Cooking – Always Fun, Always Challenging

by on October 30, 2011

Getting Pampered

This last weekend I decided to test myself by NOT saying NO. I have a problem with that word. It’s cool but it presents challenges. I just naturally want to help everyone!

So, how did I manifest this inability? I scheduled getting my toes done with my sister-in-law and a dear friend, then had lunch with them.

After that I had a wonderful open house at my new listing in Willow Glen. It was very successful.

Lastly we had 4 wonderful friends over for dinner.

Now, normally just having people over for dinner on Friday night would have been challenge enough but to add it to all the other activities was ALMOST insane. EECK!

How did I pull it off and make it one of the best meals I’ve made all year? First, I found a relatively simple recipe. Then I cleaned the kitchen Friday morning and cleaned the bathrooms Friday night. Then I emailed my friends telling them to forgive the dust bunnies becuase I can’t do it all! (They said it was OK! Phew!)

Next, I did the shopping and arranged for one of my friends to bring a salad and for the other friend to bring the wine. Thank goodness, a few other things I did not have to worry about and then I confronted the recipe. It seemed pretty simple. I was just going to have to get it started in the morning before I took off to get the toes done. No problemo, right?!?

I started at about 8 AM browning the short ribs, then browning the onions and adding the rest of the ingredients, then it all went into to oven safe roasting pan for 1.5 hours at 300 degrees. I told Tom to keep an eye on it and add another hour when the timer went off. Only he thought thats all he had to do. I guess I failed to say, turn it off after the next hour is complete. (Silly me!!!)

When I got home after the Open House at 5:30 PM, the oven was still going. OMG! I think I almost had a heart attack. I finished adding the finishing touches to the stew and said a prayer.

Well, either my prayers were answered or it was just a happy accident, but it was one of the best meals I’ve ever made. The meat melted in our mouth. It was superb. By the way, the recipe was Brandied Cranberry Short-Rib Stew from the October 2011 issue of Sunset magazine. Incredible. Then we had a wonderful dessert pair with Decaffeinated French Roast coffee from Peet’s prepared in the french press. Lots of laughter around the kitchen table and the fire pit in the back yard after.

Wishing you lots of laughs around your own kitchen table, too!

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