An Intimate Dinner, a Toast or Two and a bit of Christmas Spirit(s)

The hustle and bustle of the season can knock you backwards and leave you craving some time to re-charge.  For me, this means locking the front door, turning off the porch light and basking in the glow of the quiet and candlelight.

Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Mustard SaucePhoto:  Martha Stewart

Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Mustard Sauce
Photo: Martha Stewart

A small family dinner or an intimate dinner for two is necessary to re-connect with loved ones and build communication.  Unwinding and spending time with the fam also means relaxation time for the family cook as well, so creating something delicious in the kitchen shouldn’t require your entire day spent at the stove.

Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Mustard Sauce ~ Martha Stewart.  With an ingredients list as simple as beef tenderloin, course salt, ground pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, beef stock, Dijon mustard, grainy mustard and butter, this is an absolute delight the family ( or just the two of you ) will enjoy.  The time spent prepping and presenting is minimal so while it is resting someone else in the fam is tossing the salad.  Find the recipe here…..

Photo: John Kernick for Food & Wine

Photo: John Kernick for Food & Wine

Beef Medallions with Bacon and Morels ~ Food & Wine.  Total time start to finish for this gem is 35 mins and the ingredients list promises flavors will dance in your mouth.  Bacon, beef teres majors, salt, ground pepper, vegetable oil, fresh morels, large scallions, Madeira, mushroom stock and butter.  Serves 4 and is as gorgeous as it is delicious.  Find the recipe here….

Bloody Mary ~  While preparing dinner some jazzy Christmas tunes, a great glass of wine or a fabulous cocktail brings relaxation in to the kitchen on swift feet.  This is a simple and classic recipe with the perfect amount of “spicy” flavor.  Celery salt, lemon and lime wedges, vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, prepared horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, black pepper and smoked paprika.  Find the recipe here….



Manhattan ~  When I was a child I fell in love with the color of whiskey. I opened the bottle, and breathed in deeply, the aroma just about knocked me over.  It certainly did not have the same effect as the gorgeous, inviting amber color through the bottle.  Thankfully, as my tastes have matured, I have found a love for the fine spirit.  The Manhattan is one of my absolute fav cocktails and you can find the recipe here….

Last but not least, never underestimate the restorative powers of an intoxicating glass or three, of bubbles.  Open a bottle of Champagne or Sparkling wine and give a toast to the Holidays.  Merry Christmas Friends.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


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