Welcome to 2008! We said goodbye to 2007 and rang in the new year last night at a friend's house here in the Meadows of Castle Rock. It was a fine end to our first full year in Colorado and capped off a week of fun and fellowship with family and friends.
My parents arrived in Denver early on Christmas Eve morning and left early New Year's Eve morning (is that an oxymoron?). They were here about 5.5 hours short of a full week. But it was a full week, filled with good food (lots of beef, of course!) and family visits.
More on family later, let's talk food! The crowning meal was Christmas dinner, featuring a bountiful beef rib roast. If you've never tried a beef rib roast for Christmas dinner, it's time to start a new tradition!
[At Left: That's me, trimming some of the excess fat off the roast. This is an important step in preparing the roast for the oven.]
If you think cooking a rib roast is a big ordeal, it's nothing compared to a turkey. Besides, who needs another turkey so close after Thanksgiving? Beef makes this special meal even more memorable (and it doesn't taste like chicken!)
I cook rib roasts following the directions on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com -- only I substitute Roasted Garlic Peppercorn CharCrust for the rub you can make in this recipe. It's easier and adds wonderful flavor to the roast.
[Above: the carved roast sits on the table ready for the feast. Also pictured: Leslie's cheesy corn and roasted balsamic sweet potatoes.]
The one other deviation I recommend is top pull the roast when the meat thermometer registers 125F (instead of 135F). But be sure to let the roast set for at least 10 minutes -- this seals in the juices and the internal temp will climb another 10F to 135F for a perfect medium rare.
OK, enough about beef. Back to family. In addition to my parents, we welcomed to our house (at one time or another this week) two of my mom's brothers and their families and a cousin on my dad's side of the family -- that's two uncles, two aunts, eight first cousins (including in-laws), nine first cousins once-removed and two first cousins twice-removed.
[Above (from left): my mom with my Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Charlie; Below (from left): my first cousins (once removed) Austin, Marissa and Eric]
The family tree grows bigger every year. And I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend the holidays with so many of them.
And later this week I will spend time with two of my brothers, a nephew, and two other first cousins (on my mom's side) rooting on the Kansas Jayhawks at the Orange Bowl in Miami!
More to come on that adventure...