Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You know your a redneck when...

Last night I decided to make this delicious recipe that I had found (surprise surprise) on Posie Get's Cozy. Now, it's definitely not cold or blustery around these parts but it looked good and I've always wanted to try a bolognese sauce. Sadly, all the recipes I have ever read were really complicated, took hours and hours of cooking time, or called for weird ingredients that I never have on hand. But, I was quite delighted to see that I had all of the ingredients (well, enough to fudge it) and it only took 1 1/2 hours of cooking time. This I could do! So I printed of the recipe (you can get the original here) and got started.


  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 carrot, finely, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced ( I used 5 because this is Italian food after all!)
  • 1 pound veal, ground (I used 2 lbs of ground beef because, come on, who eats veal anyways???)
  • 1 pound pork, ground
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground ( I used 1/2 package of bacon, sliced into little strips)
  • 1/2 tube tomato paste ( I used half a can since I didn't have a tube and you can never have too much)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry white wine ( I used beer, don't do this! Continue reading after recipe)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating (none was to be found in our fridge, we used smoked gouda instead)


In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned. Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

When ready to use, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu Bolognese, and tosses so that the pasta is evenly coated by the ragu.

Ok, so if you read the ingredients you can tell that I fudged the recipe a bit but the bacon and ground beef suggestions were via Ms. Paulson so I was pretty certain on that part. What threw me a bit was the white wine part. Now, I usually have a bottle of white in my fridge but since I'm the person in the family who enjoys it and I haven't been drinking lately, there was none. But I have in other recipes been able to substitute small amounts ( 1/4 c. -1/2c.) of wine for beer because that is something that we most generally have on hand. I had second thoughts before I pour the entire cup in. "Maybe I should use chicken broth instead. No, there's no chicken in this and it's will throw the flavor off. Ok, pour it in." And so it went in. The gravity of this began to settle in in earnest when the entire bottom floor of our house began to smell of cooking beer.
Mike couldn't quite figure out what I was cooking when he arrived at home. I explained my problem of the lack of wine and the substituting of the beer. He looked at me somewhat askance and said, "you really put an entire cup of beer in the sauce when it called for white wine???" Of course my answer was "yes." At that we decided to laugh about it and eat anyways.
It turned out ok, but the flavor was a little too dark and earthy for me and Olivia to truly enjoy it. Today, we had it as leftovers and I added about 1/2 c. of chicken broth to loosen it up as it was short on saucy-ness and long on meaty chunks. It helped a whole lot and we enjoyed it much more with it's beer flavor tempered quite a bit. I can't say I'm in a great hurry to try this recipe again but it will be going in my recipe binder and I'll make sure to follow the ingredients list a bit more closely next time. And please don't let my mistakes deter you from trying it, it really is delicious. We ate ours piled high on quinoa and corn pasta and topped with a generous helping of shredded smoked gouda.
But for heavens sake make the little extra effort and buy a bottle of white and then drink the rest with dinner. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An itch

I have been incredibly unproductive(in my creative life) for the past 2 months. So many things going on and mental stresses and bodily stresses and comings and goings. It has been miraculous most days to have 3 meals fixed, clean dishes to eat on, and clothes clean but definitely not folded to put on. We've had company, been company, done some semi-major construction on our house, spent almost over 25+ hours at the church in one week, drove 2400 miles in 10 days, and have lived to tell about it. Momma has been tired and even some days, quite ill. During that time, my life was pretty much shut down to necessities only. No blogging has gone on, not even reading other blogs or hardly any Facebook, (gasp, I know!) most days I didn't even turn my computer on. I just checked my email on Mike's laptop if it was necessary.

But, life has finally slowed down, momma's feeling herself again, and certain stresses have dissipated and newer ones I'm pretty much content to let someone else worry about. I'm finally spending some time reading blogs again and it's been ever so nice to catch up a bit on what's been going on everyone's lives. Some made me cry, I had missed so much, others sent me into giggling fits and snorting my tea. ( you know who you are!)

While do my wanderings (after I checked on my "friends") I went over to {inspiration blogs} Kelly McCaleb's and felt a little tickle in my brain after reading this post. No, I told myself. Get a grip. So, wander on over to House on Hill Road. Crumb, that's not much better! So, then I did the worst thing possible and stepped into Ms. Paulson's most cozy little blog space. Shoot! Bad bad, terrible, no good, disastrous idea! Now I'm completely overwhelmed and have a head full of ideas (like I need any more!) and the most insane urge to pull out all of my carefully folded and packed boxes and bin of fabric and start tossing everything all over my newly organized FROG. Forget the fact that I'm in the middle of a custom order that involves 7 yards of black duponi silk, 7 24" zippers, and many many more hours of labor than I estimated and a custom designed 50's style apron for another client that has even been started yet. Nope! A summer patchwork quilt for our bedroom is far more important as are patchwork hexagon seat cushions and embroidered wall hangings for our bedroom.
I mean, come on! Who could resist the likes of this?

(Because I really have a pressing desire to make a patchwork quilt.
Or this?

(Because I really must start setting a prettier table)

Or this?
(Because who would say "no" to a hammock, in the backyard, covered in vintage quilts, fluffy pillows, and a vintage chenille bedspread topped with a sweet corgi?)

Or to this?
(because every seat in our kitchen is wooden and hard and my hinney hurts quite frequently from them)

Do you see what I mean? I could go on and on forever and ever. And this isn't my first time down this road either.
But, I digress.
So, I made myself a promise. Finish these last 2 orders and then no more custom orders for at least 6 months (forever?). And to make one thing a month just for me, my house, or someone I love. Just because. Just because I can and I enjoy it. No deadlines and no worrying about whether it's up to someone else's standards.
It truly sounds like bliss. I can't wait. I'm making my lists!
And I'm working up the courage to sew 336" of zipper.

Real Time Web Analytics