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Brrrrr.

     
     
 

Y’all, I don’t know what the weather is like when you are reading this, but as of this writing — It. Is. Cold. It is downright frigid with temps in the single digits and wind chills in the negative doubles.
Obviously, going outside a lot is not in the cards, so it’s time to find something to do inside this weekend. First up will be putting all the Christmas stuff away and getting our house back in order. After that, I think frosty temps call for some warm comfort food.
I found what looks to be a great recipe for Beef Bourguignon, which is a really fancy name for what is essentially beef served over rice or noodles. But it also screams comfort food and sounds like the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold day!
Beef Bourguignon
Ingredients:
• 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped 
• 1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 2 1/2 lb), cut into 1-inch chunks
• 5 tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon black pepper 
• 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced (2 1/2 cups) 
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped (2 cups)
• 8 oz white button mushrooms, rinsed and halved
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon (from 6-oz can) Muir Glen™ organic tomato paste 
• 1 ½ cups red wine (the recipe calls for pinot noir, but I hate pinto noir so I will most likely substitute a malbec or red blend)
• 1 ½ cups Progresso™ beef flavored broth (from 32-oz carton) 
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
Directions:
Heat 5-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until just crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Reserve drippings in Dutch oven. Toss beef with 2 tablespoons of the flour; season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. Working in two batches, brown beef cubes in drippings 2 to 3 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Reserve on plate with bacon. Repeat with remaining beef cubes.
Add carrots and onion to Dutch oven; cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened. Stir in mushrooms and garlic; cook about 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant. Add tomato paste; stir to coat vegetables. Add wine, broth, thyme sprigs, beef and bacon. Heat to simmering. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 55 to 60 minutes or until beef and carrots are tender.
Remove thyme sprigs. In small bowl, mix remaining 3 tablespoons flour and softened butter; mash with fork to form a paste. Beat butter mixture into wine mixture in Dutch oven with whisk. Simmer about 3 minutes, beating continuously, until paste is completely dissolved and broth has thickened.
Serve with mashed potatoes, buttered noodles or rice.

Now. I know I mentioned wanting to eat better this year, but I feel like a home-cooked-comfort-meal like this needs dessert. Something chocolatey and filling to be exact, so I am going to go digging in the archives for an old recipe someone gave me for Guinness brownies. I’m going to give you the recipe with the Guinness, but much like the pinot, I’m not a huge fan of Guinness, so I’m thinking I will try a different stout. Both Rogue and Young’s Brewing make good chocolate stouts, so it will most likely be one of those.

Guinness Brownies:
Dry Ingredient Mixture:
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Mixture:
• 6 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
• 8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped (may substitute extra-dark chocolate chips)
• 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Eggs and Sugar Mixture:
• 4 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 cup granulated white sugar
Final Additions:
• 1 cup (8 ounces) Guinness Extra Stout beer (see Note below – room temperature, no foam)
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil.
Dry Ingredient Mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt until evenly combined. Set aside.
Chocolate Mixture: Melt butter, bittersweet chocolate, and white chocolate chips in a double-boiler over very low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat.
Mix the Eggs and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add melted chocolate mixture to the eggs and sugar mixture, beating until combined.
Beat the reserved dry ingredient mixture into melted chocolate mixture. Whisk in the Guinness stout beer by hand. The batter may seem a bit thin.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Drop semisweet chocolate chips evenly on top of batter (some will sink in).
Bake 25 to 30 minutes (oven temperatures vary) on center rack in the oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the brownies cool, uncovered, to room temperature.
Note: The Guinness stout beer should be at room temperature. This recipe uses less than a standard 12-ounce bottle of Guinness stout beer. Pour the beer early so the foam can settle. Do not include the foam in the measurement. Either spoon off the foam or let it rest until the foam subsides.

On a side note, Jimmy will be back soon. Hunter has been busy winning awards, playing basketball, and preparing to become a Husky in the fall and ‘Little’ Jimmy has been dragging Papa Jim out to the woods to enjoy some winter break hunting.