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What's Cookin'?, December 8, 2007 - You Can Cook With Confidence & Style
December 09, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho!
Merry Christmas!

Make Something Delicious Happen Today!
Try A Restaurant Recipe!

Welcome Everyone! Welcome to another issue of What's Cookin'?"

Just think ...I just accidently used two politically incorrect expressions!
I just can't seem to keep up with this changing world! :-)

In this issue...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Classic Roast Beef Recipe by Gracie Allen - Just for a Laugh (Thanks for sharing, Kay)
Christmas Day Dinner Ideas With Recipes

  1. Whiskey Crab Soup
  2. A Delicious and Simple Christmas Salad
  3. Roast Tenderloin of Beef
  4. Twice Baked Potatoes
  5. Fresh Asparagus
  6. Kahlua Mousse

Special Holiday Cookie - Gingerbread Boys
Want To Send Someone Special Something Special?
Evidence - Organic Food Is Healthier
Shop Online

Again, Merry Christmas Everyone!
I love the holiday season. I love the season because it allows me to spend time with family and friends. I especially like to be with children, to watch the season and Christmas Day through their eyes. I hope you understand and have the same opportunities to do so.

Gracie Allen's Classic Roast Beef Recipe

Some of you MAY remember comedian Gracie Allen, wife of George Burns
I thought I'd share the recipe she gave me for Roast Beef

Gracie's Classic Roast Beef Recipe
Simple, But Effective, Beef Recipe


  • 1 large Roast of beef
  • 1 small Roast of beef


  • Take the two roasts and put them in the oven
  • When the little one burns, the big one is done!
    George Gives Gracie Her Christmas Gift

    Christmas Dinner Ideas

    Whiskey Crab Soup Recipe
    Deliciously Rich Crab Soup
    Great For Special Occasions
    This IS REALLY a 5 STAR Soup


  • 1 2/3 cups Marinara sauce
  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 6 tablespoons fish soup base
  • 1 cup butter (1/2 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (or slightly more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups crab meat, packed (I use Dungeness crab)
  • 2 cups of heavy cream or to taste (add more if desired when adjusting seasonings to your taste at the end of the recipe)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 1/4 ounces of whiskey
  • Roux


  • Prepare the Marinara sauce or purchase your favorite at the supermarket
  • Bring water to a boil in a large soup pot or a stock pot; add the fish base, bring back to a boil and then reduce the heat
  • Slowly add roux to the hot fish stock, mixing well; cover and let it cook over low heat 5-7 minutes
  • Add 1 1/3 cups of Marinara sauce, Old Bay seasoning, white pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire and cayenne pepper; stir until well mixed, scraping down sides of the pot as you stir
  • Add the crab and stir vigorously until the large pieces of crab break up and the crab is well combined into the soup
  • Over moderate heat in another sauce pan, heat the heavy cream until just hot (DO NOT boil)
  • Add the hot cream into the soup stirring until well blended
  • Add the sherry and the whiskey and mix well
  • Adjust seasonings and cream to your taste and desired consistency
  • Gently heat soup until hot and ladle into bowls
  • Garnish with small pieces of crab

    If you are making this soup ahead of serving, cool it uncovered in a shallow (low) pan in the refrigerator. When it is cold, transfer it to a storage container and cover. Then gradually reheat before using.

    A Perfect Christmas Salad
    Really Simple - Really Good


  • 2 nine ounce packages of cleaned, ready-to-use baby spinach
  • 1-2 cups of fresh raspberries (to taste)
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • Gorgonzola cheese, crumbles (to taste - or a stronger Bleu cheese if you'd like)
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing (your favorite from the supermarket or use the recipe below)


  • In a large bowl, combine the baby spinach, Gorgonzola cheese and chopped nuts
  • Add the dressing to your taste and toss to coat all the spinach (use your hands with latex gloves on)
  • Plate the salads, adding the cheese and nuts that remain in the bottom of the bowl
  • Top each salad with some raspberries

    Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipe


  • 3/4 cup light extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • Sugar (start with 2 teaspoons - taste - then adjust gradually)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Combine the oil and vinegar in a jar or bowl
  • Add the sugar, salt and pepper to taste and shake or stir to combine
  • Add to the spinach salad mixture sparingly, adjust for taste after tossing

    Roast Beef Tenderloin


  • 1 whole tenderloin, 5 - 6 pounds (trimmed if necessary, see note below)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper or coarse black pepper
  • Bearnaise Sauce or Bordelaise Sauce.

    Basic Procedures For Roast Beef Tenderloin

  • Select a roasting pan that has low sides and that is just large enough to hold the roast, such as a 12 X 16 inch rimmed sheet pan with a roasting rack. If the pan is too large, drippings will spread out too thin and burn
  • Purchase a roast which has been trimmed, with no more than 1/2 inch fat cover and is ready to roast, otherwise as noted, you will have to trim it
  • Season the meat several hours befor roasting or even the day before
  • Allow the tenderloin roast to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours before roasting
  • Do not cover or add water to the pan (roasting is a dry heat cooking method)
  • Place the meat in a pre-heated oven
  • Roast to the desired temperature (understanding that the roast will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven)
  • Always use a good meat thermometer to check for doneness


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Season your tenderloin roast as desired
  • Place the tenderloin fat side up on the rack in your roasting pan (keeping it out of the drippings) and tuck small "tail" under so the thin end of the roast becomes thicker and cooks more evenly (secure with a kitchen string)
  • Place meat in the pre-heated oven
  • Check for doneness after 30 minutes using a meat thermometer (check thickest part of the roast)
  • Roast until medium-rare or to medium doneness (allowing for more cooking to take place after removing the meat from the oven)
      120 degrees F is medium rare
      130 -140 degrees F is medium
      150 degrees F is medium well
  • Remove the tenderloin roast from the oven and the pan and let stand (rest) in a warm place for 5-10 minutes
  • Place the meat on a carving board and slice into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces beginning at the thin end of the tenderloin (the last one or two slices may have a little gristle so you may want to save these for another use, another meal)
  • Place the tenderloin steaks on a warm platter
  • Drizzle the steak with some Bearnaise and serve the rest of the sauce on the side or serve all of the sauce on-the-side
  • Save the drippings for another use (pour it into a plastic, sealable container and freeze until needed for gravy)

    Twice Baked Potatoes
    I have yet to meet anyone that eats potatoes that doesn't love twice baked


  • 4 large baking potatoes (russet potatoes are good for this)
  • 8 slices of bacon (optional)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 8 green onions, sliced and divided


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  • Scrub your potatoes under cold water, prick them several times with a fork and place them on your oven rack in the lower third of your oven
  • Bake the potatoes in the lower one third of your oven for about 1 hour
  • Meanwhile, place the bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium heat until evenly brown
  • Drain the fat out of the skillet, crumble the bacon into pieces and set aside
  • When the potatoes are done (baked) allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes
  • Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then scoop the flesh into a large bowl and save and -save the skins
  • To the potato flesh, add the sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the green onion
  • Mix the potato mixture with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy
  • Spoon this mixture back into the potato skins
  • Top each with the remaining cheese, green onions and bacon
  • Return these potatoes to the oven on a sheet pan and bake for another 15 minutes or until piping hot and the cheese has melted

    Fresh Cooked Asparagus Recipe
    Delicious, Nutritious When Cooked Al Dente

    (When you go to the store to purchase asparagus, look for firm, fresh, spears with closed, compact tips and uniform diameter, so that all spears will cook in the same amount of time.)


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Wash asparagus and break each spear where it naturally breaks off
  • In a large skillet, bring about 1/2 inch of water to a rapid boil
  • Season the water with salt and add the asparagus
  • Cook asparagus for about 2 1/2- 3 minutes or until they are bright green and barely tender
  • Drain in a colander
  • Add butter to skillet and return drained asparagus to the skillet and toss to coat
  • Serve immediately

    You can serve the asparagus with a lemon wedge to squeeze some lemon over the vegetable if you like.

    Kahlua Mousse


  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine instant coffee (your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons ground Ghirardelli chocolate
  • 2 cups of whipping cream


  • Chill a bowl and a beater
  • Put all ingredients into the chilled bowl and whip until stiff
  • Spoon into dessert glasses or put the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe it into the glasses
  • Serve topped with whipped cream and a liberal sprinkle of grated chocolate or if you're feeling extravagant, garnish with a piece of chocolate lace as shown or grated chocolate.


    The Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
    For children and the child still in all of us. These are a wonderful holiday tradition.

    Why Not Send A Really Special Food Gift To Someone Who Cannot Join You For Dinner?

    Organically Grown Food
    If you have spent any reasonable amount of time on the website, you know I believe organically grown food (food grown naturally - without chemicals, etc.) is healthier. Now the result of a four year (and expensive) study by the European Union (Newcastle University) has been published.

    Here are the highlights of the study:

  • Fruit and vegetables contain up to 40% more nutrients if they are grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Up to 40% more antioxidants could be found in organic fruits and vegetables than in those conventionally farmed.
  • Potatoes, kiwi fruit and carrots were among the organic produce found to be higher in vitamin C.
  • Higher levels of minerals and antioxidants were found in organically grown lettuce, spinach and cabbage. Organic spinach and cabbage have more minerals.
  • Organic produce also had higher levels of iron and zinc, vital nutrients lacking in many diets.
  • Organic cheese can have up to twice as many nutrients than conventional varieties.
  • Organic tomatoes, wheat, potatoes, cabbage, onions and wheat have 20 to 40 per cent more antioxidants than conventional fruits and vegetables.

    It's Also Gift-Giving Season!

    Just before a special day I order perishable food gifts such as natural beef, seafood -including lobster, or even gourmet dinners. These items have to arrive just before the time needed.

    Gift baskets of various kinds are ordered and sent a week to ten days before that special day arrives so the recipients can enjoy the contents whenever they want during the holidays.

    Part of my family LOVES to try salsas, hot sauces, dips and rubs. This year I am ordering several items for them from Salsa Express - a very special, family-owned and operated company.

  • Shop Online For Natural Beef - Naturally raised beef from small ranchers pooling their resources. Montana Legend - Where I know cowboys and cowgirls still ride the range the old-fashioned way.
  • Seafood Online - a variety of companies to choose from but look for wild seafood.
  • Gift Baskets From Just About Every Company You Can Think Of
  • Gourmet Dinners - No Cooking Needed - just really wonderful 3 and 4 course meals!
  • All Your Kitchen Needs - Select items from a variety of sources all in one place.

    Tell a Friend about the
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    My first large electronic cookbook, "Real Restaurant Recipes: Food That Built a Business - Volume One."

    The e-cookbook contains over 200 restaurant recipes (all categories and meals).

    Subscribers to "What's Cookin'?" can purchase the electronic cookbook using the link Real Restaurant Recipes Volume One.

    You can cook with confidence and style.

    Purchase the cookbook and save it to your computer. Use the recipes throughout the year. You, your family and your guests will all be pleased!

    Thanks to those of you who purchased the electronic cookbook this month.

    To see a copy of the Table of Contents of the e-cookbook, click on Table of Contents.

    Reminder: Easy access to all the pages on the website by using the Site Map Page.

    The reason for this website remains the same: To provide you with recipes that work, information about food, cooking tips and articles you can use and enjoy immediately and forever.

    Our mailing list is growing. Thanks to those who forwarded the last newsletter to some of your relatives and friends. That's a great help!

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    Enjoy the food you prepare and the company of those you share it with!
    ”See” you soon! Be happy and stay safe.


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