And So A New Year Begins…!

By Published On: January 9th, 2022Categories: Meals0 Comments on And So A New Year Begins…!

This Thanksgiving Jerry and I celebrated 28 years of marriage. We rented the most adorable 100+ year old cabin on the northwest side of Tucson. You can find it on AirBnB.

I knew the kitchen would be small so had the Thanksgiving dinner prepared in advance. I made a fairly traditional dinner, but instead of a whole turkey, did a turkey breast roulade. I often make the boneless stuffed turkey breast along with the whole turkey. For the roulade recipe, go to:

Scroll down to second post to find the roulade. On the way you will see my ‘Do-Ahead’ gravy, which I also made ahead and brought to the cabin.

Here’s a shot of our whole meal…

Rolls are super-sized as I wanted to make
turkey sandwiches with cranberry and mayo next day.

For dessert we had Martha Stewart’s mile-high apple pie and home made vanilla ice cream. I have made the pie for past Thanksgivings. The crust is a rich pate brisee and the recipe calls for 14 apples. It is always a hit!

There are a million vanilla ice cream recipes out there, but this is the best I have found.

Here’s the recipe:
The crust came out even better this time; very flaky!

Even when it’s just the two of us, Thanksgiving dinner sometimes gets hectic so I forgot to take a photo of the pie served with the ice cream, but trust me, this is the most perfect, old-fashioned rich vanilla ice cream; only using 5 ingredients.

This vanilla ice cream photo was nabbed from the web!


4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. good quality vanilla extract
Add egg yolks and sugar to medium saucepan and whisk until a light yellow color and well combined. In another small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Do not stir. Gradually add milk to egg and sugar mixture, stirring constantly so the egg does not cook. Return to heat until it reaches 165 degrees (or coats the back of a wooden spoon). Do not allow to boil. As soon as it reaches temperature, remove from the heat. Pour custard base into an airtight container and store in fridge a few hours or overnight. Once custard is chilled, stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract and pour into your ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturers instructions. One quart in my Cuisinart takes between 20-30 minutes.

Christmas was very low-key for us this year, but I did make a nice beef tenderloin, which was delicious. Simplest of preparations…liberal salt/pepper, tie, rub gently with olive oil. Pan sear in a hot heavy-bottomed (I prefer cast iron.) pan and finish in a 400 degree oven until internal temp is around 120 degrees. Let rest about 10 minutes. It will keep cooking. Slice into thick servings. I served with baked potato and steamed asparagus. I do like the look of a raw piece of beef, neatly tied and ready to cook!

New Year’s was also very quiet. I made a seared double-thick, bone-in center pork chop, brined in maple syrup, salt, water for 8 hours, and then glazed with a maple gastrique while pan searing. This was served with a creamy, mushroom marsala sauce, mashed sweet potato and buttered asparagus.
The maple gastrique did play havoc with my cast iron pan, but it was worth it!

1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp. Blood Orange glaze
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. Roasted Garlic and Herb seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper.
In general the proportion of sweet to vinegar in a gastrique is about 2 parts sweet to 1 part vinegar, but adapt to your own taste.

Heat all in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Stir constantly until desired thickness. It needs to be thin enough to brush on the chops while they are cooking.
The holidays this year were saddened by the death 
of my dear brother, Skip, who after a brief illness, 
passed away in mid-December. 
Skip shared my love of cooking and was an excellent cook. 
He spent hours researching recipes, was a fabulous gardener, 
loved to fish and had a generous and open spirit. 
He had a brilliant mind and quick wit.
As an educator, he devoted his life to helping others.
The love he and Esther shared was nothing short of amazing.
I will miss you dearly, brother…
A few years back in the Bahamas.
JUNE 13, 1950 – DECEMBER 14, 2021

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