Monday, January 10, 2011

When Life Gives You Boueuf, Make Bourguignon!

Lately, my hormones have been out of control. Not to get personal or anything; however, it is giving me some beef and has put a damper on the baby making department for a couple of months. So, life gave me some beef...I made Boueuf Bourguignon.

For my birthday last year, my mother gave me the famed Julia Child cookbooks. I had not made anything and was waiting for a special occasion. While this weekend wasn't anything special, I did put myself to work in the kitchen. Justin and I enjoyed the results!

The recipe is fairly labor intensive if you make everything as it calls for in the recipe, including the braised onions and sauteed mushrooms. I served the entree with parsley potatoes. And no meal like this is complete without a little something for desert: Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes, courtesy of Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2009.

While I may be lacking in the presentation department, I served the desert in coffee mugs. The cake is really like hot chocolate you can eat with a spoon! So good!

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cub unsweetened cocoa
5 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cub unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (2.6 ounce) bar dark 71% chocolate, finely chopped

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour and next four ingredients.

Place butter in a large bowel; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars, beating until well blended. Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating until blended. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture; fold in chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among 10 4 ounce ramekins on a jelly roll pan. I used coffee mugs and filled them half full. The recipe does call for ten; if you serve the desert in the mugs, it will serve around four to five. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. I stuck mine outside in the frigid air for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Let the ramekins or mugs stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake at 350 for 21 minutes or until cakes are puffy and slightly crusty on top. MMMMMMMmmmmmm! Delicious!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Rusty Nickel

I do not want the blog to turn into an advertising page; however, my sister-in-law deserves a little post time.
Last year, she decided to turn her garage into a business for selling holiday decor. Her passion and talent has now expanded to an entire shop dedicated to selling holiday decorations, candles, and treats. The style is known as "primitive." This means, taking something that is old, antique, or what the average person might sell at a consignment shop, and with simple additions and updating makes something totally new and enjoyable in your home. Some people will even buy the stuff that isn't genuine and pay top dollar for something that is not even the real deal.
My mother-in-law, cousins on the married side, and other investors have also contributed to the success. If I lived in the area and had more money to spend, I too would be a frequent shopper.

Are you interested now?? Where is this coveted shop you may ask? It is in Manly, Iowa. It is just slightly north of Mason City. Take the exit for Highway 9 east off I-35. Follow Highway 9 until you get to Broadway Street. Take a left on Broadway and another left onto East Main Street. It should be the nicest looking building on the south side or left side of the street, painted a lovely shade of dark blue with a sign that says "The Rusty Nickel." No matter what, you can't get lost. It is small-town Iowa:)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Walk it Out!

Over the holidays, we had a guarenteed white Christmas. We started our trip in Manly, Iowa where the snow was piled as high as the bottom of the railroad crossing sign.
That didn't stop us from having a happy holiday though. Next, we headed to State Center, Des Moines, and then Ames where we spent the following week until my sister Erin's wedding on New Year's Eve (more pictures to come). Everyone got plenty of toys from Santa including our little niece Adylyn.
All the snow; however, did create a little bit of cabin fever. So, I've been walking it all out. Really, you can't ask for better weather for this time of year in Kansas City! With above average temps in the lower 40's there is no excuse! Today we were back to work. Justin enjoyed the treadmill over his lunch hour. As a teacher, I am not blessed with an actual hour for lunch. Regardless, I came home and hit the trails for a brisk 40 minute walk. Hopefully, I can stick to it or at least get some physical activity after work when the weather is not so pleasant. Happy trails!