Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tenth Day of Christmas Recipe

Anne's 12 Days of Christmas Recipes

 On the tenth day of Christmas, for my true love, I cooked...

~ Ten Lords a-Leaping ~

 Anne presents...

Capering Baron of Beef au jus,
Trinidad Hops Bread, 
and Grasshopper Pie


I thought up this double-meaning main course recipe myself.  In case you don't "get it", here is the simple explanation in the form of definitions:

to Caper (verb): to LEAP or prance about in a playful manner 

Caper (noun):  one of the greenish flower buds or young berries of the caper shrub pickled and used as a seasoning or garnish 

Baron of Beef:   A Baron of Beef is alleged to have originated when Henry VIII was served a spit-roasted double sirloin of beef and was so thrilled with the roast that he dubbed it Sir Loin, the Baron of Beef. Whether this is true or not, the term has come to refer to the very large joint of beef that includes the loins and both legs.  Baron of Beef is a British term, but in the U.S. the designation has come to be synonymous with any cut of beef that it well suited to roasting or braising such as top round, inside round, bottom round or the steamship round.  This casual meaning apparently annoys the British.

Trinidad Hops Bread:   Hops Bread is a very common bread made in Trinidad and Tobago.  Despite its name, it is NOT made with hops.

Grasshopper Pie:  Not made with grasshoppers.

Anne's Fun Facts:
Cost of 10 Lords a Leaping (2010 Christmas Price Index) =$4,767 

The ten lords a-leaping most likely refers to leaping dancers (called morris dancers) who performed leaping dances between courses at feasts.  This type of wild and strenuous dancing probably evolved from more ancient war and fertility dances and would have been a popular form of entertainment for this type of function.

Morris dancing itself was a popular form of folk dancing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and possibly earlier. Both King Henry VIII and his daughter Queen Elizabeth I had professional Morris Dance Troupes perform as part of the entertainment at feasts.

Mustard and Thyme Baron of Beef with Dijon-Caper Sauce
Serves 6-8

3-pound top round roast (baron-of-beef roast)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 teaspoons dried thyme
black pepper
3 cups beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
 2 tablespoons drained capers

Rub the roast all over with oil, then brush the top and sides of the roast with 2 tablespoons of the mustard and sprinkle with thyme and pepper.  Place in a roasting pan and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.

The next day, remove the plastic wrap and let the roast sit at room temperature for an hour or two to relax the meat fibers so that you get a juicy roast.  Pour 1 cup of beef broth into the roasting pan.  Roast, uncovered, at 450º for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat and roast at 325º until done as desired.  For medium-rare, roast 60 minutes; for medium, roast 70 minutes; for medium-well, roast 80 minutes.   When done, remove from oven and tent with foil to prevent from drying out.

 To make the Jus, drain the juices from the roasting pan into a large skillet, scraping the browned bits into the skillet too.  Cook over medium-heat high.  Add butter; stir until melted.  Add flour; whisk until smooth.  Gradually whisk in remaining broth.  Bring to a boil and simmer until sauce is reduced to 1&1/2 cups, about 6 minutes, whisking often.   Whisk in capers and remaining 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard.  Season with ground pepper.

Cut beef crosswise into very thin slices.  Serve on plate with sauce. 

Trinidad Hops Bread
 Makes 12-14 hops

1 package dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
2&1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1&1/4 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt

Pour warm water into a large bowl Dissolve sugar in water Dissolve yeast over sugar and water and allow to develop for 10 minutes.  Stir yeast mixture with a fork and add melted butter. Gradually stir in flour and salt.  Knead for 8 to 10 minutes adding flour if necessary to make a medium stiff dough.  Grease bowl and top of dough with cooking spray, cover and allow to rest for 20-25 minutes. Punch down dough, form in balls, and place on greased baking sheets.  Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until doubled (1–1.5 hours).  Bake in a 400ºF oven for about 15 minutes.
Grasshopper Pie

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
15 drops green food coloring
24 chocolate-covered mint cookies, divided
2 cups whipped topping
1 chocolate crumb crust (9 inches)
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk until smooth. Beat in the food coloring. Coarsely crush 16 cookies; stir into the cream cheese mixture. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into the crust. Cover and freeze overnight. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with remaining cookies.

Anne's 12 Days of Christmas Recipes  
(I will be posting one per day from Dec 26 thru Jan 6th, 2010)Feel free to comment!

1st Day: Partridge in Pear Tree             7th Day: Seven Swans a-Swimming
2nd Day: Two Turtledoves                    8th Day: Eight Maids a-Milking
3rd Day: Three French Hens                 9th Day: Nine Ladies Dancing
4th Day: Four Calling Birds                  10th Day: Ten Lords a-Leaping
5th Day: Five Gold Rings                     11th Day: Eleven Pipers Piping
6th Day: Six Geese a-Laying                12th Day: Twelve Drummers Drumming

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