Archive for Food & Dining

What’s for New Year’s Day Dinner?

I know that this post is a few days late since we enjoyed this Holiday dinner, but here it is regardless.

For many years, we have had a New Year’s Day dinner tradition of serving up a great batch of ham and 15-bean soup with a nice bakery roll. It seemed to us that a hot bowl of soup would be an appropriate meal for the usual cooler weather at this time of year. This year, however, we both are on a low-carbohydrate diet that (unfortunately) excludes legumes and bread. Our holiday tradition needed to be changed.

Well, since meat has no carbs, we would prepare a roast of some sort. We decided on having a popular roast of beef tenderloin using a Chateaubriand recipe.

Preparation for the dinner starts at the butcher shop. We bought a whole beef tenderloin on sale (≈$40) and had the butcher cut it to order. We put a bunch of tenderloin steaks (Filet Mignon) and various other pieces of the tenderloin in the freezer. We had the butcher cut us a pound and a half roast from the center of the tenderloin which would be used for our Chateaubriand.

Sear Season Roast

At home, the preparation was pretty simple; sear the roast in butter and extra virgin olive oil using a cast iron skillet. Reserve the pan drippings for the sauce later. Place the seared roast on a rack over an oven pan and coat with herbs and seasoning per recipe. Roast at 375° until a temperature probe in the center of the roast reads 125°. Transfer the roast to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve the roast drizzled with the sauce. Add some lo-carb side dishes.

Sliced Roast with Sauce

So there it is - our revised New Year’s Day dinner tradition - Chateaubriand. Click on any image to enlarge and try not to drool on your keyboard.

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Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2016

We’re going to put a turkey breast in the smoker this morning which will be the entrée for our Thanksgiving dinner. We know that we are blessed on this day and others by the grace of God. May He bless you and yours on this day of thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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What’s for Dinner?

Low Carb Dinner

The answer to the title question is: a low carbohydrate dinner consisting of grilled Filet Mignon steaks, sautéed mushrooms, bacon-collard greens and mashed fauxtatoes. The fake potatoes were actually mashed cauliflower with cream cheese, butter, garlic, salt and pepper. The meal and all its components were quite tasty and enjoyable.

Damsel and I are now on a low carbohydrate dining regimen and the total carbs for this meal as prepared were a little less than ten grams. The steak has zero grams, the mushrooms about two grams, the cauliflower six grams and the collard greens under two grams. Since we’re on a low carbohydrate diet, we’re not counting fat and protein, although we like to have lots of fiber.

About the diet: we’re not going to strictly count carbohydrates as I did for this meal, but rather keep an eye on what ingredients might be high in carbs and avoid or limit them or substitute them with something low carb. There is plenty of on-line help to make the dietary information for most ingredients and some recipes readily available.

Over the last week, we have been easing ourselves into revised eating habits and this weekend we prepared both main meals with the diet in mind. We’re just getting started and already we’re noticing subtle changes to our bodies.

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Lifestyle Change - Diet in Particular

Chicken over Cauliflower Rice

Ever since Damsel retired about 20 years ago, we have enjoyed preparing delicious meals on the weekends. She runs the kitchen while I run the smoker and grill. Occasionally, I help in the kitchen (sous chef role) with meat cutting and grinding or with shredding cheese and other kitchen helper labors of love. Thus far, we have been able to prepare just about anything we see in a recipe or on the TV cooking and food channels or on internet social media.

A few weeks ago, Damsel went for her regular annual session with the family doctor. He checked her over and pronounced all the vitals to be within limits - however, he wanted her to get some routine blood work done. Her initial report was that triglycerides were a bit too high and the doctor prescribed another more specific blood test. The results from that test indicated a marginally high blood glucose level, also known as pre-diabetes.

The doctor’s advice was to change her diet to cut down on carbohydrate intake. Well, damn! just about all of our favorite foods are laden with carbs. We did some research on low-carb diets and actually found some literature on understanding the pre-diabetic condition and preparing meals with low carbohydrate counts. We also found other sites with recipes and information, one of which had the photo above of a “Garlic Butter Chicken with Parmesan Cauliflower Rice” recipe. It looks pretty good, no?

So, we’re both going on a low-carb diet. No more potatoes (and most other starchy root veggies), pasta ( :( ), bread, pastries. fruit and a host of other goodies with high carbohydrate content. The only good news is that un-prepared meats of all kinds have zero carbs. Her diet will be to reduce blood sugar and mine will be to lose the 15-20 lbs that the doc has suggested.

Between a couple of low-carb cookbooks and websites like the one linked above, we should be able to prepare delicious food for our diets. In any event, we will not be denied wholesome, tasty meals just because of reduced carbs.

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Happy Independence Day

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We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable 4th of July. We will be barbecuing, watching fireworks and we’ll put on a DVD after that. Click on the eagle to see a larger view.

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Campsite Setup in Palm Desert

Campsite Setup

Our absence from posting here is, in part, due to our recent excursion to the People’s Republik of Kalifornistan. A necessary evil, since we want to keep in touch with our new grandson face-to-face in his first years so he knows who we are. We have been to this particular campground just about every month since grandbaby’s birth last August.

Bob took this image of the campsite after getting all the stuff out for grilling steaks and corn on the cob. This menu requires both camp grills since there are six steaks and six ears of corn to prepare simultaneously. The one grill hooks into the RV propane tank and the other, smaller grill, has a small bottle of propane attached. One grill for corn and one for the tenderloin steaks.

The baby’s first birthday is next month and, of course, we can’t miss that event, so we’ll be out there again in a few weeks. All of the traffic, the obnoxious politics out in K-stan and the hot weather at near sea level in the low desert this summer notwithstanding, it is worth the minor discomforts for us to be able to go to see this wonderful new addition to our family.

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Independence Day 2016

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We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable celebration of our independence on this 4th of July. As for us, we cooked bacon cheeseburgers and roasted corn on the grill outdoors and later will be watching baseball on TV and the fireworks afterwards. We might be able to see some of the local fireworks launched from Sunset Park about five miles to the west.

Click on the eagle to see a larger view.

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