I have been really excited to try out Julia Child’s recipe for artichokes and hollandaise sauce. I have never made hollandaise sauce from scratch before, I had only ever used a packet from the store. I will never every buy a packet that says it makes hollandaise sauce. Making from scratch is the way to go and it is ever so tasty. Really I have no idea what I was thinking when I used that packet, why had I not tried to make it, truthfully I think I was afraid I would mess it up and that I thought it would take forever to make. Reality it was quick and simple. Artichokes were only ever purchased in jars for salads. I really wanted to try making them. So they too were a purchase from Trader Joe’s, a nice 4 pack and looked really lovely. Boiled them like Julia suggested and they turned out great with one exception. The artichokes I picked were not very big so there was not very meaty. So next time bigger artichokes and not the baby ones. Which is good so now I learned this wonderful lesson of not to be afraid to try something new in the kitchen even.
I also made Swiss fondue to accompany our artichokes. I love fondue, you might say I am an addict. While I know it’s not something I can have every week, I do so look forward to making it. In my pictures you can see my latest fondue pot from Le Creuset. Currently I have five different fondue pots that I have acquired over the years. Which I love pulling out at holiday parties and special occasions. It is also one of my Mom’s favorite things to have when she visits. Friends and neighbors say they enjoy coming over for enjoy it at the parties as well. I think the draw is that it’s fun and unusual.
Made mushroom ravioli with a creamy mushroom sauce. Made a quick and easy caprese salad for the side. This was not an all homemade meal but more a Semi-homemade one. While at Trader Joe’s I picked up some Mushroom and spinach premade ravioli. I wanted to try out the flavors before making homemade ravioli which I have made several times with my pasta machine. Admittedly it was rather tasty and think I will be making homemade more ravioli in the future. The sauce I made from scratch and altered a recipe I had found online. The caprese salad was made from fresh basil from my garden, mini heirloom tomatoes I found at Sprouts, little mozzarella balls and an aged balsamic vinegar I found at Trader Joes. Salad was fantastic as fresh herbs from the garden are always a delight. My mushroom sauce could go with any ravioli you have or even on chicken. It is light and very simple.
10-12 oz of Mushrooms-I used cermini and brown, my family loves mushrooms
Splash of red wine-I used some that was in the fridge
Heavy cream-3.5 oz
Butter & olive oil
Slice mushrooms, sauté in a little bit of olive oil and two pat of butter. Add in splash of red wine while cooking. When mushroom are tender add heavy cream and cook down a bit. Toss in pasta and add Parmesan Cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
So these last couple of weeks have been crazy and I had been meaning to post on here, but transferring pictures seemed like an issue from iPhone to iPad and then to WordPress. Today I had the 4th update on the iPad and looks like everything is back to working again.
May 22nd, 2014 was a Roasted Pork Tenderloin. Before I had only made in crock pot. On a friends recommendation I took the tenderloin, covered in olive oil and the wrapped fresh rosemary. It turned out rather nice. I served it with boiled potatoes with fresh parsley. Also fresh cut tomatoes with a tad of sour cream and chives. This was my quick simple dinner I made the night my daughter graduated high school.
Last week in May the family was all sick so I didn’t try anything new. Knowing their taste buds were off and not feeling all that adventurous. My garden however is growing well and seems to be flourishing.
Tonight’s dinner was a nice French meal of Beef Bourguignon. Originally I had planned to use Julia Child’s recipe, but instead used Ina Garten’s. I must say that no matter the recipe it is time consuming to make and worth every minute.
After a quick stop off at the grocery store to pick up fresh cut bacon, mushrooms and garlic; a phone call, potted my new mint plant, I started dinner. Gathering most of the ingredient and prepping as I cooked. Finally get to the part of adding the cognac and lighting it. Recipe says to stand back, boy were they not kidding. Whoosh it went and me slightly panicking at how high the flame went. Thankfully not for long as it burned off, but it did have me a bit worried. Bottle of Cupcake Brand -Red Velvet added to the pot and bringing to a simmer. Oh man did the house smell fantastic. Into the oven it went to cook longer and the smells only got better. Husband came home and was roaming the kitchen waiting for it to be done. ( think he was a bit hungry). Dinner comes out and finishes on the stove. Then to serve it over a slice of toasted country mountain bread. My husband digs in and says that it is wonderful and should serve when his folks are here. I say that means eating it again next week. He was okay with that since it was so tasty.
I sit down and finally taste it,oh my goodness why in the world had I never tried to make this dish before. It was fantastic. In the end everyone was stuffed and happy another new recipe to add to my dinner line up. Here are some shots of dinner in process and the plating. Highly recommend Ina’s recipe for those looking to try something new.
Today my daughter and I made our first mug cake together. A nice yummy treat made in under ten minutes. The recipe I had was from my new Mug Cake Cookbook. We tried the first one listed, a yellow cake and added some homemade whip cream and fresh raspberries to top it. It was so simple and quick to make. The mug we used was my daughter new coffee dorm mug. The recipe we used was for two mug cakes but will fill one extra huge mug just fine. It was so nice to try something that I know my daughter will most likely make for herself in the future while off at college and get to spend that quality time with her. Cake was tasty. Happy all around as we shared.
Recipe follows: ( yield 2 regular mugs or one large)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons self rising flour
Melt butter in mug. Add in milk, egg , sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir with fork. Add flour last. Bake 1 1/2 minutes to 2 1/2 min in microwave. Time will vary depending on wattage of microwave. Mine took 2 min. Look for it to rise and be firm to touch in mug. Cool a little and add topping.
My homemade whip cream was a spoonful of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Beat on high for a few minutes to you have soft peaks.
How many courses do you serve with your dinner? I find that today most people only eat one course when they cook at home. The exception seems to be a holiday meal. I know that I fall into that category. Usually something along the lines of a protein, vegetables and maybe a starch is my typical fare for dinner. Has American society lost the art of fine cooking? We seem to love to eat out but even then do you have more than one course? Questions I seem to ponder. While searching for this week’s recipe to try out. There are several I want to try and I am finding scheduling to be a problem. Wanting something quick and simple for convenience. Which led to the pondering of courses in a meal and where had they gone. While I would love to serve the equivalent to my Thanksgiving dinner, I certainly can not spend all day in the kitchen everyday. Have come to the conclusion that I only spend really 3 days that I cook to a large magnitude and should be doing it more but just not everyday. So while on my journey to learn new recipes, I will also endeavor to cook large (several courses) meals once a month. This means of course I will need to invite people to eat. If dear reader you are lucky enough to be one of those guest, please comment on my meal here and let others know how it was.
This weeks delight will be something simple, fun and falls into the quick convenience category. I am making a mug cake. I have never had one and have seen many recipes out there for them. My new cookbook I picked up had several easy and delicious sounding ones. While this is not fancy and not dinner, it is practical for dorm life. My daughter is off to college in the fall and we are experimenting with things that can be microwaved. So we thought we would give it a try. I will let you know how it works and taste with pictures. If it’s a huge success I will post the recipe.