Ok, I lied.

After writing last night about how I didn’t “do” resolutions, I couldn’t stop thinking about it today.

And I do resolutions – just not the same way most people go about it.

None of my resolutions deal with weight or the gym. I don’t have a goal to stop impulse buying or save $xxxx this year.

Big life goals are ones I usually make with Nick. If we want to save more, we look at the budget, see where we can cut back or move stuff around, and do it.

But for resolutions…these are smaller, daily things that make me happy, bring joy to my life, keep me going, and stretch me from the person I was last year.

2012 has a lot of live up to, because 2011 was a pretty rockin’ year.

I wrote a book (you guys didn’t even know that! – details soon, and let’s just say this fall was insanely busy, exhausting, and exciting), I spent a ton of time with family, Nick and I planted a super sweet garden and ate well, we got settled in our new house and dealt with all the house problems you get with your own home. But the biggest thing for me was really starting freelance recipe development for some pretty big companies. I am psyched.

And even with all this, life is still life. Work is still work. As much as I love blogging and cooking and writing, my day is still full from 8-5 with a full time job and a 30 minute commute each way. I’ve got cats that like to leave their prey on the porch, a dog who still throws up leaves that she eats in the yard, and dust bunnies that won’t disappear.

My big goal for 2012? Adding bits of sparkle and fun into every day. To find a way to live, fully, every day. Even when I’m stuck in front of a computer for 8 hours and when customers are angry and when I spill my coffee on my shirt or drip yogurt on my scarf like yesterday morning.

My 2012-is-going-to-sparkle Resolutions:

– Paint my nails as often as possible

– Wear fun tights this winter and spring

– Buy a hat that’s not a beanie (already done!)

– Actually do some of the DIY stuff I have pinned

– Eat the frozen food we put up from the garden this year

– Stop saving my “good” clothes and shoes for special occasions and wear them on a regular work day

– Bake bread, every chance I get

– Read, read, read. The classics I have that I haven’t touched. The books I love and have read more than once already.

– Listen to music at work to keep me in a good mood, no matter what else happens

– Pray about everything, no matter how small I may think something is

– Write some real letters

– Cook things that I’ve never made before

There are a ton of foods and recipes that I’ve never made, but short ribs were high on my list.

A few months ago, Nick and I took a day trip to Paint Bank, VA for some scenery, buffalo burgers, and a stop in the General Store for buffalo meat from a local farm. I didn’t even know I could get buffalo short ribs, but as soon as I saw them, I scooped up a package to take home with us.

If you’ve ever made a pot roast, you can make short ribs.

These beauties bubbled away in red wine, herbs, and vegetables until they were tender and falling off the bone. It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon recipe, the perfect I-want-to-impress-someone recipe, the perfect winter recipe.

And I think it’s a pretty good start to 2012.


Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 pounds buffalo or beef short ribs
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Season short ribs with salt and pepper and add to pan, flipping the ribs every 3-4 minutes until all the sides are browned.
  4. Remove the short ribs from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic to the pan and stir together, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Once the vegetables have begun to soften (about 3-5 minutes), pour in the red wine and beef broth.
  7. Add the bay leaves and rosemary and place the short ribs back in the pan.
  8. Bring mixture to a bubble on the stovetop, put the lid on the pan, and place it in the oven.
  9. Cook the short ribs on 375 degrees for 2 and 1/2 hours. Remove the lid and cook for another 30-45 minutes until the sauce has reduced a bit and the short ribs are tender.
  10. Serve over grits.


White Cheddar Grits

Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/3 cups instant grits
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water and milk to a low simmer.
  2. Slowly whisk the grits and salt into the milk, stirring constantly until the grits have thickened up, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the shredded cheese.
  4. Serve.


  1. Ohhh, I can’t wait to hear about your book!!!!! Love the ribs!

  2. Those griiiiiiiiits have won my heart.

    And I love your list!

  3. I love your resolutions especially the one about wearing “good” clothes more often, I am so bad at doing that. Also congratulations on writing a book, can’t wait to hear more about it! I can’t believe what you manage to do alongside a full time job, I’m so impressed!

    As for this recipe, your short ribs look amazing especially with those creamy grits underneath. What a perfect weekend meal!

    • Thanks Kathryn! I wore a nice outfit today, even though it was pouring – and I was in a pretty good mood. Not sure if it was just a coincidence, but whatever works!

  4. I’ve never tried grits before actually! This all looks fantastic :D

  5. What a sweet post, Brandi! I love it! Your good nature and happy spirit is what I loved about you from the moment I met you. So blessed to have such a wonderful person touch my life. xoxo

  6. This looks like something you’d get in a restaurant! Beautiful plating and such a delicious-sounding meal. Congrats on the book! And I love your resolution. I think secretly we all resolve to put a little more “sparkle” in our lives. :)

  7. I <3 this list. And now all I want to know about is your BOOK. Please don't keep us (or me, mainly :) in suspense!

  8. First off, can’t wait to hear the details of your book! Your resolutions are so sweet + inspiring. My resolution was to eat red meat once a week. And this recipe is going to help me do it. Thanks!

    • thanks Becky! This is definitely a good way to eat red meat. Buffalo (if you can find it) is SO much leaner than beef and is even tastier.

  9. you wrote a book?!?! how exciting :) also would love to hear about your recipe freelancing :) but these short ribs– how perfect to find some buffalo for them. delicious!

  10. short ribs are seriously my favorite meat… they may even rival bacon.

  11. A book?! Totally awesome! Can’t wait to hear more about it… Great list of 2012 goals, I too want to do many of the same things :)

  12. Hold up: you wrote a book?!? Details, please!

  13. Omg, this looks so good! I am starving at the moment. I wish you could make this for me, haha! ;)

  14. holy moly… a book?! super exciting girl!!! :) PS- we need to chit chat about the recipe development sometime! Would love to pick your brain.

    Here’s to a sparkle-y 2012! xoxo

    • definitely! shoot me an email – otherwise, i’ll probably forget. i have the worst memory ever.

      Sparkle on, friend :)

  15. i LOVE your resolutions!! they are perfect!!

    these grits and short ribs look perfect for all this rainy cold weather we’ve been having!

    hope your new year is off to a great start.

  16. Those ribs look insane!! On my gosh yes! oh and I totally love your resolutions!

  17. Love love love it!!! A book! I can’t wait to hear more about it B!!! I hope I get to see you sometime soon! Ribs look AHHHMAZING! :)

  18. Pingback: Friday Fab 5: Beef Recipes - Snappy Gourmet

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