Stepford Approved Pot Roast

Oh! Hi there! I can’t believe it’s been legit half a frickin’ year since I’ve written to all my invisible internet peeps. Where has the time gone???

Well, to that I say, I’ve been a little busy around here. Actually I haven’t even really been around here at all. In the past 6 months I:

  • Snuck off to Fredericksberg for a weekend with my man for a little one on one time.. (‘Twas the calm before the storm, read on.)
  • Got promoted.
  • Started traveling about 3 weeks a month.
  • Went to Hawaii for a fabulous all expense paid trip I won from work.
  • Went to a bachelorette party in Mexico.
  • Went to a bachelorette party in Las Vegas.
  • Attended one out of town bridal shower and hosted another, all in the same weekend.
  • Had the kids all by my lonesome on Super Bowl weekend while my hubs was in Miami for the first of two bachelor parties.
  • Attended a rehearsal dinner and wedding in Austin.
  • Attended a rehearsal dinner and wedding in California.
  • Attended a rehearsal dinner and wedding in Houston, for my bestie.
  • Redecorated my entire living room.
  • Redecorated my daughter’s entire bedroom.
  • Redecorated my son’s entire bedroom.
  • Went with the fam to Dallas to celebrate my stepson’s birthday, a two part special that included a dinner at Medieval Times and a full day at Six Flags.
  • And last, but certainly not least, I MADE A POT ROAST. WHAAAAAT!!!!

Most of you out there in the peanut gallery are probably like “Oh. Wow. A post roast. Big whoop.” But you just don’t understand guys. For me, this is HUGE! I got a large part of my culinary skill and knowledge from my mom (the other part is from the Food Network, God bless it). She is British by way of South Africa, so what that meant for me growing up was that there was a lot more curries, lamb chops with mint jelly, and pickled herring around than there were casseroles, fried chicken, or biscuits and gravy. So when my Midwest man and meat-and-potatoes kids said they wanted “you know, just something normal” like meatloaf or pot roast for dinner because “seriously Kendall it doesn’t have to big a big production every night, we don’t always have to have 3 sides with our meal, geez”, I was at a loss. Flummoxed, if you will. People make that stuff? Yes, they do apparently, and I had to figure it out stat. Meatloaf I have pretty well nailed at this point, (I think there’s even a photo of it somewhere on the blog) but pot roast? Forget about. It always intimidated me too much.


IMG_0825IMG_0826Then one day I decided that what I needed to do was just get over it already. Grab the chuck roast by the pound and make it my bitch, if you will. I looked at a ton of recipes for guidance, but nothing was exactly what I was going for, so I came up with a kind of mish-mash of ingredients and techniques from various recipes and devised my own pot roast creation. Rich in flavor, plenty of fresh herbs, and chock-full of veggies, not just your standard potatoes. (I may even try adding some green beans next time.) It was a hit!


IMG_0828Now I know that this recipe post is severely lacking in both quantity and quality of pictures, but I believe you’ll find that what it lacks in flashy photography it more than makes up for in flavor and crowd-pleasing appeal. I hope you enjoy! But preferably without the side of Kraft french dressing that my husband insists on eating it with. (Why, God, why???)



Stepford Approved Pot Roast


  • 4 lb trimmed beef chuck roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced vertically
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 lb small red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 16 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 bag baby carrots


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Season chuck roast on all sides.
  3. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil in bottom of pot. Once hot, add the roast and sear, turning the roast until it has been browned on all sides. Remove roast from the pot.
  4. Add tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, broth, and red wine. Stir until tomato paste is dissolved, and bring to a boil. Stir in onions and herbs, place roast on top.
  5. Cover and place in oven for 2.5 hours, basting the roast with the juices halfway through. Then remove from oven and add carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms evenly around the roast. Cover and put back into the oven for about an hour, until both roast and veggies are fork-tender.

Simple Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

IMG_0821Well well well, remember 2 days ago when I said I’d be back the next day with a recipe for you? Well… I lied. (The more astute among you may have already figured that out.)

But I am back now to share that lovely little salad recipe. Not to exaggerate anything, but I really think I should have titled this post THE BEST SALAD EVER. And I know it might  not look like much, but don’t be deceived. It’s easy, it’s light, it requires very few ingredients, and it’s delicious as ****! what more could you want? It’s perfect as a side to just about any meal; in fact you may recognize it as a side dish to this recipe.

My husband requests this salad all the time. He routinely brags to his friends about my cooking abilities, and always mentions that I make an AMAZING salad, and OMG I even make my own dressing, can you believe that?! But honestly, it’s so easy it’s almost embarrassing. You could certainly complicate it a little more, it could be adapted by tossing in more ingredients, but what I am trying to appreciate more these days is simplicity. Let the quality ingredients shine and, for Pete’s sakes, I don’t always have to trash everything up.


IMG_0812 IMG_0818 IMG_0817 It’s by complete coincidence that I am posting a salad recipe immediately following the new year. But it’s a happy coincidence, as I know a lot of you are looking to clean up your diets and work out and blah blah blah, because it’s still January! Resolutions! Clean eating! New Year new me!

And is it just me, or is everyone right now either getting engaged, getting married, getting knocked up, or some combination thereof? I feel like my Facebook feed is currently about 20% engagement photos, 20% wedding photos, 15% ultrasound photos,  and 15% baby photos. The remaining 30% is comprised of mostly links to asinine articles with all manner logical flaws posted by and written by idiots who don’t know what they’re talking about and don’t have any real common sense or even a basic working knowledge of how the world really works. *Rant over*

Uhhh where was I going with this? Oh yeah, people getting married. Well my bestest bestie in all the land, my Fatness (inside joke, long story), is getting married in about 6 months and she is striving to be a buff bride, shedding for the wedding, and all the other annoying little euphemisms people use these days to describe getting in tip-top shape for the biggest day of their life. I promised her I’d accompany her on a trip to the grocery store to stock up on all manner of healthy foods, and I will. This weekend probably. But in addition, I thought she could use a tasty fool-proof salad recipe in her arsenal to accompany on her on this health and wellness journey. So Fatty McRivera, this one’s for you. Just don’t serve this with Easy Mac and hot dogs please. Love you!


Simple Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette


  • 5 oz mixed salad greens, bout half of a large container
  • 1/2 of a large honeycrisp apple, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thinly
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp honey


  1. Place salad greens in a large salad bowl and scatter the sliced apples and sliced red onion across the top. Set aside.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
  3. Drizzle half the dressing over top of the greens, apples, and onions. Toss and add more dressing to taste.


In the past, I haven’t typically been a resolution-er. Resolution has always been kind of a dirty word to me,  since they feel more than a little cliche and usually turn out to be just a generally good way to disappoint yourself. However, last year I was forced to put pen to paper and create a list of goals for myself at work and it turned out to be a super powerful exercise- I accomplished nearly every one of my very ambitious goals, and exceeded them by quite a bit. So now I’m a believer! Jerry and I even embarked on the same formal goal-setting process for 2015 and came up with some joint goals as a couple. To carve out a few personal goals just for myself I think this is a pretty good start:

  • Take more pictures! I’m usually more of an enjoy-the-moment gal than a photographically-document-the-moment gal, but I’d like to change that. At least a bit. For many reasons, but two of which are that I barely had enough pictures from 2014 to scrape together my annual photo desk calendar Christmas gift for Jerry, and also that now I have a blog (as you may have noticed) and I find pictures to be a pretty critical part of a food/lifestyle/whatever the heck kind of blog this is.
  • Carve out more time for blogging. I’d like to blog at least twice a week, and devote enough time to writing content and photography that I’m proud of what I put out there into the world, instead of just flinging stuff together late at night… not that I ever do that or anything.
  • Cook and eat at least one vegetarian dinner a week. I often eat meals that happen to be vegetarian, but I’ve read some articles on the benefits of being a “flexitarian” and I think it would be a fun and healthful experiment to try out on my carnivorous husband.
  • Read more! There was a time when I was a huge bookworm and plowed through several books a week, and I think I was likely a more intelligent and interesting person then. I’d like to read at least one book a month. I know, I know, dream big! But for me, this would actually be quite an improvement over my current habit, which entails reading while on planes, exclusively. In pursuit of this goal, I just downloaded and started reading Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please and I can’t stop ROFLing, for reals.

I’d like to round out the list to 5 items, but my brain can’t think of anything else right now because I’ve been out of town for the weekend and just got back and went on a colossal cleaning spree, Big Bang is on the tele in the background and my writing is constantly interrupted by hilarious jokes that I have to laugh at, and my husband is loudly sighing beside me waiting for me to be done with this so that we can start a new West Wing rerun already.

But I haven’t forgotten my second goal, I’ll be back tomorrow with a new recipe and maybe a life update. See ya on the flip side!