Tag Archives: Stay at Home Mothers

Favorite Fall Things: Stew!

Today felt like fall, so I abandoned my child in the wild (turned TV on and provided her with a snack) while I prepped our first fall stew.

I got the recipe from a slow cooker cookbook I found at a half-price bookstore. And in a rare turn of events, I followed the recipe (aside from adding barley, wine, and seasoning near the end of the cook time because the stew had no flavor whatsoever).

How to make flavorless beef stew in your slow cooker:

Step One: Put child in highchair and provide him/her/it with apples and graham crackers. Doling out two ultra-treats in one snack may help you handle your guilt while simultaneously handling bloody meat chunks. Turn on TV and change channel from ESPN to child-appropriate programming.

“You go cook, ma! I’ll watch this magic screen of evil.”

Step Two: Layer bottom of slow cooker with potatoes and carrots. Gorgeous!

Hearty stew foundation

Step Three: Flour bloody stew meat (that butcher already cut and trimmed) and brown it.

Chunks of floured meat!

Step Four: Add browned meat to slow cooker. Free child from high chair after she is sufficiently snacked and TV’ed out.

This, here, is meat stew!

Step Five: Chop up onion and celery and mix up with meat, being careful not to disturb the carrots and potatoes below. “Tuck in” parsley and bay leaf…and sing them a lullaby.

Mixed and tucked!

Step Six: Pour about 2 cups of “seasoned” beef broth over the sexy meat and veggie medley. Set the slow cooker on High for 5 hours (because you decided to change the order of this week’s meal-plan at 10:00 AM this morning, leaving no time for a proper 9-hour slow-cook at the Low temp setting).

Imagine if you were high for 5 hours!

Step Seven: Leave frozen peas out to thaw and place the package of instant barley (that you accidentally bought at Trader Joe’s that one time) next to slow cooker so you remember to add them in the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Cold peas

Step Eight: Serve with with whatever you’d like… bread, rice, buttered egg noodles, and/or a bottle of red wine. Dig in!

So…I forgot to take a pic of the plated stew and it looks like vomit in tupperware.

Have you started cooking any fall treats?


Penning & Stinking

I realize I failed to spell out the meaning of my blog title. Well, my super clever (and unoriginal) choices were already taken so I ended up with this. Clever, yes?

The Pen of “Pen & Stink” alludes to the writing I will eventually do and then write about on this blog. See that? I’ll be writing about writing maybe one day if I write something. For now this will be my “The Secret” message to the Universe or whatever. You guys should see that movie; it is hilarious! I’m sure the book is just as funny, but I will never be able to tell you that for sure, because I won’t read it.

There is no nice way to put this… The Stink of “Pen & Stink” refers to my mom-life. You guys, it can be a literally stinky job–deuces are dropped, milk sours, kids like yogurt (which I find to be one of the most unbearable smells in the world). I will not be describing the smells of my job on this blog because “ew!” But I will write about mom stuff a lot because it is who I am and what I do. I would also like to point out that while my job is literally stinky, I want to figuratively explode because I’m so happy to be a full-time, stay-at-home mom. It is totally my thing.

Stink in a bin

Stink in a bin

Oh! I will also probably mention going to the gym now and again (next post). I’m resolved to lose the last 9 lbs of baby weight and I love to eat all of the autumn harvests, so food quantity-restriction isn’t an option…ever. The gym is a pretty stinky endeavor so we can add that to the Stink category too.

And who knows! Maybe I will find time to read more than a book chapter a night and will pop a book review on here too. No promises, but those posts will be filed under Pen too.

Big Book

I forgot! We all read a lot of board books daily!

I’ll probably talk about other things and force them into one of the two categories with fool’s logic and a crowbar. Okay, so we are all on the same page now. Same page! Get it? And just like that I lost all of my “follows.”