Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mischievous Cooking

So, it is well known around these parts that a.) my Husband DOES NOT eat beef stew or anything that resembles it and b.) red meat doesn't cross our threshold pretty much... ever. Well, we made an exception and it was DELICIOUS. So delicious in fact that I have NO PICTURES to document the beefy goodness that was Pampered Chef's Moroccan Beef Stew from their "More Weekday Dinners - Done!" Collection. We've already tried a few of the other recipes from this collection and our favorites thus far are the Lemon Pepper Chicken Divan, Fiesta Chili Mac, Orange Chicken Lo Mein, and our FAVORITE favorite (which is another shocker since it's not Chicken) are the Shredded Pork Tostadas. We seriously could have eaten them till we exploded. We still need to try the Thai Chicken and Vegetable Skillet as well as the Barbecue Pork Shepherd's Pie... We'll get back to you on those! Without further ado, here's the Moroccan Beef Stew recipe! You'll have to buy your own collection to get the rest of them!

Moroccan Beef Stew
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Large Russet Potato, peeled
  • 2 Medium Carrots, peeled
  • 1 lb boneless sirloin steak, about 3/4" thick
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarsley ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp *Moroccan Rub, divided
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
  • 1 medium zucchini
  1. Coarsely chop onion. Dice potato and carrots; set aside. Cut steak into 3/4" cubes. Combine steak, oil, salt, black pepper and 1 tbsp of the rub in a large bowl. Heat an additional 1 tbsp oil in a 12" skillet 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Add steak; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until slightly browned. Remove from skillet. The only reason you're getting up close and personal shots are because I *TOTALLY* wasn't planning on blogging this meal until I started mixing up the spice and OMGDROOL. So, yah... needless to say my counters were FILTHY... by my standards at least.
  2. Whisk broth, remaining rub, cornstarch and garlic in same bowl. Pour into skillet; add beans, tomatoes, onion, potato and carrots. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium. Cover; cook 13-15 minutes or until tender. See? My veggies TOTALLY simmered!
  3. Meanwhile, dice zucchini. See that pretty green knife? That would TOTALLY be Pampered Chef's Santoku Knife. That baby is my new lover... I honest to God have to clean it at least twice a day, because OBVIOUSLY peanut butter and jelly needs some ninja like cutlery involved when it comes to slicing it into triangles. I mean, just LOOK at the mad skillz it has when it comes to slicing zucchini... LOOK!
  4. Add zucchini and steak. Cook, covered, 3-4 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
*A few side notes, in place of the Moroccan Rub, 1 1/2 tbsp paprika, 1 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp each ground cumin and ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp chili powder can be used. Combine and use 1 tbsp on the steak and the remaining 2 tbsp in the sauce. I also served this with some garlic loaf I picked up from Kroger's Deli. It's one of them fancy "whole garlic" loaves with literally a whole head of roasted garlic baked into the loaf. Better believe I slather it in butter and add MORE garlic on top... I could eat that as a meal all by itself. Aaaaaaaand, this is why I'm fat!

My Husband? The non stew eater? He dipped out on us about halfway through prepping to go get fast food and then he hid upstairs so the kids wouldn't find him out. He claimed that he eats 99% of my meals even if he's not a fan of a particular meat/spice/etc. to show the kids they have to try everything once. I let him slide, but I was still a little peeved... But that's ok, because my Dad TOTALLY came over and ate some and my Grandfather noshed on it as well. The consensus? Totally a keeper recipe wise. As for the kids? I convinced them to eat at least as many bites of "hamburger" (suckers...) as they were years old. The Princess ended up eating twice as much "hamburger" as I asked her too, but of COURSE no vegetables because hello! Vegetables are healthy! The Princess doesn't do healthy (which is why she gets a big ole' sippy cup full of Carnation Instant Breakfast WITH her cereal in the mornings and her vitamins every day at lunch.) Stinky took a bit more convincing. He ate all 3 bites of "hamburger" that I asked him to and a few bites of vegetables but ended up chugging a cup of milk afterwords because he was still hungry. Gee, child, I can't imagine for the life of my why you'd still be hungry! And no, as a matter of fact I *didn't* get a picture of the final product because, seriously? Have you BEEN around my children when they're hungry? Next time, I promise. :)

Both kids are going through growth spurts right now (yay, me!) I have been to Kroger, I kid you not, at least 4 times to restock our pantry with snacks and fruit. I shudder to think of their teenage years. I will have to go sell my soul or something just to keep them fed. Any suggestions? Seriously. The Princess's hands are rivaling mine in size right now and I'm scared people!

Monday, March 28, 2011

From the mouths of babes...

The other day as I'm folding laundry in my Grandfather's den (our laundry room is upstairs in his part of the house), the Princess picks up the receiver of my old Fisher-Price telephone and says, "Hi, Gigi! How you? Me have pink toenails! I go Gamma's house! We play at Monkey Joes!" Now, none of this may make any real sense to you, but if you're family you'll know that "Gigi" is what Stinky referred to my Mammaw (Grandmother) who passed a month before the Princess was born. So... She's never met her, but she's channeled frequently through Fisher-Price. So ANYWAYS, back to the story at hand. My Grandfather catches wind that the Princess is talking to Gigi and asks her to tell Gigi hello for him. Without missing a beat, the Princess says, "Hewwo? Gigi? Bobbaw says HI!" Seconds pass and she turns to him and says, "Bobbaw? Gigi says HI!!!" Her enthusiasm was as excessive as those exclamation points. Pretty sure I'm not the only one who teared up in the room. Even though I get panicky and ridiculous when thinking of things like the afterlife and communication with those who've passed, you had better believe that I listen extra closely when she's "talking" to Gigi.

Last night as I'm literally crawling into bed, Stinky begins screaming from his room. By the time I find my glasses, he's hysterical. Upon entering his room he immediately calms down and I can barely make out some story he's concocting about how he and I used to fly airplanes. I correct him by reminding him that he wasn't born yet when he flew around the world with me, he was still in my belly. There's silence on his behalf and then he asks how he got out. YOU try discussing labor and childbirth with a 3 year old at 2 in the morning. Here's my story...

Me: Stinky, once upon a time you were SO small, smaller than your head currently is and you fit in my belly.
Him: How did I get there?
Me: ((Silence))
Him: Mom.
Me: You grew there like a tree.
Him: How did I get out?
Me: ((Silence))
Him: MOM, WAKE UP.
Me: I went to the hospital--
Him: THEY CUT ME OUT?
Me: NO. They helped me and made sure you and I were healthy and strong.
Him: THEY CUT ME OUT?
Me: NO, Stinky, nobody cut you out.
Him: I was a baby?
Me: YES. Now go to sleep.
Him: And then I grew up?
Me: Kind of, but one day you'll be as big or bigger than Daddy.
Him: I don't WANT to be as big as Daddy!
Me: We'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Him: Can we drive over the bridge?
Me: ((Silence))
Today we had a dentists appointment to get x-rays of the Princess teeth. One of her front top baby teeth started turning pink around Christmas. Seeing as Stinky was constantly knocking his teeth at her age and they would sometimes turn a different shade I didn't think much of it. And then it chipped and bled and I changed my mind. Turns out, it's internal resorption of her tooth. As of today, it hasn't progressed much since we went in January to get it checked out initially so it looks as if she'll be waiting a few more months for her first visit from the tooth fairy. She had a new hygienist today that she didn't really hit it off well and she ended up biting her finger. In the Princess's defense, I will say that the hygienist was a bit rough with the bite plate for the x-ray machine and the Princess's patience was wearing thin after the 4th try. 6 tries in and I would have bit her myself. Even when you know as a parent that it's JUST an x-ray, it killed me to see my baby's eyes well up with tears after the first few times of having the bite plate in her mouth.

I know I created this blog in the hopes that I would write more often, but it seems as if I'm writing less. It's not because I have less things to say, but because life has been excruciatingly busy lately. I found out not even a week ago that I'm headed to Nashville this upcoming Sunday because my Pure Romance "Mama" Consultant needed a replacement for her Husband who fell ill. I'm also juggling Scentsy, typical household stuff and attempting to be a better Granddaughter and all around "tenant" to my Grandfather who I'm very grateful for, but I don't feel I show my gratitude as well as I think it.

Keep your eyes peeled (but don't hold your breath) for another post sometime this week. :) I promise it will be slathered with pictures and links and God knows what else!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's not child labor if they WANT to do it... right?

I swear, I didn't bribe them or ANYTHING.

A little background. The Princess (a.k.a. DIVA as she has a Jekyll/Hyde personality issue) is newly 2 and Stinky will be 4 in July. They are 18 months apart, and in the parenting world this is referred to as "baby bunching." The day I quit nursing him was the day I got pregnant with her, and that is NOT a joke. Just ask my Midwife!

SO ANYWAYS, back to the story! Late last week I realized I had a mountain of dishes (as always) and two kids who were at each other's throats. I took down the baby gate, removed all sharp and/or breakable items from the sink and handed each of them a sponge. "Go at it!" I said... and that they did. While I made dinner, they did the dishes. When their plates hit the table they both had meltdowns because OMGTHEDISHESAREN'TDONEWTFMYBFFBILL. I bet my Husband wishes I had this sort of enthusiasm for household chores.

Their little fingers are just right for scrubbing the bottom of her sippy cups. Why didn't I think of this before??? Not even 24 hours later I felt compelled to clean my car. Again, my Husband is speechless with the amount of proactive activities I've got going on. It was warm enough to not get paranoid about them getting hosed and so we turned into "firefighters" and they helped me hose down the car... and then she became "Pwincess Firefightuh" and was my official bucket filler.

He, on the other hand, took it upon himself to scrub all the dirt off my car. His words, hand on my heart. Who knew that under all that grime there was a half decent car? Still doesn't change the fact that it's a POS Corolla. Meh... minor details. Once again, they were both heartbroken when the cleaning stopped.

With all the extra help I've been receiving lately, I've actually had time to get back into my craft room. And yes, I did have to search through the dust and cobwebs for my glue gun. Thanks for asking. There are a TON of clearance sales going on right now at pretty much every craft store local to me. Hence the inspiration to get up in my room and create again. Are these NOT THE CUTEST CLIPPIES EVER? I might be a little biased, but SERIOUSLY! Where were these when the Princess was a wee baby? Oh wait, she still has just enough hair for these to work. If you know me personally, you'll know that her hair is a great source of heartache for me. Stinky had long, THICK wavy locks that it cut me to the core to have trimmed. I refused to do it before his 1st Birthday even though I knew I was the only one to blame when old ladies would refer to him as a pretty little girl in the grocery store. When the Princess turned 1 she had a chunk of hair that flopped over her eyes and that was pretty much it. Anything I put in her hair IMMEDIATELY came out and turned into a chew toy or something to throw at her brother. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. Now at 2 years, it makes my heart soar to see/hear her reaction to new batches of clippies. Today for example, we went in so I could package them up and she saw some pink pirate ones and she squealed, "PINK! PIWATES! YARRRR MATEYS! ME WUV THEM!" And then I had to pry it out of her tiny little fingers while dangling a cookie in front of her. She's a sucker... and that's all I gotta say about THAT.

So, that's where I've been! If you're coming over from "that other blog," WELCOME! I'm not promising I'll update this blog any more often than "that other blog," but I'm gonna do my best. Also? It's less Emo over here. JUST SAYIN.

I really do look forward to sharing my "Martha Moments" as well as my "Mominatrix Moments." What? Wipe that coffee off your screens. It's not like I didn't warn you! Right now, I'm working on cranking out some more clippies and branching out of my "comfort zone" when it comes to little lady accessories. I've also got a new "paper lovers anon" book coming from my Mom. Another thing if you don't know me personally, I have a thing for pretty paper and Mod Podge, and well... pretty much anything that involves those two things. So look forward to tutorials and braggy posts. We're also trying out a ton of Pampered Chef recipes as my friend is a Consultant and I'm putting her recipe collections through the ringer. We've got one family member with a fish allergy, another family member who prefers vegetarian meals, ANOTHER who won't eat ANYTHING that looks remotely healthy, and another member who just recently went from eating anything placed in front of them to THAT kid who says they don't like the meal before they even lift their fork. YAY! If you're looking for something surprisingly delicious, try this recipe... Shredded Pork Tostadas via Pampered Chef's "More Weekday Dinners - Done!"

Well that's all for today, y'all! I'm gonna go NOT shower before bed so I can enjoy the perfume I bathed myself in at Ulta today. It's one I haven't worn since I found out I was pregnant with Stinky nearly 5 years ago. I think I just fell back in love with it all over again. Ralph Lauren's "Romance" just in case you want to gimme a birthday gift. It's only a month and a half away, BTW... hint hint... nudge nudge... GOODNIGHT!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

OMG, Y'ALL!

Welcome to my sassy little blog! WE'RE GONNA HAVE SO MUCH FUN YOU GUYS WON'T BE ABLE TO SIT DOWN FOR DAYS! EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!

Anyways, I drink a lot of coffee. A LOT. Like somewhere close to 2 1/2 pots a day. How can I sleep at night? Meh, that's just a minor detail. I'm a busy gal! If you haven't read up on my "About Me" over there on the right hand side, well... I can wait... go ahead! I don't feel like repeating myself tonight seeing as I've been working on this layout and design ALL DAMN DAY. You done reading yet? GOOD.

Here's what you can look forward to (I'm a big fan of lists):
  • Giveaways! I'm crafty (I'm just YOUR type), so you best believe you'll be getting some handmade nuggets of goodness direct from moi. I also sell Scentsy by day and Pure Romance by night. I tend to describe myself as Martha Stewart by day and Mominatrix by night... but again... DETAILS.
  • Tedious posts about the JOYS of being a baby buncher. (i.e. two kids in less than two years, HUZZAH!)
  • I can cook... sometimes. I apologize ahead of time.
  • My unabashed opinions on everything. Guess who's opinionated and has two thumbs? This girl right here!
  • My misadventures as Supahmama! I'm socially awkward but love people. This oughta be FUN! Also? I'm very nosy and mischievous.
I know y'all are itching from excitement (unless you're allergic to my blog, and then... well... that's just too bad), but I gots to go pass out somewhere amidst the matchbox cars and cat hair. Only place to go from a caffeine high is DOWN.
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