Bifteck Hache A La Lyonnaise - Ground Beef with Onions and Herbs

Considering myself to be a pretty good cook I didn't fully understand how much work Julie from the movie Julie and Julia must have gone through. Since I didn't have a Julia Child cookbook in my collection I found a used version of Mastering the Art of French Cooking on Amazon.com. My first attempt a few months ago was a chicken dish with an herb sauce. The chicken was fried in a stick of butter and I thought the butter would burn since chicken takes a while to cook so I added a little vegetable oil. Well, when I added the eggs to make the sauce it broke apart. 

Looking through the cook book the other night I was surprised to find recipes for hamburgers. I thought for sure this would be easy and I wouldn't mess it up. Following the recipe I began by sauteing some onions in a pan until they were tender but not brown.

Sauteed Onions

To the ground sirloin I added salt, pepper, 1 egg, and the onions. 

After combining the ingredients I dipped them in flour and began to saute them in equal parts butter and oil just as the recipe called for. The book said to use 1 or 2 skillets to hold the patties in one layer. Since I was working with 3/4 lb of beef and was making 1 toddler sized burger I decided to cook 2 patties and then finish the 3rd in the same pan. I've learned my lesson from now on to do exactly what Julia says. The flour from the first 2 patties burnt in the bottom of the pan. I definitely wasn't thinking but I was also trying to pacify a hungry toddler, Skype with grandparents, and take photos while doing this. When the burgers were completed the pan drippings were to be used as a sauce. I knew the burnt flour would ruin the sauce so I removed the partially cooked 3rd burger from the pan so I could clean it. With fresh oil and butter I finished cooking the 3rd patty and poured the oil out of the pan. The recipe offers 5 different liquid choices to make a sauce and I chose pinot noir. 

Before I tried this recipe I had no idea that sauteed onions and thyme made such a delicious hamburger. They were so good I think putting it on a bun with the traditional toppings would ruin it. It was excellent by itself and the sauce managed to make it seem gourmet. 

When my husband came home from work late that night I told him that I tried another Julia recipe but managed to mess it up too. He pulled his from the fridge, warmed it in the microwave, and devoured it standing over the sink. He looked at me and sarcastically said "yeah, that was horrible".

Fantastic Meatloaf

Traditional meatloaf is slathered in ketchup which I am not a huge fan. So I scoured the web for a meatloaf recipe that didn't involve ketchup. Emeril is one of the chefs whose recipes never let me down. It's a great feeling as a home cook when a recipe turns out absolutely delicious. This meatloaf is basted with broth. The recipe calls for veal stock but I use beef broth because it is much easier to come by. 

It is a very simple recipe that contains onions, green peppers, garlic, salt and pepper for the seasoning. In addition to the traditional eggs and breadcrumbs the recipe also calls for heavy cream. I've never put milk or cream into a meatloaf before but it is fantastic.

The recipe calls for both ground beef and ground pork. I've made it using only beef and it's good, but the ground pork does take it to another level. When the meatloaf is finished the pan drippings are used to make a gravy. I'm tempted to call this meatloaf the poor man's roast. It doesn't take all day like a roast but is just as satisfying. You must give it a try!

Mom's Meatloaf Recipe - Emeril Lagasse on FoodNetwork.com


  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup minced onions
  • 1/2 cup minced green peppers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 to 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups veal stock
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a roasting pan with the butter. In a mixing bowl, add beef, pork, onions, peppers, garlic, eggs, cream, and bread crumbs. Blend thoroughly. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place on the prepared pan. Pour the stock over the top and place in the oven. Place in the oven and bake for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally. Remove the pan from the oven. Using a long spatula, remove the meat loaf from the pan. Place the roasting pan on the stove, over high heat. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with 2 tablespoons water. Whisk the slurry into the gravy. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook for few minutes, stirring constantly. Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Slice the meatloaf in to 8 pieces. Serve two slices ofmeat loaf per person with a spoonful of gravy.


Vegetarian Reuben

Not only was it a hectic Saturday the weather was cold and crummy. My dinner thoughts included a grilled cheese and hot bowl of tomato soup. After I made a grilled cheese for my toddler I lost my excitement for the sandwich. I decided to slice some onion which sounded good, but it still didn't sound like it would hit the spot. Several years ago I saw a talk show featuring one of the reality stars from the Bachelor who made the grilled cheese I was now craving. His version included tomato slices and dill pickles. Unfortunately I didn't have either. 

Standing in front of the open refrigerator I began to scan the items on the shelf looking for inspiration. On the back of the top shelf I saw the jar of sauerkraut and immediately grabbed it. When I previously assessed the pickle situation I knew I had sweet relish. My husband who was watching this process began asking if I was pregnant. He doesn't like sauerkraut and hence has never had a Reuben. 

I put the buttered side of a piece of wheat bread face down in a hot skillet and topped it with cheddar cheese slices, red onion, sauerkraut, and more cheese. To the other slice of bread I buttered one side and spread mayonnaise on the other. With a spoon I added a layer of sweet relish on top of the mayo and put the relish side down on top of the cheese. 

After I toasted the other side in the pan I cut the sandwich in half and took my first bite. It was delicious! My husband asked what it tasted like and I said "a Reuben". "So you made a Vegetarian Reuben?" he said. "Yes, and I'll give you credit for naming it". 

Ingredient List
  • 2 slices of bread (I used wheat but rye would have been better)
  • Slices of cheddar cheese
  • Slices of onion
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Mayo
  • Butter


Cowboy Roasted Chicken

Yesterday I didn't have much gumption to make dinner so I decided to make a roasted chicken. Although I put the bird in the refrigerator to thaw the day before it was still partially frozen. I was going to rub the bird with a butter and herb mixture but I knew I wouldn't be able to put butter between the skin and breast. Instead I grabbed my husband's favorite spice blend and rubbed a generous amount on the chicken. 

Image: sweetbaysupermarket.com

After applying the rub to the chicken I put it in a 350 F oven. When 20 minutes had passed I added a little safflower oil to the bottom of the pan. Vegetable oil will also work. Using a basting brush I combined some of the drippings with the oil and used them to gently baste the chicken. Every 15-20 minutes I continued to baste the chicken until it became golden brown. I inserted a meat thermometer in a few areas to test the temperature. Since I knew the bird was originally frozen I inserted the thermometer deep into the chicken without touching the bone. Bones can be hotter than the meat and give a false reading so make sure your thermometer doesn't touch them. Taking the recommendation of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse I cooked the chicken until it was 160 F. Many sources suggest cooking poultry to 175-180 but chef Emeril has said on several cooking shows that temperature will dry out the meat. 

When the chicken was removed from the pan I covered it with foil to let it rest for 30 minutes. During the resting period the temperature of the meat will continue to climb. If the chicken will not be given time to rest I recommend the 175-180 F range. 

My husband carved the chicken and began nibbling on it while doing so. He ate most of his dinner over the roasting pan because he couldn't quit eating it. 

Later I added the chicken bones and pan drippings to an 8qt stockpot with water, a few bay leaves, sage leaves, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. I covered the pot and let it simmer for an hour to make home made chicken stock. 

It was a delicious dinner and a bargain at $0.89/lb.


Food Quotes

I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation. —–Madam Benoit

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. —-Virginia Woolf
Food is our common ground, a universal experience. -
James Beard
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. —Julia Child
There is no sincerer love than the love of food. –George Bernard Shaw


Leftover Dinner Ideas

I'm not a huge fan of leftovers but I it is such a horrible waste to throw away food. Every time I visit the market I am shocked how expensive things are becoming. Have you ever left the store with only a few items feeling there's not much in your cart to eat but the bill comes to $50? Here are some shocking facts from an article I found in the New York Times.

One Country’s Table Scraps, Another Country’s Meal

As it turns out, Americans waste an astounding amount of food — an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study — and it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias and in your very own kitchen. 1
Click to Enlarge:
Source: "One Country's Table Scraps Another Country's Meal" by Andrew Martin, The New York Times May 18, 2008
  The problem isn’t unique to the United States.
In England, a recent study revealed that Britons toss away a third of the food they purchase, including more than four million whole apples, 1.2 million sausages and 2.8 million tomatoes. In Sweden, families with small children threw out about a quarter of the food they bought, a recent study there found. 1
And most distressing, perhaps, is that in some parts of Africa a quarter or more of the crops go bad before they can be eaten. 1

To help keep your grocery bill low and stop wasting food here are a few ideas to help turn your leftovers into a new meal. Personally I can only eat a dish a few times and then I need a change. So, I've learned to get creative in the kitchen. 


Meatloaf is a very versatile dish that can be used in several ways

  • Turn it into chili
  • Add it to marinara sauce for a spaghetti topping
  • Mix it with elbow macaroni and a cheddar cheese sauce
  • Use it to stuff green peppers
  • Make it into meatloaf sandwiches


When shopping for chicken it is best to buy the whole chicken or chicken still on the bone. Not only is it cheaper, the bones can be used to make your own chicken stock. A box of stock usually ranges from $2.50-$4.00. It is easy to make 8 quarts of stock with the remaining parts of a chicken. It's equivalent to getting the stock for free and also being paid to do so. Yesterday I bought a package with 2 chickens for $0.89/lb. The were also free-range without any antibiotics. Here is a short list of ideas. Maybe have roasted chicken the first night and then use the leftovers to create the rest. 

Beef Roast

If the roast is braised there is a likelihood you can save some beef stock.
  • Soups and stews
  • French dip sandwiches 
  • Beef stroganoff


I'd have to say the majority of what I've had to toss in the past has fallen under this category. 
  • Use it in omletttes or frittatas
  • Vegetable soup
  • Add fruit to a green salad
  • Juice it
  • Make fruit smoothies
  • Roast the vegetables for a side dish or sauce


  • Milk: I used to be guilty of pouring out sour milk until I realized the expiration date on organic milk is usually a month away from the day you purchase it. Yes, it is a little more expensive, but how much are you spending when you buy milk every week? Plus it doesn't have any pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, or steroids in it.
  • Cheese: 
    • Sauces
    • Toppings
    • Soup
    • Omlettes
    • With crackers or a baguette, raw fruits and veggies, and a glass of your favorite wine.
  • Eggs: 
    • Sandwiches
    • Burritos
    • Pasta Carbonara
  • Butter: I think Paula Deen would be beside herself if she heard of anyone throwing butter way. In the past it has gotten a bad rap because it was believed to elevate cholesterol levels. As it turns out sugar is much worse for your cholesterol level than butter is. 
    • Biscuits
    • Pie Crust
    • Cookies
    • Hollandaise
    • Bernaise
I hope I've given you some leftover ideas you can put to good use. Here's an article I wrote for more ideas to save on groceries.

Kona Coffee


Easy Buffalo Chuck Roast Recipe

Buffalo not only has less fat and fewer calories it also contains more iron and vitamin B-12 than beef, pork, or chicken. When it comes to taste some say the buffalo is slightly sweeter. In comparison to beef I'd say it's less gamey than beef. It's a shame that during the 1800's bison were hunted to near extinction for essentially everything but their meat.1 The roast I made was tender and absolutely delicious. I can't imagine letting good buffalo go to waste.

Full Text Article with Step-by-Step photos: Easy Buffalo Chuck Roast Recipe

Dakota Buffalo Company