Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SOLE on SNAP: Day 4 and "Pssst. How to be sexy, men."

Did you know that I was tweeting with The Pioneer Woman last night? Of course, when I say "tweeting" I mean, I tweeted her and she responded. But still!!!! The Pioneer Woman responded to my tweet! Deep breath, Jennelle.

I just love her blog. And her tv show. For the record, I was a follower of her blog before the tv show came out. She is so witty, that Pioneer Woman! Anyway, last night I watched Saturday's show that I recorded. And as I'm watching it, I tweet to her "@thepioneerwoman I love your show... Especially when your husband is on it. Damn girl, he is a gorgeous man." I know, I know. It's shameless, but it's hard to beat a man in jeans that fit just right and cowboy boots. Oh yeah, and who cooks, too. She responded "Aww, thanks Jennelle. I kinda like the guy." Well, I'll just say I can see why.

Which got me thinkin. About men who cook, that is. As it turned out, my husband cooked for me last night, too. And it was wonderful. What is it about men who cook for their women? When are the rest of them (mine and The Pioneer Woman's excluded) going to figure out that the way to a woman's heart is also through her stomach???

Today was a state holiday: election day. But that's a whole other story. At any rate, the Hubs and I had the day off. We went to lunch with friends who recently moved away, who were doing business in Charleston today. It was great to see them and catch up.

I had 1 cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch with skim milk. Jeremy didn't eat anything. We both had coffee and creamer.

LUNCH: We went to O'Skee's in St. Albans for lunch. I'd never been there before, but Jeremy eats there with his co-workers occassionally. I mentioned we were meeting some peeps for lunch. I hardly ever order a burger at a restaurant, but this place is known for them, so I figured "when in Rome..." I ordered the blue cheese burger with fries. The burger was exceptional. The menu described it as a 6 oz. angus beef patty with blue cheese crumbes, bacon banana peppers and buffalo mayo. It was pretty delicious--better than average for a restaurant. We waited 45 minutes to order, because they were out of beef and the delivery guy was supposed to be there around 1:30 p.m. The fries were steak fries. Jeremy had the Cowboy burger and fries, which was two patties with bacon and jalepenos on it. He said it was pretty good, but hot.

DINNER: We had one of our favorite meals for dinner, stout braised short ribs. I know I've written about them at lenght here. They won me a cook-off at my office, and we served them for Christmas dinner with my dad last year. They are a crowd favorite and easy, too. We've ordered short ribs at restaurants before, and we agree that this recipe is the BEST. Jeremy pretty much cooked the whole meal. I made the rub and put it on the short ribs and peeled carrots. That was it.

2 pounds of grass-fed beef short ribs

Two and a half hours later. Hello, lover...

With the short ribs, Jeremy made some fingerling potatoes that I had bought a LONG time ago for something else. So long ago, in fact, they had a few bad spots in them we had to cut around. He sliced them in half and boiled them until almost tender, then heated some olive oil in a skillet and put the potatoes cut-side down in it to give them a little crisp. He threw in judicious amounts of garlic, fresh parsely, a little tiny bit of white wine, mushrooms and salt and pepper, and let the whole thing cook about 10 minutes longer.

I sat down to dinner and took one bite, and I swear the world stopped turning for a split second and everything was silent. It was that good. Jeremy pretty much owns this recipe for short ribs. Add a pint of stout and it's a perfect fall meal. It was mostly local/organic, too. The short ribs were from Sandy Creek Farm in Ravenswood, The leeks and potatoes were organic, but not local. The tomatoes were from Crihfield Farms in Jackson County. The beef stock was homemade from last year. I omitted the celery yesterday. My mom grew the garlic. The parsely was from a co-worker's garden, and I grew the carrots. The stout was Sierra Nevada, from Chico, California, I believe, and definitely not local.

I'm serious, if you've never tried short ribs, get some! This is the time of year when farmers are butchering beef, so get it fresh now. What I made was the last package of beef that I bought last year, so I needed to make it soon. Braising is perfect for this cut of meat, because it just kinda melts into this loveliness in the oven over the low and slow heat. And braising is practically fool-proof. The hardest part of this recipe is smelling it while it cooks in the oven.

I love it when my love cooks for me. I certainly don't mind KP duty after a meal like this.

Hey, guys out there! Take it from a woman. If you want to score big points with your lady, cook her dinner sometime. Find a recipe and master it. It doesn't have to be a difficult fancy recipe. Just own it. There's nothing sexier than a man confidently cooking in the kitchen (grilling something on the grill doesn't count).

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