Monthly Archives: December 2016

Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad

Firstly I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy Holiday!

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Time has a way of clicking by pretty quickly. We are coming up on closing out 2016 but we still have a little time to enjoy not only our family and friends but some yummy food!
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These last couple of months of the year people seem to bring out some of the oldies but goodie recipes. The traditional family ones they either grew up with or started themselves years ago. I tend to mix the two a bit; or at least try to a little. Turkey for Thanksgiving, Roast Beef for Christmas. Generally the same sides that go with both and yummy gravy.
img_4817I don’t think it will come as a total shock that I have a total “life envy” of Ina Garten. She seems down to earth, her recipes have never failed me and she has a “party barn” in the Hamptons; well hers might not be a party barn but that is what mine would be if I had one in my swamp.
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Last week my husband was in the room when Ina was on The Chew and she made a Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad – it sounded so delish that my husband said “we” aka known as just me; should make that. Having yesterday off I had plenty of time to get a lot of things done so why not have something different for Christmas Eve dinner.
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It was given an 11 out of 10 so I have to share it with you and I think you should totally make it to try it for yourselves. It might sound a little tedious but it really isn’t. Roasting the carrots is the longest part and the oven is doing most of the work anyway.
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Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad
Preheat oven to 425’F

2 pounds carrots
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup pure maple syrup
⅔ cup dried cranberries
⅔ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic (grated)
6 ounces baby arugula
6 ounces goat cheese
⅔ cup marcona almonds (roasted/salted)
1½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon Freshly cracked black pepper

Prepare carrots to 1 inch wide and 2 inches long – because they are roasting at a high temperature you don’t want them too small.

Place in a medium bowl with the olive oil, 1 tsp salt and pepper toss together. Using 2 sheet pans (they need space you don’t want them to steam) Roast for 20 minutes, tossing once until the carrots are tender. Transfer all of the carrots to one sheet pan and add the maple syrup. Toss and roast for another 5-10 minutes just till the edges caramelize. Watch them. Once out set aside for 10 minutes.

Combine the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer then set aside for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
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Place the arugula in a large dish, add the carrots, cranberries in their juice, goat cheese crumbled, almonds and the vinaigrette. Toss and serve at room temperature.

 

Recipe – Ina Garten the Chew epsiode

Christmas Garlic Herb Ribeye Roast

I would assume that you have already planned what you are serving for Christmas dinner next week. We are a very small group this year so it makes it pretty easy to know what I am serving. The scrumptious garlic herb Roast Beef. It is far more affordable when there are just a few versus a large crowd. If we were having more people I would probably opt for a Ham since we just had Turkey a few weeks ago. Though I did buy a monster roast a few years ago for a crowd. The price actually scared me!

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This weekend is our annual Christmas party; while the New Hampshire weather hasn’t really cooperated the party is still on and I spent 3 days prepping for it. I spent a day shopping, another prepping and the final putting it all together. We tend to have around 30-50 people singing in the living room, eating in the dining room and drinking all over the house. The snow has stopped and my husband is out plowing now so hopefully he will be able to socialize with all of our friends and family.

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garlic with a little salt smeared together using the back of my knife and a little olive oil

I am technically re-posting pictures and the recipe from one of my blogs from 3 years ago. To date it is my most viewed blog. It was so startling that I thought there was something wrong with computer. To date it has had over 1,200 views; which to little ole me is something pretty spectacular.

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Preheat oven to 350’F

3 lb Rib Eye Roast Beef
6 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
3-4 sprigs of fresh Thyme chopped
2-3 Tbs Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Take the roast out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you want to cook it. If you can season it up to 2 hours before. Make a paste out of the garlic, salt and a tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the chopped thyme and more oil as needed. Salt and pepper the roast and then cover it with the garlic herb mixture. Cook uncovered until the internal temperature reaches about 125’F for medium rare, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before you slice into it. If you have someone that doesn’t like it medium rare, you can take a few slices and cook them a little longer in the delicious gravy you’ve made with the pan drippings.

I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season!

Pumpkin Spiced Muffins

Last week my coworkers very kindly made me some treats for my birthday. One of the treats was pumpkin spiced muffins with a cream cheese frosting. They were in my opinion just plain awesome. I believe the exact words out of my mouth were “where have these been all my life?”  Super moist, not too much pumpkin flavor and just the right amount of spice.

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They were so good I asked for the recipe and made them last night for the Christmas party we went to. The recipe makes 24 cupcakes and is so easy to make there is no reason to not make them. I brought most of the batch to the party and left the rest at home. They came out of the oven too late for me to frost at home so I put the frosting into a piping bag and quickly frosted them when we arrived at the party.
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Unfortunately I didn’t even get to try mine. My husband put them away when we got home and when I finally came down stairs this morning, my wonderful dog; whom I have dubbed our ungrateful rescue; had the container off the counter onto the floor and had his way with them. So they are people approved AND dog approved.
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The only reason I am “explaining” this is I never got a final picture of the muffins finished thanks to my dog and I will take some of the blame, I had a little too much to drink at the party and didn’t help last night or this morning to keep them “safe”

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Pumpkin Spiced Batter – preheat oven to 350’F


1 package yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup oil
½ cup water
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and with an electric mixer on low speed beat just till moistened. Move up to medium for a couple of minutes. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Fill each cup about ⅔ full

Bake for about 20 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes with the spiced cream cheese frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8oz) cream cheese – softened
¼ cup butter – softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp ground cloves

Add to bowl and beat until light and fluffy, gradually add 1 (16oz) box of confectioners sugar.

 


Recipe by : McCormick & Co

Christmas Sugar Cookie

Tis the season for craziness – I’ve always wondered why we; I assume we and it’s not just me. Try to fit a few months worth of shopping, baking and cooking into 3 +/- weeks.
I always say I am going to start earlier, not do so much, not spend so much, simplify simplify simplify. I make lists; check them twice, OK at least a dozen times and I still seem to end up running around and spending too much.

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The house is super close to being decorated, we still need to get the tree and decorate the porch. If it wasn’t so cold outside I would have done it this weekend. I think I’ll leave the porch to my husband; he is used to working outside.
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We haven’t had our annual cookie making day yet, but I did find a sugar cookie recipe that I just had to try. I think what partly sold me was the picture they had with the recipe, they decorated their cookies with white and lite blue icing. My dining room decorations are the same blue and white and they looked super cool.

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LOVE my white tree – just saying


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The cookie recipe was easy to make and tasted excellent. I tried to decorate my cookies with the same white and blue icing. While they don’t look professional like theirs, mine are most definitely mine and I can only imagine mine taste just as delicious as theirs.
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Ultimate Christmas Cookie
Makes about 5 dozen 3 inch cookies – preheat  oven to 385 degrees (first thing I have ever made at this temperature)

2 ¼ cups sugar
2 tsp salt
½ cup shortening
½ cup butter – softened
3 TBS corn syrup
2 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
1 TBS vanilla extract
7 cups cake flour
2 TBS baking powder

Cream the first five ingredients until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl.
Add cream and vanilla and mix slightly. Sift the cake flour and baking powder and add to the mix. Making sure to not over mix.
Chill dough overnight, working in quarters, roll out to ¼ inch thickness and cut out shapes using cookie cutters of any shape.
If you don’t have time to decorate with icing you can brush a little milk on each cookie and sprinkle with sugar.
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Icing – 2 cups of confectioners sugar with a little milk, it should be thick and just thin enough so it flows out of a pastry bag. if you want color; separate the icing into different bowls. add a drop of two of the color you are looking for.

Bake for 10 minutes – be careful to not over bake – cookies should be lightly baked and will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
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recipe: NHMagazine Dec 2016