Coffee Whip is an internet sensation that will help get us through these days of isolation. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

I did it. I masked up, put my bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse and did a big grocery shopping the other day. I came home with quite a haul, enough to get me by for several weeks.

Now, as you can imagine, I’m a person who really loves food shopping, but these present circumstances don’t lend themselves well to enjoyment. It was simply a necessary task to get through, so I decided to celebrate my accomplishment by roasting beef short ribs and Brussels sprouts for my Sunday dinner.

A dinner of short ribs and gravy served over mashed potatoes is comfort food at its finest. Season the ribs any way that suits your taste and add whatever liquid you prefer. Water, chicken stock and beer all work. You can also add the potatoes and more carrots to the Dutch oven during the last hour of roasting time if you want just one pan to wash up. No Dutch oven? Brown the ribs in a heavy skillet then transfer them to a roasting pan and cover with a lid or heavy-duty aluminum foil.

I have never been much of a Brussels sprouts eater, but I found myself just craving them and couldn’t stop thinking about them. So when I went on my shopping trip, I made a beeline for the produce and was so happy to find them. These days, it’s the little things …

And here’s another little thing: fluffy coffee clouds to plop and slather on everything from hot chocolate to ice cream to brownies to cold or hot milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon or chocolate chips or crumbled cookies and you have dessert.

Is there instant coffee in your cupboard? If not, this is an item to get on your next essential trip. You can use a whisk instead of an electric mixer, but it will take several minutes and your arm will get tired. It’s worth it, though.

You can also use powdered cocoa to replace the coffee or use one tablespoon of each. Dalgona Coffee has become a social media sensation during the time of our quarantine and you don’t want to be left out!

Braised Short Ribs

3 pounds short ribs
2 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
1 teaspoon thyme, divided
2 cups onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water (optional)
4 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add oil to a Dutch oven and place on medium-high heat. Season meat with half the seasonings then add to the pan. Brown meat well on all sides then remove from pan and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Add vegetables and the remainder of the seasonings and cook for 10 minutes. Add liquid and bay leaves and return ribs to the pan. Cover and roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, checking midway through cooking time and adding more liquid if needed, until meat is very tender and falling off the bone.

Remove ribs to a serving platter and cover to keep warm. Cook down liquid, if needed, over medium heat to thicken, adding flour mixed with water if necessary.

Serve over mashed potatoes. Yield: 4 servings

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and stir. Spread Brussels sprouts in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until caramelized and edges are crisped. Yield: 4 servings

Dalgona (Whipped) Coffee

2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons white or brown sugar
2 tablespoons very hot water

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whip on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. This will keep in the refrigerator for a day or so. Yield: 1-2 servings

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