Sometimes, you are not able to deliver the dish that you had planned, and such was the case today. I wanted to make another favorite dish of mine—braised oxtails, but none were available. So, I fell back on my next best similar entre as the highlight of tonight’s menu—braised short ribs. After hours of simmering, and served along with the braising sauce, this is one of the most succulent winter beef meals imaginable. The vegetable accompaniments also set this meal apart. And what would a birthday be without some sort of dessert, no matter how simple? In this case the “cake” is an unusual recipe in which the ingredients “magically” transform themselves into something you wouldn’t expect. The “cake” part of the dish rises up and encloses a hot-fudge sauce type of “pudding” underneath. You spoon this out of the baking dish and add a big dollop of whipped cream as a topping.

Grass-fed beef short ribs braised with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and tomatoes
Mashed rutabaga  casserole with cream cheese and buttered bread crumbs
Sauteed cabbage and red peppers
Bread Chez Edouard

A quick and easy hot fudge pudding cake with a dollop of whipped cream