Thursday, October 20, 2011

Short Ribs and Beef Cheeks

You can see the struggle I have balancing my two passions, weight training (and trying to maintain a lean, ripped look) and cooking (and eating obviously).

My family loves it when I cook, they hate it when I diet. But, when David and I got married, I wrote the vows myself, I think it went something like this: "sickness and health; richer or poorer, dieting or bulking" (hee hee, just joking).

Above is a huge skillet with a wonderful dish of beef cheeks (the absolute best stew meat) and beef short ribs. Combined with tomatoes, red wine, garlic, porcini mushrooms, grated carrots, onions and broth; it becomes a succulent, beefy dish pleasing to anyone that has an ounce of testosterone in their body.

Oh I make my own pasta to go with it too, this time it was pappardelle, wide, tender egg noodles that are velvety smooth with ruffled edges.

Pasta is very easy to make, I use a hand crank machine as I have read that an electric machine produces a much more "processed" smooth texture, and I want as far from processed as I can get. 

Looks like it has been taking a while, I see a bottle of sparkling wine in the background below, it wasn't there in the picture above!

The recipe is easy. 1 cup flour, 1 egg, pinch salt all in a food processor. Process until all combined, then pinch it, if the mixture does not hold together when pinched, add a little water, no more than a teaspoon at a time.

I roll it out with a dowel then run it through the machine, folding over itself again and again till it is smooth. Then start making the rollers closer with each pass.

The through the cutters and voila! Delicious!

I toss it in flour so it won't stick. It cooks in boiling water no longer than 2 minutes. 

Here are the boys, enjoying the pasta with the short rib/beef cheeks on top!

I guess they figured they would wear black in case they splashed the red sauce on their shirts. 

Posted by Picasa

Did I eat any? Yes indeed I did! But I didn't eat nearly as much pasta as they did, I took a little pasta and some meat, and had a huge plate of broccoli on the side, with my fat free vinaigrette on it to help fill me up. 

These are the weeks where I adjust back to life. I think if I were single, I might live off of boneless, skinless chicken breast and asparagus a lot more, even when not prepping for a competition; but I am not, and frankly, life on a perpetual diet cannot be life at all can it? I gain weight, get back up to a "normal" size, and I struggle, I really do. It is hard to look at myself after being so lean, hard to accept what my body really looks like.

I know many competitors who feel this way so strongly, that you will never, ever see them in revealing clothing unless they are just about ready to step on stage. Seriously, they think they look "fat", unattractive, out of shape, you name it. When in reality, their "worst" is better than most people's "best".

In a couple weeks you will probably read about how pleased I am with my new "bigger" me, I will accept the added size and embrace the bigness.  I actually look better when I have some meat on my bones, we all do. But, after a competition I will swing just a little bit too much one way, and then I will rein it all in to land at a good middle point. It just takes me a while to get to the acceptance point, to be comfortable in my body again.