Archive for November, 2011


Holiday Dinner

November 30, 2011

This was originally posted almost a year ago.  I think that if you’re thinking of a great holiday meal, give this a try.  Serve it with some veggies, a starch and a tossed salad.

It’s the holiday season and I’ve decided to revisit a great meal.

I posted about this wonderful meal in the spring because I’ve made it for Easter before.  But I’ve made this for Christmas and New Years’ too.

It’s one of those really great dishes that seems like you’ve slaved all day with but didn’t.  You just need to plan a little ahead of time.  That’s why I’m revisiting it now.

Have you ever dry aged meat before?  It’s very simple and the flavor is out of this world.  The meat melts in your mouth it’s so incredibly tender.  The flavor from the rub is amazing as well.  The onions and carrots are so tender and so flavorful.  Oh, and the leftovers, if you have any, make the best sandwich ever.

Don’t freak out about this dry aged process.  It may not look good before you trim it, but really it’s awesome.  Plus who doesn’t like to serve a super simple meal that looks like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen?

I’ve even made this rub for steak in the summer.  I love a good dry rub.

Dry Aged Prime Rib Roast

  • 1 whole Prime Rib Roast, Bone In About 10-12 Pounds
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 5 whole Carrots, Chopped To About 2 Inches In Length
  • 2 whole Onion, Medium Sized And coarsely Diced
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Dried Rosemary
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Garlic, Granulated
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Minced Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

Rinse the roast and dry completely. Wrap in cheesecloth. Place on a rack on a sheet pan in the back of the fridge fat side up. After 24 hours replace the cheesecloth with a new one and place the roast back in the fridge for 9 to 11 days. I put it in the spare fridge and forget about it. the longer it sits the better.

Remove the roast from the fridge, unwrap and trim it. You want to cut off all the discolored parts. Rub the roast in the olive oil. Mix the spices together for the rub and rub it all over the roast. Let the roast reach room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a roasting pan with some carrots and onions. Place the roast on top of the vegetables and add some water to the bottom of the pan to line it.

Now you can put the roast in the oven and cook it for an hour and then turn off the oven for 2 1/2 hours making sure to leave the oven door closed. Or you can put the roast in the 500 degree oven and immediately turn the heat down to 450 degrees and cook it for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, turn the oven down to 275 degrees and cook for 2 hours. I’ve done it both ways and each way makes a perfect medium-rare roast. If you don’t like medium-rare, adjust cooking time accordingly.

Let the roast rest for 15 minutes before you cut into it. Make sure to serve it with the carmelized carrots and onions.

You can make an au jus with the pan drippings, but I never have.  The roast is just so good alone.

Au Jus

  • 1 1/2 C Pan Drippings from the roast
  • 3/4 C Red Wine
  • 2 C Beef Stock
  • 3 T Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Strain the drippings from the roasting pan, skim the fat.  Place the roasting pan on 2 burners on medium-high and add the drippings.  Stir to deglaze, add the wine and stock.  Reduce by 1/3, about 5 minutes on a steady boil, stirring occasionally.  Turn off the heat and add the butter.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with the roast.


Parker House Rolls

November 26, 2011

I wanted to try some different rolls this year for Thanksgiving.  I love making bread.  There’s something about working with the flour and yeast that makes me happy.  These rolls are simple to make.  They’re perfect side to any meal.  They’re also a perfect size for a little sandwich.  Are you wondering what to do with your leftover turkey?  How about a little sandwich with these rolls?

I made two batches of these rolls for Thanksgiving.  I gave the handful away to my sister and her family.  My nephew loved them.

I made another batch yesterday afternoon, just in time to have mini sandwiches of leftover turkey and ham.  My husband may request the mini sandwiches again today for lunch.  I may use my Panini press to make hot sandwiches.  How about a nice ham sandwich with mustard, swiss cheese and pickles?  Or would you rather have a turkey sandwich with mayo, red onion, salt and pepper?

The great thing about these rolls is that you can start them a few days ahead, just make sure they are covered well with Saran.  I actually made the dough, prepped them and put them in the fridge on Monday night.  Thursday morning I took them out of the fridge and let them sit out until they got room temperature.  Then about a half an hour before mealtime, I melted my butter and then put them in the oven.  I actually used only 2 T of butter for the doubled batch, so if you only make one batch you may want to adjust the butter.  I also made sure to rotate my pan half way through the baking process.

Parker House Rolls

  • 3 T Warm Water (110 degrees)
  • 3 T Sugar, divided
  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 C Butter, divided
  • 1 C Milk
  • 2 3/4-3 1/2 C Flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 t Salt

In a sauce pan, melt 6 T of butter.  Add the milk and heat until lukewarm.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together water, 1 T sugar and yeast.  Let stand until foamy, about five minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining sugar, 2 C of flour and salt.  Add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture and then add to the flour mixture.  Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine the dough.  Dump about 3/4 C of flour onto a clean work surface and scrape the dough onto the flour.  Work the flour into the dough.  If your dough is too sticky, add up to 1/2 C more flour slowly until the dough is just slightly sticky.

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-8 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl.  Make sure to turn the dough in the bowl to coat, cover with Saran and let rise in a warm, draft free place for about an hour.

Once the dough has doubled in size, divide the dough into 20 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and arrange on a buttered 9×13 pan.  Cover loosely with Saran and let rise again for about 45 minutes.  Using a floured bamboo skewer, or chopstick, make a deep crease down the center of each row of rolls.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place them in the center of the oven.  Melt the remaining butter and brush the tops of the rolls.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

You can reheat the leftover rolls in foil in a 350 degree oven.

Here’s the original.


Thanks for Pie

November 23, 2011

Do you make pie for Thanksgiving?  Do you go traditional?

My husband asked that I make pecan pie this year for Thanksgiving.  I’ve never made one before.  I’m not a fan of pecan pie.  I love pecans, but usually pecan pie tastes to eggy for me.  I want to taste pecan when I eat pecan pie and I don’t think I’m alone.

When my husband made the request, I remembered that my friend Cathy made pecan pie last year for Thanksgiving and we had a similar conversation  regarding the over powering flavor of egg.  She found a recipe that had only three eggs and a little bit of chocolate.  I sampled it and loved it.  So when my husband made his request, I knew that I would be making that pie.

I’ve been off all week, prepping for Thursday.  This morning, I made the pecan pie.  Right now, I’m making pumpkin butter pie.  This will free me up to make kolaczky tomorrow morning.  I think I make the whole spread with the turkey and sides just to eat all of these great treats.

Pecan Chocolate Bourbon Pie

  • 1 Pie Crust
  • 1 1/2 C Pecan halves
  • 1/2 C Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 1/2 T Flour, divided
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 C Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 C Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 t Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C Butter, melted
  • 3 T Bourbon

Spread pecans on the crust.  In a small bowl, toss chocolate chips in 1/2 T of flour to coat.  Spread the coated chocolate chips over the pecans.  In a medium bowl, stir together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, butter, bourbon, and flour until well combined.  Pour the filling over the chocolate and pecans.

Bake until filling is set and crust is brown, about 70 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Keep on eye on the pie and if the crust browns too quickly, tent it loosely with foil.

Remove from oven and let cool for at least 1 hour.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

linked: Ekat’s Kitchen


Gingerbread Donuts

November 21, 2011

I came across a donut recipe last week that I knew I would make this week.  I made them this morning.  There’s nothing like fresh donuts in the morning.  The orignal recipe calls for a donut pan, but I used my mini muffin tin just like the pumpkin donut muffins.

I used a spoon to transfer the glaze to the top of the donuts because it was so hot.  The glaze sets very quickly and if you have a better trick to transfer them onto the donuts, I’m all ears.

Although they are called gingerbread donuts, don’t let that prevent you from making them if you aren’t a gingerbread fan.  I would compare them more to a spice donut.

Gingerbread Donuts

  • 1 C Flour
  • 3/4 t Baking Powder
  • 1/4 t Baking Soda
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Ground Ginger
  • 1/8 t Allspice
  • 1 t Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1/4 C Brown Sugar, divided
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 C Applesauce
  • 2 T Maple Syrup
  • 1 T Milk
  • 2 T Butter, melted
  • Glaze:
  • 2 T Butter
  • 1/4 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 T Milk
  • 1/2 C Powdered Sugar

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and brown sugar.  Set aside.

Whisk the eggs, applesauce, syrup, milk and butter together.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Pour the batter into a greased mini-muffin pan, filling them about 3/4 full.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Remove the donuts from the pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

While the donuts cool, melt the butter with the brown sugar in a sauce pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.  Add 1 T of milk and bring back to a boil.  Add the powdered sugar and use the remaining tablespoon of milk to help thin out the glaze, if needed.  Keep over low heat and dunk each donut into the frosting.  (I used a spoon to transfer the glaze because I kept burning my fingers, so if you have a tip-please share.)  Glaze will set quickly.

Makes 24 mini donuts.

Here’s the original.


Savory Scones

November 17, 2011

I love savory things.  There’s something about a baked good that is slightly salty.  Or is it just that this has bacon?  Either way, there is something about these scones that put a smile on my face.  I made them to accompany soup, but they are just fine by themselves.  As a matter of fact, I stick them in the freezer to enjoy as a little treat.

The original recipe calls for Gruyère, but I had a big block of Jarlsberg (I buy it at Costco) and used that instead.  It’s the bacon, cheese combo that makes these so good.  And then there’s that hint of green onion.  Yum!

You could serve them with butter or honey, but I really think they are a stand alone thing.  They would be a perfect side to your Thanksgiving meal, too.

Bacon, Cheese and Green Onion Scones

  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 T Sugar
  • 1 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/2 C Butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 4 strips Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2/3 C Jarlsberg Cheese, grated
  • 2 Green Onion, sliced
  • 1 t Pepper
  • 1/2 C Buttermilk
  • 1/4 C Half and Half

In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture until incorporated into a mealy mixture.  Add the cheese, bacon, onion and pepper to the dough and mix together until combined.  Fold in the buttermilk, mix until combined, and form the dough into a disc about 1/2 inch thick and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Once chilled, use a cookie cutter to cut the scones into either circles or diamonds.   Place the scones on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and brush the tops with some cream or half and half.  Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 375 degree oven or until the scones puff up and start to brown.

Makes about one dozen.


Pecan Maple Cookies

November 13, 2011

I’m sure that you are aware by now that I love to bake.  Wether it’s a cake, pie, bread, or cookie or anything in between, I enjoy making it.  I especially love cookies.  It maybe because they are so portable.  Or is it because most people start out baking chocolate chip cookies?

I have a secret to confess, though.  I have a love hate relationship with the rolled cookie.  You know what I mean, those cookies that use a cookie cutter.   I love them because they are so pretty.  I hate them because the cookie cutter can be problematic depending on its style.  I also have issues with decorating the cookies.  I can never get them to look professional.

I found this recipe in the October issue of Good Housekeeping.  It caught my eye because of the maple flavor.  We’ve been to Toronto and each time we go we always come back with maple cookies.  The cookies are sold everywhere for tourists to enjoy.  We love them.  I thought that these may taste like them.  They don’t, but they have a great toasted pecan flavor.  I used a maple cookie cutter, but they can be shaped however you like.  These will be added to my Christmas cookie list for sure!

Maple Pecan Cookies

  • 2 1/2 C Flour
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1 C Butter, softened
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1/3 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 T Maple Syrup
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 3/4 C Pecans
  • Decorating:
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sanding Sugar

In a saute pan, toast the pecans until dark brown, keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.  Remove from the heat, let cool and finely chop.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour and the salt.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and add the sugars until blended.  Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Add the syrup and vanilla and beat until mixed.  Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Slowly add the flour mixture.  Beat until mixed.  Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Slowly add the pecans. Beat until mixed.  The dough will be slightly dry for a rolled cookie.

Divide the dough in half and wrap in Saran.  Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough sit out until it is of a consistency to roll.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out one of the doughs to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes.  Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets, about one-inch apart.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  While the cookies are still warm, spread a small amount of syrup on them.  (I used less than a 1/4 t per cookie and used the back of a spoon to spread the syrup).  Sprinkle with dusting sugar, if desired and allow the cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Makes about 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

Check out: Ekat’s Kitchen Potluck


Tis the Season for More Soup

November 9, 2011

I’m sharing another wonderful soup today.  I think it’s the weather.  The last few days have been gloomy.  I think the time change doesn’t help either.  I’m not a fan of the this time of year.  It gets dark so early and the weather starts get cold quickly.  The weather man talked about a chance of flurries today, although I don’t think that’s going to happen.  Regardless, this is the time of year when I yearn for those warm fall days in early October, or those longer spring days in May.

This is a simple potato soup that marries garlic and potato.  And although I love the garlic soup, this one is a great one too.  It’s actually a little heartier because of the potatoes, onions and carrots.

I don’t remember where I found this recipe, I do know that it has been in my binder forever waiting for me to make it.

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

  • 5 Whole Heads of Garlic
  • 1 C Onion, diced
  • 1 C Carrots, diced
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 6 C Baking Potatoes, diced (you can leave the skin on or peel them, whatever you like)
  • 4 C Chicken Broth
  • 1 C Milk
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Wrap each head of garlic in aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour.  Let cool for 10 minutes, separate the cloves and squeeze to extract the garlic pulp.

While the garlic is cooking place the onion and carrot in olive oil into a large pot and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add the potato, chicken broth, salt and pepper and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Remove the bay left.  Combine the garlic pulp and 2 C of the potato soup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Make sure to cover the blender with a towel as the hot liquid tends to shoot out when blended.  Return the puree to the pot, add the milk, and cook over low heat until thoroughly heated.

Serve with your favorite bread or sandwich.

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