Thursday, September 29, 2011

Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs

Short Ribs 1

I'm not a big red meat eater.

I think a lot of you know I was vegetarian for along time and then one the luau at Disney.....well that's another story.

Like I said, I'm the kind of person who will choose fish, pork or chicken over red meat most times, but these short ribs! Lord have mercy, these ribs were so delectable, so flavorful, so unbelievably delicious that I would choose them over a piece of chicken any day of the week.

Don't let the amount of time this spends in the oven stop you from making these. This is the perfect dish to make on a chilly fall afternoon. Pop them in the oven for few hours, mash up some taters, grab that pot back outta the oven, dish out the ribs and veggies and slather those taters in the wine infused gravy and you have a complete meal.

Short ribs after

There were a few changes that I made. The 2 packages of short ribs that I bought totalled almost 6 pounds. I just made them all. I decreased the onion to 2 (I know those of you who know how much of an onion freak I am just gasped, but 3 looked like just way too much). I did use the Cabernet Sauvignon. I believe it was a wine by Coppola in fact. Who knew Francis made wine? I also decreased the beef broth to 1 cup. I just couldn't fit 3 more cups in my dutch oven. Other than that, the recipe is the same.

Don't skip the herbs! I think they made a world of difference. The gravy this makes is so good! I had to stop my youngest from drinking it with a straw!!

If 5 pounds of short ribs is too much for your family, half the recipe, do whatever you have to do, but you must make these and then eat these and then call or write to thank me!

Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs
Recipe from Bon Appetite, October 2011

5 lbs bone in beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2” pieces.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions, chopped (I used 2)
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 750ml bottle dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
4 cups low sodium beef stock (I only used 1 cup)

Oven to 350. Season the short ribs with salt & pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown the short ribs on all sides (about 8 minutes per batch). Transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the drippings from the pot.

Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and cook over medium high heat, stirring often until onions are browned (about 5 minutes). Add the flour and tomato paste, cook stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red (2 – 3 minutes) . Stir in the wine and then add the short ribs and any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half (about 25 minutes) Add all the herbs to the pot along with the garlic. Stir in the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven.

Cook until the short ribs are tender 2 – 2 ½ hours (to test if the ribs are done, pull on a bone. It should slide out easily). Strain the sauce from the pot into a measuring cup. Spoon the fat from the surface and discard. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve in a shallow bowl over mashed potatoes with sauce spooned over.

Short Ribs

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pasta E Fagioli

Pasta e Fagoli

I’m bacccckkk.

So since I disappeared for a bit I’ve….

  • Obviously got my computer back.

  • Had a new tile floor installed in my breezeway (for those of you who asked “what’s a breezeway?” It’s the room the room which we enter the house in, usually it’s between two rooms, mine is between the garage and the kitchen door). The house was a mess for about a week. We still need to paint and install new baseboards, and now I have to totally re-decorate so everything matches my beautiful new floor. I’m excited!

  • We’ve been sick. I can’t tell you the last time I had a head cold. It’s been years. 3 out of 4 of us had one. Evan was spared. I was pretty miserable for a few days.

  • I’m excited. So very excited about autumn. It’s my favorite season, not only for cooking and baking, but for everything else about it too. I love when the weather gets chilly! I can hardly wait to decorate for Halloween!

Since we’re talking cooler weather I thought I’d share this recipe for Pasta E Fagioli.
I think it started out as one of those copy-cat recipes for Olive Garden soup. It’s morphed into something different with me now.

I only changed things up a wee bit.  I added in more V-8 and more hamburger, and threw in some frozen peas. I think that's about all I did really. This soup is perfect for chilly weather. Grab a slice of crusty bread to go along with it and you have a terrific meal.

Pasta e Fagoli11

Pasta E Fagioli
1 ½ pounds of ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 large carrot, julienned
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 – 15 ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 – 15 ounce can great northern white beans (with liquid)
1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 – 48 ounce bottle V-8 juice (the whole big bottle)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
handful of frozen peas
½ pound ditalini pasta.

Brown the ground beef in a large sauce pan or pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and sautee for 10 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients, except the pasta and simmer for 1 hour.

About 50 minutes into the simmering, cook the pasta until just al dente, drain and add to the post. Simmer 5 – 10 minutes more and serve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Hey everyone, just wanted to give you a little update.

1st -  I'm sick. I'm stuffy and I have a runny, red nose and I'm pretty darned miserable.

I haven't been sick with a cold in years so this is really aggravating me.

I hate to bitch and complain, but I am bitching and complaining. I'm cranky, can you tell?

2nd - my computer should be back up and running before the weekend. I have a great recipe to post if I can ever get to it (I'm typing this at work - shhhhhh - I never take my breaks so I can blow 5 minutes once in awhile right?)

3rd - I'm excited about it being September and the chilly weather and getting to wear my sweaters and socks again. It's the little things that make me happy.

4th - I have pics that are stuck in camera that I can't download. I hate that.

5th - I hope you are all well. I miss you guys. I miss reading your posts and drooling over your recipes and being inspired by all the wonderful things you crazy bloggers do.

 I'll be back soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lime in the Coconut Frosted Cheesecake Bars

Lime in the Coconut Bars

First off my apologies if you have that dreadful song stuck in your head.

Every time I mentioned the name of this recipe my husband turned into Homer Simpson.

"DOH, now that song is stuck in my head again".


I really can't stand that song. It's right up there with "Midnight at the Oasis" and "Hey Mickey" on my list. Your list may vary.

So even if you have that awful song stuck in your head, and even though you might be singing it while you make this, and even while you serve it, and then you'll curse yourself for it, it's worth the torture.

Lime in the Coconut Bars 3

If you like key lime pie, you will love these.

If you don't like key lime pie, I would shy away from this recipe.

For you key lime lovers let me tell you this....this is refreshing and tangy and the perfect ending to a warm summer night. (Yes, technically it's still summer folks).

Lime in the Coconut Bars 2

Lime in the Coconut Frosted Cheesecake Bars
Cookie Base
1 pouch (1lb, 1.5oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten

2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (16oz) cream of coconut (NOT COCONUT MILK!) After much searching, I found mine at the local liquor store
3 tablespoons lime juice, from about 3 medium limes (fresh please, you’ll thank me for making you not use the stuff in the bottle)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

This is where I changed things up a bit. I’m not a fan of canned frosting (sorry Mrs. Crocker) so I chose to use this lower-fat version from Chocolate & Zucchini.

8 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 ¼ cups marshmallow crème (7oz) - just use the whole jar.
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x13 in pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl stir the cookie base ingredients until a soft dough forms. Press evenly in the bottom of the pan. Bake 15. DON'T OVERBAKE. Take it out when it still looks under cooked. Cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream of coconut until well blended. Beat in the lime juice, vanilla and the eggs. Mix until smooth. Spread over cookie base. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until set and light golden brown on edges. Cool 30 minutes at room temp. Refrigerate 1 hour to cool completely.

For the Topping:
Combine all the ingredients in a medium size bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Spread on cooled bars.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday & a little crappy luck.

Watsons Farm horsehoe

Yes, this is a not so wordless Wednesday today. I have some 'splanin to do.

So the contents of my breezeway are now in my garage as it gets a brand spankin' new tile floor. I'm excited about it, but I hate the mess and disorganization it causes in my life. I know "Waaaah" right?

Anyway, on top of the mess I am without a computer.

My 16 year old son and his 17 year old friend decided to take apart my computer on Monday.

I had parts all over the floor.

"Mom we know what we're doing" I heard over and over again.

17 year old takes my computer home to install new parts. The mother board dies. He orders a new one. It will probably be a week before my computer is up and running. My only warning to the 17 year old computer wiz "You lose my pictures and you are gonna be in some kinda trouble young man". He assures me he won't.

Oh yeah, another little funny tid bit. Monday night I took Moose's meds instead of mine, by mistake of course. There was a call to poison control (I'd be fine) and many, many dog jokes. John told his Mom that I was fine but he couldn't understand why I kept sniffing his butt. Yes that is how my husband is. I know you are all laughing. It was funny.

I am limited to lunch time at work to try and post and catch up on blogs (like that's gonna happen in 1 hour). If anything good is happening, someone let me know on Facebook, lol.