Beef Bourguignon

Beef bourguignonIf I had to put together a list of my top recipes, this would probably land on the podium.  It’s a rich beef stew that’s perfect on cold rainy days.  Or cool sunny days.  Or pretty much any day.

We ate this recipe often in the winter growing up.  It’s a recipe that can be made ahead of time as it freezes beautifully.  In fact, I think it’s actually better to re-heat it a day (or week, or month) later.  It was a staple for ski weekends, because it could go directly from the freezer to the stovetop to warm it up and serve over noodles.

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Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

…Say what now? Salted caramel apple — mm-hmm, sure — cake, wait what??

I have to hand it to those creative brains out in the world that just sit around and think of things that are delicious on their own, and then COMBINE THOSE THINGS into ONE amazing thing.  I want that job.  

Seriously, for this recipe, someone said to someone else, “You know what’s really good?  Salted caramel.”  

“Yeah,” other person says, “And also caramel apples.”  

“You know what else?  Cake.”

“Duuuuude!”

Were they stoned?  Am I stoned?  No, my love for this cake is completely rational and sober.

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling and Pecan Streusel

Enjoy these Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling and Pecan Streusel with a cup of coffee for breakfast, or after dinner for dessert!

Enjoy these Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling and Pecan Streusel with a cup of coffee for breakfast, or after dinner for dessert!I know this looks like another basic pumpkin muffin recipe…but it’s not.

Look at it!  There’s a sweet cream cheese filling inside of it!  No one has ever paired cream cheese with pumpkin before!

Also, streusel!  Revolutionary, amiright?

Okay, fine.  This pumpkin spice muffin with cream cheese filling (and pecan streusel!) is the epitome of basic.  It combines very basic things in a very basic way.  Here at Ready to Yumble, we are basic b*tches.  And if that means we get to eat these muffins, we’re totally good with that.

Because they’re basically amazing.

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Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme

Pots de creme (3)

I chose this recipe for our inaugural post because in some ways, this was the recipe that started me down the path of cooking.  This is not to say that I didn’t cook at all before I saw this recipe, but since I was 16 at the time, most of the cooking I had done up to this point involved helping my mom in the kitchen.

I do credit my parents for exposing me to basic cooking skills.  In the summer, and on weekends when it was clear I was not doing homework, they’d rope me into the kitchen to chop veggies or clean dishes.  Nothing complex or glamorous, but enough to start gaining familiarity with what it took to make a home cooked meal for a family of four.  Then one summer they took it up a notch and started assigning responsibility for one dinner a week to both my sister and me.  I think they were just looking to get out of making dinner two days a week.  And to make matters worse, they explicitly stated that calling Domino’s didn’t count.  Regardless, that was probably my first solo cooking, but it wasn’t really by choice.

Then one day this recipe shows up on our doorstep on the cover of Gourmet magazine.  It looked awesomely decadent.  I asked my mom off-handedly when she was going to make it, and after glancing at the ingredient list of egg yolks and heavy cream, she just laughed.  But me, with all the grizzled angst of a teenager denied a dessert, defiantly roared “WELL THEN MAYBE I’LL MAKE IT!”  (well, roaring may be a bit of an exaggeration…but there was insolence for sure).

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the real questions is… why “Brussels”?

The things you ponder when you’ve stared at a word for a while.  Same thing happened to me with the word “laptop.”  (Laptop. Laptop.  Lap.  Top.  Starts to sound super weird.)

Wikipedia confirms for me both the spelling and capitalization of “Brussels.”  It also intensifies my questions.  Apparently they were first grown in early Rome (doesn’t compute), then possibly Belgium (okay) in the 13th Century, and its largest modern production takes place in the Netherlands and Germany (hmmm), and possibly the UK but they don’t export (selfish – also, they must eat a ton of veggies).  Okay I might as well link the Wikipedia article at this point.  

So I guess Brussels, the city, did figure in there somewhere.  I’m not sure how everyone settled on them as a namesake, but it maybe it makes more sense than some other words out there.  (Flammable/inflammable anyone?)

K I’ll stop being nerd and talk about this recipe.

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