Thursday, January 19, 2012

When Foodie Meets Finicky

My husband, Michael, is the love of my life. I know. We’re newlyweds, so I’m suppose to feel that way, right? But he is! Spending time with him is a true joy—we laugh, tease, get serious, etc. He is my best friend.

We also agree on just about everything…except for food. I'm an adventurous eater and will try just about anything. I enjoy all styles of ethic food and flavors—Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, French, etc.

Michael is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. He tolerates Mexican food, but does not like any of the Asian cuisines. He likes very few vegetables and thrives on good ol’ American cuisine—pot roast, hamburgers, and chicken noodle soup. He prefers spaghetti sauce out of a can instead of my homemade, which nearly broke my heart. I’m still working on a homemade sauce that tastes like the one in the can—I’m getting close! And I wrote in a post last year about his love for ketchup. Plus he’s not big on sweets. Sigh.

When I joined a group of fellow food bloggers posting from the list of the Gourmet Live 50 Women Game-Changers each Friday, I was faced with the challenge of finding a recipe from each week’s selection that would appeal to my finicky husband. I often choose dessert recipes that I can share with friends or co-workers instead to get a second opinion. But I do try to find something that Michael and I can enjoy together.

This week’s selection is Donna Hay, who is the Martha Stewart of Australia. She has written numerous bestselling cookbooks, has her own magazine, television series, and cookware, household, and food lines.

On her website I found this recipe for French Onion Soup—a dish both Michael and I enjoy. And she makes it the way Michael likes it—without the addition of bread, and cheese on top. She suggests serving it with a grilled cheese sandwich, which is how I enjoyed it. Michael had it with a tuna fish sandwich. This dish is easy to make and perfect for a winter meal, either as a starter for a formal dinner or a causal soup and sandwich supper.

Donna Hay’s French Onion Soup

8 brown onions, sliced
30g butter [about 2 tablespoons]
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon thyme leaves [I used 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.]
2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 liters beef stock [I used 2 32-ounce cartons, which was just under 2 liters.]
2 cups water
Cheese sandwiches or parmesan toasts, to serve

Place the onions, butter, oil and thyme in a large saucepan over medium heat, cover and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the brandy and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mustard, stock and water and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with toasted cheese sandwiches or parmesan toasts. Serves 4–6.

Be sure to check out my fellow food bloggers:

Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia -A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets
Katie -Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda
Nancy - Picadillo
Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Claudia – Journey of An Italian Cook
Alyce – More Time at the Table


  1. I think you may have married my husband!! LOL! Your soup looks delicious! Nice post!

  2. Linda, this soup looks perfect for a cold winter's supper! I have been wanting to make a pot of onion soup ... thanks for making it easy for me to find a recipe! This looks like a winner!

  3. I don't miss the bread in the soup - but miss the cheese. Glad to see the sandwich making up for it. The thing about Hay's recipes is there seems to be something for everyone. And one day your husband may discover a vegetable.... you never know!