Admissions of a Tired Mom – Part Five

1. My kids wear their shoes on the wrong feet ALL OF THE TIME.  I always tell them, but I don’t usually make them switch them if they don’t want to.

2. I dislike the word “cray” (meaning crazy).  The Brits and Aussies (Kiwis, too) are really good at slang. “Bro, this Chrimbo, I’m going to slap some shrimp on the barbie for brekkie before we open prezzies, s’truth!” (Okay, I probably butchered that a bit, but a basic translation would be “This Christmas I’m going to grill shrimp for breakfast before we open gifts.”) Cockney slang takes things to a whole amazing other level.  Americans?  We’re just not as good at slang.

3. I could eat Russell Stover pectin jellybeans until my tongue bled.  I’m not proud of this.

Nom nom nom.  Image from Russell Stover.

Nom nom nom. Image from Russell Stover.

4. I thought my brie and Juicy Juice dinner was awful.  Then I got sick, for quite some time. I lost my appetite and most of my sense of taste. So dinner a few weeks ago was croutons.  Out of the bag.  Because I couldn’t taste much.  We needed to go food shopping.  And they were crunchy.  And there. And I was tired. And I wanted to go to sleep, but I was supposed to eat something with my meds, and stay upright for at least 10 minutes (weird, instruction, right?).

Crunch.  Image from Pepperidge Farm.

Crunch. Image from Pepperidge Farm.

5. Rare moment of parenting genius? Buying my 4-year-old son a DUSTBUSTER for Christmas.  He and his sister love it.  They can carry it, it is noisy, and exciting.  They cruise around the house, dustbuster at the ready, looking for “yuckies” to suck up into its whirling vortex.  And when they suck up something they shouldn’t (there was a dollar bill on the floor?) we can simply open the DB up, and retrieve the item. And I never have to yell “Shut that thing off already!” because it is rechargeable, and needs to be plugged back in after 30 minutes of hunting yuckies. $40 very well spent.  Thanks, Santa.

Vrooooom.  Image from Amazon.

Vrooooom. Image from Amazon.

Happy Friday, and happy Spring!  Bring on the mud and daffodils!

PS – Not affiliate links, just for your convenience.

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Soupish Delish

I haven’t added a recipe in a while, so I figured it was time.

Lovely Ladle

I did a crock pot recipe about this time last year, too.  That is just about the right frequency for me.

I don’t love crock pot recipes.  I want to.  I am lured in by the promise of easy, warm, filling meals.  But I usually find them to be not all that easy, overcooked, and tasting a lot like beef stew.

But this recipe?  I like it.  It is a mish mash of bunches of recipes I found.  It is flavorful and easy (really!). And it is relatively good for you.  The first time I made it, I added the kielbasa at the beginning, which didn’t work as well.  Also, you could replace the spinach with kale if you were so inclined.

Crock pot for the win!

White Bean and Kielbasa Soupish (meaning, thicker than soup and thinner than stew)

  • 1 lb dry, small white beans
  • 4 C. chicken broth
  • 1 C. water (plus more as needed)
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, your favorite herbs
  • 1 kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch half-moons
  • 1 bag/box fresh baby spinach

Add all ingredients to the crock pot, stir and set on low.  Leave it alone for 6 hours.  Check it, and add more water if it looks too thick; there should be a little soupy broth floating around. (When I made this, I added about an extra 1/2 C. of water.)  Add the kielbasa pieces. Continue to cook on low for approximately 1.5 hours.  Taste it to make sure the beans are cooked, and add any salt or pepper you think it needs. Add the entire box of spinach to the hot soup, and stir it in so the spinach wilts.  Eat.  With crusty bread if you’ve got it.  And enjoy it for lunch the next day. And feed it to your 10-month old; she’ll love it.

The Dinner Dilemma Part 1

I’m not into dinner.  I’m trying to be, for the sake of family dinners, blah blah blah.  But I’d be pretty happy with crackers, cheese, fruit and the only dirty dish being one solitary knife (and maybe a plate.  Maybe.)  I plan meals ahead for a week and then I slack off.  Argh.  My husband is very tolerant of my dinner dilemma, that sweet Mr. T. But today, when I actually made dinner he was so very excited.  He thanked me about 37 times.  He cleaned his plate.  He asked for leftovers for lunch.  The dearie. I should make him dinner more often.

I cooked tonight because the pork was thawed, and I had the other 4 ingredients on hand.  I also cooked tonight because I was home early, and Mr. Pickle Pumpkin decided to entertain himself with the drawer of plastic containers for 7 minutes.  I tried to find this recipe online, but amazingly, I couldn’t.  I learned this one from my friend, Suzie.  Next, time I’ll try to snap some photos while I cook.  But this time, I’m going to pat myself on the back for simply getting a hot meal on the table.

     

Peachy Pork Piquante

  1. Heat about 1T vegetable oil in a pan (deep enough to hold saucy, gooey liquid) over medium heat.
  2. Cut about 2 lbs. of pork (tenderloin, loin, chops, whatever) into cubes and place into a big plastic bag.
  3. Put one packet of taco seasoning into the bag, seal and shake to coat the pork.  Pour the contents into the hot pan.
  4. Saute the pork until it is pretty much cooked through.
  5. Add 1C. salsa (jarred is fine, I used medium)
  6. Add 3/4 C. apricot or peach preserves.
  7. Cook it for a little while until it is bubbly and saucy.  If you want less sauce, decrease the amounts of salsa and preserves.
  8. Serve over rice.  I served it with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped up cilantro.
This recipe served 2 hungry adults, and I packed up 2 portions for lunch.
Upcoming dinner dilemmas?  Calzones.  Indian simmer sauces.