Soup’s (not) On

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I have a confession to make: I had plans to reinvent this space as a cooking blog. Brilliant, wouldn’t you agree?
As I considered this, in the wee hours of a winter night, it made perfect sense. I would cook my way through the Barefoot Contessa’s cookbook (or maybe even all three of the ones I own!) and it would be a nice way to regroup and get focused.
Am I in a rut? Maybe.
So I was going to cook and write and become a better cook as I cooked and wrote. And feeding my family in the process seemed like a nice little bonus.
This idea really went nowhere, as evidenced by the fact that it’s January 26 and how many cooking posts have you seen? Exactly.
Today, though, was going to be the FIRST POST. It was going to be great — my little cooking self getting it done in the kitchen. Beef stew, here we come.
Except, as I started to reread (for the 4th time) the instructions, I discovered that 1) beef stew takes two hours to cook. TWO HOURS? Why should it take more than 30-45 minutes? That’s the time required by everything else I stick in the oven.
So there was problem Number Uno: it is 5 p.m. We eat at six.
And I discovered that 2) I had some produce issues.
Problem No. 2: My carrots
To illustrate:

So tonight’s dinner is going to be eggs, which as I know from my vast experience, take way less than two hours. Which is why I rock at cooking eggs.

Tune in tomorrow when we discuss beef stew, Lord Willing. Or when I go with Plan B for Blog Revamp, which focuses on me becoming a professional skateboarder.

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  1. scotch meg says:

    I love your carrot. Beef stew, like many easy-to-make and then ignore meals, takes its time in the oven. My favorite winter meals are all oven roasts, which take maybe five minutes to prepare: unwrap, dump into pan, select herbs, add herbs, place in oven. But they do take a couple of hours to cook. If I'm feeling like potatoes, I add them after one hour. Otherwise, everything else fills the last fifteen minutes of cooking time – rice, salad, and/or microwaved fresh veggies.

    But the trick is remembering to put in the roast that two hours in advance…

  2. Jen Raiche says:

    Ouch! Maybe a recipe blog isn't your thing. Though, you do sound like you are quite organized. Maybe you could share some tips on that?

  3. Kerrie @ TFK says:

    I've done that a lot….plan to make a specific dish for dinner and completely forgetting to look at how long it takes to cook!

  4. Ha! There's nothing wrong with eggs, though. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself because I'm making them tonight.

    If you do decide to make beef stew, you have to try Pioneer Woman's:

    I just made it for the first time the other day and it was SOOO good. I never thought I was much of a beef stew fan until I tried this recipe. (Oh, and I cheated and cooked it for only a little over an hour, and it was still good 🙂

  5. The sight of that shriveled carrot against the backdrop of your spotless walls (How do you manage that with 5 boys? And with china plates hanging there, too!) just made my day.

  6. Rachel, This is why I love you!

  7. Carol Kennedy says:

    I can't tell you how many times I have decided to make something ymmy sounding like beef stew and found out it took longer than the 35 minutes I had till dinner time. I laughed at your post….now I am going to cook eggs for dinner…seriously. Can you say "eggs in a basket for dinner". Less than 35 minutes and I don't even need the toaster!

  8. the holly says:

    i would like nothing better than to read a post about grilled PB&J, dear rachy. 🙂 soooo yummy…and quick!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea. There is nothing better than spending 15 – 20 minutes putting food in a crockpot at the beginning of the day and then having a nice sit down meal at supper. Easy Peasy. She used her crockpot every day for a year.

  10. Ironically I'm making beef stew tonight too. I too, did not read the directions far enough in advance, which is why I'm sitting here at 9 p.m. still waiting for my dinner to finish cooking. Eggs might've been a better bet.

  11. Two words: Crock Pot!!! Great for making chili, stews, pork loins, etc etc etc.

  12. For a quick meal, use softened butter, minced garlic, spread over bread (sourdough is awesome!). Layer ham, monterey jack cheese and tomato. Yum, yum!

  13. We all have different gifts….repeat to self! When I read your cleaning and organizing posts sometimes it makes me want to go become a professional skateboarder. Don't beat yourself up over eggs for dinner. Life is a learning adventure right???

  14. Melanie B says:

    Hooray! I just realized the pot roast my husband requested will take five hours. And that's not happening right now. Eggs! Brilliant! Now I know what's for dinner!!!! Thank you, Rachel.

    P.S. I love you just the way you are.

  15. I had a dream yesterday about your carrots!! LOL

  16. Heels, Pearls and a Casserole! says:

    I have all of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks – and I watch her show, during which time I find myself wondering how to get to be one of those close & personal friends that she seems to host all the time – dropping in to taste her yummy dinners. How do we get to be friends with Ina? I also dream about how to convert my semi-ranchish style home to look just like her Cape Cod home. This is when I get really sad because I can't seem to make any of these things happen. I do love her show – and I wish to be calm like she is – maybe it is because she doesn't have multiple wild & wrangley children running around her kneecaps? Anyway, such an excellent pursuit – cooking your way through her cookbooks. If I lived near you, I would offer myself up to being your tasting guinea pig!