's only going to get better from here on out. You're going to continuously grow and learn, you'll watch your spouse grow too and you'll wonder how it's even possible to love someone so much. You're going to have so much fun together. You're going to work hard and come home to each other after a long day of school and work just to pass out on the couch while watching FRIENDS. You'll go through all that life has to offer with your most favorite person right by your side. How exciting is that?!

I say all of this just to share with you some of the things I've been blessed to take away from our first year of marriage.

Patience is a virtue. Communication is KEY. Ask questions. Discuss things. Discuss everything. Never make assumptions. Never stop dating. Keep each other informed. Don't keep secrets. Be selfless. Never selfish. Last but not least, make the decision to love each other unconditionally every. single. day. 

Until next time, 


"We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other"- Earnest Hemingway, 'A Moveable Feast'

Work Hard, Travel Often, Never Lose Faith.

Tyler and I took off of work this week so we could spend some time with his family in Baton Rouge, before school consumes us. Unfortunately, come Sunday afternoon, Baton Rouge wasn't a safe place to go as so many places and roads were underwater. Our hearts were heavy when we heard his aunt and uncle weren't among one of the lucky ones. Water took over their home like it did thousands of others but they stayed safe and we're grateful for that! We'll hopefully be able to head down soon to help them clean up. 

Since we already had off of work, our bags were already packed, and Baton Rouge was momentarily out of the question, we decided to make the most of our days off. Sunday night, Tyler called his mom and she suggested several places to travel to. Once we finally decided on a place, we went to sleep with the intention to leave early Monday morning but it took us a while to get up and get going. As of 11:30 a.m. on Monday morning, "Hot Springs, Arkansas here we come!" We have this wild dream to visit all of the U.S. National Parks once we get done with school so we decided we would just get a head start. We arrived Monday evening and did a little sight seeing before we went to check into our hotel.

The cutest little house I've ever seen.
Monday night we drove to the top of west mountain to see the city lights. It was over 1,000 ft. above see level and as you can tell we literally had our heads in the clouds.

Tuesday is when the real adventures commenced. We ate, we climbed, we toured, and explored. A LOT. I also have this thing with eccentric/unique floors. You'll see this to be true in the next several pictures.

"The city takes its name from the natural thermal water that flows from 47 springs on the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain in the historic downtown district of the city. About 1,000,000 gallons of 143 °F water flows from the springs each day. The water percolates very slowly down through the earth’s surface until it reaches superheated areas deep in the crust and then rushes rapidly to the surface to emerge from the 47 hot springs...The hot spring water has been popularly believed for centuries to possess medicinal properties, and was a subject of legend among several Native American tribes."

I woke up with an extremely sore neck/shoulder on Sunday and it was STILL hurting by Tuesday, even after taking medicine. I fell in love with this water bottle because I refilled it with the hot water at every spring we came to and after a couple hours of applying heat on and off, my pain decreased drastically. Didn't take long to convince me that it actually is magical water or perhaps just the placebo effect but either way I felt better.
The next few pictures are from our tour of the Fordyce bath house. This building was used as a sort
of spa in 1915 through the 1960's. Men and women could come here and utilize the hot springs
by taking baths, getting massages, etc. The idea of bathing in front of several other women is
so strange to me but the interior was really pretty so there's that.

Trying to determine if this marble bench would fit in his backseat to bring home.

some extremely unsettling contraption in the "luxurious" Fordyce bath house.

Took a break for lunch at The Hungry Greek.

St. John Catholic church.
We ended the day with a trip to the aquarium. If anyone knows where to purchase a Pink Rose Urchin
I'm all ears.

Wednesday morning started with breakfast and then a trip to Gaven Gardens.
 It was magnificent to say the least.

Is anyone else obsessed with their husband? I just think he's so great. I was
blessed with the perfect life companion.

Tyler and I love going to thrift stores and Hot Springs has some pretty cool ones so, that's what we did for the rest of the day. We ate dinner at this amazing German restaurant called Steinhaus Keller. If you're reading this and you're planning to go to Hot Springs please please please go try it.

All in all, we had a great time during our short stay in Hot Springs. We are so blessed to be able to take trips with each other and we're relieved that we made it back safely through all of the rain yesterday. 

We've been saying a prayer every night for all of the people who have been impacted by the flooding.
May they never lose faith in this trying time.

Thanks for reading. Until Next time.