stewing on a dark day

Meet the le Creuset dutch oven I bought this weekend. I'm hopeful that we will be very happy together in the years to come.

The saleswoman at the le Creuset outlet store tried her darnedest to sell me the 7 1/4 quart. When upon lifting it (empty and without the lid) I felt a muscle tear in my back, I opted for the 5 1/2 quart. It seems ample for our family of three.

The weather has turned cold and foggy. As much as I enjoy seasonal changes, it does get a bit depressing when the entire day is dark. There's nothing like a new piece of cookware to motivate a little comfort food cooking. I tried out my new red hot love with a beef stew recipe from Ina Garten today.

Chuck roast meat marinated in an entire bottle of good red wine, two cloves of smashed garlic, and three bay leaves in the dark depths of the refrigerator all night.

A little side note story: at our local New Seasons grocery store yesterday I told the butcher, "I need chuck." As he was giving me the scoop on the various stew meat choices, I noticed a rather goofy looking guy peering from behind him listening intently to our conversation. When I acknowledged his presence, the butcher said, "His name is Chuck."  True story! Okay, you had to be there, it was funny at the time.

I'll post a photo or two tomorrow along with a recipe... or two.