I’m heaving big sighs as I type this post because I resume my graveyard shifts tomorrow night. I know I need to quit my whining since I had three weeks off, but I’m still sad that I’ll be sleeping during the day while the boys are on vacation.

Today, I crammed in lots of good eats and playtime because I didn’t want to waste my last day of PTO. For brunch, our family stopped by Café Borrone in Menlo Park and I ate a scramble with Swiss chard, green onions, and bacon.

Then, we wandered into Kepler’s Books where the kids pored over Tintin comic books and I browsed the cookbook section. I can never have enough cookbooks. It’s a sickness, I know.

I was dead set on making some Vietnamese beef phở broth today, so we stopped by Penzeys to stock up on my missing spices.

I’m a huge fan of this spice emporium, as is Big-O.

In the afternoon, I took my old pressure cooker out of the appliance graveyard in the garage to make a pot of Vietnamese phở beef broth. I’d put it away two years ago when I stopped making my weekly pot ‘o beans. Recently, my sister told me about her quick and easy technique of making beef broth using her pressure cooker and beef cross shanks. Intrigued, I made a few batches of broth this week and the results were fantastic. The soup is super flavorful and the meat on the shanks is moist and tender. Did I mention that it takes less than an hour? Amazing.

For today’s soup, I toasted the spices…

…seared the shanks…

…and tossed the rest of the ingredients into the pressure cooker.

In about an hour, I had a pot filled with rich stock and hearty, fork-tender meat. After I strained the broth and reserved the beef, I stored both containers in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.

What did I eat between brunch and dinner? Uh…mac nuts, dark chocolate, and some coconut cream. I saw you rolling your eyes…

For dinner, I baked an oldie but goodie: Super Porktastic Meatloaf.

Gotta catch some zzz’s at night for the last time this week!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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