Monday, December 27, 2010

Roasted Prime Rib with a side of Ӧstkaka. A magical holiday...

Christmas 2010 was one of those magical days surrounded by family, good friends and glorious food.  Our welcomed guests traveled from near (next door) and far (Maryland) to celebrate this long awaited day with us.  A work in progress for weeks, the menu was eagerly anticipated and definitely a group effort with everyone down to the youngest child participating in some way!

Pomegranate Champagne Sparklers started our evening as multiple appetizers including Greek skewers, Southwestern cheese dips and Baking Barrister's Bacon, Blue Cheese & Pomegranate Endive Spears stirred our appetites for dinner.

Greek Skewers - Cherry Tomato, Persian Cucumber, Cubed Feta drizzled with a garlic olive oil
Bacon, Blue Cheese & Pomegranate Endive Spears
My first ever (and very successful!) attempt at roasting a Prime Rib brought a beautiful main dish to our multiple dining tables.  Tender, cooked to perfection and impeccably flavored with rosemary, garlic and a touch of thyme this rib roast was a true treat, stunning and without much work!  The gift of a lovely Zin produced at a friend's vineyard in Oakhurst beautifully complemented the beef and kept our missing friends Tom & Fran close to our hearts.

Juicy turkey breast as a second main course filled out our menu for those preferring a lighter choice.  Enhancing both meat options, one neighbor arrived bearing heaping platters of roasted root vegetables and another bringing their famous, and oh so delicious, shirred potatoes along with a decadent Custard Cornbread.

Custard-Filled Cornbread
Mom, arriving with a beaming smile and a small baking dish in her hands, passed the dish to Liv saying, "Go ask your mom if she remembers this!"  Looking at the creamy, cheesecake-like texture with the soft scent of almond I threw Mom a curious look and asked what it was.  Grinning, she replied, Ӧstkaka.  

A vague, but fuzzy memory of the Swedish name rose to the surface in my mind, but I have to admit that I don't have much of a recollection of the sweet, creamy side dish.  The room chattered and laughed as the name was thrown around a few times and we all eagerly awaited a taste.  First bites brought smiles of pleasure and "Oooohhh's and Aaaahhh's" from the crowd along with a proclamation that this was the best dish of the meal .  (Unfortunately I'm photoless on this dish, but will post the delectable recipe below!).

Lindsay & the cheesecake!
Not to be forgotten, an array of desserts filled any empty spaces remaining in our stomachs.  Becky had put together one of our holiday favorites, Cooking Light's Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake which she has been making since 1998.  Mom contributed her annual Rocky Road and a box of homemade fudge (Liv's pick of the day!) which we combined with our tropical Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Brittle, and Wendy (the Weekend Gourmet's) hedonistic Peppermint Truffles for our bountiful dessert tray.

Holiday Dessert Tray, Hedonistic Peppermint Truffles, Macadamia Brittle, Rocky Road & Fudge
Truly a night not to be forgotten, we all followed Liv's lead and "Lived Life" to the fullest this Christmas, 2010.  Heading into the New Year we are thankful for the life we have and the friends and family who complete it.

Salad Prep Crew:  Liv, Lindsay, Rachel & Babbles the platapus
Speaking of thankful... I must make mention of my super clean up helper Rachel!  Not only did she scrub her mom's vegetable roasting pans, but armed with a bottle of cleaning spray she helped clean my counters and as the adults rested their tired bodies with a much needed cup of coffee, she single handedly cleaned up each and every spot on our floor.  I'm thinking she definitely deserves a raise in her allowance this week!!  ;)

Miss Rachel, clean-up girl extraordinaire!

Roasted Prime Rib

3 - 4 bone Beef Rib Roast (6-9 lbs)
2 Tbs grape seed oil (may use any oil)
1 - 2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, pressed or smashed
salt and pepper
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

Remove roast from fridge to bring to room temperature about 2 hours before roasting.  Rinse and place on a rack.

Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat 2 Tbs grape seed oil in a large skillet and brown roast on all sides.  Using two strong forks, remove roast from skillet and place on a rack, bone side down.  Mix olive oil and smashed garlic into a paste and spread over the top of the roast.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.  Arrange the sprigs of rosemary and thyme over the top (or sprinkle with dried herbs).

Place rib roast into the oven and roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 120º to 125ºF for rare, 130º to 135ºF for medium-rare, 140º to 145ºF for medium.  Remove from the oven and let the roast rest 20 minutes before carving.

Note:  Our neighbor Ron had received a digital, constant read, meat thermometer for Christmas and kindly shared with us.  What a lifesaver!!  The constant read out allowed me to easily time the meal to have everything appropriately ready.  I will never again cook a turkey or roast without one of these! 

A Swedish recipe, over 70 years old passed to my mom from my Great Aunt June.

Visions of Christmas past!  Christmas - 1968.  That's me on the far left and Great Aunt June on the far right!
1 16 oz. carton cottage cheese (Mom uses fat free)
3 beaten eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup sweet cream (Mom uses heavy whipping cream)
1 cup canned milk (Mom used 1 cup evaporated skim milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

The handwritten directions are short and sweet... mix all ingredients together.  Pour into a baking dish.  Place into a water bath and then into a 350º oven .  Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (approximately), or until firm.  Remove from oven and water bath.  Chill overnight.  Serve cold.


  1. Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas! The prime rib looks incredible, and I can't wait to try the Ӧstkaka.

  2. It looks like you had delicious food and wonderful company - a great combination.

  3. What a great Christmas :) Your food looks delicious and I'm so glad you had a chance to spend time with family.

  4. That food looks amazing. Those skewers are awesomely creative! There's a birthday coming up I may just have to serve those! I love prime rib. This post is awesome thank you for sharing!

  5. Your prime rib looks heavenly! And those kitchen helpers are day for everyone!

  6. You had a wonderful Christmas with family, friends and food. All of your desserts are wonderful. I love your helpful clean-up crew, and everybody pitched in to help.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  7. Love the pictures, Kim. Sounds like a very Merry Christmas to me. Everything you served looked delicious.

    Wishing you the best for 2011!

  8. Looks like a great meal and a great time was had by all! Now it is time to rest a little! Merry Christmas!

  9. Looks like you had a blast this past weekend! Your kitchen crew is sooo cute! And that prime rib - yum!

  10. It all looks so glad you enjoyed my peppermint take on the oreo fudge truffles. Aren't they just fab? My next version is going to feature Grand Marnier and orange peel. I know you love GM, so maybe try that in the spring for Easter...

  11. I'm so glad you and your family and friends had a wonderful Christmas, Kim. And that Brian got home safely! I hope he's been catching up on rest. Thank you for sharing a beautiful post! I must share this with my chemistry professor because I dropped by her place Christmas Eve afternoon to drop off some food and what do you know--she was making prime rib for dinner, too, and dude, it looked a lot like yours!

  12. Awww what a wonderful helper Rachel is!

    You had friend in from MD- I wish it we were me! Everything you made looks delicious and that Prime Rib looks absolutely beautiful! I am starving for a feast all over again :) Glad you had a great Christmas with good friends and family!!! I love the last photo of your family!

  13. I just love the photos of the girls and of your family from years ago. I have to say that I am SO loving the tomato, cucumber, and feta skewers! They are right up my alley!

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  15. Christmas with our friends and family are the best. i am sure you had a lovely time.

  16. Sorry about above. I was having serious technical difficulties and only got half a sentence out.
    Kim, I truly love this post. All the parts. You have family from 30 years ago right up to your beautiful girls right now. All the good family food traditions. And you had me at the Sparklers. Wonderful!!

  17. Wow, what a glorious day it sounds like you, your family and friends had. Thank you for sharing a piece of it with us, as well as that gorgeous prime rib. It's amazing.

  18. Kim-What a wonderful Christmas feast you had, with family, and friends. Love the gorgeous prime rib roast, the appetizers, the custard corn bread, which is so unusual, right down to the lovely desserts.
    The girls are "sweethearts"...and your family photo from the past is so memorable, and special!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful Christmas memories!

  19. Hi Kim!! Merry Christmas to you! Pictures are lovely and the prime rib looks amazing! The starters and desserts look amazing too. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas :)

  20. What a beautiful Christmas spread Liv! I wish you and your family the best 2011!


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