Our family recently returned from a 10-day trip to Florida to visit family. I grew up in Florida, so I was used to the heat and humidity, but then I left and my body just cannot handle it anymore. While it was great seeing my family again, I was so glad to come back home to the chilly, dry air of Colorado. And to make things even better, the night we returned we got our first snow! I was seriously so excited. While it wasn’t a ton (maybe 3-4 inches and it was nearly gone the next day), it still made me happy. I was worried we would miss the first snow while we were out of town, but Colorado loved me enough to wait.
Also, our Easter Egger chicken, Tiger, started laying while we were gone. I was really looking forward to her eggs because I knew they would be either blue or green, and she did not disappoint. I probably take too many pictures of eggs (you can see them over on my Instagram account), but I don’t think it will ever get any less exciting.
So now that it’s officially not Fall here anymore, and the temperatures have dropped and snow has fallen, it’s time to break out the winter recipes.
This stew uses Otto’s Cassava Flour to coat the beef and give the stew a thicker consistency. If you haven’t heard of cassava flour yet, or have but you’re not really sure what it is, you definitely need to try it out. It’s the closest thing to wheat flour you can get in a cup-for-cup (by weight) grain-free replacement. I’ve done a lot of experimenting with it, and have a wonderful cake recipe in the works to celebrate my impending birthday. I’ve also been experimenting with yeast bread using cassava flour, but up here at 6,000 ft elevation, the yeast bread trials have been a little less successful.
The trick to this beef stew is cutting everything bite-size. Literally bite-size. Not normal bite-size but baby bite-size. It lets you get lots of stuff on your spoon and makes chewing worlds easier, especially for kids. Larger chunks of meat tend to be tougher to chew, which makes the kids not want dinner. Cutting small all but eliminates this.
The other trick to this stew is using the Instant Pot. This thing has been a lifesaver for me. Since moving to the new house, we’ve been working on house projects (inside and out) nonstop. In addition to my full-time job and the responsibilities (read: insanity) that comes with being a mother of 3, I’ve been slacking in the dinner department.
The Instant Pot lets me forget to make dinner until 4pm, then throw everything in the pot and have dinner on the table by 6pm. Soups and stew that normally take 8 hours in the crockpot are done in less than an hour in the Instant Pot. I know there is a slew of other uses for it, I just haven’t gotten past the excitement of fast soups yet.
BUT, even if you don’t have an Instant Pot (yet), you can still make this in the slow cooker, it just takes about 5-7 hours longer. But still absolutely worth the wait.