Monday, November 26, 2012

The Upside of Excess

My best friend posted this on Facebook the other day and I wanted to pass this on.  PLEASE take the time to read this.....

The Upside of Excess (from DailyWorth)

We've all heard the advice, especially this time of year: Get enough sleep, don't overdo the cocktails, or the pre-holiday sale spending sprees.

In other words, strive for balance—in your diet, life, and finances. Because then all will be well, right? You'll be happy, solvent, thin and Zen.

Or not. How many busy, creative, passionate women do you know who 

have figured out the perfect equation of work, rest and fun? Who never stay up too late, have one too many glasses of wine, plow through a pint of ice cream in a single sitting, or buy a pair of cute shoes they don't need?

OK, maybe you know one woman like that, but she's probably kind of boring. Or you hate her. What’s crazy is that living a balanced life is supposed to make us all feel less stressed, so we strive for it—then get stressed out when we fail.

Let yourself off the hook about the balance thing. Right now. Sometimes, you've just got to have those shoes. Or ice cream. Or a whole day without the kids. Or you need to spend 14 hours passionately absorbed in a work project.

Or you wake up feeling so aimless that you spend an entire Saturday morning on Facebook instead of going to the gym.

You slip up. You fall down. You live a little too hard, have a little too much fun, get a little too intense sometimes. It’s okay. In fact, the unbalanced life is sometimes just what you need

I don't know about you, but I LOVE this and need to read it every day.  Let's face it....striving for balance in life sounds nauseatingly boring to me!  Striving for perfection?  Puh-lease!  Strive for creativity, passion, FUN....strive for authenticity in your life!  Be you because the people in your life that love you, love you for all your non-perfections, non-moderation quirks!

Since this is a post all about celebrating one another, I figured what better food to celebrate over than pot roast!  (OK, that was a very weak segue, but I really wanted to share this recipe!)

  • 1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste
1.  First and foremost, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else. Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.
2.  Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).
3.  Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
4.  Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
5.  If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
6.  With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
7.  When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
8.  Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.
I peeled my carrots with a little help from Lola....

....and my tiny mini.

Brown your onions, enjoy the amazing aroma.

Brown your carrots.

Set aside your onions and carrots.

Sear your roast.  Searing helps to lock the juices into the roast.

 Deglaze your pan.  The recipe says you can use wine or broth.  I always opt for wine when given an option in a recipe.  It's a great excuse to open a bottle that, of course, will need to be finished.

Scrape as much as you can when deglazing.

Put your roast back into the pan.  Add beef broth, onions, carrots, rosemary, and thyme.  Bake at 275 for several hours.

The aroma of this roast is so incredible, you may be tempted to lounge and wait by the oven until it is done.