Thursday, February 24, 2011

Read: The Lover's Dictionary

It's been awhile since I read a novel. I've been knee deep in cookbooks, magazines, self-help tomes and the occasional autobiography for the past two years. So, when I was browsing at the library a couple of weeks ago, I saw this on the shelf and decided to just give it a chance. Usually, I stick to books I've heard something about, but this time I thought a little EXPANSION of my normal tactics was in order.

I finished this novel in three days. It's the story of a relationship gone awry, told in a flashback/flash forward style and in the form of a dictionary. Each alphabetized entry gives us a piece of the puzzle of how this couple met, lived together and then didn't.

It's so beautifully written. The author manages to write in a conversational style that is also very poetic, honest and original. I actually plan to buy this one eventually, so I can re-read it. If you're looking for something new to sink your literary teeth into, I think this might be what you need.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tipday: Unnecessary Eyebrow Bullshit

I hope everyone had an awesome, warm weather filled weekend, because I have something very important to discuss with you.

You know, I try very hard to keep up with all the personal maintenance things that come up: cleaning the ear wax, mining the nose, keeping the teeth pearly, removing random whiskers, making sure my mustache fuzz doesn't make me look like a lazy transvestite...But this one really caught me off guard last night.

I was getting ready for bed and decided to clean up my eyebrows a bit. So, I'm plucking away and got something in the tweezers that I thought was lint or Tux fluff, because it was white. It was not lint. It was...wait for the horror...A GRAY EYEBROW HAIR.

What?! Just...Huh?

I mean...You know?

I'm only 36!!

Holy...Holy Damn Hell Fuck Shits!!

We know what's next, right? Gray nose hairs and then gray whiskers and then...A gray coochie. Oh, God yes! I cannot wait for the gray coochie!! That will be a banner day, y'all!!! And while I'm yelling in print, what's with the English language allowing two different spellings for gray/grey?!?! We needs rules, English Language! They keep us from devolving into anarchy!!


I was seconds away from shaving those betraying bastards off and going full-on Crawford by just drawing that shit in, when I calmed down.

I found some things online about gray eyebrow pencils and general info for looking good with gray hair. But lets all make note of my Tip: pluck the hell outta that shit! Unless you realize you have 120 eyebrow hairs and now 90 of them are gray, just get rid of it. Especially if your head, nose and sweet lady parts are mostly non-gray.

I feel better now. Go, my pretties! Enjoy your gray-free brows! Fly! Fly!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Dinner: Braised Short Ribs

My open cookbook plus the newly cleaned, chopped leeks and celery.

Seeing as how I've been doing gobs of cooking lately, I really had planned to start this new feature several weeks ago (since around October), but since I'm sorta slow to get things done we'll be starting my Sunday Dinner posts now.

And, now is a great time. Why? Because on Wednesday night I made the most awesome thing ever, and for the first time.

Remember how I raved about Mad Hungry, the cookbook I've been pouring over since December? Well I made the short ribs recipe this week and Oh. My. Good. GOD! It is literally one of the best things I've eaten/cooked/seen in the entirety of my life.

This would be especially good for a weekend meal, because you need to let the meat marinate for at least six hours and then cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The result is so tempting, though, that when I finished cooking this at 1 a.m. Thursday morning (after we'd finished dinner several hours before) I immediately knew I had to have some. HUBS and I then proceeded to share two bowls of the stuff over whole wheat linguine.

*mouth waters*

If you like to cook, like meat or like yourself, you will need to make this dish. Here we go:

Recipe via Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn

thinly slice 1 onion
smash 4 garlic cloves
(Or, sprinkle on garlic powder, which is what I did when I thought I was out of garlic)
thinly chop 1 carrot
thinly chop 1 cleaned leek
(I'd never cooked one of these before. That bastard was super dirty! I cleaned each leaf twice, washing my hands in between cleanings.)
thinly chop 1 celery stalk
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup red wine
(I've heard that the general rule is if you'd drink it, you can cook with it.)
1/2 cup soy sauce/tamari
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
(Or good cracked pepper; I used that.)
3 1/2 pounds short ribs
2 to 3 Idaho potatoes, quartered (optional)
(I used 1 Yukon Gold and 2 Sweet potatoes. Her recipe says to peel them, but I didn't.)

All the veggies in the pan! The foil after a few hours cooking. I like that it looks like a fairy tale crime scene...Don't judge me.

Now, after you get everything cleaned, chopped and poured, mix all the ingredients except the meat and potatoes in a roughly 9 x 15 roasting pan. Mine is actually a baking pan shaped like a gingerbread man, yours need not be.

Add the meat in one layer and make sure the marinade gets all over the pieces. Cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least six hours, up to overnight. Turn the meat once or twice during that time so that each side gets the marinade goodness. Take the pan out 30 minutes before you plan to cook it.

Put your oven on 400 degrees and cook for one hour. Then, turn the heat down to 350 degrees and cook for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If you want potatoes, add those 40 minutes before you finish cooking. I kept mine covered in foil the whole time and it never dried out, but if yours does, feel free to add some water while it's still cooking.

Finished dish? Glorious! Rich! Tasty! Probably shouldn't be eaten at one in the morning! But, oh well!


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