Baby, It’s Cold Outside

by Cate on December 9, 2006

Last night, the wind was whipping around so much, you could hear things thrashing around outside and see the curtains moving inside. Baby, it is cold outside, and it seems that Winter has finally hit New Jersey. I’d say it’s about time, though I’m not sure I’m quite ready for it. Either way, the air conditioners are definitely coming out of the windows this weekend. Brrrr.

With such a chill in the air, when I saw a crock pot recipe for tummy-warming, stick-to-your-ribs Ribs over on the Cooking Light Bulletin Board last night, I knew just what I was making for dinner tonight. The recipe is actually originally from Mark Bittman, he of The Minimalist Cooks Dinner and How to Cook Everything fame. I have made very few of his recipes, but if they’re anything like this one, I will definitely be revisiting his cookbooks very soon.

Throw a bunch of things in the crockpot, cover and let it do its thing for 5-7 hours. Seriously, can it get easier than that? Nope, I don’t think so. I cooked up a batch of rice and put the finished ribs, sauce and fresh cilantro and scallions over the top. The sauce was deliciously flavored, and the meat was just falling off the bone in an “OMG this is amazingly good” way. Needless to say, this one is definitely going to be repeated; in fact, on Sunday night, so I can drop off a batch at my parents’ house on Monday. So, so good. Do try it if you get a chance. Go dust off your crockpot, buy the ingredients and take the chill off your bones with this recipe. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. And with the copious amounts of herbs and spices in this recipe, it’s going right to Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted by What’s Cooking in Carolina?

And as you can see from the other photo, a minor kitchen mishap. Dang Pampered Chef knives are too sharp for their own good. I actually cut the same left thumb a few weeks ago, and it was finally starting to heal until I nicked it again chopping up the cilantro tonight. Sigh. I’m such a klutz in the kitchen, usually sporting a burn or two from the oven and various nicks on my hands. Get the sharp knives away from me, please. You’d think the ten stitches in my left hand from an unfortunate avocado incident a few years ago would be enough, right? No matter how careful I am, it’s always a challenge.

A year ago today… all sorts of good stuff.

P.S. Don’t forget to place your order for the 2007 Eli/Sweetnicks Desktop Calendars! Just $5, includes shipping, for the perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite animal lover. A portion of the proceeds benefits animal rescue. You can see here for a sample of one of the pages. Drop me a line at to place your order.P.P.S. If you’d like to be placed on my e-mail list to keep up with what cookbooks I’m selling, just drop me a line at

Short Ribs with Chinese Flavor
Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman

8 short ribs, about 3 pounds (I used regular ribs)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar or honey
3 star anise (I used a teaspoon of five spice instead)
6 scallions, trimmed
1 3-inch piece cinnamon (I used a teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
5 nickel-size slices of ginger
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (I skipped)
Cooked white rice for serving
Chopped scallions or fresh cilantro leaves for garnish.

Combine all ingredients, except salt, rice and garnish, in slow cooker. Cover and cook until meat is very tender and falling from bone, 5 hours or more on high, 7 hours or more on low. Taste and add salt if necessary.

If you like, remove meat, strain liquid and refrigerate meat and liquid separately;
skim fat from liquid, and reheat with meat. Serve hot over white rice garnished
with scallions or cilantro.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan December 11, 2006 at 1:21 am

I don’t know how many times my recipes have had “extra iron” from my cuts. Luckily, I cook just for myself, so I ignore the little spots that can fall in. But hey – proves the knives are in good shape!


Kalyn December 12, 2006 at 12:59 am

I see I’m not the only one who’s breaking out the crockpot. Sounds delicious.


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