Christmas Eve Pot Roast

My family doesn’t usually do much on Christmas Eve. This year though, since Husband and Mom and I and In-Laws were all off I decided to have a Christmas Eve dinner at my house. The evening was so much fun. We started with some easy pickies-different olives, some hummus, cheese and crackers and then moved on to dinner then had some dessert and exchanged some presents.  It seemed almost too perfect that it also started to snow while we were opening presents.  Not much-just flurries-but I couldn’t have planned a better backdrop. Thanks Mother Nature!!

The menu was very simple-pot roast, roasted veggies and ranch mashed potatoes–and it was perfect.  We had only a little of everything left-and those left overs were gone the next day.  Allow yourself time to sear the meat properly-it makes all the difference in the end.

The pot roast-so simple to cook and so delicious! My father in law proclaimed it perfect and the best he’s ever had!!  It was a flavorful comforting meal perfect for a holiday get together.

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Christmas Eve Pot Roast

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  4.75 lb chuck roast*
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into 2 inch rings then halved
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 cup red wine (I used chianti)
  • 3 cups low fat low sodium beef broth
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 275f.
  2. Salt and pepper the roast generously.
  3. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven (mine is a 6 qt) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add the carrots to the pot and stir them around for a few minutes until they’re slightly  browned. Remove and set aside with onions.
  5. If the pan needs a bit more oil add it now.  Place the roast into the pan and sear it for about a minute (or until a nice brown crust developes), then repeat for all sides–even the ends. Set aside with the onions and carrots.
  6. Add the wine to the pot and scape up all of the bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon.  Put the roast back into the pot and add enough beef stock to cover the roast halfway.
  7. Put the onions, carrots and fresh herbs into the liquid in the pot.
  8. Put the lid on and roast in the oven for 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Brown the meat so that it looks like this.

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The roast was so tender that I couldn’t slice it-I just pulled the meat apart and served it that way.

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If your roast is smaller it will take less time to cook. Plan on 3 hours for a 3lb roast.

I was also able to find some beautiful flowers in Christmas-y colors for the table. Red and white carnations with some really adorable puffy greens-they reminded me of something Dr. Seuss would think up.

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Adapted from Ree Drummond via Food Network.

Peanut Brittle

I was thinking of making some new candy treat to have to munch on for/around Christmas and I caught Trisha Yearwood’s show and she just happened to be making peanut brittle. It looked so good! And easy! And it was really easy! Stir pot, add peanunts, pour, set, crack. Easy peasy. And it’s really delicious! A nice buttery flavor comes through.

I had planned on giving some out to family with their gifts but I forgot and then it was too late so then I just kept it all for myself :). I’ll be eating it until Spring–this recipe makes a lot.

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Peanut Brittle

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 & 1/2 sticks)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup tap water
  • 2 cups shelled raw peanuts

Instructions:

  1. Using 1/2 stick of butter very very liberally grease a baking sheet (obviously with sides as you’ll be pouring hot liquid sugar onto it) and set it aside. You may not use all of the butter but butter it really really well. Set it aside.
  2. Measure the vanilla into a small bowl and set it aside.
  3. Measure the baking soda and salt into another small bowl, stir to combine, and set it aside.
  4. In a large saucepan with a heavy bottom combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water. Clip the candy thermometer onto the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to cook until thermometer reaches 240F then stir in the peanuts carefully. Continue cooking until thermometer reaches 300F.
  5. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, vanilla, baking soda and salt.  Stir until the butter melts and then quickly pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
  6. Cool it completely then break the candy into pieces and store in a tightly covered container.

Makes 3 lbs.

From Trisha Yearwood, Food Network

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Brown butter takes classic snickerdoodles up a huge notch. Yum. Make them.

There’s nothing more to write.

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Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp plain greek yogurt (not low or no fat)

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk the cinnamon sugar coating ingredients together in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  3. Place both sticks of butter into a medium sauce pan set over medium heat. Whisk and continue to cook until butter foams and eventually begins to brown on the bottom of the pan and start to smell nutty. It can take quite a few minutes so be patient and let it take it’s time.  When it’s browned pour the butter into a dish and place in the fridge to cool.
  4. While the butter’s cooling whisk the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Add the egg, yolk, vanilla and yogurt and mix until combined. Then, a little at a time, add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Do not overbeat.
  6. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Once the dough is chilled roll the dough into 1 tbsp balls, gently roll them around in the cinnamon sugar coating and place them on the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart. Gently give them a little tap on the top of the cookies to flatten ever so slightly.
  8. Bake 11-13 minutes for soft cookies, a few minutes more for crisper.
  9. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer from the baking sheet to cooling racks.

Adapted from tastykitchen.com

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