Monday, March 08, 2010

Monica & Julia

Since watching the movie Julie & Julia, I've been wanting to try my hand at Boeuf Bourguignon, using Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Although I've owned the cookbooks forever (I'm a huge Julia fan). I've never really followed a recipe--mostly using it as a guide. Her "Way to Cook" is my definitive basic cookbook. So with a long night of OSCAR watching ahead of me (see below), I thought it was a good time to try it.

What a project! The recipe itself isn't that difficult, but the side dishes (pearl onions, mushrooms, peas and noodles) didn't let me sit down for nearly the entire 4 hours. But it really was worth it. It turned out fantastic and more importantly delicious. My ten year old and thirteen year old must have said "this is so good" twenty times each. They're already talking about next time. I hate to break it to them, but this is NOT a regular meal, LOL. Next time I do make it though, I'm going to do potatoes instead of the noodles. The sauce was incredible and the noodles didn't sop it up as well as the potatoes would.

I used to be quite a cook, but after kids I just didn't have the time. My biggest experiment before this was to make my own sourdough using Nancy Silverton's La Brea Bakery cookbook. You basically grown your own starter from grapes. I kept it up for about two years, making everything from weekly sourdough bread to my own bagels and sourdough waffles, pancakes, etc. You can freeze the starter for a while, but I can't tell you how many bags of flour I went through in those two years!

Those were the days. I barely have time to get pasta on the table nowadays, LOL.

So what did you think of the OSCARs last night? Sandra Bullock looked amazing. Her dress is probably one of my all time favorites. Gorgeous.

I was fine with Hurt Locker winning, although hubby and I didn't *love* it was much as the critiques. Here's my take on the best picture nominees:

Hurt Locker: Very good, but IMO didn't quite live up to the hype. I've seen much better war movies.
Avatar: Haven't seen it. Sam Worthington is a hottie, not sure I want to see him all in blue. :)
Inglorious Basterds: Coming from Netflix as we speak
Up: The single best love story I've ever seen in 20 minutes. Seriously, beautiful. Highly recommend.
The Blind Side: Absolutely loved this movie. Heartwarming. Inspiring. Funny. I would have loved to see it win. :)
District Nine: Good, but another one of those that didn't quite live up to the hype for me. I can see why it was nominated though.
An Education: Didn't see. Not sure I will.
Precious: Ditto. Subject matter is way too depressing.
A Serious Man: Didn't see.
Up in the Air: Haven't seen, but definitely want to.

I think I got them all.

So lots of questions today: Cooking or OSCARs take your pick. Are you much of a cook? What's the most intimidating cooking project you've ever taken on? Did you watch the OSCARs? Favorite gown? Did your movie choice win?