Garlic & Herb Compound Butter

By now you should know if you are cooking or just eating for Thanksgiving. I have hosted Thanksgiving at my home for at least the last 13 years straight. We have been as few as 7 to as many as 23. Over the years I have only changed a few things to try to make it easier on me and in return on everyone that comes for dinner.

I used to make one large bird, now I search for anything 10 lb and under. I feel with even cooking two smaller birds at the same time not only does it take less time in the oven, I find they are much juicier. I use the same roasting pan and they fit perfectly side by side. I can also give away a carcass for someone else to enjoy turkey soup at their house.

I also enlist whoever is around Wednesday night to help peel and dice all the vegetables place them in their pots with water and store them in the cold storage area off the garage till we need them on the stove. This year I ordered fresh rolls, I usually make them but I was my local store and there was a sign up sheet for fresh made rolls from a local bakery and I stood in line long enough; plus it was super easy to just sign my name.  KP would this be considered an impulse buy?  She loves shopping with me and always chuckles at my impulse register buys. They put things by the registers for a reason hmmm!

This weekend is for finishing up my table center piece, I make new place cards every year so I need to finish those up.









I will toast my ciabatta bread for my sausage stuffing well actually dressing; I don’t stuff my birds. I put apples and onions in mine. And I’ve also made a garlic herb compound butter to cover my turkey’s before putting them in the oven YUM!
img_4732I do have to confess, I was just going to make herb butter, but I double checked with my daughter; should I add garlic? She was like YES we are garlic – she is right we are a little on the obsessed side of garlic so if you are not you don’t HAVE to add it.

Garlic Herb Butter

4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2-3 small bunches of fresh Sage
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
Chop them all up fine
3 cloves minced garlic

You can use just a bowl and elbow grease or bring out your food processor. Cut the butter in pieces add to the bowl of the processor, add the fresh chopped herbs and a little salt and the minced garlic. Pulse till blended.


It smells amazing – I can’t wait to use it

Now comes a kind of tricky part, placing the butter in the saran wrap so you can roll it into a log. By moving the wrap back and forth it will eventually with a little coercing become a log I promise.  It takes a couple of hours to get to its full flavor and set up. Store it in your fridge till you are ready to prep your bird. Gently loosen the skin of the breast meat on your bird and spread the butter under the skin and all over the skin. 

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving to all of you and thanks for supporting me week after week!

Baby Bok Choy

I will admit this ingredient has NEVER been on my radar, not only is it green (my younger self was very opposed to green vegetables) it was totally foreign to me. I will also admit that one of my favorite restaurants in town uses it in some of their dishes and my adult self has tried and actually liked it and it is kind of fun to say baby bok choy – I know you just repeated it, pretty cute huh!

hash 021

I usually make a nice dinner for my husband’s birthday, his day is on a very popular dinner date night and we are pretty last minute kind of people so getting in somewhere is usually impossible. we’ve tried a few times. This year’s’ dinner was going to be seared scallops over risotto and he wanted a bitter green. First one that came to mind was baby bok choy. Gosh I wonder why – this is one of the dishes at our favorite local restaurant where we first tried it.

hash 023


Searing scallops check, making yummy risotto check, preparing baby bok choy no idea! They are actually quite simple so I wanted to share with you a simple but effective way to maybe bring baby bok choy into your kitchen and not just for a special occasion.

6-8 heads of baby bok choy, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
2 tbs fresh lemon
1 tbs white wine
freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 450’F. in a small bowl add oil, garlic and salt and toss with trimmed baby bok choy. Roast on lower rack, stirring a couple of times until wilted and tender crisp; about 6 minutes. Whisk lemon juice and zest along with the wine and pepper in a small bowl. drizzle over the roasted bok choy and arranged on your platter.

hash 024

Having a DVR is a great and terrible thing! I just got back from vacation and had WAY to many shows to catch up on. Thankfully no plans this weekend so I was able to binge watch most of them. One of the shows I just finished watching was Master Chef Junior. I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the 2 nine year old’s in the final round and at the same time how much more there is I need to learn. They know techniques and flavor profiles and are not afraid of any ingredients at age 9. I am far from 9 and there are a ton of ingredients I haven’t yet discovered. The only reason I am mentioning this show was the winner made her entree with baby bok choy and cooked it to perfection plus it wasn’t her first time using the ingredient. They made a souffle to get into the final round; I have always been intimidated by souffles but I will be making one soon!


Garlic and Herb Crusted Standing Rib Roast

I realize I am still technically on vacation, we just arrived on St Thomas where we will be boarding our plane tomorrow night. I also apologize for the delay in posting this; our last night in the BVI we did not have WIFI and this is the first I have had to sit and relax a second. Never been a fan of travel days. It’s always a hurry up and wait. I will stop complaining since I am very fortunate to be on vacation.

I thought you might like to see a few cool pictures I took this past week

I just asked my husband if he wanted to stay in an order room service; a big juicy cheese burger. I am craving beef which is why I am sharing this recipe with you’ my mouth is already watering.

hash 012

This past Christmas was going to be a very small one just the four of us. Usually we have a full house so this year was completely foreign to all of us. Not in a bad way; it was actually pretty nice. We stayed in pj’s all day some of us even stayed in them for dinner.

Because there were so few of us, I definitely splurged on Christmas dinner. Another funny thing about this Christmas was I didn’t really have a plan of attack. When hosting a large crowd I tend to make lists, timelines and many kinds of dishes to have on hand. We tend to host not only dinner but sometimes lunches, breakfast for the entire weekend. This year I didn’t really have a plan, so the day before Christmas eve I asked my daughter to call the butchers and order a standing rib roast for us. When she went to pick it up, he mentioned that she was very lucky she called when she did; she go the last one and several people had called after her phew dodged that bullet.

hash 005

We had the butcher remove the bones for us, and they tied it which I didn’t really want but they asked her if we would like to make it easier for us. I was cool with the removing of the bones and normally would have been fine with tying but I wanted to make this one very herbaceous, yeah that’s a $2 word and no I didn’t spell it right; my daughter will get a chuckle out of this.

hash 008

For more intense flavor if you can salt and pepper the roast a day before you want to cook it you should. Salt and Pepper liberally cover and place in the fridge over night. Make sure you have some kitchen twine on hand just in case you need it. This is also a good time to invest in a good quality meat thermometer, essential for such an expensive cut of meat. Even though I owned a thermometer; mine failed me and I threw it away. I will be purchasing a new quality one very soon!

hash 014


Rule of thumb is 1 rib should feed 2 people, we ordered 3 ribs because we like leftovers.

1 standing beef rib roast
4 cloves of garlic –  make into a paste
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary – 2 leaves removed and finely chopped
8 sprigs of fresh thyme – 4 leaved removed and finely chopped
2-3 tbs olive oil
1 ½ cup red wine
½ cup beef stock
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

If you didn’t salt and pepper the day before, season the beef all over.

Let the roast sit out for 1 hour prior to roasting. preheat oven to 450’F

In a medium bowl add garlic, chopped herbs and 2-3 tbs olive oil to form a paste. Coat roast and ribs with the herb oil mixture. season with a little more fresh cracked black pepper. depending on how large your roast is you will need to tie up the roast to hold it in shape using kitchen twine.

in a roasting pan, place the rack of ribs with the ends pointing up. Place a remaining sprigs of rosemary and thyme on top of the rack. Place roast, fat side up inside the rack of ribs so they act as a roasting rack. Pour the wine and beef stock into the bottom of the pan.

Place in the bottom half of the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350’ and continue to cook for another 1 ½ hours to 2. You want the internal temperature of the roast to be 125’F for medium-rare. You should plan on basting the roast every 30 minutes or so. If the pan starts to get fry add a little more stock or water.

hash 013

Remove to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 30 minutes, if you can wait longer an hour is not a bad thing. Separate the ribs and thinly slice the roast. Serve with the pan juices or make a nice gravy.

Clean out the fridge frittata

I mostly blog the day my posts come out which is every Sunday. I am getting ready to leave for vacation and will be away for two Sundays and I was worried that I would not have Wifi where I am going so yesterday I wrote 3 blogs; just in case. Honestly I really want to be able to write while I am gone. How cool; for me anyway; to write while sitting on a beach or for one of the Sundays we are sailing with another couple on a 38’ catamaran which we are captaining ourselves. It sounds glorious and it might be, but I will admit I am a little nervous; we’ve never done anything like this before and only one of the four of us has ever sailed. Wish us luck!


I was going to use one of the blogs I already wrote but inspiration struck this morning and I just can’t help myself. I am making my grocery shopping list and taking fridge inventory. I pulled out both vegetable bins and put them on the island. There was a summer squash and zucchini on their way out, half an onion, one lonely clove of garlic; not sure how that happened, some fresh thyme and a few scallions. I also took out a few of the leftovers in containers and had some leftover ham and extra chopped up cooked bacon and a frittata was born. My daughter said “haven’t you written about frittata’s before” Yes but I just felt compelled to do it again. Sorry if I am repeating myself but these are a great way to use up some less desirable or not enough for a whole meal items from your fridge. 


I chopped everything up and starting building flavors in my cast iron skillet. You can see by the pictures I left my wooden spatula in most all the pictures, that is kind of a nod to my son; he made it for me when he was in middle school. I’ll have to show him the pictures since he was not here this morning to see me using it. I was pretty proud of my creation this morning and the look on my daughter’s face confirmed it; plus she took a picture of her plate and posted or sent it somewhere!


This mornings Frittata

1/2 onion diced small
1 clove of garlic smashed and chopped
1 small summer squash chopped – I also peeled mine because it wasn’t pretty
1 medium zucchini – I peeled this one too again it was on it’s way out
1 small broccoli chopped
4 small tomatoes chopped
3 scallions sliced
chunk of ham chopped
crisped chopped bacon
2-3 sprigs of thyme stemmed removed and chopped
6 eggs – I only had 5 so that is what I used
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded cheese
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
I also put some siracha in a few spots just to add a little heat you can see it in the last picture, there’s not much but it adds a little love.

saute the onions just till softened, add heartier vegetables first and the tender ones last just so they don’t breakdown to nothing, the meat I used was already cooked so a quick toss around was fine for them, beat the eggs and milk together and and pour over the ingredients, add a little cheese and just a quick mix in. Top with scallions and a little more salt and pepper.  Cook on top for about 3-5 minutes and then place under the broiler with the rack a rung or two below the top to set the eggs and brown watch but it should take about 10 minutes.

Bon Voyage

Braised Beef Short Ribs

I’m guessing it is the cold weather or maybe it’s the extra days off over the holidays but there is nothing like having something cooking on the stove, in the oven or even in a crockpot all day long that just brings a smile to my face.ham hock and lentil soup 030

I think I would be lost without my Dutch oven; I fry, brown, stew and braise in it. I feel very strongly that every kitchen needs to have one or if you are really lucky maybe two of them. There is just so much you can create with it and it can stand up the long hours in the oven.

ham hock and lentil soup 043

I think the first time I tried braised short ribs was in a local restaurant and that was it, I had to make them and I have several times since, they do take some time on the stove top but the rewards are well worth it and it makes the house smell just amazing. They end up super tender; no knife need, and surround them with flavors you love, you just can’t go wrong.

I do love braising short ribs to use up the leftover red wine, I know right how does that happen; on occasion we do have leftover red wine and this is a great way to use it up. While you don’t HAVE to braise in red or white wine you will need some liquid an acid and lots of flavor. You can use beef or chicken stock, you can use tomato sauce or vinegar or even lemon for acid and flavors can come from herbs, spices or even fruit, plums would work for instance. Just be creative as you want with things you have at home.

Braised Short Ribs

6-8 whole beef short ribs
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup flour
diced pancetta
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion diced
3 whole carrots peeled and finely diced
2 shallots, peeled and minced
2 cups red wine (your choice of acid here)
2 cups beef broth (your choice of flavor here)
2 sprigs thyme
2 springs rosemary
2-3 cloves minced garlic

Salt, pepper and flour ribs set aside

In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove pancetta leaving the grease in the pan and set aside.

ham hock and lentil soup 036


Add olive oil to the pan with the grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides; about 1 minute per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.

Add onions, carrots, garlic and shallots to pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour liquid, in my case my leftover red wine and scrape up all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes.

ham hock and lentil soup 037


Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and some fresh cracked black pepper. One thing to remember that flavors will intensify while it cooks down, so be careful not to over salt. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add whole thyme and rosemary sprigs to the liquid.

ham hock and lentil soup 039


Put the lid on and place in the oven. Cook at 350’ for about 2 hours. Then reduce heat to 325’ and cook for additional 30-45 minutes. Ribs for be fork tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from the oven and allow to sit at least 20 minutes, with the lid on before serving. Make sure to skim off the fat from the top of the liquid. You can also refrigerate so the fat becomes a solid and is a lot easier to remove.

ham hock and lentil soup 041

Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta or even noodles. Spoon the liquid gold gravy over the top

Beef Burgundy

My girlfriend KP made this “her way” a week or so ago and sent me a text “Soooo Yummy!!! U gotta make it” I also can’t help thinking Ron Burgundy every time I say Beef Burgundy 🙂

Beef Burgundy 030

I do have pretty good intentions when I make up my grocery shopping list for the week. Even though I mostly have a plan; sometimes life happens and I just can’t get to what I planned on cooking. This week I bought 5-lb beef chuck roast with the whole intention of prepping my slow-cooker some night during the week and putting it on to cook while at work. Well the week totally got away from me this week and here we are at Friday already and the roast was still sitting in the fridge.

I’m not a huge fan of freezing beef; well except for hamburger; and my guys were leaving Saturday afternoon for a 5-day ski trip out West so I decided to try something new. I prepped the crock-pot when I got home from work Friday night and put it on before I went to bed. I figured we would have it for lunch; it is a little extravagant for our typical Saturday lunch; but I didn’t have to freeze the roast and I sent the guys off with a really nice meal.

My buddy SF was here as he was going skiing with my guys; he has made a few of the meals from this blog and he really liked this one but when I told him “it is a process” I could tell he was a little less thrilled. He tends to take recipes and tweaks them a little to what he has on hand or feels like. I totally respect that – KP did the same thing! I can’t wait for him to try this recipe and tell me how he made it his own.

Beef Burgundy 004

Beef Burgundy

1 (5-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

Kosher Salt & Fresh cracked Black Pepper

1 tbs olive oil

4-5 pieces of bacon cooked to crisp and minced

2-3 onions, minced

1 carrot, peeled and minced

¼ cup tomato paste

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

1/3 cup flour

2 ½ cups or 1 bottle Pinot Noir

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1/3 soy sauce

2 bay leaves

2 cups frozen pearl onions

½ cup water

3 tbs unsalted butter

2 tsp sugar

1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved if small or quartered if large

Dry beef with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place half of beef in the slow cooker. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking; brown remaining beef well on all sides transfer to slow cooker.

Beef Burgundy 006 Beef Burgundy 007

Cook bacon in the skillet until crisp remove and set aside. Stir in chopped onions, carrot, tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 1 ¼ cups wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.

Beef Burgundy 009 Beef Burgundy 016

Stir in broth, soy sauce, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender. 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high.

About 20 minutes before serving, bring frozen pearl onions, water, butter, and sugar to boil in 12-inch skillet. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook until onions are fully thawed and tender. 5-8 minutes. Uncover, bring to a boil, and cook until all liquid evaporates. Stir in mushrooms and cook until vegetables are browned and glazed. Transfer to slow cooker.

Beef Burgundy 017 Beef Burgundy 020 Beef Burgundy 021

Add remaining 1 ¼ cups wine to skillet and simmer until reduced by half. Let stew settle for 5-10 minutes, then remove the fat from the top. Discard bay leaves, adjust stew consistency with hot broth if needed, mine did not. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sever over mashed potatoes.

Beef Burgundy 023 Beef Burgundy 028

Braised Short Ribs

I’m going to start with you have GOT to try these!!! If you do have any leftover they taste amazing re-heated. Now that we have that out of the way, they do take a planes trains and automobile kind of route to get where they need to go but the end result will be worth it and I hope it doesn’t deter you from attempting this recipe.

braised short ribs 047

The weather has been super cold here in the North East; my guys have been working outside on a couple of roofs and there is nothing like a hot shower and a warm comforting meal to warm your bones. The last couple of weeks I have put my slow cooker to work, plus my new cookbook is very inspiring plus I do like prepping two meals at one time and then taking a night off to relax.

For this particular recipe the microwave helped in making the dish a little less fatty, short ribs are notoriously greasy and we all want to have the most flavors but not all the extra grease in our dishes. I still had to let the sauce separate before I turned the juice into gravy. You do have a couple of options to keep the juice as such or make a roux and turn it into nice thick gravy which is the route I chose.

braised short ribs 022

Firstly separate the bones from the ribs, slice as close to the bone as possible. Take the bones and put them in a microwave safe dish, microwave for about 10 minutes, they should be nicely browned and a lot of fat left in the dish.  Transfer the bones to the slow cooker.

braised short ribs 030

Now to brown the ribs in a hot skillet by drying them, then salt and pepper and adding them to the skillet with a little oil. Brown about 7 minutes a side and add to the slow cooker. In the same skillet add onions, carrot, celery, tomato paste, and thyme to the fat in the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Slowly whisk in the wine and vinegar, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 6 minutes then add to the slow cooker. Stir in the broth and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 9 to 11 hours or on high for 5 to 7.

braised short ribs 023 braised short ribs 025 braised short ribs 035

braised short ribs 028 braised short ribs 031 braised short ribs 032 braised short ribs 038 braised short ribs 040 braised short ribs 042

Transfer ribs to a platter and tent loosely with foil. Either let the braising liquid settle and skim off the fat or use a fat separator; whichever you prefer. Strain the liquid discarding the solids and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley or sprinkle over the top just before serving. Spoon about a cup over the ribs and serve with the remaining sauce.

braised short ribs 043 braised short ribs 045

Serve over your favorite mashed potatoes.

5 lbs. bone-in short ribs – meat and bones separated

Salt and Pepper

2 Tbs olive oil

2 onions chopped medium

1 carrot peeled and chopped medium

1 celery rib chopped medium

2 Tbs tomato paste

1 tsp dried thyme

3 Tbs flour

2 cups dry red wine

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

2 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

2 Tbs minced fresh parsley