When the weather turns cool, I like to spend an afternoon in the kitchen.  And with my big range–yes, we know it is bright blue, we think of it as ‘French blue–that puts out a lot of heat when the oven is on, today seemed like the perfect time to use it.  I started with apple cakes that I’ll heat up tomorrow night and serve with ice cream for dessert.  For the main course–I’ll serve it tomorrow but it’s best made a day ahead–I made short ribs with dark beer that braised in the oven for 3 hours. (Click here to read the recipe.)  And then, with all that empty space in there I tackled the great vegetables I got at TJs today.  Quartered gold potatoes tossed with olive oil and salt, wedges of fennel treated the same way, and then a bunch of carrots cooked until brown to add to the short ribs when I heat them up tomorrow.  Last to get roasted were some brussel sprouts pulled directly off the stalk from one I bought at TJs.  More on my favorite ways to cook those lovely baby cabbages this week.  For now, I’m settling into the kitchen with a glass of wine and just enjoy the aroma of beef and beer.