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December 2013

NYE Steak Bites

We used to make these elaborate dinners at my house on New Year's Eve.  But then we came to the conclusion that as good as those dinners were, they didn't leave much room for the REAL delights: the snacks.  So now instead of a big dinner, we just make a bunch of different appetizers throughout the night.  It's much more fun and everyone gets something they like!

My favorite New Year's Eve treats are little delicious bites of steak dipped in horseradish sauce.  I admit it, I purposely get a little extra steak so that I can sample it as I cook.  Here's the recipe:

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New Year's Eve Steak Bites

      • 1 lb beef tenderloin or sirloin cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
      • 1/3 cup soy sauce
      • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
      • 2 cloves of garlic minced
      • juice from 1/2 lemon
      • 1/8 tsp ground ginger

                            For sauce- mix together:

      • 1/4-1/2 cup prepared horseradish
      • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

 

Combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon, and ginger in a bowl.  Add the steak pieces and toss to coat.  Let the steak marinate in the fridge for about 3-4 hours.  Take the bowl out of the fridge about 1/2 hour before you plan to cook so the meat can come to room temp.

Heat up a heavy frying pan on high.  In batches of 5-6 pieces (do not crowd the pan) cook the steak pieces turning when each side has a nice brown coating.  They cook quickly, so stay close by.  For rare, it should only take about 1-2 minutes on each side.  Medium, 2-3 minutes.  Remove the pieces from the pan an keep them warm until the rest are done.

Serve the pieces with horseradish sauce and just watch them disappear.  

I hope you enjoy this recipe and ALL the other recipes in this New Year's Eve blog swap put together by my friend Carrie at Chockababy.  Check out all the links below!

  NYE Party Menu

We've got your whole plan set for you! Here's the complete list of recipes and ideas to make your party amazing:

Amazing Appetizers:

NYE Steak Bites: Cindy from Whatever Works

Baked Brie: Erica from No Sleep Til College

Antipasta Bars: Lindsay from Naughty Mommy

Sausage and Cheese Crescents: Lauryn from A Vintage Mom

Brown Sugar Sausages: Carrie from Chockababy

The Perfect Sweet:

Pumpkin White Chocolate Tarts: Heather from Real: The Kitchen and Beyond

Memorable Activity for Kids:

New Year's Eve Ideas for Kids: Barb from A Life in Balance

Check out the whole party plan and let us know what you've got planned for the New Year!


Silver and gold

Yesterday I had written this really long boring post about friends.  It was after I made out all ourChristmas cards and I was feeling all nostalgic.  It was crap.  It even had a sappy poem in it.  Thank goodness I slept on it and erased the whole thing before anyone else had a chance to lay eyes on it.  I would've been so embarrassed and all the friends I wrote about would've probably disowned me for being so hokey. 

Today everything is much clearer.  I know my bottom line moral to the story I wanted to write: Friends are the best, no matter whether they are old, new, constantly around or barely seen.  This year, acquaintences became friends and friends became family.  New friends became old friends.

My silver turned to gold.

My friends have taken me places I never thought I'd go.  They carry me when it gets too hard.  They run with me when I'm excited.  They help me when I'm confused.  They talk with me when I need an ear.  They laugh with me when I do something ridiculous.

---

***OK, this post has been sitting in my archives for over 2 years. TWO YEARS!***

I never hit publish.  I don't know why.  

But it's funny, because it is still 100% true.  The past few years have really taught me a lot about friendships...how they ebb and flow... how they grow when nurtured...how they make me whole...

I love you, my friends.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year.

 

 


Butternut squash done two ways: Cabot's Winter Squash Gratin and Squash Soup

After receiving a beautiful box of cheese from Cabot Creamery compliments of the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council (ADADC), I scoped out their website for a recipe to try.  I landed on their Winter Squash Gratin and decided it would be perfect for us.  The full recipe is on their website, but here is how I made it:

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photo credit to www.cabotcheese.coop

Cabot's Winter Squash Gratin

      • 6 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
      • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I made crumbs from a full sleeve of Saltine crackers)
      • 2 tablespoons butter
      • 2 cups chopped onions
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • 1/8 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
      • 2 pounds dry-fleshed butternut squash peeled and seeded*
      • 3/4-1 cup chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine cheese and bread crumbs in bowl and set aside.
In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and sugar. Stir often until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt, thyme and pepper, then transfer mixture to 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
Cut squash into smaller chunks and cut these chunks into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Add to onions and stir together well.
Pour 3/4 cup of chicken broth evenly over squash. Cover dish tightly with lid or foil and bake for about 70 minutes, or until squash is tender and broth is nearly all absorbed. If squash appears dry, add remaining 1/4 cup broth. 
Sprinkle squash with reserved bread crumb mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 20 minutes longer.
 
*Don't throw away those seeds!  Roasted butternut squash seeds are even more delicious than roasted pumpkin seeds in my opinion.  Just clean the seeds and let them sit overnight to dry.  Then toss them with a tsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Roast them on a single layer in a 275° oven for about an hour or until they are golden brown stirring occasionally.
 
The gratin was delicious, but let me tell you- it made a lot!  We had about half a tray left over after eating our fill with dinner.  
 
The next day, I felt like making soup.  Squash soup sounded good, so I put the leftover gratin into a pot with about 2 cups of chicken broth and whirled it up with my hand blender.  I placed the pot on medium heat stirring it once in a while until it was warm.  It was a bit salty, so I added a half cup of water and heated it through.  When it was done, I topped it with the butternut squash seeds I had saved and roasted previously.  
 
My daughter thought the soup tasted like goldfish crackers.  When I tasted it, I had to agree.  It was delicious!  It was smooth and very filling with the mixed green salad we had on the side for lunch that day.
Photo 2
Squash Soup
 
Hope you will try both recipes!  Let me know what you think. 
 
Oh, and yes, all you foodies out there.  The picture above shows pumpkin seeds on the soup, not butternut squash seeds.  I tried to get a shot of the butternut seeds, but they were too good.  I ate them all.