The Facts of Life

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have....

A) A hilarious t.v. series that follows housemother Mrs. Edna Garrett and her mission to instill values in the wide eyed girls of Eastland School while they mature into young women.

B) Dinner.
Answer: Both A and B. But I think it's more important to focus on B), since this blog is not devoted to the exceptional writing and production of 80's television sitcoms, but THAT's not a bad idea EITHER. If you know me at all, this will not be the last reference...

  • Being the kitchen warrior that I am, I test many recipes. I spend hours going through my cookbooks, magazines, the internet, and family recipes that have been entrusted to me. I have achieved success, and I have ordered Pizza Hut after dinner went Buh-Bye down the drain.
  • The perfectionist in me makes itself known only in the kitchen. I will not serve a meal, a drink, an appetizer, unless I am confident that I have lived up to it's standards, and vice versa, unless the in-laws are coming for dinner and I have no back up plan.
  • For instance, this past May, I served braised short ribs to my in-laws for dinner. The flavor was nice, but I am still irritated that they were tougher than expected. So irritated, that while listening to Living Today on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius Satellite Radio, I called in.  I asked the guest, famed chef Todd English, what  is the secret to fall-off-the-bone braised short ribs? I was so nervous in talking to him that I don't have any idea what he actually said, but it was conveyed that fall-off-the-bone short ribs probably should not start with "boneless" short ribs from Costco.

  • Just like Blaire, Jo, Tootie, and Natalie, I'm finding my way.

One of my biggest helper's in finding my way, comes in the form of Everyday Food Magazine from Martha Stewart. That's my Mrs. Garrett. They really do mean "Everyday Food", and one of my favorite, garbage disposal-proof dinners, is the beef stroganoff:

Serves 4

  • 1 pound beef tenderloin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium canned beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Chopped fresh dill, for garnish


  • Slice beef into 2-inch-long strips, each about 1 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown meat in two batches, about 1 minute per side; remove from skillet, and set aside.

  • In same skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add mushrooms; cover. Cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add broth; simmer, uncovered, until liquid has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

  • Stir mustard into mushroom mixture in skillet. Return beef to skillet; cook over medium-low heat until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in sour cream. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped dill.

And of course, my own take on the recipe:

  • After the onions and mushrooms have been added to the skillet (in my case a large enamel covered cast iron pot), add about 2 tablespoons of flour and let cook for a minute or two. Then add the broth. This will make the sauce thicker.

  • I added italian parsley to finish the dish, since I never have dill on hand. And Dill is not really my favorite herb. Herb is not my favorite WKRP character either, but that's a different blog for a different day......

I serve the stroganoff over egg noodles, YUM!

Bon Appetit!


  1. That is super funny what the guy on the radio told you about short-ribs....seems to make sense to me. :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Screw Milkshakes. Bacon brings all the boys to the yard

Spring Has Sprung!

Did you miss me?