Cooking up a storm…

There wasn’t a whole lot of dining out going on at Chez Julie– sort of strange, considering most weekends I dine out at least twice. I seem to have gotten a domestic bug, and inspired by my recent week in Europe, wanted something I had in Paris: boeuf Bourguignon I combed through my fairly extensive cookbook collection (I collect them, it’s a bit of a sickness) and settled on the recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to go to the grocery store, so I swung by Findlay Market, where I did all of my shopping in 15 minutes. I first stopped by Eckerlin’s for some flat iron steak (a substitute for the paleron called for in the book, which is a cut not readily available in the US), then ran across the street to Angelina’s, where I picked up some really great Roquefort and Gruyere for a cheese plate (and a sample of their homemade rhum baba, which were awesome– highly recommended!). I rounded out my trip at Madison’s for produce, some Mango-Ginger Stilton (an impulse purchase, but such a tasty dessert cheese) and some Findlay Market blend coffee. It took me less than ten minutes (including banter with the clerks) and the meal was one of the best I’ve made in a while. Since I had friends over, I didn’t want to subject them to my food-photography weirdness, but I did get a couple of shots of the Findlay Market haul.

My only complaint? There is no wine shop at Findlay– the closest wine shops to downtown being The Party Source and the Wine Shop on Ludlow. I hear a rumor that a wine shop is opening at Findlay– anyone have any insight on that?

Terry and I went back on Sunday to buy groceries for Sunday night’s dinner, which was an old-fashioned meat loaf and mashed potatoes. The meat loaf recipe is from The New Best Recipe, which is my go-to cookbook for classics that I want to turn out perfectly. It’s produced by the Cook’s Illustrated folks, and I’ve never cooked a bad dish out of that book. Again, everything– including the ground veal and peppered bacon– were from various stands at Findlay. Too bad it’s so quiet on Sundays– I really wish I’d see Findlay open and vibrant every day– but we still got great service and, of course, great food. I think meatloaf sandwiches are in my future for dinner tonight.

I also finally joined the food blog bandwagon and made Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread. I don’t know why I haven’t made this before– it’s simple (though it involves patience, which, when it comes to cooking, I often don’t have) and unbelievably delicious– soft on the inside, crackly-crusted on the outside– it’ll become part of my new weekend repertoire, I think. Who doesn’t like fresh bread? And who doesn’t like easy fresh bread? I hear that Cook’s Illustrated has “perfected” the recipe, so I may try that one next, but for now, Mark Bittman’s will do quite well.

And one last note– major thanks to Michelle over at My Wine Education for her warm welcome to the Cincinnati blogging community. So far I’ve put my toe in over at Cincinnati Blog, and this is my first foray into a blog that encompasses two things I love: Cincinnati and food. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!