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Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Family Circle Kind Of Cool

Anne Nodar-Stesney

By Anne Nodar-Stesney

I used to believe that a true part of who I am is a law-breaking degenerate. My peers include the entire roster of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, Nancy Spungen (RIP) and Courtney Love, pre-collagen. Forget that I’ve never taken so much as a penny out of the deli cup and I throw around the word “Swell!” without a glint of irony. Those are mere personality quirks. Deep down, I’m opening beer bottles with my teeth. And not the twist off kind either.

Then, in an instant, any illusion I had of being a tough, edgy, free spirit died. And I finally had to face the truth. I’m not a grrrl. Not a womyn. I’m a mom of the mom-iest variety, through and through. A Mother-Minus-the-F-er. All because I purchased a Family Circle magazine.

What makes it worse is the reason. I wanted to read an article titled, Walk It Off In Three Weeks! Well, not read, do.

Once I opened the magazine I moved on to another favorite—A Week Of One Pot Wonders: Healthy, Easy Meals For Your Family.

So. Un. Cool.

Even if I Walked It Off In Three Weeks while listening to The Vomits and my One Pot Wonder included a bag of dope I was gonna swallow and smuggle out of the country, the deed is done. I’m a Family Circle reader. The gritty street cred within me has been beaten senseless with a Pampered Chef rolling pin.

But out of every tragedy comes a lesson. And mine is this—One Pot Wonders are very, very good. My husband Fred and I have been making them all week and even my 1-year-old gobbles them down. So I’m going to embrace my true mommy self and share one of our favorites with you.

It’s White Bean Stew with Greens. Hearty, comforting and so, so easy. It all comes together pretty quickly; the most time-consuming part is the chopping prep.

The greens are slightly crunchy and vibrant, the beans firm and meaty. Piney rosemary mingles with the smoky, crisp bacon and fills up your kitchen with good dinner smells. I considered leaving out the bacon and having a slightly healthier stew, but, um… I’m not insane. I mean, c’mon. Bacon!

After spooning off a small portion for the baby, Fred and I cleaned out the entire pot. Next time we make it, we’ll add a warm, crusty baguette to sop up the liquid. Mmmmmm..sigh. My inner Grunge Rebel Girl may be dead, but the real mom I truly am certainly eats well.

White Bean Stew With Greens

from Family Circle Magazine, October 2008


* 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

* 1 small onion, chopped

* 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

* 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

* 1 bunch kale, rinsed, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 7 cups)

* 1/8 teaspoon each salt and black pepper


1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat for 6 minutes or until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Add onion to pot and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in beans and rosemary and cook 1 minute. Add broth to pot; bring to simmer.

3. Stir kale into beans in pot and cover; cook 5 minutes. Remove cover and stir kale until wilted. Stir in reserved bacon, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Anne Nodar-Stesney earns her living writing ad campaigns and keeps her sanity writing other stuff, particularly comedy sketches and musings on food. For about 5 minutes in 1997, she was a dainty size 2. It was an insult to everything edible, especially butter. She wised up now she adores good food as well as Cheetoes. She lives in Prospect Heights with her husband Fred and their ridiculously cute 1-year-old son, Walt.

You can read more about her misadventures at goodamericanwife.blogspot.com.