I started writing this blog post on August 8, 2016. So much has happened since then that I need to refresh the post and also let you all know of the goings on at the Riske Homestead! 6 days after I was “going to” publish this post, I became busy with the newest member of our family! Now that we have settled with Levi in our home, cooking dinners has thus resumed. French Onion Soup was requested by Tyler, and I was more than ready to get back into the kitchen.
Published September 18, 2017
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Why so long since my last blog?
Levi Gary Riske was born on August 14, 2016. Two days after his brother Matthew, and two days before his oldest brother Samuel. What a character Levi is! He sure fits into the youngest child mold already by spoiling up the boys’ special week. Right. Smack. Dab. In. The. Middle. Boys!!!
Seriously though, his hair! Folks, this baby his hair to be envious about! As a result, he had a haircut at six weeks old because it was so long and was covering his eyes.
Levi was born after a total of 3 hours of labor and weighs a whopping 9 pounds 13 ounces. Wowzah. Out of all my boys, he is the biggest! Today, Levi is 13 months old and is still as handsome as ever. By a year old he needed two haircuts. How crazy is that?!
But, alas, I shall not bother you any more about my handsome guys. Well, maybe just one more! Below is an image of the three Riske guys while on a walk the other day. When it is nice, we like to get out and explore.
Water damage and remodeling
So, there are a few reasons why I have not posted in SUCH a long time. Handsome baby Levi guy is #1.
#2- is because for months, I didn’t have a kitchen to cook in! Our upstairs toilet intake valve or whatchamacallit… failed and leaked for God-only-knows how long. Right into our kitchen. Mind you, it was an old kitchen. But it worked and it was clean. The door, however, was not nice. Who puts a door there?
Coincidentally it was intake and clean water, but still caused a huge issue. One day I noticed water on our kitchen counter and thought one of the boys had made a mess, but the next day it was there again, except there was more and I noticed it was dripping out of our upper cabinets. It was like opening Pandoras box. The more Tyler took off the walls, the more water damage we found.
We basically lived like vagabonds out of the living room for six months because we had to gut the kitchen. The kitchen was also blocked off for a few days for a mold treatment.
We didn’t have a kitchen
When Tyler came home, he found that the uppers, lowers, and pretty much half of our kitchen by this point, was wet and moldy behind the cabinets and drywall.
It all had to go. It was awful. However, we did get to dry out the water damage and find really interesting metal tiles that were covering the walls under drywall.
We had to gut our kitchen down to the studs but thankfully for insurance, we were covered. Additionally, I am thankfully for my handy husband- we saved so much by him doing all of the work and with the help of family and friends!
So now I have a new kitchen, and I am so excited to start my blog again! I feel like a professional chef now, with such a beautiful place to cook and bake. Seriously folks, my husband Tyler did an amazing job, and we owe so much gratitude to CNK Cabinetry out of Neenah/Menasha WI. They worked so great with us, let us design the kitchen, and created our custom cabinets that look SO good!
We got rid of a backyard access door, with a patio door to go into the dining room at a later date. Our old kitchen was only 9-feet of counter tops to a brand-new kitchen with 34-feet of countertop! I am in love, and so grateful!
So, onto my post, now that you are all caught up with my life and happenings.
And so, French Onion soup.
French Onion Soup Recipe
Ingredients for French Onion Soup
5 pounds onions, sliced
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
French Onion Soup Directions
1. On a cutting board, cut the ends off the onion, peel off the outside and slice them into strips.
I use sweet onions because I enjoy their flavor when cooked the most. Making French Onion soup, this is the most time consuming, and hardest because if you are not used to cutting so much onion, you WILL die. Or you will think you will!
Before you start, remember to breathe from your mouth – NOT your nose- seriously. It will help! Breathing from your nose will only freak out your sinuses resulting in crying and the inability to see for the foreseeable future. Finish cutting the onions while breathing only from your mouth.
Try it, it helps!
2. Put the onions, 4 Tbsp butter and 1/2 tsp salt in a Dutch Oven and then cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Thanks grandma Santkuyl for the Dutch Oven! Tyler and I moved into their home when she and my grandpa were in a nursing home. Crud, now all my aunts know I have this!
3. Stir with a spatula, and then cook an additional 1 1/2 hours.
To go with this meal, I also made a loaf of wheat bread with a garlic and herb rub. Check out the recipe for my homemade bread below.
4. On the stovetop, which is why a Dutch Oven is necessary, pour 1/4 cup water into pan and then deglaze 4 times for a total of 50 minutes. That is to say, every 15 minutes or so add 1/4 cup water and continue to cook until a spatula sliding on the pan bottom shows the liquid staying still.
5 Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry sherry, or wine.
This is a Cabernet Sauvignon from ALDI. Yes, ALDI sells wine! And this beauty comes in at $2.98 a bottle. Now you know my secret… and I hope you all don’t buy all my wine!!! Winking Owl isn’t the top of the shelf stuff, but on a budget and for a yummy bottle, this is your stuff!
6. Add all of the stocks and 1 bay leaf. This includes 4 cups of chicken stock, 2 cups beef broth and 2 cups of water.
Simmer for 20 minutes before serving.
Once the French Onion Soup was done simmering, it was then ladled into these awesome ramekins.
Hope you enjoy it!
Thanks also for sticking with me.
Life happens, it is fun and scary and full of ups and downs.
But, with strong people around you- those scary times seem much more fun!
French Onion Soup Recipe
French Onion Soup
- Dutch Oven
- Cutting board
- Measuring Cup
- 5 pounds 5 pounds onions, sliced1 tsp salt4 Tbsp butter1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon4 cups chicken broth2 cups beef brothThyme1 bay leaf2 cups water sliced thin
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 cup Dry Sherry OR Dry Red Wine
- 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 cups Beef Broth
- 2 cups Water
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp Thyme
- Cut the ends off the onion, peel off the outside and then slice them into strips.
- Put the onion, 4 Tbsp butter and 1/2 tsp salt in a Dutch Oven and cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
- Stir and then cook an additional 1 1/2 hours.
- On the stovetop, which is why a Dutch Oven is necessary, pour 1/4 cup water into pan and deglaze 4 times for a total of 50 minutes.
- So every 15 minutes or so add 1/4 cup water and continue to cook until a spoon sliding on the pan bottom shows the liquid staying still.
- Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry sherry, or a differed dry red wine.
- After the deglazing, add 4 cup chicken broth, 2 cup beef broth, 2 cup water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp thyme, and 1 bay leave.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve with toasted garlic bread and sprinkle freshly shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the soup.
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