So... I LOVE to cook. And not just a little. I love it A LOT! When I clean my kitchen, the first thing I want to do is dirty it up again by cooking something super delicious. I LOVE trying new recipes. I haven't met a recipe yet that scared me!
My life is busy... teaching school, parenting 3 boys, etc. etc. So my regular weeknight cooking is pretty simple. Spaghetti, beef stroganoff, bean soup & cornbread. And sometimes, we grab whatever we can while running from one place to another. Which makes me looooooong to be in the kitchen chopping, searing, drizzling... creating.
This weekend, I tried braised beef short ribs for the first time. And, let me just say... WOW! I served the short ribs with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. And for dessert... some waaaaay yummy "Midnight Bliss" cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. I can't take credit for the cupcake recipe. It came from sweet friend, Heather. So, thanks Heather! And all my guys say thanks too!
Following are some fun pics of my latest cooking adventure. If you're a foodie, scroll on!
Chocolate cupcakes... a Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix "enhanced" with some yummy deliciousness!
Peanut Butter frosting... softened butter, peanut butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar. It looks kind of "grainy" right now, but scroll on down to the next photo!
After adding a bit of heavy cream, it's fluffy and light. Well, as light as it can be with butter and powdered sugar in it!
At this point, I got out one of the super cool things my Mom gave me for Christmas... a cupcake carrier. It looks like this when it's "collapsed".
... and this when it's expanded. It's a double decker with a snap-lock lid and carries 22 cupcakes!
The finished cupcakes... garnished with mini-chocolate chips!
They look great, do they not? I'm not great with a pastry bag, so I use a ziplock bag. They aren't professional looking, but the fellas at my house don't really mind!
Cupcakes completed and safely stored away for later, I started on the prep for the short ribs. First order of business... chopping 1 medium onion, 3 carrots, and 2 shallots.
And look at this beauty! My enamel coated cast iron dutch oven... the other super cool thing my mom got me for Christmas. This was it's "maiden voyage"!
Six slices of bacon, cooked until crispy and the fat rendered out.
Short ribs, dredged in all purpose flour, salt, & pepper, browning in the bacon fat and some olive oil.
Then I set the ribs aside for a bit while I sauteed the vegetables.
The onions, carrots, and shallots cook for a few minutes.
Then I added red wine, beef broth, and seasoning before putting the short ribs into the broth, along with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme.
Three hours later.... voila!
The 4 men in my family approved! Took a bit of effort and some time, but the beef short ribs were worth it! Cooking, like writing, is a creative outlet for me, and it's one I get to share with my husband and my sons!