Category Archives: Cooking For Kids

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.

Cooking For Kids: Hidden Veggie Mashed Potatoes

Now listen, before I even start, I know there are plenty of judgmental mamas out there who look down upon the world from the tippy top of their righteous mountains and make arguments like this one. About how sneaking veggies into your kids’ food is bad, you should send the right messages by making them “eat the same thing you eat!” and suggesting that “if the kids help make it, they’ll want to eat it!”. And you know what? I’m not ashamed to admit, I used to be one of those women…. Before I became a mom.

IMG_0794I have very vivid memories of the first meal that I cooked for the kids; I felt like their diet needed a real nutritional overhaul, and I thought I was just the person to do it. So I put together a fool-proof menu of Italian baked chicken, whole wheat pasta, and sautéed spinach on the side. I proudly told my husband (then boyfriend) the plan for dinner and he voiced some initial concerns about how the meal would be received by our younger patrons, but I assured him that it would be perfectly fine. They were going to help me cook the spinach, so obviously they’d eat it without protest. And they’d helped me pick out the jar of tomato bruscetta at the store, so they’d surely be thrilled with the fruits of their grocery shopping labors! What could go wrong?

Well, everything, as it turns out. My stepson refused to put even a single sautéed spinach leaf on his fork, let alone in his mouth. And my stepdaughter literally RAN to the trashcan and made loud retching noises, to ensure that every single person from here to El Paso knew for damn sure that this was NOT a meal she was enjoying.

It was precious.

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