Ok, ok so it might be a little early. But it’s in the 70’s here in RVA and a few days ago it was 65 degrees! What?! However, now that I am writing this I will wake up in the morning and it will be 95 outside. So I apologize in advance for jumping the gun, but on September 1st this girl deems it fall.
When I was younger fall was my least favorite season. I hated that "back to school" feeling that came along with it: The commercials on TV, the school supplies, the ads in the mail ...I hated all of it. A part of me still feels sorry for the kids out there that don't want to go back to school. If you are one of them, take heart! It gets better.
Why is fall my favorite now? It's the end of summer! The older I get, the more I dislike summer. With that said, by September 1st, I am praising the good Lord above that the heat is over, all the traveling is coming to an end, leggings are all of a sudden acceptable to wear in public, and no more lugging two little guys around as we literally sweat on one another - thats right, it happens.
For me, fall brings a sense of anticipation for all things good. Getting all dressed up for halloween, sitting around a table with family and friends as we eat yummy food, talking about all the things everyone is thankful for. And of course Christmas season is right around the corner. It’s just so much to look forward to. I want to savor it all! The apple-picking, pumpkin patches, colorful leaves falling, apple cider brewing, movies by the fire, warm snuggles on the couch, jeans and sweatshirts, chili and crackers. Guys, the list is endless. I can show you how to do fall right.
After I am done writing this, I’m going straight downstairs to grab all my fall decorations. Also, buy some fall colored m&ms. Because - hello - It’s not fall without the appropriate colored candy on the coffee table.
I hope you are as excited as I am. Light a pumpkin spiced candle, put a pot of chili on the stove, brew some cinnamon tea and soak it all in...
And just in case you need help-kick starting into the new season...here is one of my favorite recipes.
Savory Sweet Stew 😋
1 tablespoon veggie oil
1lb stew meat
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1cup baby carrots (or 2 large chopped)
2 potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
1 1/2 tablespoon water
In a large pot, brown stew meat in veggie oil until brown all over. Add in next 8 ingredients (plus plenty of salt and pepper), cover with lid and either cook at 275 degrees in the oven 5-6 hours or cook on top of stove about 2 hours (with the lid on as well).
If you’re cooking the stew all day in the oven, then about one hour before you’re ready to eat, add in the carrots and potatoes, cover and return to oven to finish cooking.
If you’re cooking the stew on the stove top, then about 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add in the carrots and potatoes, cover and finish cooking on the stove.
Regardless which method you use, about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve, stir the corn starch and water together in a little bowl until combined. Remove the pot from the oven (if it’s there) and set it back on the stove top. Uncover and add in corn starch mixture. Turn heat on stove up to medium-high and let the stew bubble away uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (the corn starch mixture will thicken the stew up).
(recipe credit here.)