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The Misadventures of Mrs. B

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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: 2011-01-30

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spinning My Wheels?

Friends, I need your advice!

See, I've never been what you might call "proficient" when it comes to time management.  I'm more the "Ohmygod I have so much to do it's making my brain shut down, time to take a nap and sort it all out later" kind of gal.  The "I'll think about that tomorrow", Scarlett O'Hara sort.

I compose to-do lists, but somehow while in the midst of trying to finish my tasks I always get sidetracked by other things that I need to do which didn't make it to my list.  So I start doing those things.  And by the end of the day I feel as though I've done nothing but spin my wheels.  So I eat lots of chocolate in order to soothe my feelings of inadequacy.

And never has this problem been so glaringly obvious than in relation to blogging.

There is no way that a non-blogger could understand everything that goes into running a blog, outside of physically creating posts.  And I know that each blogger does things differently, especially in relation to the topics they blog about.  For me, most of the time there's the obvious cooking/photo taking/minor photo editing aspect.  Then there's the creation of a post.  And of course the eating of what I cooked.  But what happens after I click "Publish Post"?

Numerous things.  I tweet.  I Facebook.  I link to many memes and make it a point to visit and comment on as many other links as humanly possible (I've blown entire days doing this, truly, but have found some great friends and have drummed up a few readers as well).  I email my own commentors and sometimes am lucky enough to start conversations with them.  I tell myself that I should put recipes up on Tasty Kitchen but usually forget (I think I've remembered, like, twice).  I submit to other food sites.  I go through my reader.  I visit forums.  I tweet some more.  I try to remember to Stumble (this is a more recent discovery of mine...late to the party, as always).  Now I'm also a contributing blogger for About One (my foccacia recipe went up today!) and have another project in the pipeline which I alluded to last month - this is a paying gig but I still don't want to say anything definite because even though I submitted my signed paperwork a couple of days ago I haven't received confirmation of receipt. 

Then? I tweet some more.  Sometimes the Twitter stream is moving so rapidly that I just read tweets.  Me and my voyeuristic tendencies.

The result: I'm exhausted.  I am really 100% loving all of the talking, sharing and communicating which is going on.  Not to mention learning.  I'm having so much fun, and there's no way I'm giving up this time.

But I'm tired, too.  And the worst part? I feel like all I'm doing is spinning my wheels.  If I felt like I was accomplishing something it would be one thing.  But all I'm doing is eating more and more chocolate to compensate for feelings of inadequacy because I just can't get it all done.  I can't visit all my friends every day.  I can't comment on all of my fellow meme linkers' blogs.  Sometimes I don't manage to get back to all of my beautiful commentors.  I can't churn out brilliant post after brilliant post.  There's only so much brilliance in my head.

But still I tippity-type away.

Don't even get me started on how "real life" may be suffering.

So I ask you, my wise bloggy friends: Have you been in my shoes? Do you have a blogging schedule? Do certain forms of blog-related activity take precedence over others? Are you a Twaddict? (I don't know if that's a word or if I just made it up right now)  Share with me!  Or, send chocolate.  Preferably the dark variety.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Julia Child's Brown Braised Onions

To me, nothing says "happy warm times when it's cold and yucky outside" like a nice stew.  Don't you agree?

Well, I guess it doesn't matter if you agree or not.  I mean, I can't imagine that you wouldn't, but that doesn't affect this post.

As I was saying, cold temps = yummy stew.  So I made one over the past weekend.  Boeuf Bourguignon, in fact.  Yeah, I went there.  While there are already onions in that and, well, just about any stew, I like a side of braised onions as well.  Of course they go super well with the stew, but they make a fabulous little side dish with just about anything as far as I'm concerned.  They are sooooo good!

This is my variation of Julia Child's brown braised onion recipe.  Julia uses only 1/2 cup of liquid, allowing it to completely cook down, and adds a cheesecloth bundled herb bouquet.  But I like the additional sauce my variation lends the onions, and I don't often have cheesecloth around to simmer herbs in, so I generally skip it.

Did it take me a while to peel all these onions? Why yes.  It did.  But it was worth it!

2 tbs of butter gets melted in a pan over medium heat, then 2 tbs of oil are added.  The onions go in the pan and are tossed around gently so they can brown.

Then the liquids are added.  I used beef stock and white wine this time, but red wine adds a great flavor (and color!), and of course you could just double the stock and not use wine at all.  The pan is covered and the onions gently simmer in the liquid, on low heat, for 40 minutes.  Then the lid is removed and the rest of the liquid simmers until reduced to a nice syrupy consistency.

Trust me when I say that you will not want to waste a single drop of that rich, flavorful, syrupy sauce.  A little salt, a little pepper, and you're all set.  Sweet onion heaven.

Seriously, it does not get better than this.  It's like candy.  

Now, if you'll excuse me.  I have some leftover braised onions to snack on.

Braised Onions
Around 2 dozen pearl onions, peeled
2 tbs butter
2 tbs oil (I used EVOO in this case)
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup red or white wine (optional - can use 1 cup stock instead)
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large pan over medium heat, then add oil.  Pour in onions and toss gently around pan, allowing them to brown.  Add liquids and allow to simmer on low, covered, for 40 minutes.  Uncover pan and allow liquid to continue reducing until syrupy in consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

What do you like to prepare when it's nasty outside? Soup? Roasts? Stews? What's your favorite?

Do you like onions? Because I have another onion-heavy recipe coming up soon! It's, well, to die for.

Sharing with Somewhat SimpleIt's A Keeper, House of Hepworths, Life as Mom, Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Prairie Story, A Glimpse Inside, 504 Main, Tidy Mom, Simply Sweet Home & Designs by Gollum - stop by and see what others are creating!