Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking

January 1, 2008

Standing Rib Roast and Yorkshire Pudding

Filed under: beef, holiday, side dish — Emily @ 8:53 pm

This has been our traditional Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember. To accompany this meal we also had: corn casserole, mashed potatoes and broccoli with Hollandaise. I will only share the main recipes.

Standing Rib Roast (source: Ina Garten)–just used her cooking method

1 (3-rib) standing rib roast (7 to 8 pounds)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Mustard Horseradish Sauce, recipe follows
Two hours before roasting, remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (see note).

Place the oven rack on the second lowest position.

Place the roast in a pan large enough to hold it comfortably, bone-side down, and spread the top thickly with the salt and pepper. Roast the meat for 45 minutes. Without removing the meat from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast for another 30 minutes. Finally, increase the temperature to 450 degrees F and roast for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the meat is 125 degrees F. (Be sure the thermometer is exactly in the center of the roast.) The total cooking time will be between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 hours. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

Remove the roast from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the sauce.

Note: Be sure your oven is very clean before setting it at 500 degrees F.

Yorkshire Pudding

2 eggs
Splash of milk
Cold water
Pinch of salt
Make while meat is resting. Beat eggs. Add enough flour to make a paste (should look a little stringy!). As soon as the meat is taken from the oven, increase heat to 400 degrees. Put about 1 tablespoon of fat from meat into each section of a patty tin. Put tin in oven to get hot.Meanwhile, add milk and salt to paste and beat well. Add enough cold water to make a thin batter and beat well. Pour into patty tins. Cook for 20 minutes. Should rise well, be light brown and crisp and be hollow in the center.These used to be used at the start of the meal with gravy made from the meat residue. This was to help fill everyone up so they would not need so much meat. It is also possible to cook the batter in the original roasting tin after draining off some of the fat, then cut into pieces.


Sorry–no matter what I do, it will not turn around–anyone know how to rotate a picture in wordpress??


Holiday Baking

Filed under: dessert, holiday — Emily @ 8:41 pm

I did a lot of baking for my holiday party and everything turned out really well. There were a lot of things that I was hoping to try, but didn’t get around to it–oh well, we were still up to our ears in sweet!


Peanut Butter Blossoms (source: Hershey’s kisses bag)

  • 48 Hershey’s kisses
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

Peppermint Brownie Bites (source: Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

1 pkg boxed brownie mix
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup Andes Peppermint Chips **I used Ghiradelli peppermint bark because I couldn’t find the baking chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, oil and 2 eggs.
Pour about 1 tablespoon of brownie batter in each well of a mini muffin pan.
Bake mini muffin pan in preheated oven for 7 minutes.
Remove from oven – middles should be slightly soft and not completely set.
Using a spoon or tart shaper, press the middles of each mini brownie to create a well.
Fill each well with peppermint chips.

Hello Dollies

My mom has been making these every Christmas since I was a kid—so good!

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups graham wafer crumbs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand, 300ml)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Remove from oven, and spread the melted butter evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle the graham wafer crumbs evenly over the melted butter.

Sprinkle walnuts over the graham wafer crumbs, then chocolate chips, then coconut.

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over top of the coconut.

Return to oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Cut into small squares when cooled.


Creamy Fudge

1/2 c. butter
4 1/2 c. sugar
1 (12 fl. oz.) can evaporated milk
3 (12 oz.) pkgs. Baker’s real semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (7 oz.) jar Kraft marshmallow creme
3 c. chopped nuts
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Bring butter, sugar and milk to a full rolling boil in heavy 4 quart saucepan, stirring constantly.Boil 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.Remove from heat. Gradually stir in chocolate chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; beat until well blended. Pour into greased 13×9 inch pan. Cool, cut into squares.Cappuccino Fudge (source: Annie’s Eats)

1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cream
½ c. sugar
2/3 c. heavy whipping cream
¼ c. margarine/butter
1 t. instant coffee powder
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. salt
1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Line an 8” square baking pan with aluminum foil; set aside. In a 2 qt. saucepan, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, cream, butter, coffee powder, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Place on cutting board and cut into 36 squares.
Peanut Butter Balls (source: local Nestie Jenn)
Cream together:
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
Add in 4 cups Rice Krispies cerealUse your hands to mix the mixture together well and roll into small balls on a wax paper lined tray. Refridgerate overnight.

For the chocolate coating….

2 bags semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 block of parafin wax

Melt together in a double boiler and dip the balls into the mixture.

This makes about 10 dozen balls and they freeze great!

Oreo Truffles (source: my friend Elise)

1 pkg. (13 sleeves) Oreo cookies–process in food processor until fine

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

1/2 lb. white chocolate

Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.

Dip balls in melted chocolate ; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Yield: 42 Truffles.

Holiday Party

Filed under: appetizers, holiday — Emily @ 8:13 pm

I had a casual holiday party while I was in Chicago and made a few really tasty recipes. Here are a few of them:


Pita Tree (source: Pillsbury Holiday Appetizers)
Four pita folds (about six inch diameter)
16 thin pretzel sticks, halved
½ cup sour cream (may use fat free)
½ cup guacamole
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon garlic pepper blend

¼ cup very finely chopped red bell pepper

Cut each pita fold into 8 wedges. Insert pretzel stick half into center of bottom of each wedge to form “tree.” In small bowl, mix sour cream, guacamole, parsley and garlic pepper blend. Spread each wedge with cream mixture; blot bell pepper with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon on each wedge.

May be covered and refrigerated for up to 8 hours.


Tomato Basil Elephant Ears (source: Ina Garten on the Food Network)

1 1/4 cups sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the paste, place the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for 15 seconds. Set aside.

Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry and place it on a lightly floured board. With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it’s a 13-inch square. Using a knife, spread the paste over the top of the puff pastry. Fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the 2 folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers. Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush each piece with egg wash and place in the oven. Bake for 6 minutes. Turn each pastry slice over and continue baking an additional 5 minutes.


Fingerling Potatoes with Aioli (source: Ina Garten)

My aioli didn’t really thicken the way it should, but it still tasted fabulous! This recipe is sooo good!

2 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, unpeeled
Kosher saltFor the Aioli:
1(1/2-inch thick) slice white bread, crust removed
2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
Chives, chopped

Rinse the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan. Cover them with cold water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are just tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and place a kitchen towel on top, allowing them to steam for 5 to 10 minutes.For the aioli, tear the slice of bread into pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the vinegar over the bread, and set aside for 5 minutes.

Place the garlic cloves, egg yolks, zest, juice, saffron, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the bread, and puree into a paste. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until it is the consistency of thick sour cream. Place in a serving bowl.

Slice the potatoes in half and place them on a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and decorate with the chopped chives. Serve with the aioli.


This is always a huge hit–these were gone in about 30 minutes even though I doubled the recipe and the party wasn’t all that huge!

Kielbasa Appetizer

(can double)

1 lb. kielbasa

1 cup white wine

2 Tbs. brown sugar

1-2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbs. chopped parsley

Cut kielbasa into bite size pieces. Place in heavy skillet. Cover with wine, boil down until syrupy (this takes awhile). Add sugar and simmer to form slight glaze. Add mustard and toss with chopped parsley. Can serve at room temp and with honey mustard (Maile) if desired.


Sausage Balls

A very southern dish that I always had at parties when I lived in Nashville—first time I’ve tried them.

1 lb. of sausage (in the roll)

10 ounces Cheddar cheese–grated, plus a little more

3 cups Bisquick (reduced fat)

Mix all together and put into balls on a cookie sheet. 350 for 35-45 minutes. They are done when hardened and brown.


Roasted Artichoke and Spinach Dip (source: Good Things Catered)
I was told by several people that this was the best spinach artichoke dip they’d ever had–and I agree–the extra step to roast the artichokes makes a huge difference!

2 (14 oz) cans of premium artichoke hearts
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
16 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 c. mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. assorted cheeses, grated (I used pecorino, parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, and fontina)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced thyme leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, grated

-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheet with foil.
-Toss drained artichokes with 1 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper.
-Spread out over the baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally. Until browned at the edges, about 25 minutes.
-Let the artichoke cool and chop coarse.
-Meanwhile heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat until just shimmering.
-Sauté spinach until wilted and drain thoroughly and transfer.
-Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to pan and add the onion.
-Cook for until softened, about 5 -7 mins.
-Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds..
-Transfer to bowl with spinach.
-Stir in mayo, cream cheese, cheeses, lemon juice, thyme, and cayenne until uniform.
-Add more cheese as needed! (oink! oink!)
-Gently fold in artichokes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
-Transfer mixture to large baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan.
(Here you can cover and refrigerate up to three days if needed)
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Bake dip uncovered until hot throughout and top is golden brown, about 20-25 mins.
-Let cool at least 5 mins before serving.

WC Recipe Exchange

Filed under: dessert, holiday, recipe exchange — Emily @ 7:51 pm

This is really late, and I apologize–I left my camera cord at home while I was in Chicago so I couldn’t update. I participate in a cooking board on This holiday season we had a recipe exchange. My recipe was really tasty and very easy to make!

Chocolate Pecan Tart
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons chocolate liquor **I used Starbucks cream liquor because I didn’t have any chocolate and I had this on hand
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
cooking spray
1 ounce hot fudge sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine first 10 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in pecans. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray. Trim excess crust using a sharp knife. Spoon sugar mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over tart.
Yields 12 servings.


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