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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2007 It's Here

Have you ever wondered what could happen if you actually knew what was about to happen, therein lies the mystery of numbers. Every year we celebrate the passing of an old and spent year while welcoming a new and unused one. But what within this new year lies in store, maybe more than we hope for and less than we desire, but will it be all we want it to be.
Looking at the year itself could help us set the course we choose to steer through it, 2007!

2 has the meaning of balance, balance of course could mean many things, balance in lifestyle, balance in justice received or given out, balance in what we see and do.

0 often referred to as a symbol of perfection, a double 0 then would symbolize an opportunity to get it right should we fail the first time, do what’s right, do it because it’s right and then do it right, so to speak. The 0 speaks to us of having no bounds, something limitless and complete, never ending.

7 of course is the number of perfection, but it is also the number of goodness and completeness.

So then 2007 should be a year of balancing what will be prefect for our lives leading us into what is good and bring to completion the same. This then would be my hope, wish and desire for all my reader, Happy New Year.

What’s For New Years Dinner

Tomato Basil Soup
4 cups fresh tomatoes - peeled, cored and chopped
4 cups good chicken stock
10 (about) fresh basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 pound unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes and stock in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in a blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring over low heat. Garnish with extra basil leaves and serve with your favourite bread.

Smothered Beef Short Ribs

1/2 cup olive oil
4 pounds beef short ribs
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cup red wine
8 cups beef stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper to taste and dredge them in flour. Fry the ribs in the oil in small batches, adding oil as needed, to sear the meat. This should take 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Set ribs aside.

In the same pot, add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then stir in the garlic, bay leaves and thyme and cook for 1 more minute.

Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up all the bits on the bottom. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer. Add the ribs and continue to simmer for 2 hours, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Red Potatoes and String Beans

2 1/2 lbs. Red Potatoes
2 lbs. frozen String Beans, thawed
1 lb. Red Onions
4 oz. Olive Oil
3 oz. White Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 tablespoon Salt
1 teaspoon White Pepper

Wash potatoes and cut in half. Place in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain and place on a flat pan. Cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, bring quarts of water to a boil. Add string beans and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and cool in refrigerator.

Peel onions and cut in half. Slice halves the long way into 1/4 inch slices.
Combine cooled potatoes, string beans, and onions in a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients as a dressing, and pour over all. Mix well being careful not to break potatoes.

Life With Chocolate

1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 2/3 cups milk
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
6 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee bars, frozen and crushed

In a 9x13 in pan, bake cake according to package directions. Cool and crumble. Make pudding, according to package directions, with milk.

In a large trifle or other glass serving bowl, place half of the crumbled cake. Pour half of the coffee over the cake, and spread half of the pudding over that. Top with half of the whipped topping, sprinkled with half the crumbled candy bars. Repeat layers in the same order.

Refrigerate until serving.

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