I’ve posted about this beouf bourguignon before.  I know.  And incidentally, if you want a good Before & After of a blogger’s journey through the years, check that link out.  I’ll wait.

See what I mean?

This recipe deserves another post.  In fact it deserves songs written about it and a book deal which can be turned into a movie or at least a miniseries in which it is the star.

But I’ll just stick to another post.  For now, anyway.

I can’t even quite describe what a big fat deal this dish is.  It’s just unlike any other stew I’ve ever eaten.  And I’ve eaten my fair share.

Rob always describes it as “rich”, which is a fact.  There is such a lovely depth of flavor happening.  I mean, come on.  Bacon.  Red wine.  Beef.  There’s no going wrong.

Did I mention there’s bacon? Oh, I did? Okay.

Confession time: I don’t follow Julia Child’s beouf bourguinon recipe to the letter anymore. I’ve put my own “Jen” spin on it.

Translation: I’m too lazy to do it Julia’s way.

But my husband sure doesn’t seem to mind.  Neither does mah belly.

There’s one step I never skimp on, though.  That would be the browned mushrooms.  Oh my goodness.

I’m the only person in the house who eats them.  Notice how un-sad I sound when I say that?

All.for.me.

The mushrooms are just browned up in butter and olive oil with some parsley thrown in.  And yet they are so, so special.  I Instgrammed this photo and it was agreed – there are many of us who would just eat these for dinner.

And then there’s the brown braised onions which normally go with the dish.  I make them if I’m feeling fancy.  If not, no biggie – I just eat the onions which cooked in the stew.

I really fly by the seat of my pants, don’t I?

Anyway, I don’t say “this is the bomb” very often (because there is no way to say that without sounding corny), but this is in fact THE bomb.  It is close-your-eyes-in-blissful-tranquility delicious.

It also helps that I generally serve this over brown buttered egg noodles.  Oh yeah.

I mean, seriously.  Just look at it.  There’s nothing more to say, is there?

You want this.  You need this.  You will have this if it’s the last thing you ever do.  Because you’re worth it.

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Chowder

Creamy Chicken Bacon Chowder

Friends, it’s not often that I eat something so good, I’m compelled to blog about it while the taste still lingers on my tongue and bits of it still linger on my clothing.

I haven’t actually looked down yet so I’m just assuming on that second part.

But back to the matter at hand. This soup.  The soup which compels me to write this post.

This glorious, thick, rich, hearty, soul-warming and life-affirming soup.

Second-best part? It’s a crock pot recipe.

Very best part? My husband created and prepared it himself.

Swoon away, ladies.

He looked around the internet to get down the logistics of creating a soup from scratch, then set about making it.  And on the first try, he hit it out of the park.

Imagine walking into your house at the end of a typically long and yucky Monday to find the aroma of bacon lingering in the air. Yeah. That was me.

Swoon, I say.

In all seriousness, this is a ridiculously good soup, and you should make it happen.

Roasting the chicken before putting it in the pot adds flavor – if you don’t have the time I’m sure you could skip that step.

I’m also sure you could lighten things up a bit, though I can’t imagine why you’d want to.  Okay, I can totally imagine why you’d want to.  Just not at the moment.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some soup to lick off my sweater. Um, I mean, to wash off my sweater.

Yeah.  That.

What’s your favorite soup recipe?

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Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Tomorrow, I’ll be telling you all about how I jogged for the first time on Saturday.

Today, I’ll be telling you about the reason why I felt it necessary to jog on Saturday.

It was a very delicious reason.  Something I’ve been wanting to make for a very long time, but especially in the last several months.  See, I watched a lot of Food Network while I was in the hospital this past fall.  Because when I’m on a “clear liquids” diet, I feel the urge to torture myself with hour after hour of food-centric television.

There was this one commercial for “The Best Thing I Ever Made” and regardless of whether or not it’s what she was cooking, I convinced myself in my drug-induced and food-less haze that Anne Burrell was making carbonara.  Whether or not she was, I haven’t the slightest.  I was just sure of it at the time.  And the idea of making it when I got out of the joint buried itself in my brain, to surface every so often.

Finally, with some leftover bacon in the fridge, I decided the time had come.  Carbonara would no longer be just a culinary fantasy.

Ohhhh boy.  Where has this been all my life? Creamy and full of bacony, cheesy flavor.  Diet food it is not.  But delicious it most certainly is.

Ingredients for Spaghetti Carbonara

Have your ingredients prepped in advance because once the pasta is ready, everything comes together very quickly.  Heat up the frying pan as the pasta water is coming to a rolling boil.  Mix the egg and cheese in the serving bowl while the bacon and pasta are cooking.  You want to mix the egg with the pasta while the pasta is still hot in order for the egg to cook.  It’s one thing after another.  So preparation is key.

But once all the quick work is over, it’s time to relax enjoy.  Because you deserve it and, besides, you’re gonna work out later, right? ;)

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Bacon Chicken

Sometimes I feel the urge.

The urge to eat chicken.

And not always fried and smothered in buffalo sauce, or shredded…and smothered in buffalo sauce.

I think I need to look into my buffalo sauce addiction.

But anyway.  Woman does not live on buffalo sauce alone, try though she might.  And I’ve tried.  Still, there are times when a good ol’ braised chicken dish hits the spot.  And this dish? Oh, it hit all sorts of spots.

I sorta made it up as I went along, to be honest.  I put a bunch of stuff in the pot which I thought would taste good together.

And you know what? It did.

First, I browned up some bacon pieces.  I just hold them over the pot and snip them with kitchen shears rather than use a knife.

While the bacon was slowly browning, I patted the chicken pieces as dry as possible so as to let the skin crisp up.

Removed the bacon, then added butter and once it melted, in went the chicken pieces in two batches.  I left them in til the skin got nice and crispy and golden.

Yes.  Beauty.

When the chicken was all browned and out of the pan, in went the garlic and onions.  Stir stir stir, sizzle sizzle sizzle.

A little flour sprinkled over, stirred into the fat and browned so as to thicken the cooking liquid.  What’s this called? That’s right, a roux! You’re so smart.

In goes the wine and the stock or broth.  Allow it to simmer and thicken a little bit, then in with the chicken and fresh herbs.

All together it simmers for hours. You will practically crawl out of your skin wanting to dig into it because ohmygoditsmellssogood.  I promise.

Once the chicken was finished cooking, I wanted to thicken up the sauce before adding the – gulp – cream, so I removed the chicken and boiled the sauce for around 10 minutes until it reduced to the consistency I wanted.  Then in went the cream and the chicken, to keep warm til it was time to serve.

And once it’s time to serve? Well, remember that bacon you crisped up waaaay back in the beginning of the process? You know, the bacon you had to move up on top of the fridge in order to get it out of your sight so you wouldn’t eat it all?

Oh, is that just me? Okay.  Well, anyway, you can sprinkle that back on top.

The chicken is so tender, and infused with the bacon and wine and herbs.  The sauce? Probably a crime, it’s so good.

So enjoy.  And enjoy some more.  And pick at the leftovers on the serving platter because they are just.that.good.

Or is that just me, too?

 

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Cabbage

Here it is, beautiful readers – yet another St. Patrick’s Day recipe! This time around it’s a bit more, well, cliche than beef stew.

There’s no way I could get away with making corned beef in this house.  I would be the only person eating it.  So instead I stuck with cabbage, which I know I can eat on my own over the course of a week.

But this wasn’t any old cabbage.  It’s special cabbage.  Bacon cabbage.

Because what have we learned? Bacon makes everything better.

I have been making braised cabbage for a long time – I absolutely love it and would eat it as a side dish with just about anything.  I figured I’d mix it up a bit this time, though.  This recipe is very close to the recipe for Brussels sprouts which I shared not long ago – because why mess with success?

What are YOUR favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipes?

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