December 20, 2012
It’s December 20th, and Crouton has done her fair share of stripping our Christmas trees of their
ornaments. I’m fairly positive this is not a Crouton-specific phenomenon, but rather something cats just
instinctively do. An old college friend of mine recently posted a photo on Facebook of his cat actually
sitting in the tree, a la Simon’s Cat, so it’s clear that Crouton could be much, much worse. However,
she does seem to go out of her way to make sure the tree is free of all things shiny. At this point, David
and I have just resorted to kicking the ornaments back under the tree next to the wrapped presents.
(The ornaments are plastic. We’re not stupid; we’ve made it nearly impossible for her to reach the glass
ornaments…although I can hear her in the back of my head now, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.”)
Fighting with the cat over Christmas tree ornaments means that’s it’s definitely the holiday season. As
such, it’s the time of the year for warm, comforting foods. This pork and apple ragu, a recipe inspired
by Top Chef contestant Stephanie Izard, fits into that category. The original recipe calls for papardelle,
which I do really love, but I found it easier to manage using shells or other smaller, shaped pasta.
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March 8, 2012
Crouton thinks she rules the house. So does David. This sometimes creates a problem.
So, they occasionally have stand-offs, like last Friday night.
They begin by staring at each other. Crouton is an excellent starer.
I actually can’t handle when she stares at me because it means there’s a good chance she’s about to attack my face.
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November 2, 2011
This easy-to-make dish is quickly becoming my go-to meal when company visiting, served with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli. It was the dinner that got us through Hurricane Irene, as well as what I made when my father came to visit my husband’s and my new house in mid-October.
What’s so great about it is that you dump everything into the slow cooker and then let it cook while you go about your business? What could be easier?
If you don’t have a slow cooker, they can also be made in the oven.
1 pound boneless pork ribs (often labeled country-style)
8 ounces tomato sauce
14 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or one teaspoon dried)
Salt and pepper to taste
In the oven
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork ribs and brown on all sides. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red wine, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Make sure the ribs are coated with sauce. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 3 to 3 ½ hours until the ribs are tender and easily fall apart. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh oregano.
Combine all ingredients except for oregano in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh oregano.