Let's start with the one that required a lot of prep, but was worth the effort. It was a Josh Otto request and he sure was an appreciative husband. The rest of the meal involved him grilling steaks and me heating up leftovers so it was actually quite fun to make this labor of love while sipping some wine, listening to tunes and visiting with my sweet middle sis (for her belated bday dinner).
Red Wine Reduction
This is quite a lot of ingredients for a sauce, right? My sister looked at me like a full on crazy person and laughed when she arrived and my hand was red from all the chopping. Especially when I informed her it was a full pound of carrots. It was like I had two heads and zero brain. I started questioning myself at this point. Did I read something wrong? Was their a typo and I am THIS big of a rule follower? But I carried on.
Chop 1/2 sweet Vidalia onion, 1/2 red onion, 2 large shallots, 3-4 gloves garlic, 1 roma tomato, 1 lb. carrots, 4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, 4 oz. white mushrooms. (I sauteed the rest of the mushrooms for our dinner) Your hand will be very tired and sore after all this so drink a little vino.
Heat 3T butter in very large saucepan over medium-high heat until melted. Add all the chopped veggies and cook until carrots are softened and onions are transparent, about 10-15 minutes.
Pour in the beef broth and one c. of red wine and bring to a boil, scraping bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until the veggies are very soft and the pan juices have reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Carefully place large bowl under strainer and strain out sauce from vegetables; setting vegetables to the side.
For all the work, you won't be left with a lot of sauce at this point.
Return the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, stir in 1/4 c. red wine and reduce heat. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by 1/4 of its original volume, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
We saved the discarded vegetables and gave some to Olivia and then Bailey made a vegetable soup with the rest.
We were left with about 1 c. of sauce and we divided into 3 individual gravy boats to ration out our delicacy.
Then Bailey jokingly put Olivia at the dinner table and she sat in our fourth chair like a human....for the entire time we blessed the food, ate dinner and conversed. It was very, very strange, but also quite entertaining. She wasn't even really begging, just staring at us.
Life is all about not taking yourself too seriously and loving a dog, right? I'm well aware that this is crazy.
Now for an easy recipe Bailey whipped up for us after dinner.
1 T melted butter
4 T flour
4 T brown sugar
2 T cocoa powder
3 T milk (or until brownie batter consistency)
Dash of vanilla
Dash of salt
(You can also do a 1/2 portion -- the full portion was actually too rich and filling. If you do the 1/2 portion bake 35-45 sec)
Mix all ingredients in mug.
We added chocolate chips & butterscotch chips and put in microwave 1 min. 20 sec.
Top with spoon full of ice cream.