Saturday, January 15, 2011

french onion soup. a delicacy.

we all know Julia Child is the master of everything french. recently, Greg purchased the 40th edition of her book for me - a treasure i have been drooling over for many moons. i decided that my maiden voyage with Julia should be a classic FOS! it is a little time consuming but SO worth it. i totally broke maker's (surprise) and used white French bread... i promise not to next time.

here's a step-by-step with a complete recipe after the photos:

start to finish : 2.5 hours (serves 4-6, or one couple 2 nights in a row :P)

you need about 1.5 pounds of onions OR 5 cups-ish- i used four large!

slice them pretty thin:

melt 3 tbs of butter and 1 tbs of olive oil in your pot of choice over med/low heat, thrown the onions in and cover them for 15 minutes - DON'T PEAK!

go ahead and put 2 quarts of beef broth in a separate pot and turn it on low heat - we want it to boil eventually but for now, just start to warm it up:

after 15 minutes, your onions should look like this:

at this point, remove the lid, add 1 tsp of salt and a 1/4 tsp of sugar to aid in browning. kick the heat up to medium and stir for 30-40 minutes. 30 worked for me.

at 20, i had this beautiful browning on the bottom - we want that! scrape it up some so that your pot doesn't get too gunked up! now is the time to get your broth up to a boil!

at 30, i had a beautiful, even golden color. that's what we're looking for!!

add 3 tbs of flour and stir for 3 minutes to incorporate into the onions

off heat, add the boiling stock to your onions and stir it up!!

toss in 1/2 cup of dry, white wine and simmer partially covered for 30-40 more minutes. season to taste at this point with salt and pepper.

let the soup sit until ready to serve (uncovered.) once you do serve, add the cognac right before, if you're using it. there are several ways to finish off a french onion soup. i don't have individual tureens, so i took french bread and toasted it at 325 to dry it out... then broiled it with grated Gruyere on top....

but then this happened..........set them suckers ABLAZE

and then Greg had to save the day.................

so, i started over - and didn't neglect the toast rounds :/ ..... i am bad and put extra cheese in the bottom of each bowl, then ladled in the soup and THEN added the crouton. serve it up with a simple spinach/parm, lemon/oil salt and pepper salad :D


1.5 lbs yellow onions
3 tbs butter
1 tb oil
A heavy-bottomed, 4 qt sauce pan

1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar

3 tbs flour

2 quarts boiling beef stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste

3 tbs cognac

cook the onions slowly with the butter and olive oil over low heat in a covered saucepan for 15 minutes

uncover, raise heat to medium and stir in salt and sugar. cook for 30-40 minutes or until onions have turned a deep, golden, even brown.

sprinkle 3 tbs of flour in and stir for 3 minutes.

off heat, blend in the boiling liquid. add the wine, and season to taste. simmer partially covered for 30-40, skimming occasionally. correct seasoning.

at this point, if you are not ready to serve, let it sit uncovered for up to 2 hours. once you are ready, bring it back to a simmer, and stir in 3 tbs of cognac right before serving. ( i didn't have any and it tasted just as good!)

French bread avec Gruyere, as you like it. SERVE!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

detox, anyone?

we all know that thanksgiving and christmas can do us in physically, right? and despite my best efforts over the holiday season, i still totally blew the maker's diet.

that's right - it is possible to run a half marathon and not lose any weight if you're eating like a hippo. surprise?

but now i am back in austin - 3 days post half marathon and ready to eat healthy again. DETOX TIME!!!!!!!!!

VEGGIE DETOX (special equipment: juice extractor!)

PREP 15 min.

2 firm Bosc pears
1 3/4 inch piece of ginger
5 medium carrots scrubbed
2 celery stalks
1 baby beet, trimmed, scrubbed
1/2 cup fresh parsley, packed (with stems!)

*this recipe taken from the Paris Juice Bar - Paris, FR
* if you don't have a juicer, the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro is one of the highest rated juicers in consumer reports and only costs about 80 bucks!

I recommend a squeeze of lemon!!

HAPPY JUICING :D * guaranteed to make husbands happy, too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


what happens when you lose your best friend? what is it like to know that you've had every possible interaction with someone in this lifetime?

i've got to be honest. reality checks are not welcome here. leave me in my safe, comfortable bubble. let me be.

gregory lost one of his best friends on december 27,2010 - USMC Sgt. Garrett Anderson Misener, killed by an ied in the Helmand Province.

no one wants to take the hand of their husband, walk him up the stairs, shut the door - only to deliver such news. what can you do besides lay there for hours on end sobbing, feeling as if life will never go on. and when you muster up the strength to walk, how hard it is to see other people being normal, laughing, shopping... it's just so unnatural. we were born to die. but coming to terms with this is harder than we ever thought it could be. and when our young lives are interrupted with an unexpected death, we're forced to think about who we are and why we're here.

live your life. take time to do the things that are important to you. say what you need to say and make time for the people you love. be who you were created to be and don't stop until you truly know what that means. ask questions. read. learn. be.

we're better because of you, Garrett. we'll see you again.