Whew!

Sorry I disappeared for a bit…it’s been such a busy week. I started a new full-time job at a malpractice insurance company, and I’m still getting used to this full-time stuff. I am really loving my job…everyone is so friendly, the work is constantly changing, and it’s challenging without being too heavy. My only complaint about it is that it’s in North Austin, which is a bit of a commute; otherwise, I LOVE it.

I miss the people at the bed and breakfast, and the pets, and the comfiness of it, but I am sooooo glad to have weekends off now. I can spend more time with Justin, and I’m enjoying cooking more now that I don’t have to do it in a work environment. This morning I made pancakes…it’s been forever since I’ve wanted to cook any breakfast items at home. I baked Pumpkin-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, and was able to share them with my new co-workers. I just can’t explain how excited I am about my new schedule.

However, after a year and a half of working part time, I’m finding it difficult to make time for everything in my life now. I get home, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up, do any errands, and poof! It’s time for bed. I miss reading, and knitting, and reading all of your blogs. I just need a bit more time to adjust, I think, and then things will even out.

I have been cooking every night, I just haven’t had time (or energy) to post anything. So here’s an overdue recipe for a wonderful winter mushroom stew…I served it with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. (For the carrots, I just steamed them in the microwave until tender, then tossed them in a pan with a smidge of butter, a bit of brown sugar, and a dollop of Dijon.) The potatoes were perfect for sopping up the stew.

Winter Portobello Mushroom Stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced 3/8-inch thick, gills removed
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups mushroom broth or water (I used Pacific Organic)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the portobello mushrooms and white mushrooms and saute until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, stock, and vinegar. Simmer gently for 12 to 15 minutes, then swirl in the butter. Add the parsley, taste for salt, and season with pepper.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

8 thoughts on “Whew!

  1. sally

    Congrats on your new job. Hopefully you’ll get into the swing of the full-time job thing [this is not coming from experience, since I’ve never worked FT], but also find some “down” time to craft + cook. But free weekends? That is always a good thing.

    Reply
  2. helios

    Yep. Working FT is definitely an adjustment. I know my blog was more active during the summer then it is now. But congrats on the job! And that stew looks AWESOME! :)

    Reply
  3. Sicilian

    Can’t wait to try your stew. . . . and I am sorry you have to commute. I bet it was hard to leave the B&B.
    I really enjoy your blog.
    Ciao

    Reply
  4. Claire

    Congrats on the job. Honestly, right now I would rather have a full time JOB that go to school because even when I come home from school I still have to study. With a job I could come home and be home doing home things, even if it is cleaning! :-) I love the look of the mushroom stew. The roommate loves mushrooms, as do I, so I may be trying this sometime this winter!

    Reply
  5. kickpleat

    i totally understand about the adjustment from pt to ft. i had to work ft for 7 weeks and i’m so relieved that i’m back to my own schedule again. it does take work to make things work, but i’m sure you’ll figure it out!

    Reply
  6. Jodie

    Greetings from Melbourne, Australia!
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I love it.
    As for working part time vs full time…..I know exactly what you mean, I am about to go part time after two years of full time because I am going nuts not having time to make my handbags, cook great food, read, walk…etc etc. I’ve still been doing those things but squeezing it all in has been difficult. But I’ve found that if I use my lunch breaks to design, plan recipes, listen to podcasts etc etc, then I feel like I’m getting through more.

    Reply
  7. connie

    i’m so glad that your new job is going well. and all you need is time to find the balance between work and play. and last night i made portabellas too… don’t you just love the earthy smell of them wafting through the kitchen?!

    Reply
  8. crystal

    You guys are so sweet! I think you’re all right, too…work is much easier than school, because it doesn’t have to come home with you. And Jodie, I’m going to start using my lunch break for knitting and such, and I think it will help a lot. Thanks everyone, for reading and caring. You guys make my day.

    Reply

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