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Beef Bourguignon

I’ll be taking us to France this Valentine’s Day. Partly just because saying “Beef Bourguignon” is romantic in itself. Julia Child is a cooking legend, and if you can’t win your Valentine over with the first fork into her amazingly tender, amazingly tasty beef then there’s no helping you. Joking… sort of… haha 

But seriously, this is an impressive and romantic meal so it’s the perfect culinary vacation for this week. The main dish takes a few hours to cook so make sure to plan accordingly and start your night off with some Brie and a beautiful French bread. Open up a bottle of wine while your beef bourguignon finishes off cooking. 

Beef bourguignon is traditionally served with potatoes. I’ve decided to pair it with a wide egg noodle. Just because I like noodles better. You can also choose to serve it with rice. I opted for no veggies, but Julia Child suggests peas cooked in butter. Your decision! You can also easily half the recipe which is what I did. 

And here’s another reason why French food is the Foreign Food February this week. After you’ve ate this amazingly delicious meal, you can finish the night with silky, delicate, sweet Creme Brûlée. A favorite! 

And now, Julia Child’s famous recipe for Beef Bourguignon. Enjoy, and a Happy Valentine’s Day to y’all. 

Beef Bourguignon 
recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simon Beck


A 6 ounce chunk of bacon **Note, I did not use bacon in my dish and skipped future bacon steps.
1 tbs olive oil
3 lbs lean stewing beef cut into 2 inch cubes
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbs flour
3 cups of a full-bodied, young red wine
2-3 cups brown beef stock or canned boullion
1 tbs tomato paste
2 cloves smashed garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
A crumbled bay leaf **Note, I didn’t crumble since I like to remove at the end
18-24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock **Note, I skipped this because I forgot to buy them! Oops!
1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter
Parsley sprigs 


Remove the rind from the bacon and cut bacon into lardons (sticks 1/4 thick and 1 1/2 inch long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Sauté the bacon in the oil in a dutch oven over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown slightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set dutch oven aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef. 

Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it’s damp. 

Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat (or just oil if skipping the bacon) until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon. 

In the same fat, brown the carrots and sliced onions. Pour out the sautéing fat. 

Return the beef and bacon to the pot and toss with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set the pot uncovered in the middle position of the preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to the oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove the pot, and turn the oven down to 325. 

Stir in the wine, and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover and set in the lower third of the oven. Regular heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily. 

(Oops! Was so excited about the smell which consumed my kitchen by this point I forgot to take a picture!)

When the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms and set aside into needed. 

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the pot and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat. 

Skim the fat over the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute of two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few more tablesooons of stock. Taste for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook about 2-3 minutes, basting the meat with the sauce several times. 

Serve over the noodles on a pretty painted plate (sets the scene!). Sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy! 


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Opening Ceremony Ready Bibimbap!

What better way to continuing with Foreign Food February than theming the Olympic Opening Ceremony night to the host country, South Korea. I love watching the Opening Ceremonies and watching some of the games too. Among my favorite winter sports are figure skating and of course hockey! But tonight, the gold medal goes to my homemade bipimbap. If you’ve never had, this dish is a Korean rice bowl. Here’s how I made my version. 


1/2 cup jasmine rice, or any rice you have on hand
1/2 lb ground beef
1 carrot, julienned
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbs sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup fresh uncooked spinach
2 eggs
Picked cucumber salad
2 scallions, sliced
Sesame seeds
Pepper to taste


Cook the rice per the directions. 

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, sauté the carrots seasoned with pepper. After about 5 minutes, put them to the side in a bowl. 

In the same pan, add the ground beef and brown. When almost browned, add in the garlic. Once browned, add in the soy sauce, sriracha, sugar and season with pepper. Mix through to warm. 

Remove from the pan and sauté the spinach. 

In a separate pan, cook the eggs sunny side up. If you’re like me and like the yolk slightly more cooked, add a lid to the pan to steam the top. 

Now you can build your bowl! First place the rice in. Then layer around the bowl the ground beef with a little sauce, carrots, spinach, cucumber salad and top with the egg. Sprinkle over top with scallions and sesame seeds. Add a bit more sriracha if you like spice! 

Go Team USA!!!

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Foreign Food February

So I’ve dubbed this month Foreign Food February. I guess party because the Olympics are this month, and partly because I’ve been dreaming of a vacation. So I’m planning to travel via my kitchen. Which is the perfect start with reminiscing of my trip to Sweden last summer. What a gorgeous country that was with amazing food. My friend Karin has promised me to teach me her recipe for official cinnamon buns one day, so that will come. But for now my version of fika will have to do. Last week kicked off Swedish week and I made a bunch of dishes I’ll share with you now. Is there a country you’d like to visit through my kitchen adventures this month? Let me know! 

I started last week with my version of fika. Fika is a coffee break taken in Sweden, usually accompanied with a cinnamon bun or other Swedish bakery treat. I made my cinnamon buns with puff pastry and a mixture of butter, cinnamon and sugar. They were so easy! To start, roll out your puff pastry dough. In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup sugar with 1/2 tbs of cinnamon. Brush melted butter onto the pastry dough (I used my lactose free butter!) and a sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Roll the dough up and slice like little pinwheels 

Place on a greased baking pan and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Eat with your favorite coffee and have your own fika on the comfort of your couch! 

Next up, a shrimp salad lunch. I visited Ikea recently and picked up the small shrimp indigenous to the Nordic region. Defrost, and serve over lettuce with hard boiled eggs, picked onions and tomato. Takes me back to the little cafes along the river in Stockholm! 

If you’re lucky enough to have friend who’s mom brings you candy on her yearly trips from Sweden then this bowl will look familiar. Ikea also has a pick your own section if you aren’t as lucky 🙂 

And now on to the main event. My take on Swedish meatballs. I’ve made these once before. I really long time ago. When I was a kid who badly wanted an American girl doll like my best friend but had to settle for the American girl doll activity book for the Swedish American girl. In the book was a recipe for Swedish meatballs. Not the same as the doll….  Anyways, here’s my take on Swedish meatballs after reading about a bunch of different versions!


1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 lbs ground pork (or veal which is what I accidentally bought! Oops!)
1 egg
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 small yellow onion, grated
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp chili pepper
Salt and pepper


Mix the breadcrumbs and the milk in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Mix in all other ingredients. 

Bake at 350 until cooked through, about 40 minutes. 

To make the gravy, you’ll need a roux. Melt 1 tbs butter in a sauté pan and mix in one tbs flour. Cook for 1 minute to get the rawness out of the flour. Whisk in 1 cup beef stock and cook down to desired thickness. 

Serve the meatballs with lingonberries or lingonberry sauce. Asparagus makes the perfect side! 

Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane to Sweden. Tune in for my next adventure in Foreign Food February later this week!

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*Never Give Up*

About a year ago I posted about choices or fate, and not settling. I’m still not sure if I believe in one over the other, or some sort of mixture of both. Do our choices help to lead us to our fate? I really don’t know I guess. But I do know that one should never settle, and one should never give up in getting what they want. Quotes still resonate with me, cooking still relaxes me, and 2018 will be an interesting year of choices. The thoughts of going back to school are even dancing through my mind again. But one quote has been making me think about my post from one year ago. Just as we shouldn’t settle, we should think potential regrets. Life is short, and I’m unfortunately seeing this more and more each day. So enjoy it, don’t live with regrets, and share with me what cooking challenges you have for me this year. *Never give up on something you really want. It’s difficult to wait, but it’s more difficult to regret.*

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Cheese Please

These pretty cheese knives caught my eye in the sale bin no less! They had to be mine. And all I want to do now is host a party! Cheese and wine night, soon, possibly? Always be on the lookout for gorgeous pieces to add to your hosting. You never know what you’ll find at a deal!