In 2006 I read the books Julie & Julia and My Life in France – both books about Julia Child. In fact my first introduction to blogging was with the book Julie & Julia.
This fall my friend Marsha and I went to see the movie based on the two books. We both loved it and left the movie craving Boeuf Bourguinon! We decided on the way home that we were going to have a Julia Child dinner party.
Marsha turned 50 last week (hope she doesn’t mind that I just told the blogosphere!) so I decided that her birthday was a perfect time to host a Julia Child dinner party.
I discovered that reading one of Julia’s cookbooks is more like reading a textbook – you can learn a lot!
Her recipes are very detailed and fairly labor intensive. Let’s just say I spent A LOT of time cooking the two days before the party but it was worth it and fun!
To set the mood for the meal I decorated the dining room table with some fall decorations.
I got out the good china, silverware and crystal!
My friend Jane provided the appetizers. She put together a wonderful selection of french cheese, crackers, breads and a yummy fig and orange jelly to serve with it. There was also the Barefoot Contessa’s sun dried tomato dip!
We served appetizers on the kitchen island – everyone always loves to gather in the kitchen as I put the finishing touches on dinner. I also set up a little fall/Halloween vignette on the kitchen island to make it look festive.
Our first course was Soup a L’Oignon with Croutes au Fromage(French Onion Soup with cheese toasts.) It was delcious and one of my guests commented that it was the best french onion soup they had ever had and they’ve had a lot of french onion soup.
From there we moved onto the Boeuf Bourguinon. The Boeuf took about 5 1/2 hours from start to finish and was a fun dish to prepare. It tasted amazing too!! I served it over some small boiled potatoes. Because it uses stew meat it is a fairly inexpensive dish to prepare which is nice if you are serving a lot of people.
My favorite was dessert – no surprise there! I fixed the Reine de Saba (Chocolate and Almond Cake). The same cake you see in the movie. I have been dreaming about it ever since I saw the movie. I have to say it tasted as good as it looked – maybe even better!
The cake is made with pulverized almonds and only 1/2 cup of cake flour. I used Julia’s Creme au Beurre, Menagere recipe (Butter Cream I with powdered sugar). The recipe calls for 1 1/2 sticks of butter to only 2/3 cup of powdered sugar. It was so buttery that I added another 2/3 cup of powdered sugar. It was amazing!!! Julia sure liked her butter!!
After frosting, the edges of the cake are sprinkled with sliced almonds. It makes a beautiful presentation.
There are a lot of Julia knock off recipes out there on the web but if you want the real Julia you’ll have to pick yourself up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking!
I have to agree with Julia when she said:
“It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day.
That’s what human life is all about – enjoying things.”
I found a lot of enjoyment in preparing this meal for my friends but I found even more enjoyment in sharing it with them at my table! Good food and good friends – the perfect combination!
What have you enjoyed today?