Settling Back Into Reality...

After an amazing week in New Orleans, I headed home early Saturday morning and had a day to myself before Tyler came home Sunday morning from Michigan. We were completely out of food and household supplies so I decided to make a pit stop on my way home from the airport to hit up Target and Costco. I was rather proud of my ability to grocery shop with my luggage :)
I spent the afternoon catching up on some much needed sleep, unpacking, and digging out of my email! I also took on a fun craft project for Tyler's birthday. I had already got him a few presents for his birthday, but thought it would be nice to give him something to remember our wedding and our epic reception :) I bought a black frame with a white mat and wrote the lyrics to our first dance song, The Way You Look Tonight, on the mat. I then printed a picture of the song list that our photographer took and added it to the frame. I loved the way it came out...So easy and very sweet :)
Sunday morning, I woke up early to hit up my favorite gym class before Tyler came home. I knew he would be starving when he came home, so I decided to make a healthy version of tacos for lunch. Rather than using taco shells, I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs to purchase an endive and used the pieces as taco shells. They were so delicious and very easy to make...Not to mention much healthier than using tortillas or taco shells!
 
To make these, simply buy an endive, chop up all your fixings for tacos (I diced tomatoes, onions, red pepper, and avocado), make your taco meat, and place your meat at the base of the endive, and then top with your fixings. Definitely make these Endive Taco Boats...They are soooo good!
We then spent the afternoon getting caught up on work, which is never any fun. I took a study break to have tea at Bosie Tea Parlour with my better halves girlfriends, Kate, Maggie, and Carrie. It was such a fun girls date and so nice to get caught up! While I was busy "gabbing," Tyler started making our dinner....I got all of the ingredients ready to make braised short ribs, and left my dear husband to put it all together. The good news it came out delicious and was the perfect meal for a Sunday night. I made a salad and garlic mashed potatoes that complimented the short ribs. Here's how to make the dish:

Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds bone in short ribs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Generously season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear short ribs on all sides until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer short ribs to a plate.
  2. Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined, 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic. Stir in wine and add short ribs back to the pot.  Bring to a simmer; lower heat to medium and cook covered, until wine is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Stir in stock. Bring to a simmer again, cover, and transfer to a preheated oven.
  5. Cook until short ribs are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce and spoon fat from surface of sauce to discard.  Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
 Cafe Reconcile Garlic Mashed Potatoes
*This recipe came from this amazing restaurant and nonprofit called Cafe Reconcile in New Orleans. I went there this week to meet with the Executive Director of the organization to learn more about their program. The mission of the nonprofit is to help severely at-risk kids by providing them with job training and life skills. The kids that go through the program learn the vital skills necessary to get a job in the restaurant business. It is one of the coolest nonprofits that has a sustainable model that doesn't rely 100% on donations :)

Ingredients
  • 3 Idaho potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 roasted garlic glove mashed up or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Directions
  1. In a medium sauce pan, boil water. Peel and slice the potatoes into thick pieces. Place the potato into the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. When the potatoes are tender (stick them with a fork to test), drain the water. Place the potatoes back in the saucepan and mix the remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

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