Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Great Christmas Celebration

Cameron and Cimone. And lots of gifts. We were blessed this year!

Cameron and the coolest winter hat.

Cimone was just slightly excited about the Elmo gift.

Cimone and Lindsay

Ciony, Cimone, and Cody

Tarin, Cameron, and John

Aunt Lindsay buys the best stocking stuffers!

The Best Prime Rib

I was excited to cook Christmas dinner for my family in Knoxville this year. I rarely get the chance to cook for large crowds, so when I get the chance, I jump at it. Cooking and entertaining for larger groups scares a lot of people, but not me! I think I get a rush from the excitement.

Earlier in the month, I was watching the Pioneer Woman's Christmas show on Food Network and she made a rosemary and salt crusted prime rib. It looked fantastic and I knew I wanted to make this, but knowing the very expensive cost of prime rib, I didn't say anything to mom about this recipe. When I showed up on Friday, mom opened the fridge and coincidentally, there was a 12lb prime rib! I was so excited and also very nervous because I'd never cooked prime rib and neither had anyone else in the family.

Mom and I planned a menu of prime rib, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, apple and raisin stuffing, cranberries, croissants, and a Honeybaked Ham.

I had my handy sous chef Joel (mom's fiance) cut the prime rib in thirds. I wrapped one section for them to save for another night and loaded up the other two sections with fresh chopped rosemary, sea salt and pepper. After an hour and a half - and after thinking that I overcooked a very expensive piece of meat - Joel sliced into the prime rib and it was perfect. I was so excited that I started jumping up and down.

Pre-cooked prime rib with rosemary, salt, and pepper

Tasty Prime Rib. Thanks to Joel for slicing!
I didn't follow the Pioneer Woman's recipe, but you can find her recipe here for a VERY rare prime rib.

Lindsay's Prime Rib
- 4-5 lb prime rib (we had two 4 lb roasts)
- Olive Oil
- 2-3 TBS chopped fresh rosemary per roast (if you're cooking more than one)
- A lot of sea salt
- A lot of pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown all sides of meat in a skillet in a little bit of olive oil. Place meat in a roasting pan and allow to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over roast. Rub rosemary all over roast. Cook roast for 1.5 hours or until it reaches 130-135 degrees. Remove from oven and place on a cutting board. Cover with foil for 10-15 minutes to allow the roast to rest. This creates a medium roast. If you prefer medium rare, only cook to about 125 degrees. If you prefer well done, don't spend you're money on a prime rib!!!

Enjoy the juices in the bottom of the pan as an au jus or make a gravy. Also serve horseradish on the side.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas is Coming!

I am so excited about Christmas this year. I don't care if I get presents, I'm just excited to see family. I am flying to Knoxville to celebrate the holiday with my mom, sisters, and their families. Most of all, I can't wait to see my nephew Cameron (4.5 years old) and my niece Cimone (2.5 years old). They are cousins...not brother and sister...but they were both born on a Friday the 13th. Spooky!

I am also looking forward to "finding the pickle." OKAY - get your head out of the gutters! This is my family's tradition and a German tradition that has been around for centuries (There are rumors that this isn't a German tradition, so I'm not aware of its origins, but we like to say it's a German tradition.) Mom has a pickle ornament that she hides in the tree. We all rush to the tree when everyone gets to her house to see who can find the pickle first. The winner gets to play Santa and hand out gifts.

We are blessed to have my mom's fiance Joel joining us for Christmas for the first time this year. God help him! :)  He is a great guy and we're looking forward to him being a part of our family.

I am praying for safe travels with no delays this Christmas season since my time is limited to about 3.5 days with family. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Cameron and Lindsay - we like to cause trouble!

Cute Cimone who is still weary of Aunt Lindsay.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What A Difference A Year Makes

This is not a normal Lindsay blog post since it has nothing to do with food! I just want to comment that what a difference a year makes! As you all know, I had a dramatic change in my life this time last year. I have been thinking a lot this week about the past, but over the course of thinking (sometimes late into the night) I’ve shifted my thinking from what was, to what is. I always think about what is, but it's hard not to think about past experiences, relationships, etc.

Why do we spend so much time thinking about the past? I know I do because I want to learn from my mistakes. It was something that was stressed to me growing up; “Learn from your mistakes. There is a lesson to be taught in everything you do.” And it’s true, but while there is a lesson to learn in most of life’s everyday living, I’m slowly learning that once I learn that lesson, I don’t need to go back to that traumatic time every year. I am a date driven person, meaning that when something sad, traumatic, etc has happened, I never seem to forget the date and I harp on it every year. I’m not doing that anymore!  

I am blessed to have such a nice life with wonderful family, great friends, and hunky boyfriend who is such a huge source of smiles and laughs. I am very glad that I made the decision to stay in Green Bay after my divorce. I have such a great life here and such a strong support system of friends. (I just wish it were warmer!) So, if nothing else, please take away from this blog post that once you learn your lesson from an event in life, just remember that lesson and move on; it makes life easier and so much more fun!

Pete & Lindsay in the Smoky Mountains in August 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf Burgers

Last night Pete and I (well, Pete isn't feeling great, so I let him relax) made turkey meatloaf burgers, mashed potatoes and green beans. I love meatloaf and burgers, but I prefer my burgers without a bun, unless I'm at a picnic. So, I generally just make little meatloaf burgers at home. I wanted something with a lot of taste, without having to go to the grocery store after work. I found this recipe on www.allrecipes.com. Below is my altered recipe based on what I had in my fridge.

- 1lb. ground turkey
- 1 slice bread, broken up OR 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 shallot, diced or 1 small onion, grated
- 1 egg
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Olive Oil for skillet

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Mix the turkey, bread crumbs, onion, eggs, chili powder, paprika, and kosher salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, then shape into patties.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the patties in the skillet and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes until the juices run clear.

If you don't have an oven proof skilled, after cooking on the stove top, place the browned patties on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Transfer the patties to a 9x13-inch baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I Love a Fun Night Out

I was invited to my good friend Erica's birthday party this past weekend. It was such a fun night out in Green Bay and I was able to meet more new people. As you know, I love to network and meet new people, especially new friends!

Erica, her roommate Brooke, and I enjoyed a great dinner at Angelina's to kick off the night. We enjoyed drinks at (and shut down) Republic Chophouse, and then made our way to Brubakers for the rest of the evening where we then shut down that bar. Fun was had by all, especially me! Thanks Erica for the fun night - and cute hat!

Our new friend Kim, Erica and Me at Republic Chophouse

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Summer Herb Bread

As it is getting cold in Green Bay, I am already thinking about warm weather - hence the Summer Herb Bread recipe.

Courtesy The Provence Cookbook
- 1 cup bleached all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 Tbs mustard (I used poupon)
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyere
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 425. Grease bread pan. In food processor, combine flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, yogurt and mustard. Blend. Add cheese and herbs and blend. Pour into bread pan and bake about 40-45 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Potato Leek Soup

Several years ago, I received a French cookbook from a family member and I have finally started to make some recipes. Tonight I made a potato, leek, truffle soup and homemade bread.

I love truffles and truffle oil, but my checking account can't cover the cost of truffles. If you don't know about truffles, they can cost as much as $2,000 per pound. I have made this soup in the past and added a drop of truffle oil to each bowl and that is fantastic. If you use oil, only add a small drop! Today I just left that ingredient out and it is still fantastic. This recipe is also easy to cut in half.

Courtesy The Provence Cookbook

- 2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts
- 3 tbs salted butter
- 1 lb. potatoes (about 3 medium) peeled and cubed
- 2 quarts whole milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated truffle or truffle oil optional

Trim the leeks, rinse under water and place in water for about 5 minutes for all grit to fall out. Dry and coarsely chop. In Stockport, heat butter and cook leeks for a few minutes. Add potatoes and milk and cover. Simmer 10-15 minutes until potatoes are soft. Process with immersion blender or in food processer. Season with salt and pepper and top with trifle or oil of using.