2011 in Review

The Stone Soup blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2011. In 2011, there were 24 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 121 posts. The busiest day of the year was January 21st with 1,464 views. The most popular post that day was How The Other Side Thinks.

The most popular referrers were: facebook.com, reddit.comtumblr.com, afternoonsnoozebutton.com, and twitter.com. Some readers found us through search terms. The most popular searches were: “antibiotic[s]” (1,074), “christopher hitchens [smoking]” (584), “vietnam war medals” (65), “leaders” (64), and “importance of export” (48). A few of the more amusing search terms include: “did andy dufresne kill his wife” (9), “farm subsidies are good” (3), and “where does america rank?” (2).

Attractions of 2011:

Here are the posts that got the most views in 2011.

1. How The Other Side Thinks – 6,785 views

2. The Antibiotics Shortage and How to Solve It. – 1,842 views

3. Guest Post: A Deserved Toast To Christopher Hitchens – 935 views

4. Federal Funding Received by State per Dollar Sent. – 773 views

5. Recipe: The Best Braised Short Ribs, with Coffee and Chili – 628 views

 

A few of our favorite posts by author: 

Alex Taubes – Summer Vacation and Teachers

Thomas Miller – A Regruntled Democrat on the State of the Union

David Yin – How The Other Side Thinks

Josh Morrison – the kidney donation series, thus far:

1. My Kidney Donation

2. Pre-Op Testing — Blood Work

3. Vegetarianism and Kidney Donation

4. Hurry Up and Wait

5. False Starts

6. A New Normal

7. Day (after the Day) of Days

8. Not So Easy 

 

Thanks for reading Stone Soup in 2011!

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Recipe: The Best Braised Short Ribs, with Coffee and Chili.

Coffee and Chili Braised Short Ribs

Braised short ribs are probably my favorite thing to make for people I love (if I’ve made this for you, you know I care). Short ribs are beef, and they are literally the “short” ribs located at the end of the rib cage, the ones closest to the tail end of the cow. A braise is simply  a way of slowly cooking something, usually a tougher cut of meat, at a lower-than-normal temperature.

It’s a dish that’s fancy enough to impress dinner guests, and yet surprisingly easy to prepare, given a simple willingness to invest the time. They’re popular at nice restaurants these days as a cheap cut of meat that can be turned into a delicious, tender product (much like skirt steak or lamb shank). Personally I think there’s something deeply romantic about a long, slow braise. It brings to mind the days of yore when our great-great-grandparents would stew a peasant’s portion of meat for Sunday supper, throwing in whatever vegetables could be harvested from the garden. In that manner, it’s a perfect Stone Soup recipe! The braising liquid becomes enriched by the beef, the vegetables, the herbs, the wine, and other ingredients you add to become a perfect sauce for the short ribs later. And the ribs themselves are so tender, fork tender, that they melt in your mouth. Luxurious, spicy, smoky, tender beef… is there anything more sexy than that?

Braised short ribs can be customized however you want, and this particular recipe was cobbled together from so many versions that I won’t bother hunting them down again and linking them all, except to nod in Mark Bittman’s general direction. Here are the ingredients:

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