Only 20 days left in 2014! We are definitely in the home stretch to 2015. This has been an amazing year on so many accounts! G&H continues to thrive and even soar to greater heights than I could have ever imagined. We are super excited to have been invited to cater the holiday party for the Inman Park Neighborhood this year. This is such a great neighborhood and it will no doubt be a fabulous event. There is a lot yet to be done to prepare for the party, so I feel pretty crazy to be sitting down for a moment to type a blog, but HEY- I love it. And I am not sure who is crazier- me, as writer, or you as reader!
So, we have loads of crapola to do before the new year. Most of us are sweating bullets to get’r done and frustrated as hell at those who seem to have it all together. Guess what? This season, too, will pass, and we will get through it. Some of us more gracefully than others, some of us with more joy than toys under the tree, and some of us with not one gift to give or receive! But, all is well! It will be January before we know it and St. Nick will be gone and the credit card debt will stick around for the next six months! Ha! See the silver lining?
Ok- so I really do like the Christmas season. The part I love the most is having people over to the house to spend the day eating some of the most delicious foods, drinking fabulous wine, and laughing together (mainly at each other).
I take Christmas day to cook a wonderful but simple meal, that I usually prepare for clients, but don’t always do for my family. I want to show my love by cooking something special and they are thrilled with gourmet food. For starters, we always have Candied Nuts lying around to nibble on. These yummies can last weeks if they are kept in a sealed jar, for those who pre-plan and make (or call G&H) ahead of time. As a main course, I usually make Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding with Beef Tenderloin and a lovely bed of fresh green lettuce leaves and for dessert, Chocolate Whiskey Cake or a Creme Brulé! I don’t fuss over any of it and that is what makes the experience so enjoyable. There really is no pressure because it is more about the time together (and time off) than anything else.
It is true, the host sets the tone of the party. If you are frazzled, everyone else will feel that energy and run for the door. I have been in both the driver seat and the passenger seat of that experience and I would choose to never experience either again. UNCOMFORTABLE. So, if you find yourself there, breath deep and think of a way to move away from that…quickly. Call Chinese food if you need to.
The trick to the Beef Tenderloin is a good meat thermometer. Have I written that before? Well, it deserves to be written twice if I have said it already. Go get a good meat thermometer. It will make your kitchen life so much easier which in turn makes everyone’s life easier. Stick the thermometer in the thickest area and forget about it. You can tell it rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done. Most Maverick thermometers have the temperature already calibrated into those 5 categories. So, you just pick which you like and it does the rest. There is also no trick to the tenderloin. It only needs salt and pepper and should go into the oven at room temp. No, it needs nothing whatsoever more. Don’t make it more complicated than it already is around this time of year. Just let the tenderloin sit out for an hour then add the salt and pepper all over. Stick that thermometer in and let her tell you when she is done. Some people sear their tenderloin before putting it in the oven but that isn’t necessary either. The oven can be set at 300 degrees fahrenheit. Let your tenderloin sit for some time afterwards (even an hour) before slicing to keep all those fantastic juices in the meat, not running out on the plate.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year! It has been such a pleasure cooking for and with you this year. Here’s to many more! Cheers!