Wendy Bentien is one of those women who you just LOVE the very first time you meet her. Her personality is absolutely infectious – it’s the only way I can describe it! On top of that, Wendy is a culinary goddess, workout queen and Smarty Mama of two. How does she do it all, I’ll never know! Wendy is known for making the most delicious soup you have ever tasted for her girlfriends and I feel so lucky to get in on that treat every so often.
Wendy will be blogging for us moving forward and will be sharing her cooking tips, quick wit and Lord only knows what else. This mama is a Smarty hoot!
Let’s meet Wendy Bentien!
Wendy’s Smarty Mom stats
Mom of: Carly (6) and Laney (3)
Married to: Fritz who is in Wendy’s words “hands down the nicest, smartest and funniest guy I know.” You gotta love a guy named Fritz:-)
Years in Charlotte: I am 39 and my family moved to Charlotte when I was five. That counts as growing up here right? It is great to see how much this town has become “ A real city”.
Occupation: Stay at Home Mom extraordinaire. Sometimes soup-maker and Board Member for the Go Jen Go Foundation. I always thought I would be less busy when I quit working right before I had Carly. Ha, that joke is on me. Now I get why by five o’clock my Mom was screaming at my brother and I “ Enough bickering now GO TO YOUR ROOMS and don’t come out!!”
College Alma Mater: I went to a small university in the desert of Southwest Texas and studied Molecular Biology for my graduate degree from Sul Ross State University. The only time this will EVER come in handy again is either watching reruns of “CSI “or maybe the one-week in high school science when my kids will study it. My daughters would be more impressed if I actually knew all the names of the Characters on “ Yo Gabba Gabba”.
Hood: SouthPark. I love my little five-mile radius bubble. Only in Charlotte would that contain more Harris Teeters than gas stations.
Favorite winter recipe?
I adore cooking. My favorite thing to make is anything that dirties only one pot. I am a big fan of braising. You can take inexpensive cuts of meat and turn them into something wonderful. I make some mean beef short ribs in the crockpot. All you need is some onion, red wine, tomato paste, garlic and a little soy sauce. Let it cook all day and it falls apart. Serve over noodles or rice. Oh and if you have any leftover you can stuff it in a lasagna and top it with a béchamel sauce. (a fancy term for white sauce) Heaven.
Favorite winter activity with kids?
When it is cold outside we hibernate around here. My kids have great imaginations so I build them a fort of couch cushions and a blanket and they are happy for the afternoon. When it’s time to crawl out of the den we love taking the girls to the indoor pool at the Harris YMCA (who just had a new make-over!). It gets all their energy out and keeps their swimming skills in check for the next summer.
Favorite birthday party?
For years I was a sucker for a home party. When Carly turned five I threw her a “make your own pizza party” for 16 kids. Lets just say that I am still finding evidence of the flour and she is 6. This year I got on the train and finally had the party somewhere else. We did a gymnastics party at the International Sports Center on Monroe Rd. It was Amazing. You show up, they entertain everyone; you leave and go home to your perfectly clean house. It was wonderful. The kids left exhausted and happy. I am never having one here at the house again.
Birthday party go-to gift?
Anything from the re-gift closet. Just kidding, sort of. You know you have all done it too. Unless I really know the child I opt for basics like board games. I am a sucker for “What’s in Ned’s Head”. It is disgusting which makes the kids love it even more.
Favorite family travel destination?
The Beach. Anywhere the ocean laps up on the shore is good with us.
Funniest thing your kids have ever said?
When my oldest was about two she couldn’t say her “W” sound, she made them all into “B”s. Halloween was great with all the very scary “#itches” around. It was almost cruel how much we made her repeat it.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Hmm, this is tough. I find celebrities to be odd creatures. Would I really want to be with someone who pretends for a living? But if I had to choose I am going with Daniel. Daniel Craig from the latest “ Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” film or Daniel Tosh from the Comedy Central show Tosh.O. I am a sucker for a funny guy.
Best book you’ve read lately?
It seems the whole world is reading or has read them but “The Hunger Games” trilogy was so entertaining. I was a bit skeptical when I couldn’t find them in the bookstore and asked the young clerk. She shook her head and pointed me to the Teenage section. There it was stuffed between all the Vampire sagas and “ God are you there it’s me Margaret”.
Favorite movie of all time?
My Dad used to love to watch movies when I was young. Some were not so age appropriate at the time but I have to say “The Shining”. Never in my life have I been so scared and to this day I feel the same when it comes on TV. Oh, those twins in the hallway. Shudder.
Minivan or SUV?
SUV but I can see the appeal of the magic sliding doors and 143 cup holders.
Favorite phone app?
Epicurious. This app has saved dinnertime for me when I am roaming the grocery store and can’t think of what to make. They have great recipes that have been tested in the kitchens of magazines like “Bon Appetit” and “Gourmet” I love their “Easy weeknight dinner” tab.
Favorite CSP article?
There are many but since it was one of the best experiences of my life so far I would have to say “I am an athlete” by Krista Wilson. Being a part of the Desperate Housewives team for the Blue Ridge relay was the most fun I have ever had. Love love love those ladies.
Finish this sentence: I could not live without my…
My family of course (can you imagine them reading this and me not mentioning them?) and also a good sense of humor. It seems like having a good one can get you through just about anything and if you aren’t laughing at yourself I think you missing the whole point. Have fun in your life, you only get one after all.
Smarties, you’ll get to know Wendy on Sundays – let’s give Wendy a big Smarty welcome! Here are some of her recent blog articles:
Is your holiday perfect?
I know the Sugar Plum Fairy
Think beyond the veggie platter