Sunday, February 28, 2010

He Shoots..He Scores and Canada wins Gold in Hockey

What a great Olympic Hockey Game. Ron has been in Grand Rapid Michigan since the beginning of February and has had to watch the Olympic Hockey games in a Roadhouse Restaurant, then he would have to do some heavy Bribing to the bartender in order for him to switch the channel to the hockey games, unfortunately the olympic hockey games were not telecast on any of the US channels.( Unless the US were playing) BUT not today... The Canada ,US game was on the local channels and we were able to watch in the comfort of our own room. We didn't catch the game from the beginning as Ron was still working, but Oh Boy we certainly were here for the best parts. Whoohoo, we won Gold!!!

I like to join Ron towards the end of his consult in the USA, this time I will be here for another month till the end of March. After eating out for all 3 meals the first week, my stomach started to rebel and it's time for me to start cooking some home cooked meals. We have a suite with a fridge ,microwave and stove top, no oven, thus , it really makes it a bit limited as to what to make. Also without all my spices and utensils within easy reach it takes the pleasure out of preparing food. If I had driven here I could have brought some of my stuff, but the thought of driving , by myself, in winter for 11 hours did not appeal to me, so I flew. We bought a Teflon electric frying to help the situation , last time in Boston we bought a crock pot all of which we leave behind, I really don't know why these hotel suites don't invest in some of these pots as they are much easier to clean and way more convenient to use instead of those aluminum ones were everything sticks to itand you need dynamite to clean them!

Anyways, not much to blog about food wise, today's meal was going to be burgers on a bun , but ended up being burgers in mushroom gravy with a Boston lettuce salad and rice with broccoli and carrots.

As, far as blogging about Michigan, I've been tagging along with Ron and we haven't had any time so far to do any sightseeing, although we were in Saugatuck yesterday, Cottage country with lovely beaches on lake Michigan, a very beautiful place in the summer, but a bit of a ghost town in the winter. I met the town Director of the Library a wonderful person, and we stopped into a little place to have a bowl of soup and discovered that the place is owned by a pastry chef and purchased some lovely homemade olive tapas and artisan bread, heavenly ! if you are in the area stop in and check it out, it's called Caravanserai. The people as always are fabulous, warm and funny and interesting, but they have no clue about Canada!! It's a long story and one day I will elaborate more fully, But to give you a hint, I heard an NBC US Olympic Newscaster refer to Vancouver as the Great White North TUNDRA!! OMG. Seriously....tundra Vancouver??? and there is more to Canada other than Toronto.... and OTTAWA is the nations Capital. But please don't get me started.
But back to food, after my stomach settles......
If anyone can recommend a great place to eat in Michigan's West Coast please let me know.
I'd love to blog about a good eatery.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Ron's cousin Susan once went to me and said, "When do you find the time to do all that cooking?" Well Sue, the truth of the matter is I am just like any other person in our age group, I go through my phases of , "cooking up a storm", and then my dry spells, when it's easier just opening a can of soup and have a sandwich, or ordering in a pizza. Lately there has been more of the latter as I found myself in a bit of a funk with a sinus infection, that got cured, but today seems to be returning!
So, what you see above you is a meal that I prepared a while ago ( in November, that I had saved for just such an occasion as this, when I knew I wouldn't have the energy or inclination to cook and photograph all at the same time, after all I too am only human).
I'm not making any excuses, but frankly, some celebrations do not need to be blogged about all the time as I too want to enjoy the occasion and not always run around with a camera taking pictures, so when I do cook and am reasonably pleased with the outcome I do photograph and save these entries for a later blogging date date. This blog is an important part of me, but there is more to my life than blogging and I don't want it to become a chore but something I do that gives me pleasure. After all, you can pick up any food magazine and see better pictures and more detailed instructions than my abridged version, or for that matter more interesting meals to prepare. But, if you don't mind dropping by and looking, and hopefully getting some ideas from my blog than do continue to drop by and leave a comment on the blog.

I had mentioned some time ago that I had received a cookbook in the fall from BloggerAid Changing the Face of Famine , and find myself using this wonderful book as my go to book for some inspiration and seasonal cooking. This Braised Short Rib recipe is from their Fall section but could easily qualify as a winter comfort food.
These ribs made a beautiful succulent meal, perfect for a cool wintry evening. Season generously.

In a large skillet heat 3 T. oil over medium heat. Add the short ribs in batches and brown repeating until all ribs are done.Transfer to a plate.

In the same skillet add a little more oil and saute the celery, onion, carrots and garlic. About 5 minutes. Remove from skillet.

Add wine, port and vinegar to the skillet, stirring to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half about 10 minutes.

Add everything to a dutch oven and....

Add the beef stock.

The stock should cover the ribs, cover with a lid and simmer .
Bake until tender about 2 hours at 35o degrees. When done remove ribs and further reduce the sauce by 3 quarters , about another 23 minutes. You can garnish the ribs with some more salt, pepper and some gremolata. or serve with some nice mashed potatoes or mashed apples and parsnip.
about 7 lbs of beef short ribs
salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (separated)
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves
2 dried bay leaves
21/2 cups of hearty red wine
1 1/2 cups of port
2 T. balsamic vinegar
6 cups of beef stock.
from EARTH TO TABLE Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm by Jeff Crump and
Bettina Schurmann.