My Belated Christmas Post

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Not that I haven’t eaten any new or interesting foods. I’m going to start at Christmas and then fill in the gaps later. Hopefully, I won’t let things go for so long again.

This Christmas, my family actually celebrated early. We have three kids who all have significant others and have to do the typical holiday sharing routine. This year we got them all together on Christmas Eve day and had our big meal and gift exchange then.

On the 23rd, we had some of the kids over and had a nice meal together. My oldest and her fiancee were in from Nashville and since we don’t see them often, we wanted to enjoy a family meal. We decided to show them a few of the new recipes that I’ve learned to like. We had Southwestern Salmon, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, rice pilaf, white rice, and some steak.

Christmas Eve Eve Dinner

 

Erin and Jared both really enjoyed the salmon. I expected that since they love salmon. However, they said they weren’t fans of Brussels Sprouts. Well, they loved mine. They didn’t roast theirs so they had a whole different taste and texture. I need to remember to send them the recipe so they can make them down in Nashville.

The next day (Christmas Eve) we had everyone together. My wife was up around 6 AM starting all the food. We had roast turkey (which we didn’t brine this time), rib roast, mashed potatoes, red potatoes, peas, green beans, and rolls.

Christmas Eve Dinner

 

I skipped the rib roast as it is a little too fatty for me and I love turkey. I think there was another side, but I didn’t have that either. It was a great meal that everyone enjoyed thoroughly.

Snickerdoodles

We also made up some treats for later. My wife and I baked brownies, snickerdoodles, and the more traditional Christmas cookies. I love snickerdoodles and have ever since I was young and my mom made them for us. We made them from a Krusteaz mix, but they were delicious.

Christmas Cookies

After dinner we opened gifts. Later, we all played a game of Cards Against Humanity and continued to make a dent in the treat plate. I cleaned up – both the treats and in the game.

We didn’t have all our kids together for long, but it was the most fun we have ever had during the holidays.

 

My Wife’s Pot Roast

As I mentioned before, as the weather begins to change and a chill hangs in the air, the savory smell of pot roast also fills our house. I don’t quite know why, but it seems we only make it in the fall and winter. Maybe that’s why I like those seasons. Pot roast is one of my favorite things my wife cooks.

Pot roast isn’t just my favorite. Now that we’ve cut the cable we’ve seen the “Beef – It’s What’s For Dinner” commercial far too often. It starts with an old man wearily bringing a fork full of some bland dish to his mouth. Then a small child in the next house asking what’s for dinner. His mom replies “pot roast” and he says it is his favorite and then leaves the table. Next we see him at the door with the old man in tow saying “It’s Mr So-and-so’s favorite too”. Then they all enjoy a nice pot roast. They give the tagline and then show the family next door asking where Grandpa is. There is just something about slow cooked beef.

She starts by seasoning the meat and tossing it on a cast iron pan to brown on all sides. Then she adds it along with water and more seasonings to the crock pot. She uses black pepper, Goya’s Con Culantro Y Achiote, and this time something called Instant Gourmet, and Goya’s Sazonador Total. She let’s it cook overnight. The next day as dinner time approaches, she adds potatoes and carrots. You can see the steam rising from the crock pot – filling the room with the most delicious smell.

It needs to cook around another 45 minutes so so with the added vegetables. While we wait, we prepared some rice orzo pilaf that we picked up at Trader Joe’s. It’s not one of those instant things you microwave. You boil it up and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Once everything was ready we grabbed some bowls and filled they with rice, beef, potatoes, and carrots. Yes, I had carrots too. I don’t really care for them, but if I cut them up small enough they go down fine. The potatoes were good though. They tend to soak up a lot of the juices from the meat.

Even though I went back for seconds, there was still enough left over for a hearty lunch. I had the leftover pot roast and Linda had the leftover roast beef.

Trader Joe’s Rice Medley

A couple of weeks ago Trader Joe’s opened up just 10-15 minutes from my house. I didn’t go during the first week because it was a complete zoo with police directing cars to parking spots. They are still there during peak hours and I’m sure they are getting tired of that by now. My wife and I decided to stop on our way home from some other shopping and  parked at a nearby frozen yogurt place (not TCBY). We grabbed some frozen yogurt (since I now like the stuff) and then headed over to Trader Joe’s.

It was pretty packed inside, but we did manage to look over everything. Personally, I prefer the produce at The Fresh Market. They have a much larger selection. The meat selection was decent as was the seafood. They had a section for gluten free food too – not that we really look for that sort of thing.

We picked up a few things here and there – some burger meat, bananas, and a rice medley. It looked rather interesting and also included barley. We figured we’d give it as shot.

I’d never heard of red rice before, but I like brown rice. How different could it be? The best part was that is cooks in the microwave in about 3 minutes. Just toss the bag in, wait 3 minutes and you’re done. I like that kind of simplicity. It took longer than that to make the Southwestern Salmon that we had with it.

The rice was pretty good. It did taste a little different than our usual brown rice, but it wasn’t bad at all. It came with several pouches so we can have it again a few times before we need to brave the parking lot at Trader Joe’s again.

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