Simple advice for a better life.

Standing Prime Rib Roast  - just roasted in a dutch ovenStanding Prime Rib Roast  -  just roastedStanding Prime Rib Roast  - sliced for serving

Prime Rib is one of my favorite “special occasion” dinner meats, because it is so flavorful, even with very little additional seasoning.

Prime Rib tends to be a little pricey, so I only make it once I find a nice piece reasonably priced.  You want to buy a piece with at least 3 ribs (6-9 lbs), which will generously serve 5 – 8 people.

Today I will share my Prime Rib roasting experience with you.

You will be quite surprised how simple it is to prepare, and how impressive and tasty is the outcome.

My dutch oven was a great vessel to roast it in, but any heavy pan will do.

Ingredients:

  • 7 lbs of Standing Prime Rib Roast (3 ribs)
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbs. Paprika
  • 1 Tbs. Black Pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. Kosher Salt (optional
  • 1 Onion, peeled and quartered
  • 10 Peppercorns
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 twigs of Rosemary (optional)

Directions:

  1. Remove the meat from packaging, and rinse off, or wipe it down with damp paper towel (I always like to rinse my meat before cooking….just because…).
  2. Place the meat on a platter, on the counter, and leave it out for 2 hours uncovered,  (to get it to room temperature, and for the outside surface to dry up a little).
  3. Place the meat in a roasting pan, ribs down and fat side up (I used my Dutch Oven).
  4. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  5. Using a basting brush, baste the olive oil all over the top and sides of the meat.
  6. In a small dish prepare the meat rub, by mixing together the Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika, Black Pepper, Italian Seasoning and Kosher Salt (see TIP below).
  7. Spread the meat rub all over the oiled meat.
  8. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns (and Rosemary is using).
  9. Do not cover the pan.
  10. Roast the meat in a preheated over for 3-4 hours, basting from time to time.
  11. It is very important to have a good quality meat thermometer, to check the temperature of the inner part of the meat, to reach 125-130 degrees F.  Start checking the temperature periodically after 2.5 hours of cooking.
  12. If you like to have your meat medium done, remove it from the oven once the meat reaches 125 degree F, cover loosely with aluminium foil, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes or even an hour, at room temperature.  The resting period is very important, to keep the juices in the meat, making it very tender.
  13. Before serving, remove the aluminum foil, and cut off the ball of the meat away from the ribs, running the knife along the side of the ribs and meat.  Wrap the ribs and refrigerate for future use, to prepare Prime Rib soup stock.
  14. Slice the meat against the grain, into serving slices (thin or thick…your preference).
  15. Serve with your favorite gravy, incorporating the juices remaining in you roasting pan.
  16. My favorite is Au Jus  gravy , served with Prime Rib.

 

Enjoy!

 

TIP:  Some cooks prefer to omit the salt, because they feel it draws the juices out of the meat during cooking, but I like to flavor my meat with salt.  If you prefer to have a crusty top on your meat, you can first roast it at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then lower it to 275 degrees until done to your preference.   I prefer the meat being tender evenly throughout, hence cook it at the lower temperature from start to finish.

During the last hour of  roasting time, you can bake some russet potatoes in the oven, to serve with the roast.

 

Potato Leek Soup – Recipe

Potato and Leek Soup - servingThe sudden unset of cold weather makes me crave  comfort foods, especially soups.

Last week I posted a recipe for Cream of Potato soup, and would love to hear your comments.

Today I will share a recipe for another simple, yet delicious soup; Potato Leek soup.

If you have not used leeks before, I would suggest to check out this information about buying and cleaning leeks.

This recipe yields enough soup for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 2 leeks
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded on a large eye  kitchen grater
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine (medium-dry)
  • 1 Tbs. dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried Sage
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 10 Peppercorn
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used Kosher salt and black pepper)
  • 1/3 cup of Heavy Cream, or 1/2 cup of Half & Half cream
  • 1 Tbs. Flat leaf Italian Parsley (or Dill Weed), chopped, for garnish
  • 4 oz Cheddar Cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. Clean  and chop leeks, per  web instructions.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Heat  canola oil in a large stock pot.
  4. Add the chopped leeks, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Remove and set aside.
  6. Add chopped carrots and celery, and saute 5 minutes.
  7. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute longer, stirring frequently.
  8. Remove vegetables, and set aside.
  9. Add butter into pot, and mix in the diced potatoes.
  10. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  11. Return all vegetables back into the soup pot.
  12. Pour in the vegetable or chicken stock, add bay leaves and  peppercorns.
  13. Cook until all vegetables are fully cooked.
  14. Remove and discard the bay leaves and peppercorns.
  15. Use a potato masher, or immersion blender, to cream most of the vegetables (you may save about 1 cup of chunky veggies to complement the body of this creamy soup).
  16. Add white wine, heavy cream,Thyme, Sage, salt and pepper to taste.
  17. Cook for 5 minutes.
  18. Add cheddar cheese, and cook until cheese melts.
  19. Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley or dill.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cream of Potato Soup 2During my childhood, soup was part of our daily menu.

Sometimes it was the only thing on the menu, especially at lunch time.

My mom would cook some kind of soup every single day, so we all grew up loving and craving soups.

Soups are actually very good for you, since they contain so much liquid, plus a variety of veggies.  Eating soup on a cold day makes you feel so warm and fuzzy, inside and out.  Don’t you agree?

Today I will share a recipe for a Cream of Potato soup, which for most part is based on a recipe from the The Pioneer Woman, but I doctored it a little, to suit our taste.

This recipe makes a large pot of soup; about 8-10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon, cut to small pieces (I used Oscar Mayer center cut)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, cleaned and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (used my favorite gadget)
  • 6 medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 32 oz Chicken Broth (I used Swanson)
  • 4 cups of water, mixed with 3 chicken bouillons
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1% fat)
  • 1/2 cup cream (I used Half & Half)
  • Salt and Black Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 2 Tbs. fresh Parsley, chopped (my favorite is Flat Leaf Italian Parsley)
  • 1 tsp. fresh Dill weed, chopped
  • Grated cheese or dollop of sour cream for garnish (optional…I used grated Swiss)

Directions:

  1.  Heat up a large soup pot, add chopped bacon, and cook until all fat is sizzled out and bacon is crispy.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon bits and set aside.
  3. If you have a lot of bacon fat, remove most of it, except for 2 Tbs.
  4. Add chopped onions, carrots and celery to the fat and cook, stirring often, until veggies are translucent (5-10 minutes).
  5. Add chopped garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the chopped potatoes, and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring often so veggies do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Pour in the broth, and water/bouillon mixture.  Mix well to loosen up the bacon particles off the bottom of the pot.
  8. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Cook until the potatoes are almost done (10 minutes)
  10. Pour 2 Tbs. of milk into a cup, add the flour and make a paste.  Mix in the remaining milk, and add to the soup.
  11. Cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  13. Using a slotted spoon, remove about 3/4 of the veggies from the soup, into a blender or food processor, and process to form a creamy paste.
  14. Pour this puree back into the soup pot, to combine with the rest of the soup.
  15. Add the paprika, and additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  16. Stir in cream, 1 Tbs. of Parsley and dill.  Save 1 Tbs. of Parsley for garnish.
  17. Serve hot soup in bowls, garnished with Parsley, bacon bits, and some grated cheese or sour cream (optional).

I liked the crispiness of the bacon bits in this soup, used for garnish.

Nice piece of fresh bread makes an excellent accompaniment to this delicious, creamy potato soup.

Yum!!

Cranberry Orange Scones – Recipe

Orange Cranberry Scones - serving 2If you like scones, you will love this recipe.

A while back, I made a batch of healthful scones, using a skinny recipe.  They were tasteful, but not as moist and flaky as these Cranberry Orange Scones.

This recipe from Barefoot Contesa, produced the most delicious scones ever.  I would not call them “skinny” by any means, but they are absolutely yummy.

Since I made some changes to the original recipe, I will post my version.

This recipe yields 20+ triangular shaped scones.

Orange Cranberry Scones  - dough

Orange Cranberry Scones - with egg wash

 

 

 

 

 

The dough is rolled out to a rectangle of about 3/4 inch in thickness.  Then it is cut up into 3 inch wide strips.  Each strip is cut again into 4 inch long rectangles, and each rectangle is cut diagonally into 2 triangular scones.

Orange Cranberry Scones - ready to bake

Orange Cranberry Scones - all baked and cooling off

 

 

 

 

Scones placed on greased parchment paper; tops brushed with egg wash; sprinkled with coarse sugar.

Once baked, they are cooling off on a wire rack, before glazing.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour ( I used Gold Medal unbleached)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. coarse sugar for sprinkling the tops of the scones (I used Cupcake Gems)
  • 2 Tbs. baking powder (I use aluminum-free, Rumford brand)
  • Zest of one medium orange
  • 3/4 lbs. cold butter (3 sticks), diced(I used salted butter and skipped the 2 tsp. salt)
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold (1/2 pint)
  • 1 tsp. lemon or orange extract (optional)
  • 1 cup dry cranberries ( I used 50 % less sugar)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (to use with cranberries)

Egg-wash

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs. water or milk
  1. Beat egg with water/milk.
  2. Brush on tops of scones before baking.

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar + 2 Tbs
  • 4 tsp. orange juice, freshly squeezed (from the orange you just used for zest)
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  1. Mix in sugar, orange juice and lemon extract, to form a creamy substance.
  2. Drizzle over the tops of cooled scones.

Directions:

  1. Use a large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle mixing attachment.
  2. Pour in 4 cups of flour, orange zest, sugar and baking powder.  Mix to incorporate.
  3. Add diced cold butter, and mix on low speed, until butter and flour becomes crumbly.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix eggs with heavy cream, and extract.
  5. Slowly add to flour mixture, while mixing, until just blended.
  6. In a small bowl, combine cranberries with 1/4 cup of flour.
  7. Fold the floured cranberries into the sticky dough, by mixing on very low speed.
  8. Generously flour your work area, and scoop out the dough onto it to knead into a soft ball.
  9. Roll it out into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle, and cut out scones (see pictures above).
  10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  11. Place the oven rack in middle position.
  12. Place scones on a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper.  Space them  fairly close together, about 1/2 inch apart, as they puff up rather than out, during baking.
  13. Brush tops with an egg wash, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  14. Bake 2o minutes.  The tops will turn light golden color.
  15. Remove onto a wire cooling rack.  Cool for about 15 minutes, then drizzle tops with prepared glaze.

Enjoy!

 

 

Diaper Cake - right side view 2I was very excited about an upcoming baby shower for someone at work, and decided that it would be fun to make another diaper cake.

The first ever diaper cake I made, was for my daughter’s baby shower, almost 7 years ago.  If you are interested in my cake assembly instructions, you may click on the link above.

A couple years later I made a diaper cake for a baby shower for my daughter-in-law, so this time I was excited to make my third creation.

Since it has been said that pictures “speak a thousand words”, I will share my cake pictures from several different angles.

The diapers and the accessories for this cake were part of the baby registry, so it was very easy for me to put it all together.   I also crochet a blanket for the baby, plus a tiny one for the puppy placed at the top of the cake.

Hopefully you will find these pictures enjoyable, and will be encouraged to create one of your own, for someone special.

 

Diaper Cake - right side view 3

Diaper Cake - left side view

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diaper Cake - first layerDiaper Cake - front viewDiaper Cake - top layer

Diaper Cake - back side - Blanket

The baby blanket was draped over the back of the diaper cake, as in the above picture.

If any of you made diaper cakes before, and would like to share your pictures with me via email, I would love to post them on my blog.

Thank you!

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