Amelia doesn't eat much meat. Not chicken, beef or pork. Not even chicken nuggets. She will occasionally eat some hamburger if you sneak it in pasta or wrap it in cheese, but often she will just nibble around it and spit it out.
It's difficult cooking fabulous meals for one; I've gotten out of the habit of cooking anything that takes more than 10 minutes to throw together for Pasta Girl. Lately I've been craving meat. I have always loved vegetarian meals, but it's not cutting it for me anymore. The past few days I've been on a small cooking binge and let me tell you, it's YUMMY!
Everything in this house just feels homier with the smells that have been wafting through here. It seems less lonely, somehow. Tonight I imagined Rafe was going to be coming through the door soon, and what he would think when he smelled the ribs slow roasting in the oven. I made on of my favorite dishes, my mom's ribs & sauerkraut, but a little differently. I rubbed the ribs with fresh chopped garlic, caraway and fresh ground black pepper, then slow roasted them in the oven for about 2 hours. In the meantime, I mixed onions, cabbage, sauerkraut, more caraway, brown sugar and beer in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven (love those things!! I got mine on a closeout sale - never buy full price!) and threw it in the oven to slow cook also.
Amelia actually helped me with throwing things into the pot and she had a blast. I took pics, to be posted later.
Now that the ribs are nice and crusty, I put them into the Dutch Oven and threw it back into the oven to cook for another hour or two. I'm loosely following a recipe I found over the weekend. I'm a big fan of caraway. The house smells incredible - buttery, meaty, like it's cold outside and there's a fire going. Never mind that people are still wearing shorts and tank tops here and it's humid and hot outside. I've got my AC going full blast.
I also roasted some chicken and made Arroz con Gandules for a side dish (just followed the recipe on the side of the can; however if I make it again I'm going to add more chicken stock and salt). It was easy and fabulous. What is really funny is that was for a potluck dinner I went to last night - where the host had also made the same rice dish!! And neither one of us had ever seen anyone else ever make it!! Great minds think alike.
I was able to buy the ribs on sale for a little over a $1 a pound at the commissary; so I cut them in half and slow roasted the other half with bbq spices. I accidentally left them in the oven for 6 hours - but the oven was at 200 degrees so it worked out perfectly. Literally falling off the bone and so tender they melt in my mouth. I think that will be the way I do it from now on. I've served Rafe some terrible ribs in the past. I know now that I just didn't cook them long enough or that I cooked them at too high of a heat. I just poured bbq sauce over them when they were done and chowed down. I did not miss that PB&J that Mia was having AT ALL!
Tomorrow I'm going to make ham and bean soup with some ham scraps I had in the freezer and can of beans that have been calling my name. Serve them with some crustry French Bread... maybe Amelia won't notice that there's ham in there if I chop it up finely enough.