Tag Archives: roast beef

I don’t like “Resolutions”

To me, making a resolution implies that there is something wrong, something I need to fix. I know I’m not perfect, no one is, by why spoil all the wonders of a New Year by concentrating on what needs to be changed? Many of us spend too much time worrying about what we should be doing instead of enjoying all we could be doing.

I do look forward to the New Year, though. To me, it’s like I’ve been given a great big box of new crayons with which I can color my life any way I choose. I don’t need a coloring book, either, just a clean pad of paper. Any kind will do! So let’s get a fresh new calendar and some more stickies and start coloring in our new menus, shall we?

The week before Christmas went by in a blur of freezer food, soups, and leftovers, but by Christmas Eve Eve, (Friday night), all the preparations were complete and it was time for Michael and I to relax and enjoy the holiday. Since we would be splitting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day between Emily, Aaron, and their families, Friday night was just for us.  We splurged on a decadent dinner featuring Perfect Prime Rib with its ebony crust that guards a perfectly pink and juicy interior.

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Creamy, Cheesy, Au Gratin Potatoes were an equally perfect side dish, festively rich for a holiday dinner.  A good Gruyere cheese provides a velvety texture that isn’t matched by other varieties of cheese, but gruyere can be a little pricey and sometimes hard to find.  While these potatoes are easy enough to prepare any night of the week, I save them for special occasions.

Both Christmas Eve at Emily’s and Christmas Day afternoon at Aaron’s were just as they should be. Comfortable and relaxed holiday celebrations full of family, fun, and fabulous food. Both of our children have inherited the cooking gene and neither they nor their families will ever starve.

Monday was a travel day for Michael and I, as we had to make the short trip home from Aaron’s. The easiest dinner option then was Drippy French Dip Sandwiches made with the leftovers from that Perfect Prime Rib. You know, although I have good intentions, Monday is rarely Meatless, but I do try to make up for that another day in the week. That’s what the stickies are for!  I can slide them around at will.

Tuesday we stayed in the comfort zone with more freezer food. This time a couple of bowls of White Chicken Chili just magically appeared on the dinner table. I love it when that happens!

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After Wednesday’s Mexican restaurant visit, I once again took the easy way out and visited the freezer for Thursday night’s dinner. I think I see a pattern beginning to develop here, don’t you? Anyway, with meatballs in the freezer Meatball Subs are never far away. Pull out a couple of sub rolls, a little Homemade Marinara, add a little cheese, and dinner is served. If you want to try to pretend to be healthy have a House Salad first, but if you don’t have time, I won’t tell!

Now I’m preparing for the New Year.
Saturday, New Years Eve, is a big day around these parts, but not for the reason you might think. The University of Alabama is in a semi-final playoff game for the College Football National Championship. Roll Tide! After the game is over we’ll begin our New Years celebration with the rest of the world to usher in 2017. Michael and I always stay home for all those festivities. We live a way out of town and don’t care to take our chances with all the post midnight drinkers on the roads. We’ll have our own festivities, thank you, starting with football food and ending with a glass of bubbly.

New Years Day dinner is pretty much the same every year, rooted in Southern tradition.
The main attraction is always pork. Folklore has it that because pigs root in a forward motion consuming pork will keep your life moving forward. Foul, however, will have things in your life up in the air and flying away. Don’t ask me what beef will do for you. I don’t think that long ago our Southern ancestors wanted to kill the milk cow! So as not to tempt fate, I always serve pork on New Years Day. Our favorite is a Herbed Pork Rib Roast.

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Another traditional new years dinner item is black eyed peas, but I substitute the pink eyed purple hull peas we grow in our own garden. Those were common in the Old South, as well, representing coins and bringing good fortune. They say the Yankee soldiers left those alone, along with the collard and turnip greens in the fields because they didn’t think those peas or greens were fit for human consumption. Little did they know!   Eating the field greens are supposed to bring folded money, and who couldn’t use a little more of that?   Cabbage may sub in for the field greens for Michael, as he’s not fond of those.  I’m going to cook some collards for myself, just because I do like them.  One way or the other, we’ll both eat greens!  I’m  looking forward to a happy and prosperous New Year and wish you all the same. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Be thankful for what life give you.

Where the Rabbit left off the Squirrel took over!

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I can’t win for loosing! It finally rained a little bit, the blueberries kicked in and the tomatoes grew higher the that Momma Bunny could reach. I thought maybe, just maybe, we would harvest some of our own produce. Silly me. Did you know squirrels like tomatoes too? Well, ours do! Or at least they like to torture us, and we even hung a corn cob out there as a peace offering, or maybe a bribe. Nope, stealing tomatoes is more fun than eating corn. And taking a page from Momma Bunny, don’t eat the tomato, just render it unusable. That darned squirrel even had the audacity to pitch a tomato down out of a tree at us. Now that takes guts! I would like to trap the little bandit and relocate him, but Michael won’t let me. He says there are more squirrels where that one came from. I suppose he’s right. We’ll just keep supporting the farmer’s market. (If all this makes no sense to you, read last week’s post)
I’ve been playing with my new toy, an electric pressure cooker. In all my 50 some years of cooking (yes, I started as a child) I never before now used a pressure cooker. In fact, I was never even exposed to one. Back in the olden days, when we walked to school in blizzards, (we really did in NY state!) pressure cookers were scary things. Unless you knew what you what you were doing and did it just right,  pressure cookers would blow up with horrible consequences. Luckily, today’s version’s are much improved with built in safety features. You still have to pay attention and follow the instructions, but as long as you do, I feel you can cook with confidence. Anyway, Sunday I tried a Pressure Cooker Pot Roast. The recipe came with the machine, and turned out reasonably well. The only thing that I would change, and you know I always change every recipe, is to brown the roast ahead on the stove. The pressure cooker scorched and was hard to clean. I also think I would add more veggies.
Monday’s Veggie Pizza was a near disaster. I was working with frozen pizza dough and sauce which most of the time is fine, but this time I was pushed for time and didn’t give the dough enough time to rise. It stuck to the counter and by the time Michael helped me peel it off it looked more like an ameoba than Domino’s pizza.
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Tuesday we were supposed to feast on Italian Sausage Burgers, but I got a wild hair and skipped the buns. I served them over tortellini with marinara, instead. A menu plan is just a guide line, right?
Wednesday’s leftover pot roast worked out well over broad egg noodles. It didn’t seem like we were eating leftovers at all. The only problem was we still had more than we could eat. That happens frequently when you’re cooking for two. It’s hard to cut recipes down sometimes, and you can only reheat those leftovers once without them tasting off. Divide and conquer. And then I wonder why my freezers are full.
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Thursday was another change of plan. Since I used the tortellini on Tuesday night, the chicken wound up in Chicken and Bacon Hoagies . The spinach makes them healthy, right?
Friday night we got tired of being good and headed out you-know-where…Mexican of course!
Be thankful for what life gives you.

I love my cullinary life!

Ok, it’s not perfect, nobody’s is, but all in all my life is great. Here’s why…
I’ve always thought that my idea of being truly rich would be having the ability to go to the grocery store and buy whatever I’d like (within reason). I can do that! I don’t have to ration my purchases. If I dream up a recipe, (even in my sleep, which I very often do), I can allow myself the luxury of buying whatever ingredients are needed to create that recipe. That doesn’t mean I’m not frugal. I hate waste. I even save the vegetable trimmings to add to my homemade broths, but if I see an item on sale that inspires an idea you can bet it’s going to fall into my cart! This week’s item of inspiration was lobster tails, but more on that later.
I try not to cook much on Saturdays, but this past week I had an idea I wanted to try with the leftover corned beef from St. Patricks Day. My Corned Beef Cabbage Rolls were the result. Both Michael and I enjoy the occasional Slow Cooker Corned Beef Dinner, but the leftovers can be boring. These cabbage rolls were a nice change. The only thing that’s difficult is the pre-planning. I had to pull the first large leaves off the head of cabbage and save them for this dish before the rest went into the slow cooker. Ah well, that’s what a menu plan is for.
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Sunday’s dinner was a delight! I rarely see New York Strips of beef in roast form, usually just cut into steaks, but these roasts were one of the featured items at the grocery this week and I took full advantage of that. My recipe for Slow-Roasted Beef Eye of Round worked well for this roast. I had the butcher custom cut a roast that weighed just over two pounds and that was perfect for two meals. Some of the weight is lost in cooking and some is trimmed off. I used those trimmings to make Au Jus, which I served along side the roast as well as a dipping sauce for my Redneck Cheesesteak Subs on Wednesday night.  Gosh were those subs messy, but worth every drippy bite!
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I’ve jumped ahead of myself a bit here… Along with the roast on Sunday I tried a new recipe for Parmesan Baked Potatoes. I wasn’t thrilled. I didn’t think that just halving the potatoes exposed enough of the flesh to the Parmesan cheese and butter. The cheese formed a tough crust, too. I think I’ll try to modify that recipe by cubing the potatoes and tossing them in the Parm/butter mixture a few times as they roast.
I’ve been surfing around on WordPress.com lately, looking at other food blogs. One blog that I’ve taken an interest in comes from a girl in Scotland, weebluemixer. She had been looking at my recipes here and reminded me of the one for Chiles Rellenos Casserole, which I haven’t baked in a while. Thanks to her prompting my memory, that was made for this Meatless Monday’s dinner. Half of the recipe was just a little too much for the two of us, but it sure was good. I sometimes forget certain recipes and need to look back through my collections more often.
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Another recipe that had fallen by the menu planning wayside was Tuesday night’s fare, good old Spaghetti and Meatballs in Homemade Marinara Sauce. I nearly always keep a stash of meatballs in the freezer. They are so versatile. I freeze them on trays and then divide and package them into meal sized batches. Homemade Marinara comes from the freezer, too. I went into a panic when I realized I was using my last batch of that this week. It’s going to be a long time before the garden is producing this summer’s tomato crop. I guess I’ll have to resort to using canned tomatoes, and it’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that!  Good Friday is supposed to be planting day.  Four tomato plants went in; two San Marzano’s for cooking and two Big Beef for slicing.  I sure hope I get a better yield than last year.
Thursday night’s dinner was another drippy delicious mess. The chicken on our Chicken and Bacon Hoagies kept trying to slide off the buns. I guess with the tomatoes on the bottom and sauteed spinach on top that poor chicken cutlet just couldn’t keep any traction. Maybe I should try stacking the ingredients in a different order.
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I have a new to me (healthy, but don’t tell) recipe catagory to explore. It’s Chia Seed Puddings. My first attempt was Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding and it turned out well, kind of like tapioca. I became interrested in chia pudding because of weebluemixer’s posts and am playing with recipes for that now. More later.
OK, Fishy Friday didn’t happen, either. I don’t know if Michael is afraid of my second attempt at Lobster Mac and Cheese or if he just needed a Mexican food fix, but that’s what we did. Rosie’s Mexican Cantina. Twist my arm.
Sunday will be Easter, and that calls for a big dinner!  Ham based in our house. Here’s the menu plan, but check back to see what really happens.

Basic Deviled Eggs (Emily)
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Baked Ham
UnPotato Salad
Roasted Asparagus
Freezer Corn
Strawberry Cupcakes

Seems to be a little heavy on the strawberry side.  Oh well!
Got ham?  Next week I’ll explore how to make the most of it…all the way down to the last little bits.
Be thankful for what life gives you.