Archive | November, 2011

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner

21 Nov

Since it’s Thanksgiving, I would to thank God for two amazing brothers.  For this post, I’m thankful namely for my big brother because he is an amazing cook.  My brother, the Dos Equis Man, inspired me to do this post.  Love you, brother!

My brother typically cooks beef roast during the holidays on the grill.  It is a-mazing.  While I know he will not give me all the recipe details, I know he gets up super early to light the grill and literally injects the meat with seasonings using a syringe.  Although many people focus on rubs, he makes sure the meat is seasoned throughout.

You will need:

    Plenty Charcoal (if using a charcoal grill)
    Syringe
    A 15-pound beef roast at room temperature

Beef Roast Rub:

    Oil
    Freshly ground pepper
    Garlic powder
    Onion Powder
    Sea Salt

Liquid Seasoning for injecting the roast:

    Liquid smoke (4 teaspoons)
    3 cups beef broth (for liquid)
    Ground Montreal Steak Seasoning (shortcut to all the seasonings)

Instructions

This will take about 4-5 hours on the grill. 

    Inject the roast about 2 inches apart with liquid seasoning mixture.  Massage the roast to move the liquid around.  Coat the roast evenly using the oil, salt, garlic and onion powder, and pepper.  Use your discretion making sure the roast in covered with seasoning.  Preheat the grill 20 minutes prior to cooking time to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Please read tips for grill types.  Once the grill is hot, place the roast on the grill on the flame to sear for 2 minutes on each side.  Then, move the beef roast to the FLAMELESS area and allow roast to cook.  If you are using a gas grill, turn the burner off where you intend on cooking the beef roast while keeping the other burners on.  Flip the roast once halfway into cooking.  Let the roast cook for approximately 5 hours.  This will result in a well done roast.  Remove the roast from heat and let it rest.  DO NOT begin cutting the meat until it has rested for about 15 minutes.  The juices are at work on the inside.

 

Tips

    If using a gas grill, use wood chips to give that smoky flavor.

    If using a charcoal grill, put the coals on one side of the grill.

    If you do not have a coffee grinder to powder the Montreal Steak seasoning, use garlic powder, onion powder, salt, freshly ground, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

    Open the grill only to flip the meat once or twice.  DO NOT open the grill repeatedly; the heat escapes and roast is cooked on the grill via indirect heat.

    To gauge the temperature without a thermometer, hold your open palm about 5 inches above the grill rack; the fire is high (450-500°F) if you have to move your hand in 2 seconds, medium (350-400°F) if you have to move your hand in 5 seconds, and low (250-300°F) if you have to move your hand in 10 seconds.

Tablescapes and Table Setting

17 Nov

It’s been a long time, guys.  I hope you have been well.  I KNOW you are blessed because you are reading this entry.  Pow!

I only have interest in tablescapes and table setting during the holidays.  Otherwise, I don’t really care.  Just hand me my plate.  But it doesn’t hurt to know how to set a table and make people feel invited and special when the time comes. 

A few things…

Don’t overwhelm your guests with a cluttered table.  Keep it simple, thoughtful, nice and neat. If you can, set a table with real dishes (glass and white ceramics).  Choose three materials you love (clear glass, ceramic, metal, and colored glass/painted ceramic) to build upon.  I think Chinet has plastic decorative plates one can use in lieu of ceramic plates.  Right now, all fall items are on clearance because the season is coming to a close.  Check out Michaels and Home Goods; these two stores truly cater to the seasons.

One of the best things one can do is personalize their table setting.  I love personalized anything as a guest.  Here are some random ideas and things I love when visiting for dinner:

    ∙ Folded napkins placed in my plate (Do away with those 80s napkin rings)
    ∙ Menu cards, so guests know what’s available
    ∙ Name tag placed in my folded napkin
    ∙ White Plates (they make food look awesome)
    ∙ Candles (nutmeg, fresh baked cookies, brown sugar, pumpkin pie, cranberry)
    ∙ Appetizers near the area I enter the home or where I will seat prior to dinner being ready (check out Meg’s post for appetizers)
    ∙ Fresh Flowers/Fresh flower tucked in a napkin
    ∙ Clean home
    ∙ If you have a special dessert, make gift box sized portions to give away to your guests.  Yes, put a name tag.  They will have it as their midnight snack guaranteed.
    ∙ For smaller parties, make dishes they love
    ∙ Low music playing the back ground
    ∙ A place to put my jacket and purse
    • Games
    • To-go containers and bags
    • Specialty holiday drink (non-alcoholic or alcholic). Cider with cinnamon sticks sounds awesome.

Fall is awesome because you have that fresh crisp air, clear skies, and warm cozy colors (golden yellows, rusts, browns, and beiges, sultry wine reds). I’m thinking of cable knit and cashmere right now. That’s literally how fall makes me feel. Here are some tablescapes I liked and they speak to my favs above. I did this from my phone as I always do, so I apologize for the crazy formatting.

DAY 2- Them Side Chicks

16 Nov

Yesterday we took care of the Appetizers (The Jumpoff) for the next few day’s we’ll be addressing the side dishes (side chicks)…

This is one situation where the sides are just as important and relevant as the main. (pardon my extra ratchet humor…it’s just one of those days) Last year’s Thanksgiving Recipe Blitz included greens and green beans, this year we will be switching it up and using one of my favorite borrowed recipes from The Queen of Butter herself, Paula Deen.

This recipe is so easy to make, even those cooking novices can ace this dish with sheer ease.

Paula Deen’s Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I sometimes use 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup of Miracle Whip, 1/4 cup of cream cheese)
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar (I like using a blend of cheeses like the Kraft Mexican Cheese Mix)
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers (or 2 cups of panko bread crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Season according to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Appease that Appetite! The Ultimate Appetizers

15 Nov

While preparing Thanksgiving dinner timing is EVERYTHING! Whether or not you prep days in advance or you choose to tackle the cooking the day of, there is always something, some dish or some one that throws you off schedule. Don’t panic though, we have the answer to your delayed main course right here! Appetizers are the key to any successful holiday or any party in general. While your guests are sprawled around the house chatting, watching the game (*ahem* Cowboys) or just patiently waiting you don’t want the pressure of rumbling stomachs to cause added pressure. These quick, simple and easy appetizer recipes will not only please your guests but will be a lifesaver for your weary cooking mind.

Ultimate Onion Dip

Don’t bother picking up that powdered onion dip and ruffles chips for your guests, this easy recipe will not only impress their stomachs, it will impress their eyes as well!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup miracle whip
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

(adjust the seasoning’s of course to your taste, if you’re like me I put a little bit of creole seasoning and lemon pepper to add an extra kick of flavor)

Directions

In a saute pan over medium heat add oil, heat and add onions and salt. Cook the onions until they are caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients, and then add the cooled onions. Refrigerate and stir again before serving.

CROSTINI 2 Ways

Simple Crostini Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette (8 to 10 ounces), sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 60 slices)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange baguette slices on two large rimmed baking sheets; brush both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through (if undersides are not browning, turn crostini over once during baking). Let cool on baking sheets. Top crostini with desired toppings, and serve.

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
  • 11/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot.

Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 2 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 3 small plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • Coarse salt

Directions

Chop seeded tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Pile basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a log. Thinly slice basil into green confetti and loosely combine with tomatoes. Add a drizzle of oil and a little coarse salt to the bowl and gently toss tomatoes and basil to coat. Pile toasts around the bowl of topping. Place a spoon to scoop topping in bowl and serve.

Now for one of The GWC’s favorite party anecdotes…a good cocktail! Although guests should ALWAYS bring a courtesy bottle of wine it is your job as the host/hostess to provide them with a great (sometimes stiff) libation. What better way to simmer every one down and take the focus off the turkey still in the oven and put the focus on enjoying the evening?

The Georgian

2 oz of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey

½ oz peach liqueur

2 oz of Sprite

3 sprigs of fresh mint

In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle 1 sprig of mint with peach liqueur. Add Gentleman Jack to mixing glass then strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with remaining mint sprigs.

Day 1 Down, 6 More to Go!!!

Happy Cooking!

THANKSGIVING RECIPE BLITZ!!!

15 Nov

Back to you by popular demand, The Good Wives have once again dug through our family’s recipe box, watched endless cooking shows and searched through dozens of cookbooks to find you our favorite Thanksgiving Dinner recipes that will surely make your feast a treat! Whether or not you’re participating in the kitchen for the first time or if you are taking on the tedious task of hosting Thanksgiving dinner all of these recipes are sure to tantalize the palettes of your guests! Enjoy!