Avocado Greek Yogurt Dressing

In a food processor, blend:

Avocados
Plain Greek yogurt
Olive oil
Cilantro
Cracked pepper

No specific measurements- add as much of each to your taste or thickness preference.

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Fresh Bruschetta Penne

In season now: tomatoes! Hip hip hooray! One of my favorite foods :) soo delicious. And what’s better than making sauce with tomatoes? That’s right- marinating them. So simple, fresh and did I mention delicious??

Here’s my recipe for a light, summery dish full of tomato goodness and other fresh herbs.

Fresh Bruschetta Penne

Ingredients:
-1 lb penne pasta
– 3 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
– 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
– ½ cup olive oil
– 1 tsp salt
– ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
– 1 cup packed basil, cut into ribbons
– 8 oz mozzarella, cut into small cubes
– flaked sea salt for seasoning

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Directions:
1. In a large bowl, gently toss together the cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with and let marinate for at least 30 minutes and no more than one hour at room temperature.
2. Set a large pot to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions (I like to also use whole wheat pasta).
3. Toss the hot pasta with the marinated tomato mixture.
4. Top with a generous sprinkling of flaked sea salt. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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Perfect pairing with wine for a lovely summer dish!

xxx SSG

Garlic Herb Prime Rib with Shiitake Port Wine Sauce and Roasted Rosemary Vegetables

For Christmas, my family and I don’t normally do anything too traditional or go all out but this year we decided to try out the Christmas dinner feast- mainly because I wanted to cook something fancy, of course. And boy, am I glad I did! We debated on different types of meat and what not but when it came down to it, we decided on prime rib. If you are a newbie, prime rib is pretty simple and easy if you follow the directions. This was actually my first time trying to roast a prime rib and it was definitely a good choice. Not fool-proof but I can share some good tips from my experience with you as well. I know it is a bit late but I wanted to try and post this before New Years if anyone was looking for a good, fancy recipe to wow their guests with.

First, you can choose any type of seasoning or rub you’d like, but I went with a garlic and herb rub. I highly recommend this too. Lots and lots of juicy flavor!

For this recipe, I was working with about 5 and 1/2 pounds of prime rib so you can add or subtract as much as you’d like.

Garlic Herb rub recipe:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • about 1 and 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • about 2 – 3 tablespoons freshly cracked pepper
  • about 1 – 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoons of dill seed
  • about 2 – 2 and 1/2 tablespoons Montreal seasoning (set aside, for crust only)

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Rub entire prime rib with olive oil (not the 3/4 cup from above) to begin.

In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients above minus the Montreal seasoning- that comes last. You can add or subtract whatever you would like here depending on how strong or light you want the taste.

Once mixed well, place the prime rib in a roasting pan- size does not matter unless you are wanting to make an au jus sauce to go along with it, then use a smaller pan so that the juices from the meat do not evaporate.

Pour the wet rub over the meat and spread generously over the entire thing. Once the meat is will coated with the wet rub, coat the meat with the Montreal seasoning- I added more, depending. This will make for a nice crust and seal in the rest of the flavors of the wet rub.

Cook the meat at 450 degrees F for about 30 minutes just to sear it and hold in the juices.

After that, turn the oven down to 325 degrees F and cook the meat for about 15 minutes per pound. (Do not add water to pan and do not cover.)

While the meat is cooking, you can start on the shiitake port sauce which pairs fabulously with the flavorful meat and vegetables!

This shiitake port sauce is pretty easy to make as well. For best results,watch carefully and do not make too far in advanced unless you are going to refrigerate for later use- which is also okay to do.

I am going to give you the recipe as I originally made it, but as my suggestion, I would recommend you double it as it did not make very much and some of it will evaporate while cooking.

Shiitake Port Wine Sauce recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup chopped shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup port wine or other sweet red wine
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

What to do:

Toss mushroom caps in flour and set aside.

Combine wine, shallots, and vinegar in a medium skillet or pot and bring to a boil. Cook until thick- about no longer than 3 minutes. (Be careful, this will evaporate and can also burn- just make sure to watch it). Reduce the heat to medium/ medium-low. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and rosemary. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in Dijon mustard. Reduce heat to low and cover.

Roasted Rosemary vegetables recipe:

(This recipe is soooo simple but absolutely delicious!)

Simply cut up desired amounts of sweet potatoes, carrots and cauliflower.

Toss vegetables lightly in olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper and fresh thyme.

Spread evenly in a roasting pan and add in some sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Cook, uncovered for about 45 minutes or until tender, stirring/flipping veggies occasionally.

This meal is one of my favorites. It was a huge hit at Christmas and would also be good for any other kinds of dinner parties and special occasions. The prime rib is not too bad to cook and the wine sauce with mushrooms pairs so well with the meat. (This sauce would actually be really good if poured on top of mashed potatoes!) The vegetables are the easiest part of the meal but also very simple, yet full of flavor.

Get to cooking!

xxx SSG

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