8-10: Beef Bourguignon

8-10: Beef Bourguignon

I guess the best way to start this is…have you seen that Julie & Julia movie from a few years ago? If not, and you enjoy reading this blog (or even if you don’t), you DEFINITELY should go watch it. It’s essentially the idea that formed this website/project. In that movie, one of the featured Julia Child recipes is her Boeuf Bourguignon which is found in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, one of her most famous books and one of the most famous cookbooks in general.

With that being said, we come back to the fact that this is not a Julia Child cookbook project, it is a Simply Delicious one. So, I present to you Simply Delicious’ version of the dish: 8-10: Beef Bourguignon.

Simply Delicious isn’t wrong–this dish is essentially French beef stew (with a good amount of red wine in it). I’ve made Julia’s version a few times (let’s be honest, we ALL made it at least once after that movie came out), but I’ve yet to attempt the Simply Delicious version, mostly because it was a “new book” recipe and I didn’t know it even existed until a few years ago. Let’s see how they compare…


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11-15: Grilled Salmon with Thyme

11-15: Grilled Salmon with Thyme

Autumn is just around the corner, but here’s another recipe you can try before you put the grill away for the season (unless you live somewhere that you can grill all year round). 11-15: Grilled Salmon with Thyme uses salmon steaks which can be tough to locate depending on where/when you look for them, but if you are able to snag some it’s a nice change from the same old burgers and hot dogs.

Here where I live, it’s not only still 90+ degrees each day, it’s also salmon season, so I’ve been seeing it on sale a lot at our local grocery stores. Warm nights + fresh salmon on the grill = good times.


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8-45: Korean Sautéed Beef

8-45: Korean Sautéed Beef

Hi there, back again with another “Asian” dish for you today. It’s interesting that Simply Delicious didn’t choose to name 8-45: Korean Sauteed Beef “Korean Beef Stir-Fry” instead (maybe because 8-25: Stir-Fried Beef is already in the book) —stir-fries seemed like they were all the rage in the late 20th century as a “healthy” dinner option. I suppose they still are popular today, but they don’t seem as “unusual” to make for dinner at home as they did back then.

I remember when my mom would bust out her wok every so often for a stir-fry back in the 1990s–it always seemed so much more interesting than when we would just cook in a regular pan on the stove. The blurb above suggests to serve it with noodles, but you can also do rice (or veggies, if you’re one of those actually healthy people–I clearly am not).


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2-9: Pasta Salad

2-9: Pasta Salad

Howdy, y’all–it’s been a minute since we’ve last met. Like everyone else in the world, things can get busy/stressful/overwhelming for me at times and then unfortunately this project takes a backseat. I’ve still been making recipes here and there though, and I’ve got a few built up to share with you. I can’t promise a robust posting schedule (count me as partly responsible for the death of blogs) but I’ll do my best.

To kick things off, here’s 2-9: Pasta Salad, one from the new book. Ugh, I WANT that kitschy 70s flower/watering can picture–if I found it in a thrift store, it’d definitely be coming home with me. I’ll take those FABULOUS flower-shaped plates too.

I love that this is such a time-capsule of an era where we fully embraced carbs–I don’t know of too many people today that would classify pasta as “nutritious”. We were just on the precipice of the ridiculous food pyramid of the 1990s at this point, where we were advised to eat 6-11 servings of carbs a day and stay far, far away from anything fatty (low-fat/high-sugar EVERYTHING was the result).

I also feel like Simply Delicious couldn’t figure out anything exciting to say about pasta salad, so they attempted to turn it into a half-assed history lesson. “He might have done it, maybe not, who knows! Have some pasta anyway!”

My elementary school education (which occurred around the same time) went pretty much the same way. Oh, the late 80s/early 90s.


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12-35: Fettucini with Scallops

12-35: Fettucini with Scallops

First of all (before we even get into the actual recipe for 12-35: Fettucini with Scallops) I need to take umbrage with the spelling of “fettucini”–Simply Delicious spells it with one “c” and an “i” at the end instead of an “e”. I spell it “fettuccine” (so does Wikipedia AND Olive Garden), so this is going to be a challenging entry to write.

What’s even MORE frustrating about it is that Simply Delicious can’t even pick one spelling themselves–check out 12-7: Fettuccini with Creamy Chicken and 12-20: Fettuccini with Ham. Two Cs! Still no E! It’s madness, I tell you.

Spinach fettuccine with Alfredo sauce (this one specifically) was one of my FAVORITE meals as a kid (I could definitely still knock out a big bowl of it today), and so I can see this as more of a “grown-up” version of it.

Real Alfredo sauce is closer to what you get with cacio e pepe than what you get at the Olive Garden (notably it doesn’t feature heavy cream and garlic like the OG version), and this version (even though it’s not calling itself “fettuccine Alfredo”) probably falls somewhere in between–lighter than OG’s but heavier than the original.


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8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin

8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin

Looking for something different to do with a cut of beef sirloin? 8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin is a pretty quick and easy way to prepare beef, and also comes with a bonus cucumber salad recipe as an accompaniment/garnish. The cucumber salad and yogurt topping give this dish almost a Middle Eastern feel–they’re used to cut the heat from the paprika, curry, and cayenne pepper used to season the meat.

I’ve yet to visit Louisiana myself in person, but Simply Delicious has a few different Cajun and Creole recipes to try that can take you there culinarily, at least. There’s even some non-Simply Delicious versions of this recipe out there, if you’re looking for variations. I’m still intrigued by the addition of the cucumber salad and yogurt topping for this version–that seems very avant garde for 1980s home cooking.


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3-6: Minestrone

3-6: Minestrone

Minestrone soup has a few specific memories for me: I remember there always being cans of it in our pantry when I was a kid, and all of my favorite Italian restaurants growing up still have it on the menu. My dad was a big minestrone fan–both of those memories are tied pretty closely to him.

3-6: Minestrone comes from the new book, and it’s not surprising that Simply Delicious had a recipe for it–they tend to have their own versions of most of the “classics”.

I’m not sure I’d suggest serving this in what look like miniature barrels in the picture above (imagine trying to clean those). However, the colder weather is coming soon, and this recipe is a good (and cheap) way to meal-prep, eat your veggies, and stay warm all at the same time.


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11-32: Shrimp and Cashew Stir-Fry

11-32: Shrimp and Cashew Stir-Fry

As another clue to the era from which it emanates, Simply Delicious offers a lot of stir-fry recipes, along with quite a few other “pan-Asian” options. 11-32: Shrimp and Cashew Stir-Fry isn’t much different from a lot of these other types of dishes, but if you like shrimp and cashews, this is your dish.

Simply Delicious suggests serving this with some steamed brown rice. I remember my mom pushing the brown rice on us in the 80s and 90s…it wasn’t great. I know it’s healthier for you, and there are some dishes where it works, but I’m just generally NOT a fan.


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8-30: Hungarian Goulash

8-30: Hungarian Goulash

We’ve just passed the 7-year anniversary of starting this project (April 16)…and I’m still nowhere near done. This is going to take me the rest of my life at this rate, I think.

A dish that WON’T take you the rest of your life to complete (notice my flawless segue there) is 8-30: Hungarian Goulash. It’s supposedly a dish for cold days, which are quickly becoming few and far between here in California now that it’s almost May. However, if you’ve still got a touch of cold where you are (or maybe your hemisphere is heading towards winter instead of summer), this might be a good option.

Hungarian goulash is very well-known outside of Simply Delicious…in fact, it’s Hungary’s national dish. 🇭🇺 Many countries have versions of it due to various Hungarian diasporas over the last few centuries. You may know the modern American version better as American chop suey, slumgullion, or maybe Hamburger Helper?


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13-9: Enchiladas

13-9: Enchiladas

Enchiladas were always a big hit in one of my previous cooking jobs, and they’re still a big hit when I make them at home for dinner today. Presenting 13-9: Enchiladas as a vegetarian dish (using vegetables as filling instead of meat) is pretty avant-garde for a 1980s cookbook, but you can always adjust the fillings as you wish.

If you want to add some options to your combination plate, you can add in 8-65: Sizzling Skirt Steaks, 3-15: Quick Mexican Soup, or 9-6: Filled Tacos.

Enchiladas were usually (and still are) one of my top choices when going to a Mexican restaurant, and the method here is not that far off from the traditional way to make them.

However, as much of a stickler as I am for authentic/homemade, I like the canned enchilada sauce you buy in the supermarket SO much better and will pretty much always just use that. Can’t tell you why, just my personal preference.


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