Christmas, 2006 flew by more quickly than we ever could have imagined! Between our anniversary, having my family visit, preparing for the baby and doing some projects around the house, December felt like it lasted for only a week.
On our fifth anniversary, Tyler took me to dinner at Rio Churrascaria - a Brazillian Steakhouse. It was delicious! Brazillian restaurants are great because you are given a coaster that is green on one side and red on the other. As long as the green side is up, the waiters will bring entree after entree to your table (mainly different meats). Once you are full, turn it to the red side, and they won't bother you anymore. I think we tried 12 different types of meat that night...I'm surprised we were able to walk out of the restaurant! The traditional gift for the five year anniversary is something made of wood, so Tyler and I are having our fence put up in the backyard as our gift to each other :) It's supposed to be done next weekend - just in time to give the dogs a place to run and play when the baby comes home. We'll post pictures once it's up.
We did have a wonderful time with my parents and my brother - we showed them around the area, and we did plenty of Christmas shopping! The dogs definitely got their share of love and attention from my family - I think they are still recovering from all the activity. For the first time ever, I cooked Christmas dinner and was able to use my china for the place settings. Thankfully, my mom was there to help with side dishes - I only had to worry about the main dish and the dessert. I will post the recipe for the main dish at the end of this blog.
Before my parents came for Christmas, Tyler built a beautiful shelving unit for our television in the living room. It turned out very nice, and I love having a place for the DVD played and cable box, etc. Next on the list of projects is finishing the nursery - we have the paint, and Tyler is going to put a chair rail up with a 3-inch ledge around the room that will be used to hold framed pictures and decorations. Hopefully we'll have that done this weekend.
Tyler started his next round of classes yesterday - he had a short break over Christmas which was refreshing. He's almost done - all the classes left are computer classes, and he will be finished with his degree in May. He just submitted his graduation application and everything seems to be going smoothly. As for me, I am 37 weeks pregnant, and I am going to the doctor weekly now. My next appointment is on Monday. I wouldn't mind having this baby early (after 37 weeks, he's considered full-term), and I wouldn't mind him being on time, but I'm really praying that he's not late - patience is not a strength of mine, and I'm ready to meet this little guy. So hopefully I'll get lucky, and not have to wait too much longer!
Here are some pictures from December, and the recipe for the main dish I made at Christmas. Enjoy!
The built-in shelves Tyler made for the television.Standing Rib Roast with Garlic-Peppercorn Crust:
- 4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground medium-coarse mixed peppercorns or black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 butcher's-cut standing rib roast, 10-12 lbs., with 5 ribs
- 1 cup Zinfandel, Merlot, or other dry red wine combined with 1/2 cup Port (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the roast, bone side down, in a large roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Baste with the pan juices and reduce the over temperature to 350 degrees. Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 120 degrees for rare, about 1 hour longer; or 125-130 degrees for medium-rare, about 1 1/4 hours longer.
Transfer the roast to a carving board and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
If desired, make a sauce for the roast: Place the roasting pan with the remaining drippings on the stove top over medium-high heat and add the wine and up to 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Cook until the sauce is thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 8-10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan until ready to serve.