And school for my kids is cancelled again tomorrow!  The message just popped up on my phone…  More snow on the way!

It’s been sooo stinkin’ COLD!  Those of you that live in places that get cold in the winter know we’ve broken some records this year!  And not the type of records that anyone is really stoked to break…

I wiped out on the ice earlier in the week, and was so irritated at the epic ice situation that just wasn’t going away very fast.  That happened right after commiserating with a friend about how this time of year can bring about moody mommies.

Then, BOOM, down I went!  And yes, I confess, I was feeling like a grumpy lady that day!

The cloudy, gray skies and cold weather can leave many people feeling down in the dumps, tired, and unmotivated.

Clearly as much as I’d like to wave my magic wand, and have a sunny day, I unfortunately have absolutely no control over the weather.

BUT, I do have control over what I do to cheer and warm myself up.  And it seems this time of year, that when I eat warming and grounding foods, it also lifts my mood.

So, if you’re feeling the winter blues, or are cold all the time, I have a recipe for you.  Just thinking about this stew makes me feel cozy, smiley, and warm!

My husband has become a rockstar cook at our house, and he’s made this a handful of times.  The kids LOVE it, and on those chilly, wintery days, it feels like straight up comfort food!

This one is adapted from Alaena Haber, MS, OTR/L and Sarah Ballantyne, PhD:

Hearty Healing Beef Stew

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds beef stew meat
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme, or you can use dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 (1 inch) pieces fresh orange peel
4 cups bone broth
1 cup sweet potato pieces or puree
½ cup red wine
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the meat, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and brown on all sides for 8-10 minutes total, but avoid getting a crust on the outside.
  2. Stir in the onion, thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, orange peel, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add the broth, sweet potato puree, and wine to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and cook for 1 hour.
  4. Add the carrots and celery to the pot and return the stew to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for an additional 40 minutes.  Add the chopped kale, submerging it in the liquid, and cook for 25 more minutes, until wilted and tender.
  5. Remove the thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and orange peel before serving.

A note for busy People…

I often take recipes like this, and just throw everything in a Crockpot or Instant Pot, and cook it all at once.  I’d just suggest holding off on the kale, and adding that right at the end.  Gotta love the convenience of throwing recipes like this in the Instant Pot!

Hope this warms you up on a cold day!

In good health,