Thursday, December 30, 2010

Steven and Chris...and a Toddler = A Slight Adaptation of a Delicious Recipe!

Okay, most of you know that I am a farmer's wife. More precisely, a beef farmer's wife. This is quite funny, considering the fact that I was a city girl, and a strict vegetarian for much of my adult life.

I'm always on the look out for beef recipes, because...Well, we've got a lot of beef!

I happened to "half catch" some of Steven and Chris when the toddler distracted me. You know how much I luuuuuuuv Steven and Chris, right? Anyway, the original recipe for Jen Low's Braised Beef Short Ribs and Sour Cream Biscuits called for short ribs. Duh! The name of the recipe is pretty self-explanatory, but I pulled out a rump roast instead of ribs. Too late to figure out something else to do with the hunk of meat, I decided to attempt a slight variation to the recipe...substituting short ribs for a roast. Hmmm.

The reason the recipe caught my attention (or "half attention" since the toddler was threatening to tear apart the house) was because there was mention of olives and raisins added to the recipe! Yes! Olives and raisins with beef, red wine, garlic, and onions! What an unusual combination of sweet, salty, and savory! Intrigued, I had to try this recipe out.

Another thing that piqued my curiosity was that Jen Low said she had a "Five Minute Bread" recipe! Any meal that has "minutes" instead of "hours" is perfect for me!

Copied directly from the Steven and Chris website, here is the recipe for
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Makes 4 servings Olive & Raisin Beef Short Ribs.


3 cups beef broth
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup red wine (optional)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk and its leaves fresh parsley -- this is not just a sprig, but the whole stalk (or 2 tsp dried)
1/3 cup sliced green olives
1/3 cup raisins
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
a few grindings fresh black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
8 beef short ribs (1.5 kg), trimmed of excess fat
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Coarsely chopped parsley to garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Into large (lidded) oven-proof pot, mix beef broth, tomato sauce and red wine (if using). In cup, mix water and flour until smooth, whisk into broth mixture. Add onion, parsley, green olives, raisins, garlic and black pepper to pot. Set aside.
  • Mix chili powder and cumin. Sprinkle on all sides of beef short ribs. Heat vegetable oil to medium in large non-stick skillet, brown ribs in batches. Put browned ribs into pot of broth mixture.
  • Cover and bake on middle rack of oven 1 hour or, if you have time, you can cook them for 1 1/2 hours for even more tenderness.
  • Uncover and skim off any excess fat. Discard parsley stalk. Stir to blend sauce. Plate ribs, spoon sauce over top. Garnish with chopped parsley. 
Now for the Quick Sour Cream Dinner Buns:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
2 tbsp mayonnaise (regular)
2 tbsp sour cream (regular or low-fat)

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In medium bowl, mix all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Add the milk, mayonnaise and sour cream to the bowl. Stir until soft dough forms. Use a spoon to drop into 5 or 6 mounds onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake on rack above your pot of short ribs, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden (if you are baking these buns on their own, you could also bake them on the middle rack).
  • Makes 5 or 6 Quick Sour Cream Dinner Buns. 
Serve with salad of your choice. I added some dill into the dinner buns for a little bit of yummy freshness.
Even though I didn't use the right cut of beef (and I totally forgot to make a slurry!), the recipe was AMAZING! I will certainly be making this dish again (and again, and again)! Even the toddler loved it! She kept asking for more beef and olives!

By the way, the photo of the braised short ribs and the dinner buns look much more appetizing on the Steven and Chris website than they do here. The toddler hid my camera, so all I had as my cell phone cam.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Awesome Gift Ideas

I have to admit that I have a very strange love of fabrics, materials, textiles, patterns, and colours. Okay, I just love all things pretty! I can't seem to get enough of beautiful fabric. I'm like this with paper products (like stationery and origami paper) too. I know. Weird.

Anyway, there's  nothing I love more than beautiful fabric. Well...except for my daughter, of course!

I discovered Kiokko Baby Boutique many months ago and have lusted over some of the beautiful items on the website. I thought it would only be fair for me to share the love.

I'm not saying this because I recently won this from Kiokko Baby Boutique:
You'll find the most adorable gift items for new moms, baby showers, birthday presents, or any other special occasion. They carry items like bibs, nursing covers, burp cloths, blankets, pacifier clips, eco-washcloths, and so on.

 Don't you just love the patterns and designs? I know I do!

Hop on over to Kiokko Baby Boutique and check out their gorgeous baby items! While  you're at it, you  might want to check out their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter!

Looking For Last Minute Presents?

My sweet husband picked up on my hints for what I wanted for my birthday a few days ago. Okay, so my hints were pretty audible. Okay, they were loud.

I wanted something like this in turquoise:
and Hubby picked up on my cues and got it for me! It's beautiful stunning! There's a funny story that goes with my original Mo'Lovely necklace. I had been lusting over one of the lariat style necklaces for months. I kept mentioning it to Hubby, but never got a response from him. What did I do? Well, I went and bought myself one! I was sad because Sophie (the very talented jewelry maker/artist) said she'd have one especially made for me in turquoise, but when I went to see her, she didn't have any! I ended up purchasing an equally beautiful one for myself in different shades of brown. I was still a little sad that I didn't get my turquoise one though.

I asked Sophie if there would be any available soon and she just said, "Maybe if you're nice, Santa will get it for you." Hmmm...Cryptic.

Needless to say, at my surprise birthday party (thanks to my wonderful husband and fantastic friends!), my husband presented me with the necklace I had wanted! It is gorgeous!

Mo'Lovely has a wide arrangement of stunning pieces. Check out the Mo'Lovely Facebook page for a full view of designs and styles.

Check out the FB page and you'll find gifts for all occasions! Christmas, birthdays, showers, graduations, friendship, or "just-because".

If you're a last minute shopper, you can find some pretty cool gifts at Sophie's! I just have to insert here that by purchasing Mo'Lovely pieces, you are supporting a local Manitoulin Island business. Just sayin' :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winner! Gagnante!

The winner of our Stellar Dendrites giveaway was chosen via .
Congratulations to Abi Max. You are the proud new owner of a stellar dendrite photo set (three framed and matted).

Please contact us with your mailing information so the artist (Christine Williston) can send your prize to you! Wow! Just in time for Christmas!

Thanks to everyone for entering the contest! More to come soon! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gravol and The Children's Wish Foundation: Helping Parents and Children

 As a blogger and a parent, it is my hope that I can  bring others up to date with many latest finds in products, services, and everything related to baby, toddler, kid, and family. 

Recently, I was introduced to an initiative by Gravol and the Children's Wish Foundation. This is the second year that Gravol has partnered with The Children's Wish Foundation. Both Gravol and the Children's Wish Foundation strive to provide parents with a trusted online space where they can access tips and answers to many of our parenting questions. 

As a first time Mom, I know I've always got LOTS of questions and a trusted platform where I can access tips and suggestions is something I appreciate and welcome. With the amount of information parents can find online, it can be difficult to know where to turn and who to trust. Let's face it, not everything we find online is reliable...and when it comes to our little ones, we want information that we can trust.

You can access the website, where you can find a video and links to helpful tips and resources . Click here to read more: