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‘Pot Roast Paradise’

January 5, 2010
By Wendy Monro

The end of the holiday season can be a bit anticlimactic.

We spend months buying gifts, writing cards, attending and planning parties.

Relatives visit, you visit friends, the house is decorated, and the streets are illuminated with snowflakes and red and green lights.

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Stirring the pot roast as it is cooking.

You may have spent time compiling a list of resolutions which you may or may not keep.

It all leads up to that fateful stroke of the clock and the dropping of the ball and and bam: a few kisses and hugs, a few, happy new year! shouted out to your loved ones and it's over.

The year has ended.

Fact Box

Beef Pot Roast

4 lb. sirloin tip

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tsp. salt

3 tsp. pepper

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 yellow onions, sliced

1 C. red wine

3 C. beef stock

1 Tbsp. rosemary

8 medium potatoes, chopped thickly

2 carrots, chopped thickly

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 C. mushrooms, sliced

1/3 C. butter

1/2 C. flour

Dry the sirloin tip with paper towels. Cover it on all sides with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a stock pot.

When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the beef. Brown the beef on all sides. This will take about five minutes per side. Remove the meat.

Add the onions and garlic. Cook them until the onions become transparent. Deglaze the pot with the red wine. Scrape all of the browning remnants from the bottom of the pot into the wine, garlic and onions. Add the meat back to the pot. Pour in the stock. You want the liquid to rise half way up the beef. If you need more liquid, add stock, red wine or water. Sprinkle in some rosemary. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer for an hour and a half.

Add the potatoes and carrots. Cook for thirty minutes. Add the celery and mushrooms and cook ten minutes more. Remove the meat and vegetables from the pot.

In another pan, melt the butter and mix in the flour to create a roux. Slowly whisk in the remaining liquid from cooking the beef and vegetables. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Pour the vegetables into the gravy. Slice the beef and layer it on top of the gravy with veggies. Enjoy!

A new year has begun. But, then, the next day or the day after that, it all just feels the same.

We shuffle back into work or school. We comfortably relax into our routines.

I like the idea of coming up with resolutions but feel it may be a mistake to do it on Jan. 1.

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I think resolutions should be made whenever you feel something lacking in your life. This can be any day of the year.

When I plan to make a resolution on the first, I announce my resolution, maybe tell friends and write it down. It's not a terrible idea.

It's just that if I don't do it on the first of the year, day one, I feel like a failure.

I'm usually tired on the first: I might be hung over.

So, that new yoga or aerobic routine isn't going to happen that very day.

It doesn't seem to be as exciting beginning on the fourth or the fifth.

Before I know it, it's February.

Usually, the whole idea just fades away.

Instead, I try to treat every day as an opportunity to begin anew: start working on that novel, earn more money, cook more homemade meals, exercise more, spend more quality time with my spouse and children, or have more fun with my friends. Your list may be different.

However, I have found that most lists are pretty similar because people generally want to be healthy, to be in love and to be loved, to be surrounded by friends and family and to be financially wealthy.

When the holidays end, things may get a little quiet.

Many people might miss the hustle and bustle, the visitors and the visits, the holiday performances and church services, and the camaraderie which comes with the season.

I am here to say that this spirit of togetherness does not have to end with the passing of the holidays. Why not keep it going?

You can continue the spirit of togetherness in your own home.

You can create a club: writing, reading, cooking, painting, music, singing, walking, taking pictures and the possibilities are endless.

You can take a class in something you are interested in. Here's a shameless plug for myself, but you can sign up for my weekly cooking class through Community Education which begins on Jan. 14.

If people sign up, we will be cooking a meal and then eating it together.

I'd like to create a sort of weekly dinner party. It's a great way to meet new people who have similar interests; mine, in this case, is eating good food with good people.

Another idea is to begin a tradition of having a Sunday lunch at your place.

You can invite friends and family to come over on Sunday.

Making a pot roast for a Sunday lunch is easy, affordable, and delicious.

You prepare it a bit in the morning and go about your daily business.

Just before you are ready to serve the food, you do a few more magic tricks and it is finished.

If lots of people arrive, there will be plenty of food.

If few people attend, you will love having the leftovers.

Whatever resolution or goal you decide you would like to keep, begin it today, or tomorrow, or the next day.

Treat each day as an opportunity to make things happen: give more, smile more, and love more. You can watch a video of me and Claud making this pot roast at



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