Adventures in French Cooking or Stick With What You Know

Okay, maybe it’s not exactly an adventure…it is just cooking after all. I have been wanting to try making a beef wellington for a while now. It can be a little daunting so I did my research checking out different recipes online. But not one to take the easy way out, I chose not to just make a beef wellington, but the French version, Boeuf en Croute! Go big or go home, right?

I used Laura Calder’s version (from the Cooking Channel). And because I can’t leave any recipe alone, I had to make my own modifications. I left out the creme fraiche because Target doesn’t carry it and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of making it from scratch…somewhere a Frenchman is crying right now. Instead of Madeira I used a Robert Mondavi Cabernet.

I was in the kitchen dicing 1 pound of mushrooms when my five-year-old Parker came into the kitchen. Curious, she asked what I was cutting up.


Real serious she informs me, “You know those things will killed you. They’re poisonous.”

I suppressed my laughter. “Well, I bought these at Target so I am pretty sure they’re not the poisonous kind.”

“That’s good.” And she runs off to do something else.

Cooking roast at high altitude can be tricking. It always seems to take longer than the recipe calls for. In fact, turkeys take longer to roast too. And it was the case here; 25 minutes longer! {sigh.} And that was a little too long because the beef came out more than medium. Oh, well. It was still good but not excellent. Laura makes it look soooo easy. But realistically I should just stick with what I do well which is chili, pulled pork, lasagna, and red beans with rice.

This just proves that I will never be a French cook. I didn’t even take a picture of the finished product. It wasn’t pretty.


Cooking Lessons with My Almost-Ten-Year-Old…

Alex not liking the hot oven
Adding the sauce
Finished Pizza Quesadillas

Alex is now old enough to start making more than just popcorn in the microwave. Tonight we made Rachael Ray’s Quesadilla Pizza. And we altered this recipe too. The girls don’t like green olives, scallions, or salsa, so we used pizza sauce, black olives and no scallions instead. Yummy!

Now, Rachael Ray is more my speed.

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