Julia’s Artichokes with Lemon Butter

So in case you haven’t seen the movie Julie and Julia please stop reading and go rent buy it, watch it, and then return back here.

You’re done? Ok good. So after watching that movie I researched some of Julia Child’s recipes on the interwebs. I wanted to make her french bread, but I still haven’t found a day that I can carve 9 hours out of to make her recipe by hand.

So instead, I opted to be somewhat healthier and make artichokes with lemon butter. Ha, healthy and butter in the same sentence. They turned out to be yumtown. One thing I need to stress though is the lemon butter is really lemony, and really buttery.

No duh, right?

I like both lemons and butters, but together I felt like my eyebrows balded a bit. So just beware of it’s lemony-buttery goodness before dunking your entire artichoke leaf into the bowl. Ahem, I speak from experience on this one, trust me.

These are fairly easy to make, and you can impress a guy or girl with your soopa-doopa cooking skillz. Plus artichokes kind of look like a flower, and they have hearts and all.

Oh, and this might not be a good first date food. There is a huge probability you’ll end up with some artichoke meat on your teeth. Not hot.

adapted from Julia Child’s recipe. You’ll need:

  • 2 Globe Artichokes (those are the big mama ones)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (divided)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups cool water (not the sicknast perfume, real water)
  • 1 stick of butter cut into 8 pieces, chilled (leave in the fridge until you’re ready for it. I mean it)
  • A dash of salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (there’s your dash o’ salt, but leave the salt out for the butter)

Trim the artichokes for boiling: lay each on its side and cut off about an inch or so off the top, break off the small leaves near the base, and cut off all but an inch or so of the stem. Snip the ends of the leaves off all around the artichoke with scissors to rid it of any sharp points. Rinse the ‘chokes under cool water.

To prevent rapid browning mix the water, white vinegar, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice into a bowl. Soak the artichokes in the water until they’re ready to be moved to the pot. Your artichokes will brown up, that’s just what they do, but you can prevent a lot of brownage by soaking them for a few minutes.

Boil the artichokes, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you can pierce the bottom with a knife. They’re going to be nice and tender.

While your artichokes are boiling you can start on the lemon butter. Your butter is still chilling in the fridge, right? Reduce the lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan until about one tablespoon. Remember to keep stirring, and don’t be afraid to lift your pan off the heat for a few seconds if it’s starting to boil too much. Over low heat, whisk in the chilled butter pieces, one at a time, until creamy. Remove from heat, and, when ready to serve, whisk in 2-3 tablespoons hot water to warm.

When you serve, make sure to add an extra plate or bowl for the used leaves. Confession time: I didn’t know how to eat an artichoke properly til about 3 years ago. And to save you the embarassment of popping the entire leaf into your mouth, watch this video to see how to get it done.

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Ok, I can’t even get through the first line without first apologizing for my cliche blog title. Seriously, how many people do that when they want to talk about change. Moving on.

Ok, I haven’t moved on yet. Cliche or not, things are changing on this blog whether you like it or not! But I really hope you do, or love it. I’ll be happy with either. Let’s make a long term commitment to each other, ok? You come back and read the crazy stuff I write, see the pictures I post, and tell me you drool over the recipes I try, and I promise to keep posting them. No longer will I treat you like a red-haired stepchild, and I mean no offense to the actual real life red-headed stepchildren of the world. There is a place for you here. I even have red hair, sure it came from a bottle, but tomato to-maw-to. Wow, I’ve never had to spell that phrase out, it’s difficult. But I digress.

So the changes I started talking about before gingers entered my mind are as follows; this will no longer be JUST a photography blog. I’ve spent the last few months creating tumblrs, flickrs, twitters, etc. to try to incorporate all of Jen (and believe me, there’s a lot of Jen) on the interwebs. All the while neglecting this blog. It turns out I love photographing everything. But I also like cooking stuff, thrift store shopping, making cupcakes, road trips, and eating said cupcakes. I’ve decided to make jenbeasley.com about Jen Beasley. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I am drafting my nobel speech as we speak. So from here on out I plan to use this blog to showcase my whole life.

When I shoot photograph kids, fly to Seattle, make beignets, and hear something rocking at church, it will be posted. I’ll share my opinions on things, yeah. . . I have those. I’ll review recipes, maybe give you some tips on babysitting four kids. . . yeah I do that too, booyah! So this is just to prepare you. And to show that I am accountable for rocking your world. Prepare your world peeps.


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I Tried To Photograph a Two Year Old

And I’m quite certain I burned a few hundred calories. Workout is done for the month. I want to share with you the evolution, and then a prompt de-evolution, of trying to photograph a toddler.

Ok so my lurvely friend (his Mama) helps me by sitting him on top of their picnic bench. Immediately the little man strikes a pose. Well ok, I’ll take that I guess. . .

Oooh man, I thought I nailed it when he looked up and smiled. Until I saw his robo hand of doom in the bottom left.

Now he’s just toying with me. At this point I’m greatful he’s a cheery little fella, and not screaming or crying.

Now he’s seemingly done taking photos.

Mom trying to coax him back up. Notice my friend’s fierce nails. Fierce.

Ummm, he might cry. I’m not sure. Still snapping away though.

Yes! Jackpot! Slightly out of focus, but I’ll take what I can get.

*hallelujah chorus*

Silly, goofy, and out of focus boy. But still cute.

Houston, we’re losing him.

Maybe not?

Yup, completely gone.

These photos were all shot within about 90 seconds. There were many more in between as well. I just continually snapped my camera in hopes of getting one good image. And in the process captured the heart and personality of this sweet little boy! Don’t fear the blurry shots, they’re what make memories too!

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Oh Hi. I’m still alive

So if medals were awarded to bad bloggers, I’d win the gold! I need to revamp this blog. I have a fancy re-design a-comin’! Stay tuned.

And because posts are soooo boring without photos:

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