I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a crazy generalization here: most men like beer. Obviously as a pint but if you can incorporate beer into any other part of their daily nutritious intake, I doubt they would mind.I’ve been quite successful over the years, braising my new best friend–short ribs–in wine and spices but not so much with beer. It was time for another shot. Using Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout which brought tears to my friends’ eyes–apparently it’s pretty hard to come by and NOT meant for cooking with. Though I learned early on you don’t cook with cheap wine, so why wouldn’t the same apply to beer? Rare ale and all, this recipe might have achieved perfection.
I always knew getting married would mean compromises, especially when it came to family.Ever since I was a little kid, missing Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter was a big no-no. Birthdays could be shifted around a bit, and long periods of non visiting were acceptable (particularly when I lived in Philly) but nothing was more important than celebrating with family on these three days. When I got married to, not my high school sweetheart, but still a friend from my hometown, I thought how great life was. Both sets of parents lived within 10 minutes of each other. There was no need to travel halfway across the country, decide whose parents were “more important” to visit for each holiday, then switch it up the next year. It was all well and good in theory, but not so much in practice. Instead of splitting and alternating like many couples, we double celebrate each holiday. That means two Christmases, two Easters and yes, two very filling Thanksgivings. Two food centric events on the same day.
When I think of Valentine’s Day, like most people thoughts of hearts and chocolate flood my brain. While I like to think of myself as a romantic, I tend to lean more towards reality. And sometimes my sweet gestures might come with a bit of my sarcasm. Like Valentine’s Dinner. When we ordered our quarter cow from Lewis Waite Farm, we were fortunate enough to choose our own cuts. We went with a lot of steaks, an average amount of ground beef, and some smaller roasts for 2 or 4. My husband INSISTED on throwing in some organ cuts–liver, kidney, oxtail and heart. He said HE would cook it. Yeah right. I love my husband dearly, but his advanced culinary skills include dishes like (boxed) mac & cheese, tacos and meatloaf that he’s made several dozen times but still relies on the recipe. I’ve tried to introduce him to easy cooking tools, like the slow cooker, with little success. Needless to say, those organs have been buried in the bottom of our chest freezer for close to a year. So I decided on this day of hearts and chocolate, it was best appropriate to serve him a little heart for dinner.
Originally I planned to post Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus, well on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Then I realized, for those of you frantically searching for what to serve your family and friends on those days, the day of is too late. Well, I actually think even now is a bit too late–I like to plan my menu out at least a couple of weeks in advance and try to start prepping what I can around now, if possible. But that’s me. As much as I love hosting guests, it stresses the hell out of me. Early planning is essential to prevent a nervous breakdown.
First don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not asking to make Thanksgiving. I am very fortune that my husband’s and my families live close to each other, so we celebrate not just one but TWO Thanksgivings each year. One at 2pm and one around 6pm. Yes, it is a little insane. But over time, we adapt. Small portions, pass on the first dessert, lots of water and easy on the booze early on–all great tips on how to eat two times the calories you’d probably consume in a week 🙂 I also cheat a bit. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually not a huge fan of turkey. Both families have perfected a moist, tender turkey, but still it just doesn’t really appeal. So it’s easy to skip a big part of that.