Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Family, Home, and Me with Beth

Beth is a really good friend of mine and is sharing her part of the FHandM series today. Beth started her blog, Mes Aventures, while she was studying abroad in France a few years ago and it has grown and changed with her as she's finished school, started teaching, and been married. She might just be the most genuinely kind person I've ever met. I had to say goodbye to her recently for a couple of months while she followed her cute husband to DC for an internship, but school will be starting up again soon which means she'll be heading back here to teach 3rd grade. Yay!

photo courtesy of Gina Edwards

"One of my husband and my favorite recipes is a crock pot recipe, Caribbean Pot Roast.  It comes from Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes, 2012 edition.  I don't have pictures of every step, but here is the finished product."  

    photo courtesy of Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes, 2012 edition
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (2-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking cocoa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

  • Place potatoes, carrots and celery in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a large skillet, brown meat in oil on all sides. Transfer meat to slow cooker.
  • In the same skillet, saute onion in drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, seasonings, orange peel and cocoa. Stir in tomato sauce; add to skillet and heat through. Pour over beef.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutritional Facts: 3 ounces cooked beef with 1/2 cup vegetable mixture equals 278 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 74 mg cholesterol, 453 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 25 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

"I'm not going to tell about some unknown strategy or cleaning solution that no one has ever heard of before. If that was what you were expecting, sorry.  What I would like to share is about some often forgotten deep cleaning places.  Usually when people deep clean they do a great job of cleaning out the inside of their fridge, scrub the floor really well, wash all of the comforters on the beds, vacuum under the cushions in the couch, and if they're feeling really ambitious, perhaps inside the cupboards in the kitchen.  Some often overlooked places during spring-cleaning (that can make all the difference when it comes time to move suddenly or your contract ends, etc.) are: 

1. Scrubbing the kitchen floor UNDERNEATH your fridge
2. Vacuuming all the dust out of the BACK of your fridge that get sucked in by the fan (who knows what it's there for)
3. Those of you with swamp coolers--vacuuming out the dust or taking the cover off and rinsing the hot air return cover
4. Dusting/cleaning off blinds (especially the vertical blinds)
5. Washing the ceiling in your bathroom
6. If you have kids, washing the door frames at their level
7. Cleaning your microwave (though I try to do this every week so it doesn't ever become scary)
8. Cleaning the drawer underneath your stove that is called the "warming drawer" but that everyone uses for pans
9. Scrubbing the drip pans on the oven
10. Vacuuming your closet and dusting off the shelves

Here are some before and after pictures from my adventures with cleaning the drip pans on my stove. (Note: I have an old oven/stove where I couldn't lift up the top of the stove to clean the inside; that fact alone makes cleaning the drip pans and space underneath a once a year challenge.)"

photos courtesy of Beth

"One of my hidden talents is my ability to alphabetize and my love of doing so.  I love alphabetizing files. I love alphabetizing my students homework, projects, notes from home, permission slips, etc.  I think about my students in terms of alphabetization--when I'm trying to figure out who is missing during the fire drill, or on the field trip bus, or with doing lunch count I use my mental alphabet list. I've found that I've been able to store a lot of information in my mind about my students based on having organized them alphabetically in my mind.  However, my love of alphabetizing doesn't end with my job as an elementary teacher; I alphabetize things for church, and when it used to just be my books, sometimes I would organize my books alphabetically (now it's more by genre or subject type).  Maybe my love of alphabetizing came because my maiden name started with a Y and I had to learn all the rest of the alphabet before we got to my last name letter or the agony of sitting through around 600 other seniors in my high school graduation waiting for it to get to my turn.  Whatever the reason or cause, I am a pro at alphabetizing."

Thanks, Beth, for sharing with us. That recipe sounds incredible! You can follow Beth on her blog, Mes Aventures.

If you are interested in contributing to the Family, Home, and Me series, please email me at gracefullykensie [at] gmail [dot] com.

No comments:

Post a Comment