So I went back to work a few weeks ago, and the little man went to daycare, and everyone was sleeping well and getting into a routine. Life was good. And then ... the little man got his first cold.
It's weird how something as simple as a cold can wreak such havoc. The little man was born with some upper respiratory issues that he'll hopefully grow out of, but for now, he sounds miserable. He can't breathe well anough to eat, he can't breathe well enough to sleep, his eyes are watery, and he's got a heavy cough. And yet, he's such a trouper. He takes his nose drops every few hours, smiles at the doctor, and giggles at the funny noises that his nose makes. He's still been our happy little camper, for the most part.
He has required a lot of attention, though. He's extra cuddly right now. And he needs to be sitting up to breathe and swallow. So the hubby and I have spent dozens of sleepless hours in the recliner, where the little man tosses and turns and coughs and snorts. And kicks. He really likes to kick.
So we were quite lazy this week. We ate a lot of leftovers. We picked up takeout. Some nights we even forgot to eat.
Hopefully the little man will start feeling better soon. His jumparoo misses him. In the meantime, we're going to rely on the slow cooker this weekend, in the hopes that we can all take some quality naps.
Today I made a pork stew, which is almost identical to my beef stew recipe, but with pork and chicken broth. I used some beautifully lean country-style ribs (one of my favorite cuts of meat) for this recipe. I just used regular old potatoes and carrots, but I think using some sweet potatoes would be lovely, as would using some parsnips for some of the carrots.
Slow Cooker Pork Stew
4 medium carrots, cut in chunks
2 lb. potatoes, cut in chunks
2 tsp. canola oil
1½ lbs. boneless lean pork, cut in chunks
Flour, for dusting pork
Salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt, for sprinkling on pork
32 oz. chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. onion powder
1½ tsp. seasoned salt
¼ c. cornstarch
½ c. water
Additional salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt, to taste
1. Put potatoes and carrots in slow cooker.
2. Heat 1 tsp. oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Dredge half the pork with flour and add to pan, seasoning with salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt. Cook until pork starts to brown a bit.
3. Add pork to slow cooker. Repeat with remaining oil and pork.
4. Add some of the broth to the pan -- just enough to loosen up the bits on the bottom -- and pour into slow cooker. Add remaining broth, bay leaf, onion powder, and seasoned salt.
5. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or until pork is cooked and vegetables are tender.
6. Combine cornstarch and water, and stir into stew. If stew thickens immediately, season to taste and serve anytime. Otherwise, turn heat to high and cook stew an additional 30 minutes.
7. Serve in bowls. Unless you're like the hubby. Then you'll need these additional instructions -- and I conveniently found the pictures already on the camera for me.
7a. Take two pieces of bread.
7b. Put bread in toaster. Push down button.
7c. Remove toast from toaster.
7d. Serve stew on toast. Drink with Coke.