Sunday, May 27, 2007


Barefoot Contessa's Boeuf Bourguignon

1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen whole onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
For serving:
Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.

Photos property of Deborah

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Arizona Scenes


We stayed at a Bright Angel cabin right on the edge of the Canyon! We had dinner at the Arizona Room on the South Rim at Bright Angel Lodge restaurant. Desert was New York Style Cheesecake with Prickly Pear Syrup...very good! We had an elegant breakfast at the El Tovar Dining Room ... hmmm, the Belgium Hot Chocolate!...hmmm!

Prickly Pear Syrup
2 1/2 cups prickly pear juice
2/3 box pectin
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 cups granulated sugar

Mix the prickly pear juice, lemon juice, and pectin together in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Add the sugar and bring to another full rolling boil, then boil for 2 minutes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Pink roses climb my welcome gate,

soft petals on iron tall and straight

Thorny vines weave through massive bars -

sweet scents rain down as falling stars

Copyright Deborah


We had so much fun in New Orleans! First evening there after checking into Chateau Sonesta, we walked several blocks to Jackson Square to eat some Cajun food – had Gumbo, Jambalya, red beans and rice…can’t remember the restaurant’s name.

After, we went right across the street to Café Du Monde for Beignets – Ha!...don’t wear a black shirt there like I did!

Next morning we had breakfast at Brennans…OMG!! What a treat! It was decadent! I'm embarrassed to say how much our bill was - but it did include a $36 cookbook. Our waiter was the best! He suggested we start our breakfast off with turtle soup…no thank you!

I had a Mimosa and Larry had
a Brandy Milk Punch. Oh was that good!

To eat, I had Eggs Benedict..(Perfect!)

Larry had Eggs Shannon – poached eggs on top trout and spinach

For dessert – remember this is our breakfast – we had Bananas Foster – it was invented at Brennans. Waiter came over and picked up my camera and said to me – “Come with me Honey”…I followed him to the Bananas Foster station where he handed me a spoon and told me to make the dessert! He gave the camera to a waitress who took seven pictures of me and every one was fuzzy – I don’t know how she carried food and drinks with her shaky hands! I was so disappointed when I looked at the pictures. Oh well, I have the memory.

Brennan's Bananas Foster
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, cut in half
lengthwise, then halved
¼ cup dark rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Sharing Bananas Foster

Hubby bought me a
cookbook which our waiter had Executive Chef Randolph Lazone
personalize and autograph. All that could not have been
better had we had Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

After, we walked back to Jackson Square and the French Market by way of Bourbon Street – not a pretty sight during daylight hours. I like Royal street much better – lots and lots of antique stores. Later that night we went bacK to Bourbon Street again to see how it was at night – wow! The street was blocked off and tons of people were staggering, yes staggering up and down the street and it was loud, so loud with all the bands going full blast in the open bars. Little kids were tap dancing on the street for money. Made me sad that they were in that atmosphere – all those raunchy strip joints and bars and the pictures at the strip joints for any kid walking past to see...

That night we ate at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse...another winner!
Don't know if it is part of the other Brennan restaurant.

I had prime rib, au gratin potatoes and...

Tomato-Bleu Cheese Napoleon

"Thick tomato slices layered with Danish bleu cheese, shaved red onion, and garlic aïoli croutons, topped with our housemade remoulade sauce"

I forgot to take a picture of that! It was awesome!

Next day – Saturday – we walked many, many, many blocks to the D-Day museum…that was a sobering experience…no wonder veterans don’t like talking about the war. We took a cab back to Jackson Square where we had a Muffaletta for lunch, then took a tour of the old cemeteries, the mansions, “ground zero” where the levy broke – that’s another story – it was heartbreaking. Going down Esplanade Avenue we saw a lot of cameras and people taking photos of an old house – we were told it was bought by Angelina Joline and Brad Pitt – it must be a fixer upper. Okay, this is getting mighty long…I think I’ll finish it later. We did have a great time!
Photos property of Deborah