Archive for December, 2009

December 25, 2009

Prime Rib with Au Jus

Christmas Eve dinner at my house usually features a Prime Rib roast.  I am truely a meat and potatoes kind of girl and this is the BEST dinner! My family and I all like it medium rare…Mmmm. Fortunately for those of you who like your meat a little more cooked a Ribeye is still nice and tender at medium. Prime Rib is super easy – much easier than Turkey! So much better too. Add some Au Jus and it’s heaven. I don’t need anything else – okay some potatoes and veggies are good too!

6lb Ribeye Roast (bone-in)
1/4 c. Kosher Salt
a bunch poultry herbs
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. pepper
2 c. beef broth
3 c. water
1/4 c. red wine
1 sprig of thyme
packet of au jus gravy mix 

Trim any excess fat off the roast. Chop herbs very fine, zest lemon and mix salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread the rub over the entire roast and massage into the meat. Place the roast bone side down in a roasting pan with a rack.

Set the roast out 40 minutes before cooking and let rest at room temperature. (cold meat in a hot oven means tough meat!).

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Add beef broth and 2 c. water in bottom of roasting pan. You may need to add more water during the cook time if the liquid reduces too much. Roast for 20 minutes at 450 then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees (medium rare). (total of about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).

Remove the roast and rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Au Jus
While the roast is resting bring the juices in the pan to a boil. Scoop out any large pieces and skim some off any excess fat. Add the wine and let simmer 3 minutes. Add another cup of water (or more if needed) along with the sprig of thyme and au jus packet, allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes. You should have about 1 – 2 cups of sauce.

Once roast has rested cut the bones off the roast with a carving knife, cut the meat from the rib bones in one piece, following the contour of the bones. Lay the meat on a cutting board and slice across the grain in the thickness you prefer.

December 25, 2009

Brussel Sprouts … that are good!

Here is a side dish you will probably initially react poorly too, but it’s good I promise you! Just don’t ask my daughter we’re working on her – but you can ask everyone else… 🙂

1lb Brussel sprouts, quartered
5 slices of bacon, chopped
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/2 c. chicken broth
2T. balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar if you like sweeter)

Blanch the brussel sprouts 4 minutes. sauté the bacon until crisp, remove from pan. Drain off half the grease leave the rest in the pan. Add brussel sprouts and stir to coat in the bacon grease. Add chicken broth and sauté until the broth is all evaporated and brussel sprouts begin to brown a bit. Add pine nuts and sauté until toasted. Add vinegar until completely evaporated.

Serve! So much better than you thought brussel sprouts could be! 🙂 My mom and sister-in-law don’t like brussel sprouts and were hesitant but now they rave about them and eat an entire serving!

Everything is better with bacon!

December 25, 2009

Pita Salad (Fattoush)

I found this recipe a few months back on the Joy of Cooking website and it is my new favorite favorite salad (yes two favorites it’s that good!). It reminds me of summer – fresh, light, crisp, and healthy. It has a great fresh lemony garlic vinagrette dressing. I made it for our Christmas Prime Rib dinner to help lighten it up a little. I did not have pitas to toast but that was ok because we had bread (popovers) but it’s great in this salad – garlicy parmesan croutons would be excellent too.

Fattoush Salad

6 to 8 servings

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 container cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
6 scallions, finely chopped
(1 small red or green bell pepper, diced)
2/3 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

Chop ingredients as indicated and place in a salad serving bowl.

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. While whisking, add olive oil slowly in a continuous stream until the dressing is emulsified. (you can also do this in blender, stand mixer or food processor).

Toss ½ of dressing in with the salad and toss well! Serve remaining dressing on side so you can add more if needed.

December 25, 2009

Parmesan Popovers

For Christmas, I wanted to try something different from the standard dinner roll. I had marked the popover in the Giada Everyday Pasta cookbook a while ago and thought this was a good enough time to try it! I made the batter and it was so thin, my “sister-in-law” even thought so. I almost thought I did something wrong…we discussed adding more flour, but I decided to go ahead and pop them in the oven to see what would happen – totally worked! 🙂 These are pretty good. The texture reminds me more of a quiche-like item than bread but it was good! (at least I thought so). Here is the recipe from Food Network, but it seems to be 1/2 of the recipe in the Everyday Pasta cookbook, but both recipes say it yields 6-8 servings?? Hmmm…this one made 24 popovers.

6 eggs
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. herbs de Provence
1/4 c chopped italian parsley
2 c. whole milk
1 1/4c grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a mixer, combine the eggs, flour, salt, pepper, herbs, and parsley. Mix on medium speed. Reduce speed to low and add milk and cheese.

Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Fill cups 3/4 way full. Bake until puffed and golden brown 20-25 minutes.

December 25, 2009

Holiday Casualty

While cutting the baguette toasts I sawed into my poor little pointer finger with a serrated bread knife….OOOOOOOOUCH!!!! It totally grossed me out and today it’s hurting!!!! 😦 Awwww poor me…

December 25, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus (Prosciutto)

I usually use prosciutto to wrap asparagus but I decided to try bacon this time. It was just as good…This is always a hit with people. My daughter, who won’t eat brussel sprouts, eats this – same with my little bro, who doesn’t like veggies! It works great as a side-dish or as an appetizer.

1 bundle of asparagus
5-6 slices of bacon (or enough to wrap bundles of 3 asparagus stalks)

 Place the bacon slices on a foil lined-baking sheet.  Cook on a 400° oven for 15 minutes. The bacon needs to be somewhat cooked so it will crisp up when wrapped in asparagus. Once you take the bacon out of the oven, wrap bundles of 3 asparagus stalks from the top of the asparagus stalk to the bottom. Place back on the foil lined baking sheet sprinkle with pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes.

December 25, 2009

Hershey's Kiss Drops

These are fast and easy and highly addictive! My daughter unwrapped all the Kisses and put them on top of the pretzels, making sure to bite the tips off about half of them…that’s what happens when you don’t supervise a 3 1/2 year old and chocolate! It happens! 🙂

1 bag of Hershey’s kisses
1 bag of M&Ms
enough pretzels for each Kiss (use small circle or regular pretzels)

Place the pretzels on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place one kiss on each pretzel. In a 200° oven for 4 minutes. Just enough time to soften the Kiss. Surprisingly Hershey’s Kisses don’t melt and lose their shape. Remove the Kisses from the oven and press an M&M into the top all the way down.

Simple as that!  Apparently my subconscious remembered something that my Stepmom had done and I forgot all about it…so the idea for this one came from my Stepmom (and no she isn’t the evil Stepmom ha ha ha…)!

December 25, 2009

Jalapeno Artichoke Dip

I got this recipe from my friend Shawnee it’s FANTASTIC! I made it yesterday.

8 oz softened cream cheese
1 c. mayo
1 small can diced green chilies
½ small can diced jalapeno
1 small jar of marinated artichokes, drained
1 c. shredded parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste

 In a slow cooker (small one works best, I use my electric fondue pot) add the cream cheese and mayo and mix. Add chilies, artichokes, parmesan, salt and pepper. Warm for 45 minutes.

 Serve with toasts, bread, tortilla chips and/or, Triscuts

 (Toasts: slice a baguette in 1/8 inch thick slices, brush tops with olive oil sprinkle with a little salt. Toast in upper part of a 400° oven for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Slice a clove of garlic and rub on tops of all toasts).

Everyone raves over this dip – it’s warm, creamy and spicy perfect for warming up the winter holidays!!! Careful it’s addicting!

December 23, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree…

So I think my daughter has a future in cake decorating…maybe she can go work with Duff at Ace of Cakes – or have her own show, she’s definitely cute enough! 🙂

Here is the Ginerbread Tree we made last night. The Green frosting was all my daughter’s doing – pretty good for a 3 1/2 year old! Especially considering the white doesn’t look much better and was done mostly by me! he he he

I’ve decided the cheap point and shoot is just not as good as I hoped.  I got it for the everyday shots and when I travel and don’t want to lug the big camera. I hoped to be able to use it for the blog too, but I’m thinkin’ not.  I’ve seen some pretty awesome P&S shots – those people must get the higher end P&S, I have my big camera for that tho.  Or maybe I should read the manual??? Hmm…that’s a thought.

Tomorrow I hope to get some Prime Rib and Christmas Eve dinner shots and recipes up for you all. MERRY CHRISTMAS AGAIN!

December 21, 2009

Fa la la la la, la la la la……….

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!!!

Here is a fun picture of Santa. A friend of my mom’s held a Project Santa/Food and Toy Drive yesterday and I took the photos with Santa. Here is one that is just so cute!!!! Puppies! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas…now I’m off to finish up my Christmas shopping!!!! 🙂