Monday, December 16, 2013

in which i perfect roasting beast

i just took a gander at my 2013 kitchen goals and died of lols. i am a goal oriented person in general but i swear, when a timeline is not semi-immediate (read: within two weeks) i kind of forget about it and don't end up doing anything i planned. to be fair, i accomplished a few of the goals. i made challah bread, my mom and i made tamales and this weekend i think it's fair to say i properly cooked beef.

isn't she beautiful? right, so if you don't eat meat or think beef is gross you probs don't think this is very pretty but as a long-standing carnivore and lover of filet, this beef tenderloin i made for christmas with tex's parents was a feat. i had been planning a kind of excessive christmas feast for a while and it all came to fruition yesterday. for any of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you know i love to cook. i also love the chance to cook things i wouldn't normally cook. beef tenderloin is expensive as hell (our bank account is still weeping) and so i basically never make it, but christmas seemed like the perfect excuse. so i planned a menu, took myself to whole foods last week to spend approximately 84% of our monthly grocery budget, and spent most of yesterday prepping and cooking. can't think of a better way to spend a weekend day. 

well, except for adding some wine into the mix, which i did once everything was pretty much ready to go. i felt like my mom yesterday - she's the best hostess and she always has meals planned an executed to perfection. she somehow seamlessly throws dinner parties for crowds without spending the whole night in the kitchen away from her guests. she's my idol and yesterday i felt a bit like she did, having everything ready to go when tex's parents arrived. we kicked off the night with stuffed mushrooms which didn't get photographed because they kind of looked like turds but they tasted like heaven. 

the mushroom theme continued with a cauliflower and cremini sautee with garlic and rosemary (this was...fine. nothing to write home about, but it's possible that's because everything else was so good). 

these is it that something so simple is SO good? oh yes, because it involves a stick of butter. seriously. this is my mom's special recipe for oven browned potatoes: cut up potatoes. put in baking dish with one stick of butter. salt and pepper liberally. bake at 350* until they look like that. you won't be disappointed. 

i also made bearnaise to go over the tenderloin. if you haven't had bearnaise it's essentially like a wine-soaked version of hollandaise with shallots and terragon and it is amazing on beef tenderloin. my mom's always made it and i made my first attempt this weekend. it was much easier than i thought and i felt super fancy because i made an EMULSION...which is, you know, fancy. 

let's not forget dessert. tex hasn't met a molten chocolate cake he didn't like and last night was no exception. please excuse the excessive whipped cream-age. it was necessary to cut the richness. because, you know, nothing cuts richness like heavy whipping cream. 

so here's the thing. i know my iphone photos are crappy, and in all actuality this meal is basically an elevated meat and potatoes but i was happier than a clam the whole time i was planning it, executing it and most of all eating it. you know the six love languages? if you don't, look them up. anyway, i think there's a seventh because i am almost 100% sure that i show love through food. it was a wonderful night that reminded me just how lucky i am to be marrying into tex's family. 

merry christmas y'all. from here on out - it's basically all holiday all the time for me. one more week of school that includes several celebratory lunches, happy hours and parties and then i head home friday to be schooled in how to REALLY throw a dinner party by laurel. can't wait. 



  1. So those potatoes… my parents make them except I think they use olive oil instead of butter? I don't know, I can't cook haha but they are my absolute FAVORITE part of a holiday meal, besides popovers. I usually fill my plate with those two things and a second plate with green beans and call it a day until dessert. I am terrified for the day where I'm expected to cook a meal for people. The extent of my cooking is ripping up some lettuce into a bowl and putting pre-grilled TJ's chicken on top...

  2. Oh my I want those potatoes.. I use olive oil in mine, but those look heavenly. I think you planned and executed a perfect dinner! It all looks phenomenal and they are lucky to have you in their family! Enjoy your week of lunches and dinners and school fun!!

  3. I like to say baking is my love language, so I feel you on that. I also loooooove planning meals for people. I had a Super Bowl party, an Oscars party, and a Fourth of July party this year (don't be thrown off by the "party"...these usually involved one friend coming over haha) and though it was a lot of work, I really enjoyed putting everything together.

  4. WHY DO MY COMMENTS ALWAYS DISAPPEAR THE FIRST TIME I TRY TO POST THEM HERE THESE DAYS?? Rant over. ANyway, I started by saying that you are amazing and completely put me to shame. Whenever family comes over for dinner, Joe cooks, while I ply them with wine. Teamwork at its best ;) You do make me want to try a little harder in the kitchen, though...perhaps as one of Joe's Christmas gifts, I'll make something for dinner one night that is completely out of the ordinary for something involving non breakfast foods...and not pasta...