Sous Vide Carnitas

One of my favorite gifts I received this Christmas was a sous-vide tool.  Even though I feel like I’ve cooked almost everything, I can now cook food in a completely new way and produce different results.  So, although I’ve made Carnitas many times, I’ve never made them like this.  These Sous Vide Carnitas are juicy and crunchy in a whole new way.  Top them with your favorite taco toppings and you’ll have a showstopper!

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Steakhouse Filet Mignon with Red Wine Reduction

 

There is nothing better than an incredibly juicy, perfectly cooked steak at your favorite steakhouse.  Well, I lied.  There is something better.  Making your own incredibly juicy, perfectly cooked steak at home!  This Steakhouse Filet Mignon with Red Wine Reduction is that steak.  It’s the kind of meal that will make you ask, “Why go out?”.

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SF Style Cioppino

 

I love to make this SF Style Cioppino recipe this time of year.  We always have family over during the holidays and this is the perfect meal that is elegant in presentation, easy to prepare, light, healthy and oh’ so delicious!

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Four Seasons, Punta Mita, Mexico

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Even though it’s just a photo of one of the 4 spectacular sunsets we saw at the Four Seasons, Punta Mita, Mexico, it almost makes you feel like you need sunglasses! This was one of the most magnificent resorts we’ve ever visited. The location is about a 30 minute ride by car from Puerto Vallarta airport. Upon arrival, as you walk though the breezeway, you are greeted by friendly staff and panoramic views of the beautiful property and ocean before you. The sprawling resort gives you the feeling that you are the only ones there, it’s absolutely amazing in every way!

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Slow Cooked Short Rib Ragu Over Penne Pasta

 

Wow!  This Slow Cooked Short Rib Ragu over Penne Pasta will blow your mind!  We had dinner this weekend at a newer restaurant in our town called Locanda Ravello.  Honestly, I can’t get enough of the place.  It’s the kind of Italian restaurant where there is always a wood-fired pizza oven burning in the center of the restaurant, the staff speaks more Italian than English and every once in a while, if you’re lucky, they’ll break into song during your meal.  After being inspired by the special Short Rib pasta I ordered and how scrumptious it was, I needed to try to recreate it.  This is my version.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

My sister-in-law Lisa is the one behind this recipe for these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Around our house, we call them “Lisa’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies”.  She loves to bake and every year when she and my brother come to visit for Christmas, she gets us all in the kitchen baking.  My daughter looks forward to it every year!  The cookies are delicious and the recipe is super simple and quick.  Lucky for us, she passed on her secret recipe…I’m pretty sure my daughter doesn’t even need the recipe to make them anymore because she’s made them so many times.

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Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

I was born in New Zealand and my dad’s side of the family all still live there.  My husband is half Greek.  Basically, our kids have no choice but to love lamb, it’s a double whammy!  This Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb always reminds me of Christmas.  We usually have it on Christmas Eve at my mom’s house.  It’s funny, I grew up having it prepared this way by both my mom and dad, not sure who taught who, but it is clearly a Julia Child recipe for the marinade.  I will tell you this, I have found no better way to prepare any cut of lamb than with this recipe.

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Friendsgiving – No Kid Hungry

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We have 3 kids in elementary school and every year around this time, we look for something we can do as a family to give back.  I think it’s so important to have them take a step back and think about all of the blessings in our lives and how we can do something to give to others.  Our hope is that one day, when they’re off on their own, it will be like second nature to think “what can I do to make a difference or to help someone else?”.  Of course, that’s a dream, only time will tell if it actually translates.  At their school, they are also required to do a certain number of service hours per year and then write about their experiences at the end of the year and what they learned from it.  I love this because it reinforces what we do as a family and it’s something special to teach our kids about caring, giving, selflessness and compassion for others.

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Cornish Game Hens & Wild Rice Stuffing

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Hands down, Cornish Game Hens & Wild Rice Stuffing is one of my favorite fall meals!  This recipe is pretty easy but makes for a beautiful presentation and it’s a break from the norm.  I usually cut them in half to serve, no one can usually get through a whole one on their own.  Adding the dried cranberries and apricots enhances the wild rice with a little pop of fall colors.  And the slivered almonds adds a crunch with every bite.  Impress your family and friends with this delicious dish!

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Classic Meat Lasagne

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There’s nothing better than a Classic Meat Lasagne for a comforting family meal or to feed a crowd.  This recipe is the best I’ve ever tasted.  I think it’s the homemade, slow simmered bolognase sauce that makes all the difference.  If you want to make a lasagne that will take it over the top, this is it!

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