Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The New Year presents the perfect opportunity to be an impressive host! The key to pulling off an event to remember is attention to detail and presentation. Even on a budget you can whip up some tasty appetizers and delicious cocktails. Click on title "Toasting to Hosting" above for appetizer recipes and holiday cocktails perfect for your fabulous soiree for friends, small set for family or an intimate celebration for two!
Always drink responsibly! Cheers to you!
Or click on "Comments" for recipes.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Horseradish and Garlic Prime Rib
1 (3-rib) prime rib beef roast, about 6 pounds
5 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 2 heads garlic, halved
1/2 cup grated fresh or prepared horseradish
1/2 cup sea salt
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red onion, halved
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake, chanterelle, or white, trimmed and sliced
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup reserved beef broth (drippings from roast) or low-sodium canned broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lay the beef in a large roasting pan with the bone side down. (The ribs act as a natural roasting rack.) In a small bowl mash together the garlic, horseradish, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste. Massage the paste generously over the entire roast. Scatter the vegetables and halved garlic around the meat and drizzle them with a 2-count of oil. Put the pan in the oven and roast the beef for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for medium-rare (or approximately 20 minutes per pound). Check the internal temperature of the roast in several places with an instant-read thermometer; it should register 125 degrees F. for medium-rare. Remove the beef to a carving board and let it rest for 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise by about 10 degrees. Remove the vegetables and set aside. Pour the pan juices into a fat separator or small bowl and set aside to allow the fat and beef juices to separate. Pour off and discard the fat. You will use the tasty beef juices for the mushrooms.
Place a clean skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and a 2-count drizzle of oil. When the butter starts to foam. add the mushrooms and thyme; and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together for a few minutes. Add the red wine, stirring to scrape up any stuck bits; then cook and stir to evaporate the alcohol. When the wine is almost all gone, add the reserved beef juices. Let the liquid cook down and then take it off the heat. Stir in the cream and chives, and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay
Roasted Garlic Bulbs
1 head garlic, split in 1/2 crosswise
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make extra roasted heads to use for garnish on the plate, if desired
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 lamb shanks, bone-in
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup port
1 cup red wine
3 cups chicken stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley plus freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Roasted Garlic Cloves
Toasted Orzo Pasta:
3/4 pound orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup reduced lamb braising liquid (from above)
Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
4 plum tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 vertically
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the roasted garlic bulbs:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place garlic heads in a small roasting dish and drizzle each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until soft. Let cool slightly and squeeze the cloves of garlic into a small bowl.
For the lamb shanks:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven until smoking. Season the shanks on both sides with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on both sides, remove to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan and add the celery, carrots and onions and cook until caramelized.
Add the port and red wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the chicken stock, thyme, parsley sprigs and shanks and salt and pepper and bring to a boil on the stove, cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
Remove shanks to a plate and loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and discard the solids Whisk in the roasted garlic and cook over high heat, whisking occasionally, until reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the liquid to use for the orzo and continue reducing the remaining liquid by half again or until thickened to a glaze. Serve the lamb on top of the orzo and drizzle the shanks with the reduced cooking liquid, oven roasted tomatoes and chopped parsley.
For the orzo pasta:
Heat a medium nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the orzo and toast until golden brown.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the toasted orzo and the remaining orzo and saute for 1 minute to coat the pasta with the oil/onion mixture. Bring 8 cups of water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot (or a combination of chicken stock and water) and add hot water/stock to the orzo as if you were making risotto, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente (you may not need to use all of the water). Stir in the cold butter and a 1 cup of the braising liquid, chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste and cook 1 minute longer.
For the slow roasted tomatoes:
Toss the tomatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 200 degree F oven for 6 hours.
Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/2 cup Marsala wine (or white wine)
4 teaspoons capers
4 pieces of aluminum foil
Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top the each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.
Recipes written by Danny Boome
1 (10-pound) goose, cleaned and trimmed with innards removed
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 apple, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons goose fat
1/2 cup scallions
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 cups blackberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups Zinfandel
2 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash the goose thoroughly inside and out. Dry well with paper towels. Prick the skin with a fork or fine skewer (this helps release the fat during cooking) and generously rub all over with sea salt. Stuff the bird with the cut fruit. Tuck the wings under so they are not exposed. Add 1/2 inch water to the roasting pan and position the goose breast side down in a roasting rack. Place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes. Check the bird while it's roasting to make sure the water doesn't evaporate or the goose fat will burn. After 45 minutes, take the goose out of the oven. Turn it breast side up and prick the skin again. Carefully remove the excess fat by tilting the pan and using a baster. Add another 1/2-inch of water to the pan. Continue to roast for another 2 hours.
The goose is cooked when its juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer. If they are at all bloody, roast for a further 15 minutes and check again. To be sure the goose is cooked, insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Pour out excess fat leaving about 2 tablespoons. Add the scallions, ginger, blackberries, sugar and soy sauce. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes until the blackberries begin to break up and the juices are released. Add Zinfandel and reduce by half then add the chicken stock and reduce by half again. Pass sauce through a sieve and discard the pulp. Serve with the goose.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
by Allison Bond and Ashley NegliaEvery couple needs to change up their sexual routine every now and again so it doesn't become just that -- a routine. Sexual experimentation is key for keeping a long-term relationship fresh, fun and fulfilling. Opening up about your desires can also bring you and your partner closer together. "Experimenting with each other requires a willingness to be vulnerable, which improves intimacy," says Mort Fertel, a Baltimore marriage counselor and creator of the Marriage Fitness Program.What types of sex might you and your partner be missing out on? Read on to learn what every couple should try!
A passionate argument can lead to some just-as-passionate action between the sheets. Fighting causes dopamine and adrenaline levels to rise, making you and your partner excitable in more ways than one. Every couple faces occasional conflict, and sex after a disagreement can be a great way to get your relationship back on track. "When you're upset with each other, you need to be able to get over it and move on," says Fertel. "Sex changes the momentum after an argument."
2. Vacation Sex
The two of you may be tucked away in a private room, but the deed can still feel thrillingly public. And those crisp, clean sheets are just begging to be rumpled. Best of all, a vacation can be a great opportunity to re-connect with your partner sexually. "One of the benefits of a vacation should be to renew your sexual intimacy," Fertel says. If you usually plan every minute of a trip, make sure you schedule time for sex. For example, plan to stay at the hotel until mid-morning or to come right back to your room after dinner for a relaxing night together.
A sense of urgency can turn up the heat in a major way. Being aggressive can be fun and unexpected -- romance with a twist. After all, it's an element of mystery that defines romance. "It's when you don't quite know what to expect," Fertel says. So if you're in the mood, ripping each other's clothes off and skimping on foreplay could be an exciting change of pace.
Like meatloaf and mashed potatoes, sometimes you just need something that's simple, familiar and satisfying. It's one way to provide love and support when you or your partner has had a rough day or is feeling down. This is when it might be time to use your favorite stand-by position, one that you and your partner always enjoy. "When it comes to the climax, sometimes it needs to be in a certain way, and that's OK," says Fertel.
If you're at a boring party or family gathering, add a little spice to the evening by sneaking away to the spare bedroom. The possibility of getting caught adds a new level of excitement to your sex life and can even give you a reason to look forward to spending the holidays with the in-laws.
Everyone has sexual fantasies, and as long as both you and your partner feel comfortable acting them out, there's no reason you shouldn't try them. "We should be pursuing each other's fantasies, assuming they're appropriate," says Fertel. For example, if your partner has always dreamed of doing the deed on a boat, why not rent one and spend a romantic night at sea? All aboard!
If you're pressed for time, don't write off sex just yet -- this is when "the quickie" comes in handy. Just make sure it's something both parties want; an unfulfilled experience for either one of you can foster resentment and, over time, weaken the relationship. When someone says yes to sex when she really means no, "she's not doing him a favor; she's making a mistake," Fertel says. "It will turn her off to him sexually long-term."
Taking the time to savor sex without rushing through it can be luxurious and fulfilling on many levels. Connecting with your partner by taking it slow means you get to enjoy every moment of being together and lets you take advantage of the emotional connection that makes sex better. Whether it takes candles, music or some bubbly, building the mood can provide a major boost between the sheets.
Switching up your lovemaking location can be a great way to inject some spontaneity into a relationship, which in turn can make your partner feel even more desirable. "Spontaneity is beautiful. It's fun and exciting," says Fertel. "Too often people get into a routine where they have sex at the same time, at the same place." If you and your partner are doing the laundry together, for example, pulling him or her close for a quick rendezvous can be surprising and refreshing. It's good, clean fun -- no detergent required!
You tell your kids to go play outside -- now it's time to practice what you preach! Bringing your sexual escapades outside can be fun and invigorating. If you're camping in a tent or live on a large piece of property, those can be great opportunities to try something new. But to avoid legal problems, it's best to keep your shenanigans private. "The caution is to make sure you're somewhere where you could not be in the public eye," Fertel says. So venture outside to learn more about the birds and the bees.
Trying out a new position offers the chance to learn more about what brings your partner pleasure. Some positions work better than others for helping a woman orgasm, and experimenting with new ones can give you a better feel for what works -- and what doesn't. Mixing it up keeps sex fresh and prevents it from becoming routine, Fertel says. That makes it more likely you and your partner will keep doing it -- literally.
Come rain, snow, sleet or hail, when the weather gets frightful this winter there's no better excuse to spend an entire day in bed. Think of it as Bedroom Olympics. Work together for a common goal, like breaking your record for how many times you can do the horizontal tango in a row. When your sexual energy is finally tapped out, you'll both be exhausted and satisfied.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Here is the question...Are you Wifeys keeping it spicy in the bedroom? If not, why? If so, how?!