Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chicken Provencale

Julia Child once said that she needed to make a recipe at least 10 times before she was comfortable with a recipe. Well, I have at least 6 or 7 more tries to get this recipe right. Tonight I made perhaps my best rendition of this dish. The HR Maven was quite pleased with this attempt at the meal. I have not even begun to think about Friday night's meal. Updates to follow.

OK, I have been slacking...

I have not done a very good job updating this blog. Truth be told, I have been busy looking for a job. Yes, I am trying to become a working stiff once again. The search has been a lot of fun, perhaps too much. and it is chronicled here. I am going to head out this afternoon and do a little grocery shopping for tonight's dinner and the weekend. I see some baked chicken in our future...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chile con Carne Recipe

As requested by Swani, the recipe for tonight's meal is posted below this text. For anyone who wants access to all the recipes in the Cafe's group, drop me a note ( and I will send you an invitation to join the us.

Chili con Carne

2 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 carrots, sliced
3 lbs boneless beef chuck, ground coarse
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon crumbled dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot cook the onions in the olive oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened. Once the onions are softened, add the garlic and carrots, then cook and stir the mixture for 1 minute. Add the beef and cook it over moderate heat, stirring and breaking up any lumps, until the beef is no longer pink. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and the red pepper flakes, then cook and stir the mixture for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, beef broth, cider vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil. After the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 50 to 60 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 15 more minutes.

Serves 6

Chili con Carne

Tonight I am making one of my favorite meals, Chili con Carne. When I was growing up, my mother would make chili and serve it with rice. I always loved the aromas that would permeate the kitchen when she made chili. Also, I thought that "carne" meant rice, since chili had, well, its own name. How wrong I was! The word carne is the Spanish word for meat. After I started making my own chili, I stopped serving rice with the dish. I did start adding cheese and sometimes sour cream as a side to the main course. We will probably wash this meal down with a few oat pops. Life agrees with us.

The Prime Rib was great!

The prime rib was yummy last night. I have not made a roast in a while, but much like riding a bicycle, you never really forget how to cook it. I have a lot of left overs, so Dee and I will be enjoying this meal for a few days to come!

(Note from Dee) Oh yeah. It was terrific!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


OK, I have been ignoring this blog for a while. Truth be told, I have been busy. Busy with trying to find a job! Sure, you might think that I should not be shirking my responsibilities to maintain the East of the Equator Cafe, but you are getting what you pay for when you visit this blog!

All kidding aside, it has been a busy couple of weeks for me. I have applied for a few positions in and around Grand Rapids, one of them is the job of Director of Readiness and Response for the American Red Cross. I had my second interview last week and I am now waiting for the decision of the Chief Executive Officer. Look here for more information about my job search.

Back to dinner tonight. A few months ago I made a bunch of beef stock. I use the stock to make the au jus for prime rib, as well as for the base for a few different sauces and reductions.
In my freezer I have four servings of beef stick and given the cold, cold weather we are experiencing here in the Enchanted Mitten, also known as the Motherland to this person. At breakfast this morning I spoke to the spousal unit as to her desires and I suggested prime rib. The wife looked with favor upon this proposal, so during our shopping trip this morning, I purchased an 8 pound roast, along with a few other things needed to make this meal.

Some people look at prime rib as an extravagance, but it is quite economical. The roast I purchased was $6.97 /lb, and there is little waste when it comes to this cut of beef. Also, this roast will give rise to a couple of left over meals, too. We will be enjoying a bottle of Estancia Merlot. Side dishes will be French Green Beans and some sort of tossed greens, too. It is a cold, grey Saturday here, so this meal will help take the chill out of our bones.