Side Dishes

Recipe—Oven Roasted Zucchini

Zucchini is definitely one of my favorite vegetables. I find that it goes great with all types of protein and is even a nice way to top off a pasta dish. This is one of my favorite ways to serve zucchini. It is relatively quick and easy, and of course delicious. You just toss it in the oven while whipping up the rest of dinner. The thyme is a great compliment to the zucchini and adds a nice blast of flavor.

4 zucchini, sliced
1 white onion, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425º.
  • Toss together zucchini, onion, olive oil, thyme, and salt and pepper on a baking sheet.
  • Roast 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Dinners, Sauces

Recipe—Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic Horseradish Cream Sauce

When it comes to Christmas dinner this girl loves her beef. Every year we either cook prime rib or beef tenderloin. This recipe calls for beef tenderloin but feel free to try the seasoning and sauce recipe with prime rib. Both turn out fantastic! I prepare this recipe every year and it has never disappointed. The roasted garlic horseradish sauce is spectacular! For lunch the next day spread some of the sauce on a roll with leftover meat and there will be fireworks in your mouth. Oh how I can’t wait for Christmas dinner and the leftovers that come with!

Note: I recommend making the sauce the night before so that it has time to chill and thicken. This large of a tenderloin will serve 12–16 people. Plan on 1/3–1/2 lb per person. Feel free to half the rub recipe and use a 3 lb tenderloin but be sure to adjust the cooking times. The temperature is really what you need to pay attention to.

1 large head of garlic, left intact
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 c heavy cream
1/4 c drained bottled horseradish
1/8 tsp white pepper


  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cut off and discard top fourth of garlic head and place on a large sheet of foil.
  • Drizzle exposed garlic with oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Wrap the seasoned garlic head tightly in foil.
  • Roast garlic until tender, about 1 hour, then open foil and allow to cool.
  • While garlic is cooling, simmer the cream in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3/4 c, about 20–25 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.
  • Squeeze the garlic cloves into a small bowl, discarding skins, and mash together with horseradish, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • Stir the garlic mixture into the cream.
  • Chill until ready to use.

1 (6 lb) beef tenderloin roast, tied
1 c cracked black pepper
4 tsp granulated beef bouillon
4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • Pat tenderloin dry.
  • Stir together pepper, bouillon, salt, cornstarch, oregano, garlic powder, and paprika in a small bowl.
  • Rub oil over tenderloin, and then cover with seasoning mixture, rubbing it into meat.
  • Put tenderloin on a rack in the roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 425° and cook until thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 130° for medium rare, probably 50–60 minutes.
  • Let beef stand on rack in pan for 10 minutes before carving.
  • Cut beef into 1/4-inch thick slices and serve with the roasted garlic horseradish cream sauce.
Sweet Treats

Recipe—Peanut Butter Cookies

With the holidays taking up so much of our time I love having a quick and easy cookie recipe that I can whip up in no time. Plus, these are inexpensive to make. You can probably even find all of the ingredients in your pantry at home. This is a classic peanut butter cookie that goes fantastic with a big cup of milk. These cookies turn out soft but still have a slight crumble. The fork marks add a nice decorative touch, but aren’t necessary. I hope you and your families enjoy these melt in your mouth cookies!

Note: For a little extra something try adding in peanut butter chips, M&Ms, or topping each cookie with a Hershey’s kiss. 

1/2 c softened butter
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Sugar for sprinkling on top


  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Mix together the first six ingredients.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Roll into balls and place at least an inch and a half apart on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Press down with a fork leaving hatch marks on top.
  • Sprinkle cookies with sugar.
  • Bake for 8–10 minutes.
Appetizers, Sauces

Recipe—Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade

If you are from California then you should know that it’s crab season! Since crab is so affordable, and as fresh as can be right now, I thought I would share my favorite crab cake recipe. These crab cakes are perfectly crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. The spicy remoulade is the icing on the crab cake here.

Note: You can make miniature crab cakes for a delicious hors d’oeuvre or large cakes for a main dinner entrée. If you have leftovers just put them in the oven for 12–14 minutes at 375º turning once and they will be delicious and crispy to enjoy all over again.

1/4 c minced onion
2 tbsp minced green bell pepper
1/4 c melted butter
1 lb crabmeat, drained and flaked
3/4 c breadcrumbs
1 egg
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestshire sauce
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp dry mustard
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 c breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for frying
lemon wedges


  • Sauté onion and green pepper in butter until tender and remove from heat.
  • Add in crabmeat and next nine ingredients mixing well (add in extra mayonnaise if needed to hold mixture together).
  • Shape into 10–12 patties.
  • Coat patties with additional breadcrumbs.
  • Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes. By refrigerating the patties, they are less likely to break apart when frying. (I make my remoulade during this time.)
  • Pour oil into a heavy skillet so that it is at least 1/4 inch deep.
  • Fry cakes in hot oil (375º) for 3–4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Serve with spicy remoulade and lemon wedges.

¼ c mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp of cayenne pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add additional cayenne pepper to taste. I like mine spicy!

If the spicy remoulade isn’t really your thing, my mango salsa pairs up nicely as well. See the recipe here: