Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dinner at Our Place

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{Lauren McCrory painting in the background!}
I can count on one hand the number of times we have had guests over for dinner this past 12 months- and y'all know how much I love to cook and how much Aaron loves to "entertain" so now that I'm starting to get my life back, we hope to have friends and family over a whole lot more.

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And I just love a good excuse to throw fresh flowers in my grocery cart!

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{Another Lauren McCrory painting in the background!}
On the menu this particular night was: braised beef with mushrooms and red wine over creamy polenta with sugar snap pea salad and french bread with peppered Boursin cheese on the side. Let me just tell y'all something... it was fine. If I can remember how I made everything, I will share!

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{... and my cloth napkins are buried somewhere in our storage unit...}
Oh, and Ina Garten's creme brulee for dessert... I think Aaron was more excited about using the blow torch than eating the dessert.

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I always make him burn mine!!

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Ok, below are the most accurate versions of what I whipped up that night. Let me know how they turn out for you!

Braised Beef with Mushrooms and Red Wine

3lb. chuck roast
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pack mushrooms, sliced
2 cups red wine
1 box beef stock
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
Generous amount of S&P

Sear generously seasoned beef in olive oil over high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove meat from pot or skillet and cook mushrooms until brown on both sides. Throw in the diced onion and cook on medium heat until translucent. Stir in the minced garlic for 2-3 minutes. Pour in red wine and stir to remove any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Place meat back in pan and pour in beef stock until meat is barely covered. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer on the stovetop for 2 1/2-3 hours. Turn the meat every now and then, adding extra liquid to keep the meat covered if needed. When done, take the meat and mushrooms out, place onto a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Bring the liquid to a boil for 6-8 minutes (skimming the fat as necessary) and whisk in flour until liquid is slightly thickened and reduced to a sauce. Add the meat and mushrooms back to the sauce and serve over the polenta (or mashed potatoes would be good!)

Creamy Polenta

1 bag of quick cooking polenta (and however much chicken broth the package might say)
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1/4 c heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook polenta according to package directions. When polenta is done, stir in both cheeses and heavy cream. Season with S&P to taste.

Sugar Snap Pea Salad

1 bag fresh sugar snap peas
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Place sugar snap peas in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove peas and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. When the peas are cooled, drain the water and slice each pea lengthwise. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, S&P, lemon juice and parm. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

{Copy and paste these directions onto a word document for an easy printable version!}


  1. This looks delicious! I can't wait to try this! Thanks for posting the recipes!



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