I’ve had these potatoes bookmarked to try for-ever. A new way to prepare potatoes is always welcome in my repertoire! I kept on putting it off, because surely they had to be a pain to make – right? Wrong. It took only a few minutes to get them prepped and into the oven. So glad I finally got around to trying them! They were delicious. Nice and crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside.

I’m looking forward to switching up the flavor combinations. I think they’d be wonderful with a cajun spice mix, or a bunch of fresh chopped dill in the olive oil. Or even plain, then topped with the classic sour cream and chopped scallions. Yum! These will definitely be gracing our table every now and again, as everyone loved them, and they really are a little more special than your standard roasted potato. Perfect for Christmas dinner t0 go with that gorgeous “roast beast”!

Also, thanks to all who entered the giveaway. The winner was Ellen, with comment #10 – “I love using canned tomatoes to make homemade black bean and corn salsa. It is always a hit!”

Hope everyone is making merry and finishing up things for the Holidays. I’m so looking forward to Christmas morning with my boys! This is the first year our oldest has really been “into it”, we’ve been having the best time with him this year. Happy Holidays everyone!

If there’s one thing I can always find leftover in my refrigerator, it’s white rice. A few weeks ago I blogged one of my favorite ways to use it. Well, this, ladies and gents, is the other. Rice pudding is one of the best desserts out there in my book. Rich and filling, homey and comforting.

This version is made on the stove top, and it came together in no time flat. I usually have all the ingredients required on hand, so I can see myself  making this for the nights I want to have dessert – but, don’t want to put forth too much effort. I topped it with a dab of homemade whipped cream, and some fresh ground cinnamon. A perfect, easy dessert for Christmas Eve this year! For an extra kick, soak the raisins in a bit of rum before adding them to the pudding.

Also, tomorrow is the last day to enter the Red Pack giveaway! Leave a comment here to enter.

We haven’t been eating a lot of beef recently. I usually only buy steaks and roasts when they are on sale, and it’s been a while since I’ve come across a good deal.  Beef can be so expensive, but it’s something everyone in the house really enjoys and looks forward to. Enter, the eye of the round roast. At around $3.00 per pound, it’s a very affordable cut. I love a beautiful tenderloin as much as the next person, but they’re very pricey!

This is a great option for nice dinner of roasted beef, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Would also be great for entertaining for the Holidays (roast beast, anyone?). It requires a bit of forethought, with the salt marinade overnight, but otherwise it’s pretty effortless. If you don’t have a digital probe thermometer, I highly recommend getting one. To achieve proper medium-rare results with beef, it’s an essential piece of kitchen equipment. Makes roasting meats of any kind a “no-brainer”. I served it sliced, as is. But, it’s also wonderful with a bit of horseradish – or, a jus made from the pan drippings. Leftovers make a fabulous french dip or roast beef sandwiches the next day. Put this on your menu for Sunday dinner this week!

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but in the past I’d always bought my pizza sauce in a jar. I had tried a couple of times to make a version at home, but it always tended to turn out a bit watery. A couple of weeks ago, the good people at Red Pack offered to send me an assortment of their products. While I love fresh tomatoes with all of my heart, a cook always needs a stash of good quality canned tomatoes in their pantry. I’ve long been a fan of Red Pack products, ever since Cook’s Illustrated named their canned whole tomatoes #1 in it’s category.  Needless to say, I was much obliged!

The first thing I made when my package arrived was this pizza sauce. It is definitely a winner! It only takes 15 minutes, and the flavor is unparalleled. I used a can of pureed tomatoes, which I think is the key. Before I had used diced tomatoes, and pureed them myself…which, is what I think what led to the water-logged sauce. Less water content from the “get go” is a good thing. I add a bit of chili pepper flakes to my sauce, as we like a little kick of heat. This makes enough for 2-3 large pizzas, depending on how saucy you like your pies. It’s also a great simple tomato sauce for something like meatballs.

Thanks to Red Pack, I have a lovely canned tomato assortment to pass along to one of my lucky readers! Who couldn’t use some staples for the winter months ahead? Read on for the fine print.