Saturday, February 9, 2013

Barefoot in the Kitchen (Vol. 1)

Welcome to the first post of Barefoot in the Kitchen!

The title is brought to you by my clever mother and humorous husband. The latter happens to be a much better chef than me at the moment but who knows, maybe this blogging experiment might help even things out! Speaking of which....

The purpose of this series is rather simple - every week I find a new recipe, try it, and blog about it the following Monday. The recipe can be a main dish, side dish, baked good, appetizer/snack, dessert, etc. It does not have to have been a success (failures and cautionary tales are fair game!), just an exercise in homemaking. You see, if left to my own devices I would simply pan-fry chicken with a bit of salt, butter, and basil (favorite spice, hands down) every night, microwave a frozen vegetable, and boil some rice or pasta if I were feeling EXTRA domestic! That or Spaghetti. Seriously, I could live off of that stuff! Anyways, my husband deserves better and my soon-to-be-born son does as well and now that I am no longer working I actually have no excuse!

If you feel like joining in then please go ahead and post a link in the comments section and, if you'd be so kind, a link somewhere in your posting leading back to this page. If I were a more sophisticated or learned blogger I would know how to do the actual Link-Ups like the lovely Jen or the fun folks over at Fine Linen and Purple but alas, I am as much an amateur at blogging as I am to homemaking! 

So, without any further ado, I give you.......

NOTE : Sadly, in my desire to get my Iron Chef on I forgot to take the time to snap photos of the cooking process. The pictures below are provided by the site where I found the recipe (see link above). I hope to do better in the future!!!

Prep Time : 10 minutes (except not really because I cannot prep the ingredients that quickly)

Cook Time : 50 minutes

Servings : 4 (I scaled the recipe down to accommodate just Ben and me)

Ingredients :
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas, etc. (I used frozen corn only)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (despite halving the recipe I did use more than 1 t)
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice (Basil!!!!!)
Steps :

1 Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

2 While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.

3 Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). Even if the recipe had called for raw onions I would have sauteed them because my husband does not like them any other way. If you decide to add vegetables, add them according to how much cooking time they will need. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.

My onions are a bit more buttery....
Memo to Self : Google "How to Photograph Food"

4 Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink (unless you like food poisoning). Add salt and pepper (and basil!). Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.

5 Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste. I added Parmesan cheese and some Garlic powder because I couldn't help myself.

If cooking for two, an 8x8 works perfectly
Why do their mashed potatoes look like rice?

6 Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. I apparently don't know how to use a fork properly because it took me a few minutes to finally achieve the "peaked" look. Oh well.

7 Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.

Because I am completely uncultured I used ketchup and honey mustard and it was marvelous! Ben is never negative about my cooking (poor man really is a saint in the making) but due to his more laid back personality he does not tend to be effusive in his praise either. With this meal, however, he could not stop telling me how much he loved it and how it was some of the best food he had ever had.

Verdict : SUCCESS!!!

~ Happy Monday ~


  1. I believe that cooking is one of the best means that God gave us to make our love for our family visible. This is the beginning of a wonderful adventure for you - thanks for sharing it with us! There's a book that I LOVE which is not a cookbook but draws the reader into a love of the ACT of cooking, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is at all intimidated by cooking. It's called An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, and it starts with what to do with a pot of boiling water. It can transform your perspective! (FWIW I don't get any kickbacks for this - I just want everyone to find out about this great resource!).

  2. Just wanted to let you know that I made- and took pictures of the process of making- one of my fav recipes yesterday and intend on doing a post about it next Monday and of course linking to your blog :) I think this is a great idea!

    1. Thanks! That is awesome and I can't wait to see your post :)