Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sumptuous Banana Milk Smoothies

What's a mom to do when there is NOTHING that sounds good for breakfast?

Seriously, my oldest would eat only bacon if I let her. Then, SOMEONE discussed with her where bacon comes from, and guess what? Suddenly, no more interest in bacon. I can't really feel bad about this. Not really. The child needs to have something healthy to start the day.

So, after a round of "do you want this?" or "What about this?" and, just when I was about to command: "You're eating the oatmeal and liking it!" We came around to a solution that was both healthy and filling.

Banana Milk Smoothies - or, Mama is tired and the girls need protein.

* 2 cups milk
* 2 bananas
* 1 pkg Vanilla Instant Breakfast

Blend, serve in Princess Straw Cups
Goes wonderfully well with heaping handfuls of dry cereal.
Seconds, please! :)

Traditional Holiday Roast Beef

No holiday gathering is complete without the traditional Roast Beef. Just think about it for a second. Mmmm.

The distinct scents of succulent, flavorful roast greets your guests as they walk through the door. Hugs and back slaps precede the trek to the kitchen to peek into the oven to see what's cooking.

"What's in the oven?" They'll ask...

"Oh, just a roast," you'll blink back with an easy smile.


Have them bring side dishes and desserts. Toss a quick salad and top with a balsamic vinaigrette you've prepared from the Temecula Olive Oil company's compliment of infused oils & vinegars.

Grab a loaf of bread from the local bakery--I suggest Great Harvest Grains "Cheddar Garlic Loaf. All dressed and perfectly coiffed, as you pour a glass of wine for all, take jackets, and know that not only does the house look great but you do, too. Why? How is this possible?

Because you've prepared the most easy holiday feast in the universe.

You’ll need:

  • Your butcher’s cut of Prime Rib Roast - Approximately ½ pound beef per guest
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 clove crushed garlic

· Seasoning rub made from of: 1 tsp each: Thyme, Montreal’s Steak Seasoning, Lemon Pepper, Parsley

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Rub your roast first with olive oil, and then pat all over with the seasoning blend until crusted with herbs. Sear all sides of your roast in EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), crushed garlic, and butter until golden brown, turning every few minutes.

Place the rubbed, seared roast in roasting pan--fat side up. Drizzle with EVOO, and cook approximately ½ hour per pound, inserting meat thermometer to ensure proper temperature is reached.

Serve with Mashed or Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables, tossed salad, and pair with a peppery bottle of Ruby Syrah.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas is Coming Brittle!

Cuz, baby, it's cold outside!

The Chargers are losing. The kids--after helping "clean out" their toys to find donations for those less fortunate than us--have rediscovered a slew of toys. One ZuZu pet. One remote control car. One pair of fuzzy Duck Puppets (which they are currently tormenting their father with).

And, while there are many creatures stirring inside, I have had time to make a batch of Spritz Cookies (recipe coming) and this fantastic "Christmas is Coming Brittle!" Some call it Saltine Brittle. There are about a million recipes online already. But, this is what I'm making with found ingredients as we have yet to descend on the local grocery store for our annual baking break the bank trip.

Here's what you need:
  • Enough Saltine crackers to cover the bottom of one cookie sheet.
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 bag Toll House Milk Chocolate Chips
Here's what you do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  1. Line a baking sheet first with Parchment Paper.
  2. Cover baking sheet with tight little rows of saltines.
  3. Then, in a pan, melt your butter over med-high heat.
  4. Add in the brown sugar to the melted butter, and stir until boiling.
  5. Keep stirring for about 3 minutes until everything's all nice and bubbly.
  6. Add your vanilla at the end, give a few more good stirs.
  7. Next, pour bubbly mixture over top of the crackers. Make sure it's all nice and evenly covered to the edges. Best if no part of the crackers are showing.
  8. Shove the tray into the oven, and let it bubble there for about 5 minutes. This gives you about enough time to wash the pan, and pretend you can't hear the Chargers throw ANOTHER interception or miss another 50+ yard kick.
  9. Drag bubbling tray out of oven, and liberally sprinkle chocolate chips over mixture. Using a paddle knife or spatula, spread melting chocolates evenly over top of the goop covered crackers. Make sure it's all covered up good.
  10. Cool.
  11. Defend the tray of cooling candy. This is the tricky part because the kitchen smells so good. The little ones wander over in search of "good deeds to do" or other ways in which they can "help." But, it's really, really hot--so shoo them away.
  12. Ideally, this creation should cool for 2-4 hours. 6 is better. 12 would be best.
  13. Crack apart into sections, and hide some for after it's been devoured.

Seriously, one recipe I saw for this said that it was impossible to determine shelf-life of this candy, and I can't agree more. It's THAT good.

So, happy holiday season, moms! readers! and author friends!

His Darling, now available...

Don't forget to pop on over to download a copy of Tessa Takes a Chance... a free read, on me, in case you haven't already! If you have, let me know and I'll point you to a copy of Sparks Still Fly!