Saturday, February 14, 2015

Celebrate the Season - Judith & Kristy - January 2015

Judith and Kristy hosted an incredibly gorgeous evening to Celebrate the Season in January. It was truly amazing!
They had two round tables set up with the most gorgeous table scape.
The center pieces were awesome. fresh greenery, berry and flowers with a simple berry wreath around it and gold candles burning in the dim light to set the mood.

The place settings were perfect with every little detail. Place mats made so simple with cardboard covered in pretty wrapping paper, a great idea!
 Simple pearl clip to hold our name tag clipped to a votive candle,
pretty boxes wrapped a top our gold rimmed china plates and
 pearl sprig to add the perfect touch to our utensils.  I loved.
The menu was laid out and it sounded wonderful.
I was so busy chatting I missed getting a shot of the appetizer table before some started enjoying, but they had another berry wreath with a tall vase of branches that was simple and elegant.
Appetizers were delicious and featured:
Antipasto Kebabs, 
 Cranberry Chili Meatballs,
Almond Bacon Crostini and 
Orange Cranberry Wassail.
We moved to our seats for the soup course which was Tomato Basil Parmesan. 
Our main dish was Roasted Prime Rib, Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic and Roasted Broccoli. Everything was delicious.
 Dessert was Chocolate and Spice Cake!
Kristy and Judith did a wonderful job and we enjoyed a delightful evening! 
 They spoiled us with lucky take homes in these darling cylinder containers plus our boxes on our plates were ours as well. 
 Inside each was a bottle of anti wrinkle cream from Kristy's husbands company and the boxes had fun white sauce dishes.
It was a perfect evening together!  We loved having Heidi's sister, Wendy, with us since Chandler was out of town and enjoyed getting to know her a little bit. So great to share our passion for food with each other but even better the excuse it gives us to get together and chat the evening away!

Orange Cranberry Wassail
1 gallon apple juice
2 quarts orange juice
2 lemons (juiced)
1 quart cranberry juice
1 and ½ cups brown sugar
Tie the following spices together in a spice bag and combine with the rest of the ingredients:
4 sticks whole cinnamon
1 Tbsp whole allspice
1 Tbsp whole cloves
Heat and serve!

Cranberry Chili Meatballs
2 lbs ground hamburger
2 lbs ground sausage
¼ cup dehydrated onions
¼ cup milk
3 eggs
3 slices bread
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
In large bowl soak bread in milk and eggs.  Add meat, onions, and spices.  Squish together until well mixed.  Make into balls and place on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 20 min. 

14 oz. cranberry sauce
12 oz. chili sauce
¾ cup brown sugar
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
In large saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add meatballs; continue to cook for 20-25 minutes.  Stirring occasionally
Almond – Bacon Crostini
I French bread baguette
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
2/3 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sliced almonds
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 green onion chopped
Dash of salt
Place bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 4010 for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, almonds, bacon, onion, and salt.  Spread over bread.  Bake for an additional 7-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with additional almonds if desired.  Serve warm.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
3 cups whole tomatoes with juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 Tbsp fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh oregano
½ Bayleaf
4 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
½ cup flour
2 cups half and half, warmed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Place whole tomatoes and juice into bowl of food processor and pulse to puree.  Set aside.  Heat oil in 4 quart soup pot.  Add celery, carrots, and onion (which I also chop in my food processor) and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add basil, oregano, and bayleaf.  Add tomatoes and chicken broth.  Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until carrots are tender, approx. 15 min.
While soup simmers, prepare roux: Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes.  Slowly stir 1 cup hot soup into the roux.  Stirring constantly, add another 3 cups hot soup and stir until mixture is smooth.  Immediately add the roux mixture back into the soup pot.
Simmer, stirring constantly, until soup begins to thicken.  In a separate saucepan, warm the half and half and set aside.  Add parmesan cheese to soup and whisk to blend.  Stir in warmed half and half. 
Simmer soup over low heat 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to blend half and half and parmesan into soup as soup thickens
Roasted Broccoli
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
 2 Tbsp Olive oil
Combine the above ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Add two bunches of prepared broccoli florets.  Stir, coating the broccoli in the spice mixture. Place the broccoli in a deep dish pan and roast in oven at 350 for 20 min.  Stir every 4-5 min.

Roasted Prime Rib
Prime Rib Roast (1/2 lb. per person)
3 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
Salt                                                               Pepper
Thyme                                                      Rosemary 
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees in Convection oven
One hour before roasting, remove meat from fridge and let come to room temperature. This will ensure a more even cooking temperature.
Starting on one end of the roast with a sharp knife, cut just below the fat cap. Being careful to keep in tact on one side.
Peel fat cap back and with knife tip, cut small slits all over top of roast.
Stuff each slit with a slice of garlic, pushing in into the holes until completely penetrated.
Generously season the roast with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary
Replace fat cap and tie roast with kitchen twine in 3-4 places to keep fat cap in place while cooking.
Spread olive oil on top of roast before putting in oven.
Place on a rack in a roasting pan with fat cap up and roast until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees for medium.
Remove meat to a platter and tent with foil to remain warm
Roast will continue to cook and should raise another 10 degrees
Cooking time will be 2.5 hours for a 7 lb roast
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes after out of oven before cutting

“Prime” cut is the best
“Choice” grade is the next best
“Select” grade is not good

Oven Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
3 lbs small red potatoes (about 30), scrubbed and dried
1/3 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbs fresh or 2 tsp dried rosemary 

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Quarter each potato. In a large bowl mix the oil, garlic, and rosemary; add the potatoes and toss well. Transfer the potatoes to a shallow baking pan and roast until potatoes are tender.

Spice Bundt Cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 small can pumpkin
1/2 cup oil 
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients
Grease and flour bundt pan
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes
*Once cake is done, cool in the bundt pan for 20 minutes. Then put hot water in a sink and put bundt pan in a little ways for 3 minutes. Then put a plate on top of bundt pan and flip the cake. Let the cake cool the rest of the way. Drizzle glaze on top.

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1 stick plus 2 Tbsp butter, softened 
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Convection
Grease/flour three - 9” round cake pans
In a small bowl, mix water and cocoa. Stir until creamy. Set aside to cool.
Beat butter and sugar in mixer until fluffy (3-5 minutes on high)
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well
Add cocoa mixture, stir well
Add vanilla
Add flour and baking soda, alternating with milk and sour cream
Bake for 20 minutes
Cool in pans for 10 minutes
 Take out of pans and let cool completely 

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cube butter, softened
2/3 cup cocoa
Milk to thicken

Cream butter, cocoa and vanilla until creamy.
Add powered sugar alternating with milk to spreading consistency