Liz' s Musings's

Liz's musings on life – mostly her kids though.

Boeuf Bourguignon January 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 8:22 pm

As promised here is the post, complete with step-by-step pictures, on my adventures making boeuf bourguignon from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child (and two other women whose names I forget).

First some commentary … boeuf bourguignon is nothing more than French beef stew. It’s a good thing I made it on a Saturday because it takes about 3-4 hours to make so it’s not exactly something you can whip together after you get home from work. One thing my mom and I decided after dinner is 2 1/2 hours was way too long for this to cook, but that was the minimum suggested cooking time. My mom mentioned something about cuts of meat in France being different. Next time, if there is a next time, I’d cook it for 2 hours.

[Edited: ARGH! This stupid WordPress editor! I cannot figure out what it did to my formatting. None of the captions are in the right place! I know all six of you are intelligent people and can figure out which caption goes with what picture.]

Recipe – you can find the complete recipe linked above:recipe

Here are the ingredients:

The bacon cut into what I hope are “lardons”. If it weren’t for seeing Melissa d’Arabian on Food Network cut bacon and called them “lardons” I wouldn’t have had any idea what that term meant.

Boiling the bacon (not very appealing):

The beef, patted dry to ensure proper browning (good tip!):beef, patted dry

The bacon, draining:draining bacon

Frying it up in a pan (who remembers that commercial?):frying bacon

Blanched pearl onions (from a separate recipe):blanched pearl onions

Browning the meat (that took!):browning beef

Flouring the beef (to thicken the sauce later):flour on beef

Sauteing the onions and carrots:onions & carrots

Everything except the mushrooms & pearl onions in a casserole at a simmer. Next time I’d use a dutch oven, it’s slightly bigger and it has side handles.bringing it to a boil

The pearl onions, browned in a frying pan then put in the oven to … brown some more.browned pearl onions

Mushrooms in a frying pan:mushrooms

The mushrooms & onions waiting patiently:mushrooms & onions

The mushrooms and onions combined with the beef, after the beef juices and wine were drained into a saucepan.drained beef with mushrooms & onions

The sauce of deliciousness:The sauce

The final product:The final product

The peas Louisette suggested (you’ll have to see the movie Julie & Julia to understand the reference):peas

And finally the noodles (we didn’t have potatoes):noodles

I can see why Julie Powell wanted to channel her inner Julia. I love to cook and I felt so cook-like while I was making this. After I ate it I decided I could do a passable recreation in the pressure cooker.

Since I’ve been unemployed I’ve been making a lot more actual dinner food. I think the majority of the family is enjoying eating real meals at the dinner table. I think Christopher would rather just have a pb&j sandwich. Four year olds are rather picky in this regard. Sarah is still pretty good at eating most things.

I do not know how real bloggers have time to do these long detained posts with pictures and everything. Taking the pictures during the cooking process wasn’t too hard. I just had to think about which steps I wanted to document. However it’s taken me the better part of an hour to compose this post. My six readers, I love you but this kind of detail probably isn’t going to happen again in the near future.


Ground Beef and Macaroni Casserole January 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 5:49 pm

I cooked on Wednesday night … I know, I owe everyone the Julie Child recipe post! There is a lot to write and many pictures to edit. I don’t see how these stay-at-home moms who blog have the dang time to blog! … so anyway I cooked … and I cooked something from my past. But I had to modify it because the first time I cooked it no one liked it. I created the original recipe in high school, or shortly there after. It was a box-less version of hamburger helper and it was only meant to feed my mom and I. I had to not only increase the quantity but change the spice mixture (Oregano doesn’t taste as good as I remember it tasting). So below is the recipe I re-created on Wednesday. Everyone liked it. I think Micah even loved it. Jonah was so hungry when he came home I don’t think it would have mattered what it tasted like. But he ate all of the leftovers so it must not have sucked too much. Oh, and the reason I decided to make this is Safeway had a 5lb chub of 80/20 hamburger on sale for $4.95!!! There will be meatloaf in our future too.

Ground Beef and Macaroni Casserole or Real Hamburger Helper

Olive Oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1lb mushrooms, sliced (I used Cremini)

1 green bell pepper, chopped

Minced garlic (I used a few cloves)

2 lbs ground beef (I used 80/20)

14oz can tomato sauce

14oz can stewed tomatoes

6oz can tomato paste

1c water

1t Basil

1t Thyme

1t Marjoram

½t Oregano

1 Bay Leaf

red wine

1lb elbow macaroni

parmesan cheese

A couple of turns of olive oil around the sauté pan (use a big one), let it heat up then sauté the onions. Once they’re nice and translucent add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are about 80% done add the green pepper and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the peppers are soft then set this aside.

Put water on to boil for the macaroni.

Brown the ground beef and drain. Add the mixture from above and then all the rest of the ingredients, except the macaroni. Blend the tomato paste into the water. Let simmer for 15 – 30 minutes.

When the pasta water comes to a boil, put the macaroni in and cook according to package directions. When it is done, drain well and add to ground beef mixture. Just take the whole pan to the table and serve family style. Grate parmesan cheese on top of everyone’s servings. Crusty bread is nice to serve with it.


Why aren’t ghosts naked? January 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 9:12 pm

You would think that I would have wondered this a long time ago. Last night we watched Medium and (spoiler alert!) the female bad character was sentenced to death and after that was all over she was able to join her boyfriend. So there they were, the guy in his electrician clothes and she in
her prision orange, both dead. The first thing that came to my mind was, “it is going to suck for her being dead and stuck in that ugly outfit.” Then I wondered if ghosts get to change clothes. Then it occured to me that the clothes didn’t die, why are they even wearing clothes?

I was going to make something from the Julia Child cookbook, but I didn’t. Hopefully tomorrow. There’s a blog post in it too, so I’ll be taking pictures as I go (hopefully I’ll remember that part).