Monday, December 14, 2009

Cameron's Birthday Feast- Part 1

I love my husband. Words can't even begin to describe how grateful I am for him. So this year for his birthday I decided to cook him a whole birthday feast as an expression of my love for him! And let me tell you, he did not complain.

Since his birthday was on Thursday, the same day as the Christmas party, we celebrated his birthday on Friday. We celebrated with a quiet, family dinner at home and then later in the evening had friends over for dessert and wine.

Herein lies the chronicles (in 2 parts) of my full day in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant .


Braised beef short rib served on bed of creamy polenta
Roasted vegetables
Mixed Berry Cobbler
Chocolate Birthday Cake

Here's my excited face as I'm about to start cooking. Please note the cute Christmas apron I'm wearing, courtesy of Stephanie's mom.
Malone wanted a beginning picture too. Except she insisted on it being by the Christmas tree.

It all began with the recipe that I got from Pioneer Woman Cooks, one of my favorite food blogs. And indeed it was heaven on a plate.

I started by browning some Pancetta (Italian bacon) in my new LeCreuset dutch oven. After it was nice and crispy, I took it out and left the fat it rendered in the pot.

Here's the beauties themselves

I salt & peppered them then drenched them in some flour.
Then I browned them real good on all sides.
Don't they look pretty!
Then I chopped up a bunch of onions, carrots and a little bit of celery, the last of which was not called for in the recipe but I thought it would taste good and I had some.
Meanwhile, this is what Malone was doing. Isn't she sweet? And yes, I am the worst photographer in the world.
I added a little more Olive oil to the pot and cooked the veggies for a couple of minutes.
Oh and I added a couple of cloves of garlic. It wasn't in the recipe either, but everything is better with some garlic, right?
Once the veggies was cooked, I threw in some nice red wine. Please note the special 10th AS (Cameron's squadron) C-17 edition of this wine. Nice, eh? Oh yes, and there was scraping of the nice little brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Ooooh, double nice.
Then the beef broth, rosemary and thyme was added to the other kids in the pool
Once it cooked together for a couple of minutes, it was time for the stars of the show to join everyone else in the pot. Beautiful!
Into the oven it went for 2 hours at 350 degrees and then another 45 minutes at 325. Please excuse the dirty oven. Its leftover from Thanksgiving and possibly last Christmas....just kidding...maybe.
Then it was cleanup time. Yikes.
Ahhh...and that's where I leave you for now. I know, the suspense is just killing you. Come back tomorrow for the end result, dessert and friends.

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