Due Date

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Dear Baby Andrew,

Today is the day you were supposed to be born. But instead of sitting in a hospital bed anticipating your arrival, I spent the morning cuddling with you while Daddy slept beside us. It was the best feeling to hold you in my arms while you slept.

I can’t believe you’re already six weeks old! You are getting more alert and awake as each day passes. You still sleep most of the day, but you wake up each night and want to play. Your personality is definitely starting to show. You are so interested in the world around you. I love watching you as you discover it.

You love laying in your swing. It’s the one thing that can calm you down when you get too upset. You’re eating more and more every day and growing stronger. You weighed 6 lbs, 7 oz at our visit to the pediatrician last week. She was so impressed with how much you’ve grown!

Christmas was wonderful. You got to meet your Aunt Kate and see your Grandma and Grandpa Blake again. You also got to meet your Aunt Jet and Uncle Brad and your cousins Hyrum and Benson. Everyone loved holding you and spending time with you. You were definitely the star of Christmas this year!

This morning, I tried to snap a few photos of you to document your “Due Date.” I was so excited to catch one of you smiling! I can’t wait to see many, many more.

Love,

Your Momma

 

 

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Have a happy and wonderful holiday!

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

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River was SO EXCITED to visit Santa this year.

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We headed to the mall yesterday so she could see him and Mrs. Claus.

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At first, she was a little shy.

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But then she warmed up and was so excited!

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Santa asked what she wanted for Christmas…

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And she told him she wanted a Dora Fairy Princess Doll.

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This was news to her parents, though. They had to run out to the store and get one for her to be sure that she wasn’t disappointed.

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The moral of the story: Be sure to take your kid to see Santa earlier than two days before Christmas. That way, you have PLENTY of time to get another present. You know, if your kid pulls something out of left field when Santa asks what they want.

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Of course, your kid could be like Eli and want nothing to do with Santa or his wife.

I just love that picture.

Mexican-Style Pot Roast – Celebrate the Holidays With Beef: Week Four

Christmas is just a few days away! Can you believe it? We are currently visiting my parents, and let me tell you — it’s a house full of people! My sister and her family drove in from New Mexico and my grandmother and aunt came to visit, too. That’s 12 adults and five kids in one house!

With all of those people under one roof, I knew it would be the perfect time to try out one of the Texas Beef Council’s company recipes — the Mexican-Style Pot Roast!

This is the *perfect* company meal — it feeds a TON of people! We even had left-overs. We served our roast with tortillas, cheese, Green Apple guacamole and some pico de gallo. YUM!

The Nerd let me open one of my Christmas presents early so I could make this meal… a Le Creuset Dutch oven! Don’t I have the best hubby EVER?

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Mexican-Style Pot Roast
Source: Texas Beef Council

Ingredients:
2 1/2 to 3 lb chuck roast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 c Mexican beer (like Corona)
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies (like Rotel)
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c prepared pico de gallo
1 c prepared picante sauce
flour tortillas
shredded Mexican cheese blend

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat the vegetable oil in a cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Add the roast to the bag and turn to coat. Place roast in the hot pan and brown all sides.

Add beer, Rotel, corn, black beans, pico de gallo and picante sauce to the pan. Cover with lid and place in oven. Cook 3 to 3 1/2 hours until tender enough to pull apart with two forks.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes. Shred with two forks and stir to combine all ingredients.

Serve with shredded cheese in tortillas.

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Enjoy!

Want to see some more beef-inspired holiday meals? There are nine other Beef Loving Texas bloggers! You can check out all their posts on my Holiday Beef Pinterest board!

Disclosure: I am participating in a four week campaign with the Texas Beef Council and am being compensated. All opinions and photos are my own. Recipes are courtesy the Texas Beef Council.

Classic Prime Rib Roast – Celebrate the Holidays With Beef: Week Three

One of my favorite things to make for company is roast. I love that you can just pop it in the oven and let it cook for hours… no worries, no slaving over a hot stove. It really is the perfect company recipe.

So I couldn’t wait to get to Week Three in our Celebrate the Holidays With Beef campaign! Festive Holiday Roasts…now that’s right up my alley! I immediately knew I wanted to make the Classic Prime Rib Roast.

I’m so glad I did! The roast was tender and the perfect combination of flavors. And this recipe made enough to feed seven adults with leftovers.

Here’s a couple of things you should know when making a roast:

  • Be careful when using pre-packaged rubs — salt is often the first ingredient and isn’t necessary. Salt is used to accent and add flavor, not to overpower the roast!
  • Sides are also key! Look for items that are festive and economical such as sweet potatoes and green beans, Yukon gold mashers, roasted vegetables, creamed corn and beautiful harvest salads with ingredients of the season.
  • Roasts make a perfect holiday gift for family and friends. Include a rub recipe and a meat thermometer with cooking times.
  • Smaller roasts are perfect for holiday appetizers thinly sliced and served in a silver dinner roll from the bakery with a creamy horseradish spread.
  • During the holidays, leftovers are always welcomed! Use the leftover roast from these recipes for a roast beef sandwich. Place on a crusty roll and use typical sandwich sides like mustard, tomato and lettuce or serve with a cream cheese spread and spinach.

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Classic Prime Rib Roast
Source: Texas Beef Council

Ingredients:

1 well-trimmed beef rib roast (6 to 8 pounds), chine bone removed
6 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp cracked black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine garlic, thyme leaves and black pepper. Press evenly into surface of beef roast.

Place roast, fat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Do not use a Dutch oven, and don’t add water or cover roast.

Roast approximately 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. Use instant read thermometer and remove when internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F for medium rare or 150 degrees F for medium.

I wanted my roast to be a little more done, so I cooked it for 3 hours.

Tent loosely with foil and let stand 15 minutes prior to carving to allow the juices to soak into the meat.

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Enjoy!

Be sure to check out the recipe posts from the other Texas Beef Bloggers.

Next week, we’ll be sharing savory company recipes. I can’t wait!

Disclosure: I am participating in a four week campaign with the Texas Beef Council and am being compensated. All opinions and photos are my own. Recipes are courtesy the Texas Beef Council.

Southwest Breakfast Casserole – Celebrate the Holidays With Beef: Week Two

One of my favorite things about Christmas is getting to spend time with my family. My sister and her family come visit from New Mexico and we all go to my parents’ house. It’s filled with grandkids and siblings and it’s just so much fun.

I love waking up Christmas morning to a big family breakfast. The kids are excited and ready to open presents. It’s such a great feeling.

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This Southwest Breakfast Casserole from the Texas Beef Council is the perfect meal to serve on Christmas morning, or any time you have company over for breakfast.

Prepare the casserole the night before and let it set overnight so the flavors meld and the bread has a chance to expand and soak up the flavor.

Just pop it in the oven the next morning and you’re ready for a wonderful meal!

And you can always find casserole pans in festive holiday colors to go with your color scheme and decorations. It adds to the experience and the spirit, don’t you think?

Southwest Breakfast Casserole
Source: Texas Beef Council

Ingredients:

6 slices white bread, crust removed
1 lb beef sausage
4 c Colby/Montery Jack cheese
6 eggs
2 cans chopped green chiles
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
2 c half-and-half
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened

Directions:

Spread butter on both sides of the bread and place in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a skillet on medium heat, brown the sausage. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle browned sausage over the bread.

Then add the cheese on top of the sausage. Layer the green chiles on top of the cheese.

Beat the eggs lightly in a medium-sized bowl. Add the salt, mustard and half-and half and mix well.

Pour over the casserole. Cover in foil and refrigerate overnight.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Allow to stand for 15 minutes to set. Serve with picante sauce on the side!

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Enjoy!

Be sure to check out the other nine Texas Beef Bloggers for their thoughts on the recipes!

Want more ideas for holiday meals?

Join us for the #TxBeef Holiday Menu Twitter Party for great tips and information to help you create the perfect holiday menu! Whether it’s flavorful appetizers for a party, a roast for a family dinner, serving suggestions or brunch after opening presents, with a beef at the center of the table, everyone will be ready to celebrate! There will also be giveaways and a grand prize to help you get in the spirit!

Be sure to follow hostess @TexasHolly. We will be joined by experts from the Texas Beef Council – Chef Tiffany, Jason the Butcher and Nutrition Expert Lerin – who will be available to answer your questions.

It’s going to be so much fun!

 

Disclosure: I am participating in a four week campaign with the Texas Beef Council and am being compensated. All opinions and photos are my own. Recipes are courtesy the Texas Beef Council.

 

 

Salsa Steak Appetizer

Don’t you just love the holiday season? It’s magical – the lights, the decorations, spending time with friends and family.

Oh! And the food. Oh my goodness. The food.

So I was stoked when the Texas Beef Council contacted me to participate in their Celebrate the Holidays With Beef Challenge. Over the next four weeks, I and nine other Texas bloggers will be sharing holiday meals made with beef.

YUM!

This week, we’re sharing appetizers that will make your holiday party ROCK! This Salsa Steak is an easy and flavorful appetizer that you can put together really quickly. It’s perfect for a holiday party.

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Grilled Salsa Steak Appetizer
Source: Texas Beef Council

Ingredients:
2 – 8 oz. flat iron steaks
1 c. prepared thick-and-chunky salsa, divided
1 to 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
24 large corn tortilla chips
1/2 c. prepared guacamole (I like this recipe)

Directions:

Place steaks and 1/2 cup salsa in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup salsa and chopped cilantro. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove the steaks from marinade and discard marinade. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 12 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally.

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Or, if you don’t have a grill or don’t want to fire up the grill, use a grill pan on your stove. That’s what I did!

Once the steaks are ready, carve them into thin slices, then cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Arrange chips on a platter and top each chip evenly with reserved salsa mixture, beef and guacamole.

Garnish with cilantro leaf, if desired. Serve immediately.

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Enjoy!

Want more ideas for holiday meals? Join us for the #TxBeef Holiday Menu Twitter Party for great tips and information to help you create the perfect holiday menu! Whether it’s flavorful appetizers for a party, a roast for a family dinner, serving suggestions or brunch after opening presents, with a beef at the center of the table, everyone will be ready to celebrate! There will also be giveaways and a grand prize to help you get in the spirit!

Be sure to follow hostess @TexasHolly. We will be joined by experts from the Texas Beef Council – Chef Tiffany, Jason the Butcher and Nutrition Expert Lerin – who will be available to answer your questions.

I can’t wait!

 

Disclosure: I am participating in a four week campaign with the Texas Beef Council and am being compensated. All opinions are my own. Recipes are courtesy the Texas Beef Council.

 



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