Homes away from home…..and my own house update!

First this is totally off topic from anything that this post is about today, but I was so excited to just learn that Dreamworks is producing the movie based on one of my all time favorite novels….The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was soooo fabulous, and I am ecstatic that a movie is in the works, if you enjoy reading..and haven’t read this I highly suggest you do. Now moving on…………



I love to travel. Maybe its this very long winter that has helped me reach my threshold fast as to how much winter I can stand, but I am ready to go on a vacation! I have been fortunate that I have been able to travel to many places both abroad and throughout the U.S. Of course,making this blanket statement does not prelude me from saying I have a list….a very long list at that, of cities, places, hotels, museums, cultural establishments that I long to see. I presume as my kids all eventually fly the nest (not at all wishing that to happen soon however), it will give us more time to pursue our love of travel later on down the road. While the choices worldwide are seemingly endless, we have many treasures right here on our own turf. Some of which I have been lucky enough to visit while a few remain on my wish list.

?What makes up a truly great hotel to me, is first the comfort and luxury of the room, how comfortable I am there. How accessible the facility is for the guests, how welcomed they make you feel and how personal the service is. Of course a hallmark of a truly great hotel, is making you feel at home….and feeling that you could see yourself staying awhile. For this reason I prefer smaller more intimate properties where you are almost guaranteed personal and custom service. ?Today, I pay tribute to these beautiful, majestic properties all in the U.S. worth visiting. Have you been to any of these and if not, does one appeal to you…where would want go if you could pick up and go tomorrow? Or do you have a personal favorite? Do tell!

?And last, a few updated house pictures, just got in the new batch of limestone for phase II install so we are pretty excited about that, and you will see that Inspector Teddy was busy making sure things were done correctly:)

Inspector Teddy on the prowl
In search of what he needs to inspect next….
Beautiful limestone cartouche for back entrance
Teddy snooping around to make sure everything is where it should be!
Unwrapping it to check it out!

I am still in awe of the amazing framing our talented crew did…. a work of art indeed!

The old fountain that was on the property, which we will restore
One of the original birdbaths which has been since wrapped and put away for the winter….
The beautiful limestone work on the breakfast room bay
Our pretty cupola

Limestone water table

The roof is Vermont slate, they did an outstanding job
The palettes of stone await the masonry guys first thing Monday morning

Now onto the homes away from home…….

STEIN ERICSON LODGE IN DEER VALLEY, UTAH

?This majestic grand ski lodge modeled off a European ski lodge is situated in heart of picturesque Deer Valley. The rooms are luxurious in a upscale Nordic feel and the public spaces are as inviting as they are warm with many oversize fireplaces in almost every room. Obviously the key draw here is the epic skiing, but the town of Park City is only minutes away and boast of many world class restaurants, the famed Sundance Film festival and a lively downtown scene with something for everyone. This is a great place for a family getaway or a couples retreat.

The beautiful traditional lodge

Sleigh riding is a must!

All the interiors are down to cozy lodge perfection
Balcony overlooking the grand foyer

?
A typical guest room done in rich woods
Another guest room
BLACKBERRY FARM, TENNESSEE
?Think Currier and Ives meets world class dining all set at the foot of the Great Smoky mountains. Nothing is spared at this amazingly upscale and beautiful resort which has 51 rooms, both situated in the main house as well as several cottages. This is set on almost 4500 acres and is the epitome of fine country living. The cuisine is world class and award winning and is modeled after the farm to table movement so its the best of the best. The rooms are luxuriously outfitted in all the finest linens and furnishings including country antiques and overstuffed feather beds.Everything from gourmet cooking classes, fly fishing, spa treatments to being given a tour in a horse drawn carriage are offered. A famous 60,000 bottle wine cellar completes this idyllic home away from home. I plan on finally going there this summer!
This pretty understated sign welcomes you
One of the rooms..pure luxury

Eating lunch outside by the lake
One of the picture perfect cabins

Beautifully outfitted guest room

The main dining room

Gorgeous setting to dine on incredible food

The dining table in the wine cellar

Picture perfect…..just waiting for some takers

Another sumptious guest room

A picture perfect picnic
THE MAYFLOWER INN AND SPA, CONNECTICUT
One of the dreamiest places I have ever been to. A very good friend and I went for the ultimate girls getaway and we both agreed this was perfection and one of if not the nicest spas we have ever been to. The rooms are decorated with antiques, the finest linens, and I think all have ?woodburning fireplace, no detail was overlooked at The Mayflower. Absolute luxury in the most relaxing atmosphere imaginable. ?The spa is world class and is always very private feeling. The food was spectacular in the formal dining room. This is a dream getaway weekend destination.
The beautiful tended formal gardens with a walking path leads to the spa building and tennis courts
The stunning all white “relaxation room” where you wait until you start your spa treatments, I could stay in this room all day, and practically did!

This was my friends room…all rooms have queens or kings

The Mayflower and all its glory during the winter

This was my favorite spot in the entire place, the relaxation room…it has this plush overstuffed chaise lounges looking out onto the lake…it was dreamy

Another award winning room

Beautiful guest room, most have balconies/decks

Part of the library, open to all guests

Yes, all the rooms are this stunningly beautiful

Exterior of the main building

THE BARDESSONO, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

We were here last year and it was one of the best getaways my husband and I have had in a long long time. Napa Valley really pulled at my heart strings and appealed to my every sense, I could easily have left it all and moved there, it is THAT amazing. Beyond the wine tastings, which to me can get tiresome day in and day out, the sheer beauty of this laid back region is just breathtaking, then you couple in the fact that it has some of the?best restaurants I have ever eaten in..and you have a winning combination. (Sorry to who this might offend, but after our long anticipated visit to the French Laundry we were very disappointed) however many others there were downright incredible and warrant a return visit. What makes this hotel so interesting is it is a building built of green materials, has its own food production garden so you get farm fresh ingredients in every meal, the building materials are from salvaged trees and they use organic linens in addition to cooling and heating the entire facility with an underground geothermal system! It is quite fascinating and worth reading about…click here.

The exterior of the “green hotel’

Yes, all the bathrooms look like this, very luxurious and huge!
Loved our fireplace
The rooms are THIS beautiful
Outside jacuzzi and outside shower
The chic bar
The elegant dining room
Dining room….you can also dine al fresco by the pool

TWIN FARMS, BARNARD, VERMONT

This gorgeous idyllic country resort nestled in the mountains of Vermont, houses 20 separate buildings/cottages on over 200 acres. No sparing of country elegance and luxury has been missed here, hospitality knows no bounds and the award winning gourmet cuisine will not disappoint even the most seasoned palette.Each cottage is decorated completed differently but all retain that same upscale country chic luxury. Seasonal activities and all meals are included once you reserve a cottage here at Twin Farms..this is the ultimate mountain getaway!

An overview of the property

A living room shot
One of the cabins with a gorgeous stone fireplace
Another charming and cozy cabin
A pretty living?room, they all have fireplaces?
Yet another setting…love the cow print chairs!

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags…..I don’t know about you but I am ready to go! The only difficult part would be deciding which one to go to…..these could easily be a home away from home for me! Have a wonderful day!



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Homes away from home…..and my own house update!

First this is totally off topic from anything that this post is about today, but I was so excited to just learn that Dreamworks is producing the movie based on one of my all time favorite novels….The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was soooo fabulous, and I am ecstatic that a movie is in the works, if you enjoy reading..and haven’t read this I highly suggest you do. Now moving on…………

I love to travel. Maybe its this very long winter that has helped me reach my threshold fast as to how much winter I can stand, but I am ready to go on a vacation! I have been fortunate that I have been able to travel to many places both abroad and throughout the U.S. Of course,making this blanket statement does not prelude me from saying I have a list….a very long list at that, of cities, places, hotels, museums, cultural establishments that I long to see. I presume as my kids all eventually fly the nest (not at all wishing that to happen soon however), it will give us more time to pursue our love of travel later on down the road. While the choices worldwide are seemingly endless, we have many treasures right here on our own turf. Some of which I have been lucky enough to visit while a few remain on my wish list.
 What makes up a truly great hotel to me, is first the comfort and luxury of the room, how comfortable I am there. How accessible the facility is for the guests, how welcomed they make you feel and how personal the service is. Of course a hallmark of a truly great hotel, is making you feel at home….and feeling that you could see yourself staying awhile. For this reason I prefer smaller more intimate properties where you are almost guaranteed personal and custom service.  Today, I pay tribute to these beautiful, majestic properties all in the U.S. worth visiting. Have you been to any of these and if not, does one appeal to you…where would want go if you could pick up and go tomorrow? Or do you have a personal favorite? Do tell!
 And last, a few updated house pictures, just got in the new batch of limestone for phase II install so we are pretty excited about that, and you will see that Inspector Teddy was busy making sure things were done correctly:)

Inspector Teddy on the prowl
In search of what he needs to inspect next….
Beautiful limestone cartouche for back entrance
Teddy snooping around to make sure everything is where it should be!
Unwrapping it to check it out!

I am still in awe of the amazing framing our talented crew did…. a work of art indeed!

The old fountain that was on the property, which we will restore
One of the original birdbaths which has been since wrapped and put away for the winter….
The beautiful limestone work on the breakfast room bay
Our pretty cupola

Limestone water table

The roof is Vermont slate, they did an outstanding job
The palettes of stone await the masonry guys first thing Monday morning

Now onto the homes away from home…….

STEIN ERICSON LODGE IN DEER VALLEY, UTAH
 This majestic grand ski lodge modeled off a European ski lodge is situated in heart of picturesque Deer Valley. The rooms are luxurious in a upscale Nordic feel and the public spaces are as inviting as they are warm with many oversize fireplaces in almost every room. Obviously the key draw here is the epic skiing, but the town of Park City is only minutes away and boast of many world class restaurants, the famed Sundance Film festival and a lively downtown scene with something for everyone. This is a great place for a family getaway or a couples retreat.

The beautiful traditional lodge

Sleigh riding is a must!

All the interiors are down to cozy lodge perfection
Balcony overlooking the grand foyer

 
A typical guest room done in rich woods
Another guest room
BLACKBERRY FARM, TENNESSEE
 Think Currier and Ives meets world class dining all set at the foot of the Great Smoky mountains. Nothing is spared at this amazingly upscale and beautiful resort which has 51 rooms, both situated in the main house as well as several cottages. This is set on almost 4500 acres and is the epitome of fine country living. The cuisine is world class and award winning and is modeled after the farm to table movement so its the best of the best. The rooms are luxuriously outfitted in all the finest linens and furnishings including country antiques and overstuffed feather beds.Everything from gourmet cooking classes, fly fishing, spa treatments to being given a tour in a horse drawn carriage are offered. A famous 60,000 bottle wine cellar completes this idyllic home away from home. I plan on finally going there this summer!
This pretty understated sign welcomes you
One of the rooms..pure luxury

Eating lunch outside by the lake
One of the picture perfect cabins

Beautifully outfitted guest room

The main dining room

Gorgeous setting to dine on incredible food

The dining table in the wine cellar

Picture perfect…..just waiting for some takers

Another sumptious guest room

A picture perfect picnic
THE MAYFLOWER INN AND SPA, CONNECTICUT
One of the dreamiest places I have ever been to. A very good friend and I went for the ultimate girls getaway and we both agreed this was perfection and one of if not the nicest spas we have ever been to. The rooms are decorated with antiques, the finest linens, and I think all have  woodburning fireplace, no detail was overlooked at The Mayflower. Absolute luxury in the most relaxing atmosphere imaginable.  The spa is world class and is always very private feeling. The food was spectacular in the formal dining room. This is a dream getaway weekend destination.
The beautiful tended formal gardens with a walking path leads to the spa building and tennis courts
The stunning all white “relaxation room” where you wait until you start your spa treatments, I could stay in this room all day, and practically did!

This was my friends room…all rooms have queens or kings

The Mayflower and all its glory during the winter

This was my favorite spot in the entire place, the relaxation room…it has this plush overstuffed chaise lounges looking out onto the lake…it was dreamy

Another award winning room

Beautiful guest room, most have balconies/decks

Part of the library, open to all guests

Yes, all the rooms are this stunningly beautiful

Exterior of the main building

THE BARDESSONO, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

We were here last year and it was one of the best getaways my husband and I have had in a long long time. Napa Valley really pulled at my heart strings and appealed to my every sense, I could easily have left it all and moved there, it is THAT amazing. Beyond the wine tastings, which to me can get tiresome day in and day out, the sheer beauty of this laid back region is just breathtaking, then you couple in the fact that it has some of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in..and you have a winning combination. (Sorry to who this might offend, but after our long anticipated visit to the French Laundry we were very disappointed) however many others there were downright incredible and warrant a return visit. What makes this hotel so interesting is it is a building built of green materials, has its own food production garden so you get farm fresh ingredients in every meal, the building materials are from salvaged trees and they use organic linens in addition to cooling and heating the entire facility with an underground geothermal system! It is quite fascinating and worth reading about…click here.

The exterior of the “green hotel’

Yes, all the bathrooms look like this, very luxurious and huge!
Loved our fireplace
The rooms are THIS beautiful
Outside jacuzzi and outside shower
The chic bar
The elegant dining room
Dining room….you can also dine al fresco by the pool

TWIN FARMS, BARNARD, VERMONT
This gorgeous idyllic country resort nestled in the mountains of Vermont, houses 20 separate buildings/cottages on over 200 acres. No sparing of country elegance and luxury has been missed here, hospitality knows no bounds and the award winning gourmet cuisine will not disappoint even the most seasoned palette.Each cottage is decorated completed differently but all retain that same upscale country chic luxury. Seasonal activities and all meals are included once you reserve a cottage here at Twin Farms..this is the ultimate mountain getaway!

An overview of the property

A living room shot
One of the cabins with a gorgeous stone fireplace
Another charming and cozy cabin
A pretty living room, they all have fireplaces 
Yet another setting…love the cow print chairs!

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags…..I don’t know about you but I am ready to go! The only difficult part would be deciding which one to go to…..these could easily be a home away from home for me! Have a wonderful day!


Photobucket



Escape with me to fabulous Paris part II

Ok, this is getting downright ridiculous. Woke up to another 15 inches of snow..its unbelievable. I had to enclose some pictures because seeing is believing. Feel like we are drowning in the white stuff! Still very much on my high from my wonderful trip…what an inspirational city! In keeping that French feeling alive, I decided to spend the day making something I have not made in many years, Beef Bourguignon. This is a fabulous recipe I have had for years and was passed onto me by a family member, then while in Paris I obtained another recipe, which was quite similar so I combined the two and the result was pure magic! I cannot tell you how this was literally devoured by my entire family, throw in a few loaves of crusty french bread and a nice bottle of wine…and you are in for a real treat!


So I have included the recipe below the pictures. Anyway as promised, more visual stimulation from the fabulous city of Paris. Today’s pictures are various shots I took of the architectural wonders that seem to grace every city block as well as some of the incredible antiques we came across while drooling in the antique district! Let me know if you have a favorite. No matter how many times you go to Paris, I can’t imagine that you ever tire of seeing all the splendor that makes this city truly the most beautiful in the world!



?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The famous sign outside Bistro Lipp



?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?A gorgeous cathedral


?? ? ? ? ? ? ?One of the corner buildings at the Louvre along the Seine

Love the black that is used in abundance in French decor
You can only imagine how wonderful this smelled!

Took lots of “cartouche” pictures since we are fine tuning the design for our own homes cartouche detailing over the front window

Stunning ceiling medallion…love the scalloping

Now this is what I call molding!

A quaint lovely little French bistro

At every turn, something delicious was calling my name……

All these are chocolates..even the purse!

This is what I would call a mouth watering window display

A typical Parisian street

Love the narrow alleys

A pretty corner at every turn

Love both the cartouche and the railing…got all kinds of inspiration

Different view same window

The limestone detailing on every building is so spectacular

One magnificent?corner of the Louvre

A corner building at the Louvre

Having lunch at popular Angelines

A beautiful bakery/patisserie

Oooh, those look good!

The infamous Eiffel tower against a cloudy gray sky looks so majestic

In the Jardin des Tulleries in the winter…still beautiful

Walking along the Seine admiring the view

The beautiful apartment buildings along the Seine river

The magnificent Musee d’ Orsay?

Love the symmetry in French architecture

Another?gorgeous cartouche

One of the antique mantles we are considering…..love the marble

A 80 year old antique mantle that we are hoping will fit for our dining room

Another view of the same mantle

So many beautiful sconces everywhere I looked, this one plated in 22kt gold

Even the pedestrian bridges are spectacular!

Every entry to every building is breathtaking

The level of detail astounds me every time

Hey, I know now where my architect got his “divine inspiration” for the cupola

Building at the Lourve

The stunning Musee D’ Orsay on a drizzly afternoon

The courtyard in front of the Lourve?

Typical cute little bistro

Another pretty corner….

Another bistro….

Fell in love with this spectacular window and the limestone that adorns it

Is this stunning or what? I am obsessed…..

Loooove the color of this door!

The macaroons oh the macaroons….

They look like little jewels…

Such pretty displays

Got some of these lovely toiletry products for my mom!

The famous Bistro Lipp

And then back to New York and the snow….makes my patio table look like a wedding cake!
Mother Nature’s latest “gift” (at least I am trying to stay positive)

It is majestic looking- have to admit!

Stunning!

Teddy doesn’t know what to make of it

Its a heavy snow so it hugs each and every branch

Should I stay or should I go (in case you are curious he opted to come back into the warmth of the house)
Hope you enjoyed this visual vacation to Paris..it was such a treat, coming home was a bit of a letdown, but as my husband likes to remind me “that’s why they call it a vacation”. So until next time, I have these wonderful pictures to reflect back on. Here is the recipe for the Beef Bourguignon which I promise you is worth the cooking time…you will absolutely love it, I promise!


BEEF BOURGUIGNON

  • About 3-4 tablespoons light virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped (1/2 a package)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, large chopped pieces (not too fine)
  • 1/2 cup?Cognac
  • 1 bottle of good full bodied ?red wine (ideally?like Beaujolais, Cabernet or Burgundy)
  • ?2 cups beef?broth?(I used Emerils box of beef stock which is a 32 oz box)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds??beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, cut to 1 inch (don’t use baby carrots, they are too soft)
  • 2 med.onions- thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh?thyme?leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) I used a bit more than the recipe called for
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature, melted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (cut off stems and discard)
If you have a nice heavy dutch oven, that is preferable otherwise a good stock pot is fine. I used my Le Cruset “weighs a ton” pot but it was perfect for this dish plus its French! ?Heat the olive oil and add the bacon, cook on medium until fairly crispy. Remove and drain bacon. Add cubed beef (after they have been rinsed, patted dry and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper) ?one layer at a time and sear the meat, this will take about 4-5 minutes, make sure its seared on all sides. Set aside with the bacon.?


Next, you will add carrots, onions, and either potatoes or turnips if you are using them along with salt and pepper to the fat in the pot and cook for about 15 minutes or until soft and onions are lightly browned. Then add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Next add Cognac…you then should take a match and light it right in the pot…STAND BACK while you do this and stare in awe at your budding creation! (This process burns off the alcohol)?


Next add the meat and bacon into the pot with the juices already in. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth, this mixture should pretty much cover the meat. Next add tomato paste and thyme. Simmer and then cover…at this point you can either cook it on the stove or transfer to a preheated oven (300 degrees) I cooked mine on the stove.?


After about an hour and a half, the meat will be fork tender. On the side, take 2 tbsp of butter and melt then mix with flour and add to stew. In a small saut? pan, melt additional 2 tbsp of butter and saut? mushrooms for about 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add to stew, bring to a brief boil and then simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste. At the end, I add a few additional stalks of fresh thyme…get that baguette and wine ready and you are in for a divine treat!
  • .
  • And a few picture highlights from my little cooking adventure yesterday……


?BON APPETIT!







Escape with me to fabulous Paris part II

Ok, this is getting downright ridiculous. Woke up to another 15 inches of snow..its unbelievable. I had to enclose some pictures because seeing is believing. Feel like we are drowning in the white stuff! Still very much on my high from my wonderful trip…what an inspirational city! In keeping that French feeling alive, I decided to spend the day making something I have not made in many years, Beef Bourguignon. This is a fabulous recipe I have had for years and was passed onto me by a family member, then while in Paris I obtained another recipe, which was quite similar so I combined the two and the result was pure magic! I cannot tell you how this was literally devoured by my entire family, throw in a few loaves of crusty french bread and a nice bottle of wine…and you are in for a real treat!


So I have included the recipe below the pictures. Anyway as promised, more visual stimulation from the fabulous city of Paris. Today’s pictures are various shots I took of the architectural wonders that seem to grace every city block as well as some of the incredible antiques we came across while drooling in the antique district! Let me know if you have a favorite. No matter how many times you go to Paris, I can’t imagine that you ever tire of seeing all the splendor that makes this city truly the most beautiful in the world!



                                         The famous sign outside Bistro Lipp



                                        A gorgeous cathedral


              One of the corner buildings at the Louvre along the Seine

Love the black that is used in abundance in French decor
You can only imagine how wonderful this smelled!

Took lots of “cartouche” pictures since we are fine tuning the design for our own homes cartouche detailing over the front window

Stunning ceiling medallion…love the scalloping

Now this is what I call molding!

A quaint lovely little French bistro

At every turn, something delicious was calling my name……

All these are chocolates..even the purse!

This is what I would call a mouth watering window display

A typical Parisian street

Love the narrow alleys

A pretty corner at every turn

Love both the cartouche and the railing…got all kinds of inspiration

Different view same window

The limestone detailing on every building is so spectacular

One magnificent corner of the Louvre

A corner building at the Louvre

Having lunch at popular Angelines

A beautiful bakery/patisserie

Oooh, those look good!

The infamous Eiffel tower against a cloudy gray sky looks so majestic

In the Jardin des Tulleries in the winter…still beautiful

Walking along the Seine admiring the view

The beautiful apartment buildings along the Seine river

The magnificent Musee d’ Orsay 

Love the symmetry in French architecture

Another gorgeous cartouche

One of the antique mantles we are considering…..love the marble

A 80 year old antique mantle that we are hoping will fit for our dining room

Another view of the same mantle

So many beautiful sconces everywhere I looked, this one plated in 22kt gold

Even the pedestrian bridges are spectacular!

Every entry to every building is breathtaking

The level of detail astounds me every time

Hey, I know now where my architect got his “divine inspiration” for the cupola

Building at the Lourve

The stunning Musee D’ Orsay on a drizzly afternoon

The courtyard in front of the Lourve 

Typical cute little bistro

Another pretty corner….

Another bistro….

Fell in love with this spectacular window and the limestone that adorns it

Is this stunning or what? I am obsessed…..

Loooove the color of this door!

The macaroons oh the macaroons….

They look like little jewels…

Such pretty displays

Got some of these lovely toiletry products for my mom!

The famous Bistro Lipp

And then back to New York and the snow….makes my patio table look like a wedding cake!
Mother Nature’s latest “gift” (at least I am trying to stay positive)

It is majestic looking- have to admit!

Stunning!

Teddy doesn’t know what to make of it

Its a heavy snow so it hugs each and every branch

Should I stay or should I go (in case you are curious he opted to come back into the warmth of the house)
Hope you enjoyed this visual vacation to Paris..it was such a treat, coming home was a bit of a letdown, but as my husband likes to remind me “that’s why they call it a vacation”. So until next time, I have these wonderful pictures to reflect back on. Here is the recipe for the Beef Bourguignon which I promise you is worth the cooking time…you will absolutely love it, I promise!


BEEF BOURGUIGNON

  • About 3-4 tablespoons light virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped (1/2 a package)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, large chopped pieces (not too fine)
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 bottle of good full bodied  red wine (ideally like Beaujolais, Cabernet or Burgundy)
  •  2 cups beef broth (I used Emerils box of beef stock which is a 32 oz box)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds  beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, cut to 1 inch (don’t use baby carrots, they are too soft)
  • 2 med.onions- thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) I used a bit more than the recipe called for
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature, melted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (cut off stems and discard)
If you have a nice heavy dutch oven, that is preferable otherwise a good stock pot is fine. I used my Le Cruset “weighs a ton” pot but it was perfect for this dish plus its French!  Heat the olive oil and add the bacon, cook on medium until fairly crispy. Remove and drain bacon. Add cubed beef (after they have been rinsed, patted dry and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper)  one layer at a time and sear the meat, this will take about 4-5 minutes, make sure its seared on all sides. Set aside with the bacon. 


Next, you will add carrots, onions, and either potatoes or turnips if you are using them along with salt and pepper to the fat in the pot and cook for about 15 minutes or until soft and onions are lightly browned. Then add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Next add Cognac…you then should take a match and light it right in the pot…STAND BACK while you do this and stare in awe at your budding creation! (This process burns off the alcohol) 


Next add the meat and bacon into the pot with the juices already in. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth, this mixture should pretty much cover the meat. Next add tomato paste and thyme. Simmer and then cover…at this point you can either cook it on the stove or transfer to a preheated oven (300 degrees) I cooked mine on the stove. 


After about an hour and a half, the meat will be fork tender. On the side, take 2 tbsp of butter and melt then mix with flour and add to stew. In a small saut? pan, melt additional 2 tbsp of butter and saut? mushrooms for about 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add to stew, bring to a brief boil and then simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste. At the end, I add a few additional stalks of fresh thyme…get that baguette and wine ready and you are in for a divine treat!
  • .
  • And a few picture highlights from my little cooking adventure yesterday……


 BON APPETIT!