Since I have yet to master the whole cooking for one or two people thing (as opposed to cooking for an entire freaking army thing), I often find myself with leftovers. Like anyone with at least a few brain cells and semblance of a soul, I loathe wasting food, but I also admit that eating the same exact thing two or three days in a row is monotonous. So, I’m always looking for ways to turn my leftovers into something new! different! fancy!
So, did everyone else at least have a lovely St. Paddy’s Day? I hope so, because I most certainly did not. Mine was just one of “those days” where it snowed all through my morning commute, the design program I use at work crashed on me 12 times in the span of an hour (I mean literally 12, no exaggeration), the yoga class I wanted to take was cancelled because the instructor was sick (probably drinking green beer instead), and my fridge and freezer stopped working. Thankfully, I had some new episodes of Sherlock to comfort me – seriously, if you need to cure a bad day, just watch the scenes where Sherlock and Watson get drunk during a stag night. Aside from these short ribs, it’s my favorite thing this week.
I love short ribs. Love, love, love. I think it was the Pioneer Woman who described them as little pot roasts, and she’s right. I usually make short ribs by braising them in some combination of beef broth, red wine, vegetables and herbs, but I found this recipe, which calls for using Guinness, so I got myself in the St. Paddy’s Day spirit and made a batch for myself and my friend Jess.
I am terrible at waking up in the morning. I always have been.
This is not to say that I’m a grunting, wild-haired, coffee-mug-chucking neanderthal before noon. On the contrary, I’m generally quiet and mild-mannered, although admittedly more high-functioning once I’ve had a mug of half-caff. I don’t hate mornings. I actually kind of like them, especially when I get up to walk Sam and the streets are still relatively quiet and uninhabited. What I hate is untangling myself from my pillows and comforters, shedding my cozy pajamas and putting on something work-appropriate and infinitely less comfortable than fuzzy socks and flannel pants. (Yes. I sleep in socks. I know that pretty much everyone thinks it’s weird to sleep in socks. You know what’s weirder than sleeping in socks? Voluntarily sleeping with cold feet. Game, set, match. I win.) And then I have to go to work, instead of playing with Sam, or reading on a beach, or running around outside on one of the final 80-degree days of the year.
I originally wrote this post for the former Tuppershare site shortly after Christmas, but since I happen to be reposting it on the greatest day of the year – the return of HBO’s Game of Thrones – I thought it would only be fitting to freshen it up a bit.
For Christmas, Colin got me cookbook A Feast of Ice and Fire – the brainchild of two ladies who decided to combine their Game of Thrones fandom and enthusiasm for cooking and provide the rest of us nerds with a stellar collection of recipes from Martin’s neverending saga.
Within approximately 10 minutes of meeting me, you’d probably find out that I am a huge, huge fan of both the books and the TV series. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time devising and mulling over different theories (RLJ, people, RLJ!), and argued about why Sansa Stark is an amazing character (and that the TV show’s writers need to stop doing her a disservice by writing her as a spoiled, selfish brat) until I’m blue in the face. I will ramble on ad nauseum about how the vast majority of characters have some combination of good and evil, and detailing the similarities between Cersei and Arya, and speculating about who really put the “amethyst” in … oh, wait, let’s keep this spoiler-free, for the kiddies. In short, I’m obsessed to the point of probably being a tremendous pain in the ass, and I’m totally fine with that. There are only about eight hours to go until the season three premiere, and I’m practically bouncing in my chair with excitement already.
I love, love, love corny jokes. You know, the ones that most people groan upon hearing? I’m usually snorting with laughter. Legitimately.
My favorites are puns. Don’t even get me started. I laugh harder than is probably acceptable at stuff like this. And this. And oh dear…this.
Most people get ticked off when conversations on Reddit devolve into pun threads, but whenever that happens, I do a little fist-pump and I’m in my glory. The nerdier the topic, the better.
So several months ago, when I found a cooking blog titled “Crepes of Wrath,” I knew that, to make a Steinbeck pun, its author must be good people, and that I simply had to try at least one of her recipes.
I decided on this baby, as I was looking for a recipe using cube steak that wasn’t chicken fried steak. Don’t get me wrong, chicken fried steak is the ultimate in feel-good comfort food, but it is also the ultimate in get-huge-and-have-a-heart-attack food. You really can’t have it more than five times a year if you want to live past 40… and I’m pretty sure that I do.
I had to wear a hoodie AND a coat when I took Sam for a walk.
It’s dark at, like, seven.
These kinds of things do not make for a happy Lauren. However, in my defense, I coped with yesterday’s sudden drop in temperature very well. I didn’t sulk (much), busted out some of my favorite cold-weather music (check out Craig Cardiff; the live version of “County Road Christmastime” on Bombshelter Living Room is one of my all-time favorite songs), and cooked up what is a contender for the king of lazy Sunday comfort foods: pot roast.
Colin always half-jokes about how I’m going to clog his arteries and give him diabetes and make his heart explode because of my cooking. Never mind that I use olive oil and make vegetables with every meal, because he is convinced I am going to be the death of him.
Then he asks me to make chicken fried steak and I tell him that if his heart explodes it’s partially his fault because he ALWAYS asks me to make this — seriously, every time we have cube steak in the freezer — and he says that because it’s only a sometimes food it’s still all my fault.
I guess if I plan on ever having kids, I should get used to everything being my fault.
He’s right, though. Chicken fried steak really, REALLY should only be a sometimes food. Like, maybe a couple of times a year food. Because it’s double (or triple) battered and breaded, fried in oil that does not come from olives, then slathered in a creamy white gravy made of grease, flour, whole milk and salt. And usually served with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. And vegetables. Because I care about my boyfriend’s arteries, and my own.
And puppy kisses. Although I think that probably falls under the “love” category.
Colin and I adopted this adorable, floppy bundle of fuzz, love and needle-sharp teeth a couple of weeks ago, and needless to say, I am completely smitten. Nothing beats coming home to a wiggly little furball so excited to see you they can’t stop jumping up to shower your face with kisses. NOTHING.
His name is Samwise Gump, by the way. Named for the two best people ever created. He wants to be friends with just about everyone. Even you! Aren’t you excited? I bet Sam just made your day.
Besides puppy kisses, you know what else can’t be beat? Steak.