“The season for enjoying the fullness of life — partaking of the harvest, sharing the harvest with others, reinvesting and saving portions of the harvest for yet another season of growth.” – Dennis Waitley
As I sit down to write my post for this week, I have conflicting emotions. Just how personal is a blog supposed to be? Do I write about “real emotions that are raw, fragile and a bit painful at times” or, “stick to the fluffy stuff that feels warm and fuzzy,” leaving you feeling all good inside but containing only a small portion of who I am, or what I value? I suppose the answer lies somewhere in the middle. It mirrors the tales of our lives, each taking a turn between fragile and warm, raw and fuzzy.
Today is a fragile and raw kind of day, just like the weather on this cold, blustery first day of November. One of those times when all I want to do is curl up in my favorite chair right next to the fire, pull out a good book, and get caught up in some magical moment that does not belong to me. To leave all the responsibilities, cares and concerns of the day far behind for a few precious moments, and just take care of me. The great thing is I am able to do this every once in a while. I have given myself permission to take care of myself when life seems a little raw. I finally understand that it is not selfish to stop and get off the merry go round for a time. Regroup, refocus, breathe and take a timeout. Life will still be waiting for me when I resurface and I will be all the better for it.
The month of November is a busy one, garlic, onions and leafy greens need to be put out in the garden, holiday gatherings to be planned, food prepared, gifts made or purchased, schedules coordinated, the list is endless. With all the busyness of the upcoming holidays it would be easy to focus on the tasks and forget about the people that we are bustling and striving for. I find that when I stop and take those needed moments for myself to reset and regroup, I have so much more to give to others and feel less put upon to do so. A wonderful side effect I would say and something worth thinking on. I felt guilt for years taking time for me. Am I alone or have you felt guilty too? How do you handle your raw and fragile days?
Spicy Pork and Sweet Potato Stew
Today’s recipe is a simple, tasty, and delicious meal I like to make on cold, blustery fall days. Spicy Pork and Sweet Potato Stew warms you up from the inside out. The Chipotle spiciness is tempered with sweet potatoes and a hint of apple cider, a perfect combination that works well together. The recipe can easily be adapted for the slow cooker. As an added bonus, Spicy Pork and Sweet Potato Stew leaves the whole house filled with it’s wonderful aroma.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 large (about 1 pound) sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Sour cream, for topping
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the pork in batches and brown.
- Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to low, add additional 1 tbsp oil, onion and garlic.
- Cook, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, until the onions are golden, about 10 minutes.
- Add reserved pork, cumin, coriander, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, stir to combine.
- Pour in apple cider and vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- After 1 hour, add sweet potatoes and corn.
- Simmer until the pork is tender and potatoes are cooked through, 30 to 45 additional minutes.
- Add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and top with sour cream.
- For use with a slow cooker: after browning pork and vegetables, place everything in a slow cooker except the sweet potatoes and corn and combine. Cook at desired temperature adding sweet potatoes and corn during last few hours of cooking to prevent them for overcooking and getting mushy.
*Organize 31: Inspire us Thursday *Calm. Healthy. Sexy: Let’s Get Real *The Crafty Wife: The Wednesday Roundup * Daily Dish Of Life: Friday Faves *Kitchen Dreaming: The Weekend Social *Oh My Heartsie Girl: Weekend Fun Party *An Ali Event: Pretty Pintastic *Natasha in Oz: Say G’Day *Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *Pebbles and Piggytails: Saturday Dishes
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