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What are you making in honor of Julia Child's 100th birthday?

Julia Child would have been 100 on August 15, 2012. She did so much for American home cooks. Back in the day, in my neighborhood anyway, no one used fresh garlic. I don't even remember a supermarket that sold it. Everything was canned, frozen or processed. Julia encouraged home cooks to use fresh ingredients and brought French cooking techniques into our homes and lives. Thank you! As a kid, I watched Julia on WGBH in Boston - in black and white, happily hacking away at chickens and fish. Julia and I share the same birthday and when I was 10 I was given a copy of The French Chef Cookbook for a present. I treasure it to this day.

In honor of Julia, I created a special cake for her - Almond Lace Cream Cake - Sponge Cake filled with Almond Diplomat Cream and covered with Chocolate Ganache and Almond Lace Cookies. Bon Appetit Julia.

For Julia's birthday dinner, I'm making Steak Diane, Gallettes de Pommes Duchesse, and Haricots Verts a la Maitre d’Hotel, served with a nice red wine.

Anyone else making something special?

Bon Appétit Julia.

Photo: Almond Lace Cream Cake

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  1. You are a very accomplished baker, TrishUntrapped. That cake looks stunning and sounds delicious. Do you do this professionally, or are you a home cook?
    I am, actually planning a special dinner to commemorate that wonderful lady who brought so much MORE into our lives. I wouldn't be a quarter of the cook I am today without her. We'll be starting w/ gougeres and champagne, and then moving onto a small plate of lentils au vinaigrette, seasoned with a little thyme. The entree is going to be roasted chicken, stuffed with lemons and herbs and rubbed down with butter, oh so much butter, and then moooooore butttter. Same veg. as you: haricots verts, but w/ browned butter (oh so much butter, and then mooore...) and sliced blanched almonds; and pilaf: rice, cooked down in strong veg. stock with shallots and a little garlic; tiny peas and diced carrots tossed in at the last.
    I'm still goggling at your dessert - nothing here will be that fancy. I'm making a good old classic lemon souffle.
    Your dinner sounds delicious, ma'am.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      Mamachef, I love your menu! Julia was big proponent of a perfectly roasted chicken, sounds delicious!

      Thank you for the compliment. I'm a home cook. When I was little I taught myself how to read from the TV Guide. I saw a show advertised about a fire chief and thought, great I want to see that. But when I tuned in there was Julia waving a cleaver. I misread "Fire Chief" it was of course The French Chef. But I was immediately hooked and she became my icon. The first Julia recipe I made was crepes for my six other brothers and sisters. I'll be making crepes Sunday morning for breakfast.

      1. re: TrishUntrapped

        Now THAT is one great story. What's for lunch, then? Sounds like a good time for eggs mayonnaise, crudite, etc.......take it easy, gal!

        1. re: TrishUntrapped

          Love your baking and your story, it was meant to be!!!!!!

        2. re: mamachef

          Sounds wonderful Mamachef - Julia would be proud!

        3. Julia had great empathy for us non bakers. This is my favorite Julia dessert

          1 large scoop best quality store bought vanilla ice cream
          1 Tbs (15 ml) dark rum
          1/2 tsp (2 ml) instant coffee, (I use Medaglio D'Oro instant espresso)

          Place the ice cream in a stemmed glass, pour the rum over it, and sprinkle with the coffee. Serves 1.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Berheenia

            Berheenia, that sounds terrific. One of the things I love about Julia is how she celebrated all foods be they simple or complicated - taste was the key. Nice tribute on your part!

            1. re: Berheenia

              Nom NOM, Beerhenia. There's a pint of Vanilla Bean ice cream in the freezer just begging to be treated like this.

            2. I'm staying home from work (I'm a college professor and the semester doesnt start until Friday anyway) and roasting a chicken, baking a small peach tart, and perhaps cooking various other things. And indulging in a Juliathon--watching DVDs of The French Chef.

              2 Replies
                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  I made a 6-in peach tart this morning, with enough dough and peaches left for a peach-blueberry tartlet. In the meantime, I've watched several episodes on DVD--French Crepes I (savory), Cheese Souffle, and Roasting a Goose. The latter was hysterical--as she is whacking the goose neck for use in the sauce, there is a bug crawling on it (spider, I think--a fly would have taken off). It is clearly visible and later is seen on the cutting board. There is a moment or two of subtle recognition of the bug by Julia, but she just carries on and throws the now-debugged goose neck into the pot. Gotta love her!

              1. Adding the thread Dave MP started on the same theme.

                I finally decided that I'll make Julia's recipe recipe of Salmon en Papilotte with Shallots and Tomato found in the book "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home". I've had the book since it was published and love the recipes they cooked together. Here's the on-line recipe if anyone is interested...
                From the same book I'll make Julia's Buttered Green Beans and a potato dish yet to be decided.
                Funny how we're making haricots verts... (I have a ton from my CSA and we pick-up this week's basket tomorrow!)

                Bon Appetit Tout Le Monde !

                5 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  That salmon sounds wonderful - I had to laugh, because it looks like it's actually a Patti Labelle recipe (whose recipes I love, BTW.) Yeah, I was racking my brains on the veg., and thinking of sauteed cucumbers, when what to my won'dring eye should appear but......yep, my CSA box. Solved the problem instanter. :) I'm sitting here with my butt glued to the chair or I'd get up to find the name of the potato dish, but the SUPER thinly-mandolined potatoes, layered evenly and cooked in butter and stock (covered first; uncovered to brown) are amazing.....when people get to them, not another sound is heard unless it's "what's IN these things?" and then if you elect to tell them, they won't believe you anyway and will insist there's something more in there, which there is most certainly NOT. Yep: that's what I love. She took the simplest ingredients and made them absolutely amazing.

                  1. re: mamachef

                    Hah!...Patti LaBelle. Love her. I think I read she had written a cookbook, in fact I think several cookbooks. Yeah, I did choose a potato somethingorother but I can't think what it is right now. There'll be just the two of us for dinner tomorrow so I don't have to get too fancy but I celebrate the Tying of the Shoes so I gotta do this one...

                    1. re: mamachef

                      This sounds like Pommes Anna, except Pommes Anna is just butter, no stock - if you ever do look up the name, will you please post it (and the recipe, if you have time)? They sound DELICIOUS and soft enough for my poor husband, who just had all four wisdom teeth out!

                      1. re: biondanonima

                        I've made Julia's Pommes Anna several times but not in a very long time. It's rich, calorie laden (caloriffic I say), decadent, and every other exuberant adjective one can utter. Looks pretty too. The trick to make the finished cake look perfect is to spend a fair amount of time slicing and shaving the potato slices in all the same size and form, then placing the slices in exact concentric circles in the skillet. The effort is rewarded when the serving platter is brought to the table and everyone swoons, LOL...
                        Here's the recipe...

                    2. re: Gio

                      Gio, thanks, I did not see Dave MP's thread. Love all things "en papilotte!"

                    3. The local farm is advertising cukes at 10/$1.00, which screams Julia's Baked Cucumbers but it's too hot for the oven. Hopefully the cukes will still be cheap when the weather cools a bit. This is a recipe to which I'd have turned up my nose if I'd just encountered it while skimming MtAoFC.
                      I took the plunge because Julie Powell was so effusive about it in the Julie & Julia blog. I was completely won over. It's great for anyone whose garden or CSA is cuke-heavy, because one portion is easily an entire large cucumber, having shed most of its water.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: greygarious

                        Oh my! I will be gettng cukes from my CSA tomorrow, so perhaps this will be part of the menu - thanks, greygarious!


                        1. re: greygarious

                          Reading that recipe I immediately thought of Zucchini. Those I have a glut of right now, but not cucumbers.

                          Surfing the net a few minutes ago I came across a site that has Julia's Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce recipe... but more that that there is a list of what various home cooks in the blogosphere are making in her honor... from soup to nuts...

                          1. re: Gio

                            Perfect - thanks Gio! I'd already decided that roasted chicken was the easiest for me - so Roasted Chicken with Julia’s Mustard Marinade will be the way to go for me!

                            1. re: Gio

                              If you try the cuke recipe using zukes, and it works, you'd be doing a public service by posting your results to help all the folks bemoaning their annual zucchini surplus.

                              1. re: greygarious

                                Well then, in that regard I'm prompted to make it tonight... because I just saw we're getting yet MORE zucchini tomorrow (plus other vegetables) Sheeeeesh.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Cucumbers (Concombres), Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Pgs. 499 - 500
                                  On-Line recipe adaptation...

                                  As discussed above we made this last night but substituted slightly more zucchini for the cucumbers in the recipe. While the flavor of the finished dish was delightful the zucchini didn't really benefit from roasting with the liquid. My husband liked them very much, to me the zucchini were limp but tasted luscious and silky from the combination of melted butter and wine vinegar. I used Carapelli white wine vinegar, Chardonnay I think. The recipe was followed explicitly but I had to adjust amounts of seasonings to compensate for increased vegetables and subbed mild Spanish onion for scallions.

                                  Here's what we did:
                                  Peel and slice lengthwise 6 zucchini that are about 8" long then slice them crosswise. Cut these pieces lengthwise into 2" strips. Combine these strips in a bowl with wine vinegar, salt, & sugar. Let stand for at least 30 minutes then drain and blot. Heat oven to 375F, melt a few Tbsp butter. Put zucchini into a baking dish at least 12" X 1/2" and toss with melted butter, dill or basil (I used basil), minced scallions (Spanish onion), FGBpepper. Place in oven uncovered, bake about 1 hour, tossing a few times during the process.

                                  It's a really simple and easy recipe given Julia's precise instructions. As I typed these notes, though, I realize I may not have allowed the zucchini to rest in the vin/salt/sugar mixture long enough so the inherent moisture was not drawn out sufficiently, therefore leading to the "limp" result. It's a worthy recipe and would probably be much better had I paid better attention. Served with roast chicken and a potato/Romano bean/fresh corn kernel salad with lime & cilantro dressing...

                          2. Oh my - your tribute dinner sounds wonderful, Trish, and the cake looks wonderful! A very happy birthday to you and Julia!

                            As for me, I think it depends on what I get from my CSA tomorrow, but there will be lots of vegetables. Since I'm working, perhaps a roasted Frankenchicken breast will be the way to go.

                            1. I remember that Julia said if she could request whatever cake she wanted for her birthday, it would be the Los Gatos Gateau. No, not calico genoise with Persian icing - an apricot dacquoise with, if memory serves, almond cream filling (possibly hazelnut). So your lovely creation is in a similar vein. Los Gatos because that was the main California growing area for apricots.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: greygarious

                                The Los Gatos Gateau (almond and hazelnut dacquoise with apricot filling and buttercream frosting) is from Julia Child and Company, part of a birthday menu that includes roast duck. I remember seeing the episode where she did the menu.

                                Here's a scan of the recipe: http://www.thetownsend.org/LosGatos.html

                                And here's an old CH post with the recipe (this thread is where I found the link above): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2930...

                                The Santa Clara Valley, now better known as Silicon Valley, was full of orchards until midcentury. Los Gatos is now a wealthy suburb of San Jose.

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  Lived in Mt. View in the mid- to late-70's. Even then, could see acres of orchards from my apartment...but no more.

                              2. Since this thread now has more replies, I'm going to lock the one I started, and we can keep the discussion here!

                                1. I was really fortunate to have lunch with Ms. Child before she passed away. I had my first martini upon hearing of her passing (her favorite cocktail). I had my second martini a few months later, when my mother passed away (also her favorite cocktail). I now really like gin.

                                  I'll be making a Nolet/Vya martini in honor of Julia on Wednesday.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. I will be making French onion soup and Caesar salad. Those two dishes remind me of Julia more than anything else.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: CDouglas

                                      I think I might make French Onion Soup this weekend... From your post CD I now have a hankering for it.

                                    2. Pico de gallo! I never buy salsa in a jar because it is cooked. Pico de gallo is salsa fresca, and it is simple to make from scratch. I prefer Roma tomatoes because they are not as juicy as globular ones. I know that it was not Julia's thing, but in this case it is homemade.

                                      BTW, I do have a copy of 'Mastering The Art of French Cooking' published in 1961. Maybe I'll flip thru it on her birthday while sipping a martini.

                                      1. August 15 happens to be my birthday as well. What an interesting day...Julia Child, Napoleon Bonaparte and...me!

                                        That means that *I* won't be cooking. My children will. They are 12 and 14 and although they've each helped in the kitchen, they've never taken on an entire meal themselves. From what I've gathered, my meal will be pan sauteed pork chops with roasted haricots verts and fingerling potatoes. Of course, their dad will chip in by providing this birthday girl with champagne. I hope that Julia would approve.

                                        1. An open bottle of French wine.

                                          1. I always make something French every year for Julia's birthday (always have the date marked on my calendar), but we'll be dining out tomorrow night & Thurs. night, so this year it will have to wait until the weekend.

                                            1. Just a gentle reminder that any Julia Child recipe reports from Any of her books would benefit other home cooks who search for recipes that have been made here at Chowhound. October 2007 was Julia Child month for Cookbook of the Month. Just post in the chapter heading that your recipe belongs in. Here's the link to the master thread...

                                              1. Will be traveling north to Santa Barbara this weekend, with La Supa Rica as target destination, in honor of Julia who loved this place.

                                                1. I've decided to go with a Caesar salad for the starter.(I only recently found out that Julia's recipe does not call for anchovies.) I'll have to cheat a little cause I love them! Followed by her Bouillabaisse, as I have access to fresh seafood which couldn't be ignored. Serving my meal with a Pouilly-Fuisse...and have decided to skip on dessert. Happy Birthday Julia!!!

                                                  1. A martini. She was once asked by an admirer, "what is your favorite wine to drink with dinner?" and she answered, "Gin!"

                                                    3 Replies
                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        Just drank my Nolet gin martini (with Vya vermouth).

                                                        Quite tipsy right now!

                                                      2. re: EarlyBird

                                                        i didn't think it possible to love her any more than i already did. thanks for this!

                                                      3. WHEN it's cooler in my kitchen, I will make her a Floating Island. It will be my first and probably her 100th.

                                                        1. Actually, It is also my father's 100th Anniv and my sister decided to hold a reunion on Cape Cod where we all grew up. So I made Stuffed Quahogs..with Linguica.........in his honor. Not in any JC cookbook....but I know she used to indulge in them when she went to the Cape and the Islands

                                                          1. We had a lovely dinner in honor of Julia's birthday last night: Broiled Salmon with Tomato Relish, Blanched and Buttered Haricots Verts, Soubise. No dessert but plenty of Gin and Noilly Prat.

                                                            1. I made a batch of Duchess Potatoes from Julia's "The Way to Cook." It had been a loong time since I had this dish, but it came together so fast and was so awesome I started thinking, why don't I do this more often?

                                                              The only thing that was a little odd to me was that the recipe was based on only 2 cups of mashed potatoes...which I could eat alone! You'll see in the pic, the yield was kinda small--we polished this tray off in about 5 minutes while standing around the CHOW Test Kitchen fantasizing about all the things you could hide inside one of the potato mounds...cheese, sausage, a quail egg. Anyone ever done that?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. Salad Nicoise...too hot for anything else and I did the prep after dinner last night when it was cooler.

                                                                1. I am pretty lucky ..I was at home of chef and author Nathalie Dupree for a Champagne Tea.

                                                                  1. I had such a grand time with my Julia dinner last night, I plan to do it every year. It's my new religious holiday. I had to rein in my plans a bit, I gave up on making the gougeres and the asparagus timbales when my kitchen hit 88º after baking the lady fingers.

                                                                    We started out with the last of some foie gras entier and apple chutney that I was recently gifted. I made angosoda (perrier, angostora bitters, slice of lime), purportedly one of Julia's favorites.

                                                                    The rest of my menu came entirely from MTAOFC, volume I:
                                                                    Suprêmes de Volaille à brun, déglacé à la truffe. (Chicken breasts cooked in clarified and browned butter, with shallots, homemade duck stock, madeira, and minced truffles.) Julia recommended Bordeaux Médoc with her browned butter chicken, and that is what we drank.
                                                                    Tomates à la Provençale. Baked with breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, garlic, shallots, and olive oil. Yes this required the oven again, but very briefly.
                                                                    For dessert I made Charlotte Malakoff au Fraises. The lady fingers I baked were soaked in grand marnier, then lined a mold which was filled with strawberries alternating with a blend of butter, sugar, ground almonds, and cream.

                                                                    We were quite happy.

                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                      Oh MY both look heavenly, L.N.! Beautiful!

                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                        Brava! It looks and sounds scrumptious, L.Nightshade.

                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                          Religious holiday is right, I'm on my knees here, adoring that dessert. ('skwizit china too)

                                                                          I long ago made an Orange Bavarian Cream from that book, outrageous!
                                                                          Would you say the fingers would freeze well?
                                                                          Pre-soaking of course!

                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                            Thanks Caitlin and blue room!

                                                                            blue room - I think the ladyfingers might freeze well if carefully packaged. They were a little crisper and a bit more fragile than I expected. But my experience with ladyfingers was previously confined to the spongy ones sold in the grocery store, which Julia warns against. They were just perfect after a dive in the grand marnier.

                                                                            I just read the recipe for the Orange Bavarian Cream, it sounds lovely.

                                                                            PS - the china was my grandmother's. It really suits certain dishes and certain menus.

                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                              Well I couldn't help myself, tried to make (MtAoFC) ladyfingers. As you can see, they are not ladies' fingers, they are langues de chats! The foamy sticky batter was tough to handle, this was probably my 5th time using a pastry bag, oh yeah that could explain it.

                                                                              They do have a slight crust, and taste fine, but haha need work. I'm glad that they are good on their own, and fairly light -- I can practice. L.Nightshade -- did you use a balloon whisk and do this by hand, as she recommends? (I did not .)

                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                Ha! I think yours look better than mine, which were pretty fat-fingered. I noted that Julia says to use an electric beater or a wire whisk, so I used the whisk for the yolks, and an electric beater (and a copper bowl) for the whites. It seemed to take a long time for the yolks to reach ribbon stage.

                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                  I will attempt this again when the kitchen is not so hot AND being pumped full of moist air (evaporative cooler). I looked at Google Images ladyfingers, and most are flattish, just the commercial ones are more dowel-like.

                                                                                  Wow -- you made these AND that dinner and the rest of this many-step dessert in one day! This one step seemed so hard. :(

                                                                                  By the way, I made one panful with the butter and flour preparation, and one with parchment paper. Only parchment makes sense!

                                                                                2. re: blue room

                                                                                  That's the beauty of lady fingers. They really can't fail because when they do, you have Langue du Chats!

                                                                                  We had our Julia b'day party August 11th. Started with seared Foie gras with fig jam, then to Julia's Santa Barbara Fish Stew served with a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

                                                                                  We'll be celebrating her 100th all year though. Why not?

                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                              Lovely looking photos LN! The tomato, like Proust's madeleine, brings back such memories.

                                                                              Back in the day, Julia's stuffed tomatoes were my "default vegetable" when there was nothing in the house and I needed a vegetable for dinner. All we had on hand were a few packages of rubbery hothouse tomatoes. Even they tasted good cooked this way. Plus I could use up the end pieces of a loaf of bread for the stuffing, and voila, a tasty veggie and starch in one side dish.

                                                                              I wasn't able to take pictures of Steak Diane the other night, but I'm making the dish again Sunday for my father-in-law's birthday so will post then.

                                                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                Thanks Trish! I look forward to seeing your Steak Diane pics.

                                                                                After I discarded the plan to make asparagus timbales, I joked that our green vegetable would be the parsley and basil in the tomatoes. They made a perfectly delicious side dish, and we certainly didn't leave the table hungry.

                                                                              2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                Superb dinner, Linda! i think you're inspiring me to do my own Julia Homage Sunday night....

                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                  I'm sure Julia won't mind that you postpone her party until the weekend!

                                                                                  1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                    Haha. I'll just plan for her 101st for now.

                                                                                  2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                    Dear holy gawd, Nightshade! That's a gorgeous Charlotte; y'all SHOULDA been happy as..as....well, you just should've been deleriously happy, is all. What's killin' it for me, though: the plated entree. You can see all the deliciously wonderful delicious wonderfulness. I can taste it; and even the very small ladylike "burpkins" which ensue taste LOVELY.
                                                                                    Hats off.

                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                      Wow, L.N., gorgeous photos of a wonderful meal! I just want to dive into my computer screen and have a bite!

                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                        I have already commented on your lovely meal elswhere, LN, but again on reading the description here - I applaud you!

                                                                                        What a fine idea for this to be a 'new religious holiday'. I may join you in that. Sure beats most others:).

                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                            Thanks so much for the link. I did not see it elsewhere, and it made my day!

                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                              Wow, I just saw this.... Thank you so much for posting!

                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                Just caught up on this thread. That was so much fun Beach Chick! Thanks for the share!

                                                                                              2. Four days late... reposting here from the WFD thread -

                                                                                                Julia Child's 100th Birthday Dinner c'est fini! boeuf à la Bourguignonne - magnifique. well, with a reservation. i think either my oven cooks too hot or i had a not-great cut of meat, because although the sauce was divine - DIVINE - the meat was just a tad stringy, and it didn't even cook the whole 3-4 hours, but i don't think more time would have helped it. still and all, wonderful. as you would expect from a Julia recipe, as you would expect from the French - the sauce was really pretty simple, yet had depth and complexity and lusciousness. alongside i went super-simples - steamed potatoes, peeled, slathered in Plugra European butter, fresh parsley, and a super simple salad of butter lettuce with toasted slivered almonds and thinly sliced shallots in a dijon vinaigrette. first time steaming potatoes - really loved how they held their shape and texture, loved the sweetness of the butter. salad was a little bit of perfection too - silky soft lettuce with the nuttiness of the almonds... i even made dessert - a clafouti - my first time - fresh sweet cherries the BF helped me pit, in a warm, pillowy, bread pudding-like custard. would have liked it even better if i'd make a sweet cream with it, whipped or not, but it was good. to drink we had a red wine from Les Baux des Provence - Mas de Gourgonnier - a wine we first had during our year of attempted ex-pat-ness - the vintner himself gave me a bottle at his Provence winery located at the foot of the Alpilles, but fortunately I can now find this fully organic wine at BevMo and Whole Foods, on occasion. It's a blend of Cabernet, Carignane, Grenache and Syrah, and its peppery/cherry notes went well with all aspects of dinner.

                                                                                                all in all, a day very well spent.

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                  Looks damn near perfect to Me! You did the queen of cooking shows proud!

                                                                                                  Will try and find that wine you reccomend

                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                    I think you nailed it! Simple and delicious.
                                                                                                    About the meat, I wondered if you used chuck? I know Julia recommended it when she was older but back when she wrote the books she says "lean stewing beef". I have switched from round to chuck and the fat makes it melt in your mouth tender.

                                                                                                    Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking! We spent yesterday watching Jack and Julia on the tube!

                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                      thanks FCF and Berheenia!

                                                                                                      i used a boneless beef chuck roast, and the packet said it was suitable for pot roast. she does name it, although as a second choice, for long cooking stews . . . her first choice is rump pot roast.

                                                                                                      i've made this dish before, using Craig Claiborne's recipe, and i'll have to look it up to see if it calls for a different meat.

                                                                                                      anyway, it was still good!

                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                        Ah, your dinner looks fantastic mariacarmen! And that clafouti! Perfect.

                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                          thanks, LN! the whole thing was good as leftovers tonight, too!

                                                                                                      2. Made Steak Diane again last night for my dear father in law's birthday. It's one of those lovely "lost" recipes that was once all the rage in the finest restaurants, made with great fanfare flambeed at tableside. In my book it's still a winner. I'll even make Hamburgers Diane using the same principles. My one alteration to Julia's recipe is I threw in a handful of chopped mushrooms.

                                                                                                        Other dishes with this meal were Caprese Salad to start made with tomatoes fresh from my father in law's garden, oven roasted cornflake crumb potatoes, haricots verts, and corn on the cob. Because Pops is not so fond of chocolate, for dessert I made a Plum Cake Tatin.

                                                                                                        Caprese Salad
                                                                                                        Steak Diane
                                                                                                        Plum Cake Tatin (This pic looks fine on my camera, but was blurry when I went to size it.)

                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                          looks wonderful! can you please link to a recipe for the Steak Diane? thanks!

                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                            The Steak Diane recipe in this blog is faithful to Julia's:


                                                                                                            My notes: I found Haddon House brand brined green peppercorns in my local supermarket. I liked them, I didn't use a ton of them on the meat and they give the steak nice flavor.

                                                                                                            I omitted the Madeira and used regular brandy in lieu of Cognac. I added a handful of fresh sliced mushrooms to the shallots and parsley and cooked them down gently for a couple minutes.

                                                                                                            And the piece de resistance, links to two short videos showing Julia making Steak Diane:


                                                                                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped


                                                                                                              eta: interesting recipe! any idea what the rolling up of each steak is about? and am i reading it right, that you bring the steaks from the fridge and then put them in the pan? is that to keep them from overcooking? i'll check out your video links too, although something's been up with my computer and video lately.

                                                                                                              thanks again.

                                                                                                              eta again: so i watched the video but the audio on both parts 1&2 was so poor i couldn't hear what she was saying. maybe she explains the rolling of the meat? i'll look up the recipe from the book you mentioned, maybe she speaks of it there.

                                                                                                              and thanks yet again!

                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                Julia keeps the steaks rolled until she is ready to cook them. But since I cooked the steaks immediately after seasoning them I didn't bother to roll them. Also, I used tenderloin and didn't pound them as thin as Julia did.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                    Thanks Berheenia, that is the second video I meant to link to in the post above, and instead I linked to a chowhound thread! Watch both Steak Diane videos to get Julia's take on the dish.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                      i saw both of those, but i couldn't hear her talking (something wrong with my audio?) so i couldn't tell if she said something about why she was rolling them.

                                                                                                              2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                Beautiful dinner Trish! Thanks for posting those appetizing photos.

                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  Thanks LN, it's always fun cooking something ala Julia!

                                                                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                    Oh agreed! It was fun and fulfilling. Let's find out more birthdays and keep the tradition...
                                                                                                                    Some while they are alive, so they can see the rewards and pleasures they have introduced!

                                                                                                                2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                  Trish, LOVE steak Diane! I made that back in the day when I first got the Julia Child and Company cookbook in high school. I remember making this for a boy I was sweet on, and another high school couple. They couldn't believe I was cooking with cognac (booze!) in my parents' house being under age. My mom approved:)

                                                                                                                  I remember baking the chocolate dessert in that same 'lesson' for dessert that night. Gateau Victoire au Chocolate.... first flourless chocolate cake I ever made. Will have to revisit that recipe too.

                                                                                                                  Your whole meal looks wonderful!

                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                    Thanks Ginger, that's a nice memory you have of Steak Diane. I'll have to try The Victoire au Chocolate sometime!

                                                                                                                3. Although I'm very late with Kudos and Thank Yous I just want to say I'm thrilled to be in the company of such accomplished home cooks. What inspirations you all are. The menus are so very Julia and the photos are absolutely drool worthy. Cheers to all !

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. A quick addendum, I entered my Almond Lace Cream Cake in an Epicurious Julia Child Birthday Cake contest. There are some lovely entries. Did anyone else from here enter?

                                                                                                                    26 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                        I went over to see the Epicurious Julia Cake contest--
                                                                                                                        what fun! I do see your cake there -- have you and yours already eaten it all up?
                                                                                                                        I see the judges are judging this way: Creativity (50%), Visual Appeal (25%), and Originality (25%).
                                                                                                                        It's hard to figure how those 3 differ exactly, in a cake. Good luck to you, I'll watch to see how it goes.

                                                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                          Thanks Maria and Blue Room, I'll let you know how it goes. There are several delightful looking cakes there. Also, some unusual entries - a hamburger; a couple entries with pix but the submitter would not share the recipe; some entries without a picture of the cake; and several cake-mix based recipes.

                                                                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                            Fingers crossed, TrishUntrapped. According to the website the winners will be announced today.

                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                The winners were supposed to be announced today but they weren't, with no explanation offered.


                                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                  I've been watching that. "No winners found."
                                                                                                                                  Stick to your deadlines people. Still wishing you good luck!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                    Maybe they must contact the winners before announcing their names ? or something like that ? No excuse for radio silence though!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                      The winners were supposed to be announced on 8/24, that day came and went with no winners/no explanation, and the new date 8/28 was announced.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                        Quite the clusterf*** over there, huh?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                            :::applause on the pun:::: however. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                I sent the editor of epicurious an inquiry. We'll see if there is a response.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                  terrible of them to make people wait like this!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                    I'm a journalist myself, and I know things can go awry. Stuff happens. Just communicate with people. They'll understand. I'll let you know if I hear back from the publisher.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                    I also sent them a Private Message on the FB link above. I will admit, I used your EPIC FAIL comment but didn't say EPIC(urious). :-)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      Good grief. I did the exact same thing a couple hours ago. We're thinking alike, Linda!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                        I'm sure you were much nicer than me, Linda. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                          Good, it might have worked. I just heard back from the publisher and she said they are announcing the winners today.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                            YaHOO! :-) of course, that means they've got another 7 hours and 25 minutes based on Eastern Time. :-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                I just received this email from Epicurious:

                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for your email and I do apologize about the lateness of the announcement. Legally, we are not allowed to announce the winners until they have returned affidavits acknowledging the win and the prize and we are waiting on our winners to return those. We will put something up on Facebook to explain that.

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks very much!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                  The winners have been announced:


                                                                                                                                                                  I had picked my own personal favorite top five and #2 and #3 were in them. As for the winning cake, it's a stunner visually. Kudos to all.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                    True, a decorating feat. I bet yours tastes better!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh dear -- aqua / turquoise might be nice colors for book covers, and dresses with pearls, but not cakes!

                                                                                                                                                                      I do like the looks of the lemon meringue one -- that stood out to me right away.

                                                                                                                                                                      Still, it was fun, TrishUntrapped, to me an onlooker.

                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder if they made the cakes -- ?

                                                                                                                                                                      And congratulations to the winners.