By Angie Sutton
This has definitely been a week of emotions for the mother-figure at Sutton Central. The oldest daughter, Casey, started as a freshman at K-State and my son, Cade, started high school. The baby of the family, Baylin, came home from daycare with a 104.5 degree temperature. “Don’t worry,” the doctor said. “It’s perfectly normal.” I was happy to see Saturday arrive!
Like many of the women I know, I think I’m superwoman. We juggle the bills, laundry, shopping, menu planning, shuttling, gym-bag packing, note signing, shoe finding, and we’re the one who fills in the blank to the constant question of, “Where’s my…?” We love doing it. We occasionally complain about doing it but deep down we know it’s a privilege. After all, we’re moms, right? It’s what we do.
My favorite thing is seeing smiling faces and literally hearing no talking during a meal because everyone is so busy eating something I created. I sit back and take it all in. Life can be hard for young people these days. Home is a safe place where the kitchen is always open.
This past Sunday, however, this superwoman was reminded she’s not necessarily the one in control. I’d probably seen the signs and occasional nudges that I should slow down a bit. Enjoy life more. My weekend list of things to accomplish is typically longer than my to-do list at work, which means I have two days to tackle them plus train for this marathon I thought I really wanted to run before I turn 45 in December. Enter two boxes of garage sale boxes in my arms and a randomly misplaced stick vacuum cleaner on the floor. One trip to the emergency care and a sprained ankle later I’m finding that slowing down a bit is being forced on me. Yes, I was pretty embarrassed and certainly my list of 27.5 things to accomplish by sundown is now like “Gosh, I hope I can get a shower without falling down.”
These recipes have been a timesaver for me and easy to pull together, even with crutches! I may not be training for that marathon anymore but I can still pull together a great family meal.
Slow Cooker Lentil & Veggie Stew
This is about 8 servings at 1 1/2 cups each.
1 c. frozen whole kernel sweet corn
Add all ingredients, except lentils, to the slow cooker, stir to combine. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Add lentils the last hour of cooking time.
Quinoa with Black Beans
This ends up about 4 servings of 1 cup each.
1 Tbps. olive oil
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and saute diced onions until tender, about 4 minutes, and add garlic and saute one additional minute. Add remaining ingredients in the order listed above. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, leave covered, and allow to sit 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork before serving.
Slow Cooker Swiss Sweep Steak
Slow cooking is perfect for less tender meats because they are cooked in liquid for hours, creating a tender and juicy steak! I like to make the gravy noted at the end and serve it with white rice or egg noodles. A friend likes to grate carrots into the sauce when she adds her tomatoes. She says it’s a great way to add veggies undetected by her little ones.
3 lbs. round steak
Mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Coat meat with flour mixture and pound both sides, recoat if needed. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces. In a skillet over medium, heat oil and brown meat on both sides. Transfer to bottom of slow cooker. In the same skillet, brown the onion and green pepper and then add the tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil and pour over steak. Add water or broth to cover meat. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.
Gravy: To make gravy, remove meat from crock and keep warm. In a small cup, blend together 1/4 cup all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup water. Stir into the sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
Slow Cooked Mexi-Meatloaf
We offer salsa and shredded lettuce to top off the sliced meatloaf. If you don’t tell the kids it is meatloaf, they’ll snarf it!
2 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients, reserving 1/4 of the taco seasoning packet, and mix well. Shape into a round loaf. Lightly spray the bottom and sides of the slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the loaf into the crock and sprinkle the top with the remaining seasoning. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours.
Slow Cooked Pork Chops
We like to eat these with rice or mashed potatoes and cut-up fresh fruit.
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
In a shallow bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Dredge pork chops to cover both sides with dry ingredient mixture. In a skillet over medium, heat oil. Brown chops in oil for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to crock. Cover chops with soup. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.