Braised Short Ribs with Cilantro Slaw

My first introduction to Matty Matheson was this MUNCHIES video for Braised Short Ribs.

It was basically love at first sight.

First of all, I wish I loved anything as much as Matty Matheson loves food. I mean just look at the joy on his face! Second of all, he’s literally the most colorful man I’ve ever seen. He’s like a big, loveable, cuddly coloring book.

As a lover of Cholula hot sauce and basically any meat that’s cooked low and slow, I bookmarked this recipe and continued my deep dive into the rest of Matheson’s videos.

It wasn’t until the first frost hit Chicago a few weekends ago that I decided it was time to finally bust out this recipe. Full of amazing flavor and stick-to-your-ribs deliciousness, this Braised Short Ribs recipe is just as good as it looks. Serve it with the homemade slaw and some salt and vinegar chips for a hearty, rich meal that is certain to warm you, body and soul.

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Braised Short Ribs with Cilantro Slaw

*Based on Braised Short Rib Sandwich Recipe, courtesy of MUNCHIES

Ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 poblano, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 rib celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 bay leaves, dried
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 (6-inch) long short ribs (about 3 pounds)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (5-ounce) bottle Cholula® Original Hot Sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I used an IPA)
  • 4 cups beef stock

For Slaw

  • 1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325°F. Place garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño, poblano, carrot, onion, and celery in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

Tie the cilantro and parsley sprigs together with string. Set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper and cook, turning as needed, until brown all over, about 10 minutes. Set aside on a plate.

Add chopped vegetables to the saucepan and cook until soft and the liquid has evaporated, about 20 to 25 minutes (it’s gonna start smelling amazing in your kitchen). Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes more.

Add the Cholula® Original Hot Sauce (yup, the WHOLE thing) and cook 2 minutes longer.

Add the beer and beef stock and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Again, I used IPA, but a stout or porter would also be really good here.

Return the short ribs to the saucepan. Top with herb bundle and dried bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover, then place in the oven. Cook until the ribs are soft, about 3 hours.

For slaw, toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl about an hour before you’re ready to serve. Cover and refrigerate until ready to plate.

Remove the ribs from the oven and set aside (remove and discard the bones). Strain the liquid, discarding the solids. Place the liquid back into the pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until thick and reduced by half, about 15 minutes.

Roughly chop the rib meat and toss in the reduced sauce. Stuff into toasted buns and top each with the slaw. Serve immediately.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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I Let You Go Book Review

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world turned upside down.

In the wake of a horrible accident, the only hope Jenna has of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows and start anew. She drives to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but her memories and fears continue to haunt her. The flashbacks of that night remain ever present, no matter how far she takes herself off the grid.

Ever so slowly, Jenna begins a new life in this quaint coastal town; however, her memories are far from the only thing chasing her…

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I Let You Go is a delicious thriller with more than one epic twist. One part murder mystery and one part romantic flirtation, this book will grab you from the first chapter and won’t let you go until the final words are uttered.

Told from the perspective of Jenna herself, as well as the lead detective on the murder case, I Let You Go brings to life a bittersweet story that will certainly tug at your heartstrings. It offers characters that are surprisingly flawed, real, and dare I say – relatable. It’s unlike most other thrillers in that way, which made me appreciate I Let You Go all the more.

A quick read that will keep readers engaged from start to end, I Let You Go is a moving story of a woman who tried to run away from what she knew only to end up finding what she needed.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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17 Fun Facts about Raul Esparza

If I could sit down and share a Cuban meal with Raul Esparza, I would die a happy person.

Raul Esparza Hannibal GIF

Now best known for this role as ADA Rafael Barba on Law and Order: SVU, Esparza is a titan of the stage, starring in big-name Broadway musicals and racking up awards and nominations left and right.

Born to Cuban parents and raised in Miami, Florida, Esparza appeared in several on and off-Broadway productions before landing his big role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He then went on to star in many more Tony-Award winning productions, including Tick…Tick, Boom! and Stephen Sondheim’s Company.

In addition to various theater performances, Esparza has also appeared in a handful of TV shows and has even done narration of audiobooks. THIS MAN DOES EVERYTHING.

Next week Esparza will be celebrating his 48th birthday, so in honor of this amazing talent, here are 17 fun facts about Raul Esparza!

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17 Fun Facts about Raul Esparza

Esparza’s father was an engineer and his mother found work wherever she could, including jobs as an interior designer, banker and travel agent.

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While he was in school, Esparza wanted to be a lawyer. Visions of things to come!

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Esparza has been nominated in all Tony categories for which an actor is eligible, though he’s yet to win one.

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Esparza was born to Cuban parents, but he was born in Delaware. His family then moved to Miami, Florida where Esparza spent most of his childhood.

He has two Bachelor’s degrees from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts: one in Fine Arts, the other in English.

Esparza had a small role on the ABC series, Pushing Daisies, a role originally offered to Paul Reubens.

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Besides stage and TV acting, Esparza has lent his voice to audiobook narration, reading Under the Dome by Stephen King, The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer and The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark.

In 1994, Esparza married his high school sweetheart, Michele Marie Perez; however, the couple divorced 14 years later.

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In 2006, Esparza revealed in a New York Times profile that he was bisexual.

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Originally Esparza didn’t want to take the role of ADA Rafael Barba on Law and Order: SVU, but did so as an acting “rebound” from a lackluster Broadway production. He’s since left SVU to return to the theater.

Besides SVU, Esparza has also appeared on Law and Order: Criminal Intent and the original Law and Order.

Though he’s never won a Tony (WHAT?!) Esparza has taken home three Drama Desk Awards, namely for his work in Taboo!, Company and The Homecoming.

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The production of Company which starred Esparza as Bobby (2006 Broadway revival) DID take home the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Esparza was nominated for Best Actor; however, he lost to David Hyde Pierce (Curtains).

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The director of Company (John Doyle) loved Esparza so much after their first meeting that he hired him to play Bobby on the spot without ever having heard him sing.

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Bobby’s swan song, “Being Alive”, is the only thing Esparza can play on the piano.

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Esparza has appeared in several Stephen Sondheim musicals, including Company and Sunday in the Park with George, but the role he’s itching to play: SWEENEY TODD.

In a 2012 interview, Esparza revealed that he’s most similar to John Larson, the character he plays in Tick, Tick…BOOM!

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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12 Crochet Applique Patterns

Looking for a quick and easy yarn buster to help clean out your stash? Appliques are a great solution! Available in a whole slew of shapes, sizes and styles, crochet applique patterns can be used to make garland, decorate clothing or can even be sewn onto afghans and blankets.

I love making applique garlands for the holidays (they look so cute on a tree!) and I am seriously thinking of working these cute crocheted donuts (see below) into a fun garland or gift wrap embellishment…my (donut) wheels are turning…

In the meantime, here are 12 cute and adorable crochet appliques for you to enjoy!

12 Crochet Applique Patterns

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  1. Crochet Donuts
  2. Crochet Pineapple
  3. Crochet Pumpkin
  4. Crochet Cherries
  5. Crochet Giraffe
  6. Crochet Bunny
  7. Crochet Unicorn
  8. Crochet Dinosaur
  9. Crochet Cactus
  10. Crochet Bumblebee
  11. Crochet Clouds
  12. Crochet Feathers

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Something Unknown

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“Oh there’s an empty place in my bones that calls out for something unknown.”
The Nightmare Before Christmas

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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13 Clever Things to Make in Your Cast Iron Skillet

Let’s take a minute and talk about the beauty that is the cast iron skillet.

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It can be used to make dinner, desserts, dips and so much more. Cleaning is a breeze, and really, the more you use it, the nicer it is to you. It really is a staple in any kitchen and is the best way for cooking bacon, chicken and even biscuits!

But that’s not all you can do…here are 13 clever things to make in your cast iron skillet!

13 Clever Things to Make in Your Cast Iron Skillet

Pecan Apple Dutch Baby

1

Country Egg Skillet

2

Veggie Pot Pie

3

Chocolate Cinnamon Skillet Brownie

4

Monster Skillet Cookie

5

Apple Pie Skillet Cobbler

6

Skillet Drop Biscuits

7

Curry Bread with Cheesy Dip

8

Strawberry Nectarine Skillet Crisp

9

Skillet Cookie

10

Garlic Lover’s Pizza

11

Refried Bean Dip

12

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pasta

13

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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16 Creepy AF Paranormal Books

A few weeks ago, I shared a collection of 18 Creepy AF True Crime Books…and today, here’s the other half of that awesome collection – 16 Creepy AF Paranormal Books…just in time for Halloween!

From ghosts to goblins, UFO’s to yettis, this collection of paranormal books dares to explain the unexplainable. Including ghost anthologies, as well as fiction and non-fiction books in the paranormal realm, this book collection is a great one to add to your list this fall!

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16 Creepy AF Paranormal Books

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The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed & Lorraine WarrenThe Demonologist reveals the grave religious process behind supernatural events and how it can happen to you.

This House is Haunted: The Investigation of the Enfield Poltergeist: In 1977, normal life ended for the Harper family. It began with a bang on the walls of their council house in Enfield. Then furniture started moving of its own accord…

Fringeology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable…and Couldn’t: Steve Volk investigates what happens in the brains of people undergoing religious experiences, learns how to control his own dreams, and goes hunting for specters in his family’s old haunted house.

On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears: Stephen Asma’s On Monsters is a wide-ranging cultural and conceptual history of monsters–how they have evolved over time, what functions they have served for us, and what shapes they are likely to take in the future.

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Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena: Stacy Horn explores science’s remarkable first attempts to prove—or disprove—the existence of the paranormal.

American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends and Sightings in AmericaBigfoot, the chupacabra, and thunderbirds aren’t just figments of our overactive imaginations—according to thousands of eyewitnesses, they exist, in every corner of the United States. This book examines a hidden menagerie of America’s homegrown beasts.

Cops’ True Stories of the Paranormal: Ghosts, UFOS and Other StoriesBest selling author of over 50 books, retired cop Loren W. Christensen asked men and women in uniform—police officers, sheriff deputies, SWAT, command, correction officers, and MPs—to convey their experiences with the paranormal.

Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories: Who better to investigate the literary spirit world than that supreme connoisseur of the unexpected, Roald Dahl?

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Ghost Stories of an AntiquaryRenowned for their wit, erudition and suspense, these stories are each masterfully constructed and represent a high achievement in the ghost genre.

Bag of BonesAs Mike is drawn into a lover’s struggle, he is drawn into the mystery of the site of ghostly visitations and escalating terrors. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

Dark Matter: Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…

This House is Haunted: Eliza realizes that if she and a group of children are to survive a houses’ violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall’s long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past…

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Her Fearful Symmetry: Audrey Niffenegger weaves a captivating story in Her Fearful Symmetry about love and identity, about secrets and sisterhood, and about the tenacity of life–even after death.

Eight Ghosts: Eight authors were given after hours freedom at their chosen English heritage site. Immersed in the history, atmosphere and rumors of hauntings, they channeled their darker imaginings into a series of extraordinary new ghost stories.

Anya’s Ghost: Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

The Man in the Picture: The Man in the Picture is a haunting tale of loss, love, and the very basest fear of our beings.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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