Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cabin Fever

So, it snowed after all. The roads are icy and people haven't really been out and about for the past two days. I know the Northerners are laughing at us now with our "winter storm."  Okay, we don't have 18 inches of snow but we also aren't equipped to care for our roads to make these conditions drivable. Though, the roads weren't too treacherous this afternoon when I ventured out err...saw my neighbors venture out. (Mom, I know you are reading this and I would never go against your advice of staying safe at home.) ;-)

Last night, I decided to open a bottle of wine that I had been saving for almost two years to enjoy on a special occasion.  We reasoned that a snow day was such an occasion. Said bottle of wine was a 2005 Del Dotto 887 Cabernet Sauvignon. This happens to be my favorite Cab. Unfortunately, I think the only place to purchase the wine is at the winery itself in Napa.  If you are ever in Napa and love red wine, you have to do the Del Dotto Cave Tour. Travel sites have dubbed this place "Del Blotto" poking fun at the copious tastes that they provide. The nickname is quite fitting as I practically had to be carried out of those caves (no wonder I had such a great time.) You are told in the beginning that you can taste and then dump the rest of the pour on the floor of the cave. But unfortunately/fortunately for me, all of the wines that I tasted were AMAZING and I just couldn't pour any out. Despite it's reputation for lushes, the tour was very educational and interesting for both newbies and connoisseurs. The wine is pricey and thus I don't have anymore bottles in my wine fridge but I sure did enjoy this one!

To complement my favorite wine, I had to light my favorite candle.  If you have ever walked into an Anthropologie store and wondered "what is that smell?", it's this candle and I love it!

I didn't cook dinner tonight as I am feeling under the weather. Perhaps it is the cabin fever or maybe that we finished off that bottle of wine without remembering to drink any water before bed? Anyways, I wanted to leave you with a recipe before I end my rambling for the evening. This slow cooker dish is a great one to make for dinner guests as it so delicious and makes a good amount of food.

Tangy Slow Cooker Pot Roast


  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast, about 3 to 4 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine, such as cabernet or pinot noir, or more beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion, quartered, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Generously sprinkle the roast all over with salt and pepper, then rub the paprika into all sides. Cook the roast for about 5 minutes on each side to brown.
Meanwhile, combine the broth, wine, tomato sauce, vinegar, and honey; set aside. Put the sliced onions, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.
Remove the roast from the heat and place it on the vegetables in the slow cooker. Pour the broth and wine mixture into the hot skillet and use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits; pour over the roast in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce to LOW and cook for 7 to 9 hours longer, or leave on HIGH and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours longer. Serve with hot mashed potatoes and green beans or corn for a delicious and satisfying family meal.
Serves 8.

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