Friday, October 7, 2011

A, B, C's of Love...

This weekend is our one year anniversary. I can't help but think of the Kids in The Hall skit where Buddy Cole says, "We were together 6 months. Which in heterosexual terms is 3 reincarnations with the same mate."
I chuckle to myself every time I think of that. But I also love the fact that Mike and I have been together for a year now. This past year has been full of ups, downs, tears, laughter, anger, happiness, joy, sadness and every other thing you can imagine. Yet Mike and I have been there for each other through it all. And that to me is what it is all about.

Today we slept in, which was AMAZING! Rarely are we in bed past 6:30 or 7, and today it was almost 9 before we rolled out of bed. The boys were quietly waiting for me when I came downstairs and were excited to come out and get the day started. We lounged a bit this morning and decided to run some errands in preparation for tomorrow and get things for dinner.

I decided that for dinner I wanted to make one of my dinners that Mike likes the most, Braised Beef Brisket with Onions, Mushrooms, and Balsamic with a potato and celery root puree and stewed collard greens. The collard greens were a part of our CSA delivery this week and I was SUPER excited since I've never had collards before!

The makings of an AMAZING dinner!
I was super stoked to make this dinner because I know that it doesn't take a ton of prep, but the brisket is amazing that night and every day after! I love making hot brisket sandwiches for lunch and mixing brisket with anything I can think of! :)

The makings of the bed of veggies!

The secret flavor weapons, homemade chicken stock and balsamic vinegar!

Who wants beef added to them? This bed of veggies, balsamic and chicken stock...That's who!
Time to add the beef! :)

All nestled into the goodness with bay leaves and a thyme bundle!

After two hours in the oven, only 30 more minutes!

Bacon, onions and butter make a great start to some stewed collards!

Mike took the boys for a walk tonight while I prepared dinner and ran to the store to pick up another onion as well. I love that he's so willing to help in any way that he can, even if it's taking the boys out for a walk while I get the bulk of the work done. The closer it got to dinner being done, the more excited I got! The smells of balsamic and bacon wafted throughout the condo, and Mike kept walking around sniffing the air and telling me how amazing it smelled in here.

I love making my mashed potatoes with a bit of a kick to them. And that kick for me is Celery Root! Celery root can be looks scary in the store, but you treat it like a potato. Cut off the outer, nasty skin and you have a nice inside that smells like celery and it adds such a nice flavor to the potatoes! I boil them all together then run them through my food mill and add some butter and heavy cream and a bit of chicken stock to make them a silky smooth bed for the brisket, or whatever I want to put on top of them.

After four hours of prep and cooking, it was time to eat...

I'm always happy to eat, but I'm excited to eat when things smell so good and look even better on the plate! The collards were amazing! And the brisket soaked in all the flavor of the balsamic and matched beautifully with the potato and celery root puree! I couldn't have been any happier with my meal. Mike and I high-fived each other several time during the meal (mainly because I wanted to and I was super stoked with how well the meal turned out!).

I have to say that today started out a dreary day outside, but cleared out to be a gorgeous day!

As I look back on the last year of my life I realize that love has many parts to it. But today I look forward to the Anniversary of the day we met and started dating. I celebrate my love by cooking a wonderful meal for my husband and anything Braised is always a delight! And even though the day can sometimes start out nasty and dreary it always Clears up, you just have to be patient and have faith in yourself and your love.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow as Mike and I celebrate the past year and our love together in the way we know how. It won't be conventional, I'm sure, but it will be fitting of us. And that, if nothing else, is what matters most. Throughout this past year we've moved faster than people around us have thought was right. But we moved at the pace that was right for us. We've had no regrets, only lessons learned and knowledge gained and love made stronger.

To many more Anniversaries...Braised foods...and days that Clear up! 

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