Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What's for Dinner?

I have decided that every know and again I will post some of the best dinners that we have shared as a family.

When looking over what possibilities could work for Christmas dinner I found these two recipes, but in the long run turkey won out. However, since I love to experiment with new recipes, last night I decided to fix these 2. Mr. G and the momma thought they were outstanding. They were elegant, but also quick and easy. I hope you enjoy.

These recipes are from Southern Living.

Pork Loin Roast with Carolina Apple Compote

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (3-lb) boneless pork loin roast
Kitchen string
2 teaspoon canola oil
2 pounds Gala apples, unpeeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup apple cider
5 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Combine first 4 ingredients. Rub mixture on all sides of pork roast. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375. Brown roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium high heat 2 to 4 minutes on all sides. Place pork on a lightly greased rack in an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan.

Bake at 375 for 1 hour. Cover with foil, and let stand 15 minutes before serving. Instead of a whole roast I used sliced tenderloin and you only have to cook for a total of 20 minutes.

Meanwhile cut apples into bite-size pieces; sprinkle with lemon juice.

Add cider and next 3 ingredients to skillet. Cook, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add apples, and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or just until apples are tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in butter until melted and remove skillet from heat.

Butternut Squash Risotto

4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chpped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and grated
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine (or you can use chicken stock)
1/4 cup whipping cream

Warm the broth in a small saucepan over low heat.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes. Add the sage and cook for 1 minute. Add the squash and garlic and cook until the squash begins to soften about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally and waiting until it is absorbed before adding more. It should take about 30 minutes for all the broth to be absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in the whipping cream.

These recipes look a little daunting, but trust me your family will love them.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Creamed Corn

My birthday was a wonderful day filled with presents, great food, and most of all my family who love and support me. However, an interesting situation happened that day. As an annual tradition on my birthday, I always hit up the Barnes & Noble to pick out a planner for the next year. Well the day had been going great, and Mr. G had been looking for a place to park at B&N. So he finally finds a spot, amongst the other 5 million people doing last minute holiday shopping, when all of the sudden as he was pulling into the spot, a very scary looking woman and her "friend" took the spot. If he hadn't stop they would have hit us. C'mon now, B&N is not that important and I guess that manners have disappeared, but my momma raised me to be polite to everyone. Not because he was my husband, but Mr. G did have the right away, but apparently this lady had more dire interest in B&N than we did. The only thing, she didn't realize was that she had a personalize license plate. "Can of Corn" if you will. Mr. G wanted to cream her corn. He did however see her in B&N and being a true southern gentleman let it pass without coming to blows. This whole situation made me think about the holidays. Do we really need to hurry around while our life flies by? Certainly our ancestors did not hit up the mall on the eve of Christmas to get the last present. They were happy with what they made/baked for their families. Why can we not be happy with just each other? Isn't that what Christmas is supposed to be all about? The birth of Jesus and family?

On the flip side, Mr. G really enjoyed his Rock Band 2, and I as well have become totally addicted to it. I also got Dance Dance Universe which is strangely addictive as well. So maybe material things matter, but at least we are enjoying the material items as a family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last day in my twenties

As I sit here having a small pity party for myself when I think that tomorrow I will be 30, I reflect upon my 20's. There were some lows such as breaking up with so-called boyfriends and creating distances between friends, but when I start to really think about it, there were way more highs in my 20's. I graduated college and then began college again in a new degree program that I am very excited about. I married the man of my dreams and we have the best relationship I could ever imagine. I have an awesome job that I am very thankful to have. I have an great family that is a wonderful support system. So why am I having this pity party for myself? I don't really know why. If you think about it, turning 30 is kinda like trying to get up an icy patch of road (nice analogy right?) You worry endlessly about turning 30 and getting older and just like being in the car you worry about getting stuck in a rut and running your wheels. But if you really think about turning 30, it is a new phase in your life. Hopefully in my 30's I can began a new career and have children. So once again if you give your car enough momentum and keep a steady pace on that icy road you will make it over that icy hill. And when you do, don't you just feel a sense of relief. So I can't wait until tomorrow when I turn 30. Who knows what the future holds, but you know what? I am ready for it!

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas is Almost Here!

I can't believe that in 3 days it will be Christmas. It seems to have slipped right up on us. Luckily we are done with everything and ready to celebrate the holidays. All the presents are wrapped and the menus are set. Tonight I believe I will be making some peppermint bark.
Here is the recipe:

Peppermint Bark

1 package (12 ounces) white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
8-10 drops Red food coloring
1/2 cup crushed candy canes

1. Microwave chocolate chils in large microwavable bowl on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract.

2. Spread on large foil-lined baking sheet to 1/4 inch thickness. Add food coloring drop by drop, over mixture. Using a wooden skewer, swir color through chocolate. Sprinkle with crushed candies, pressing lightly into chocolate with spatula.

3. Refigerate about 10 minutes or until firm. Break unto irregular pieces to serve. Store in covered container at room temperature or in refigerator up to 5 days.

Hope you enjoy : )

Sunday, December 20, 2009

5 days until Christmas

Well it seems as if I have decided to start a blog 5 days before Christmas. I believe it to be fitting to tell you 5 things about us.

1. We were married on September, 2007.
2. We have 2 dogs and 1 cat.
3. I am currently working toward a degree in Counseling, with a future in the Psychology field.
4. I am an avid cook with hopes of putting recipes and reviews for all to enjoy.
5. "Pieces" of our life will be posted to keep everyone updated.

Thankfully all of the shopping is completed and we can sit back and relax and enjoy Christmas for what it is meant for, the birth of Jesus. Hopefully, more posts to come! Thanks for reading!!