The last weekend of summer has finally arrived, finding us packed and ready for yet another road trip to San Francisco to drop our son off at school. The send-off is much more quiet this year since he’s beginning his second year and I guess that makes him experienced. No picnic time at the beach for those of us sporting muffin tops, and no barbeques at home planned for the event, but a few card games at home, movies, and some take out fit the bill. The road trip is a nice way to spend a bit of time together, with my husband and I hovering in the city a couple of days to make sure the man boy has everything he needs. While he’s settling in, we’ll be exploring neighborhoods we’ve never walked through, trying new restaurants, and getting much needed exercise. The one thing about San Francisco we can always count on is that there will be a lot of hills to climb.
For those of you looking forward to pre-season football and last gasp of summer get togethers — or perhaps being stuck in the house due to bad weather — this recipe is for you. Get out that slow cooker because that’s all you’ll need for these Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs. Shred the beef and pile it onto a bun. They’ll make you think you’re having a barbeque no matter what and they’re guaranteed to slide right down.
The good news is, they taste even better the next day, so make a double batch for leftovers.
I’ve been wanting to make apple butter since last fall and knew when I saw the Rome Beauties at the market the other day, now was the time. I don’t often see Romes here, but when I do, I think of all the lovely things I might cook, because they’re the perfect apple to cook with. Their somewhat mild flavor intensifies richly with cooking.
Why apple butter? Why not apple pie, or apple cobbler, baked apples, a pandowdy, buckle, or slump?
Outside of apple butter being another thing I can check off my “Made it Myself” list which threatens my sanity from time to time, it’s a flavorful fat-free substitute for butter on my morning toast. Once in the habit, you don’t miss the butter. I like to stir it into oatmeal or hot Grape Nuts instead of milk and sugar, and it swirls nicely into a cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of granola.
When I started looking for a recipe, I was surprised to find most were loaded with sugar — sometimes as much as four cups. I found one that contains far less and you can make it in the slow cooker like I did, or on the stove in far less time.
Make it on a chilly day when you want the whole house to smell sweet and spicy. You’ll have the people you love wanting to know what you’re cooking.
The weather here surprised us all by hitting 90 degrees yesterday, and today, it’s nearly 100. San Diego is really a desert, so of course it gets that hot here, but rarely at this time of year, and even more rarely near the coast. The sweltering dry heat that we’re more familiar with comes late summer in August, or even September, and as much as individuals from the East Coast enjoy reminding us we don’t have to deal with humidity, heat is heat, and I’m not cut out for it.
Plans of baking and slow braising pork went out the window until I realized I could blow the dust off my crock pot. Literally. It’s been in the garage since our construction when I removed anything from my kitchen that doesn’t get regular use. Of course the crock pot could be perfect; no heat in the kitchen to make things worse, and a relatively fuss-free dinner after the sun dipped below the horizon.
Plan B allowed me to be able to sit on my patio alternating between the sun and the shade (because it will take a bit of effort to get some color into my winter legs and a trip to Puerta Vallarta with girlfriends is in the works…), reading my book, and enjoying the breeze we are lucky enough to have on this hill. By tomorrow, it’s supposed to be 30 degrees cooler if you can believe that.
I don’t. They never quite seem to get the weather reports right here!