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New Year’s Eve At The Jones’s

Happy New Years! This year, Gareth and I decided to stay in for New Year’s Eve instead of venturing out. Since it was a special occasion, I wanted to make an extravagant meal for us to share with lots of different flavors and colors. I may have gone a bit overboard, but this meal will certainly give us leftovers well into 2012!

Beef Tenderloin With Puree of Leek & Basil & Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Serves 5.


  • 1 beef tenderloin (1 lb)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 4 trimmed leeks, diced
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp light butter
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt/black pepper
  • 4 tbsp of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (or another mixed herb blend)

Begin by marinating the tenderloin. Mix the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, crushed garlic, honey and salt/pepper together and pour over the tenderloin in a container. Put a generous sprinkling of the 21 Seasoning Salute over the tenderloin (about 4 tbsp.) Allow the tenderloin to marinate for 3-4 hours in the fridge. After the steak has been marinated, cook in an oven safe pan on 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked to your desired temperature.

While the tenderloin is in the oven, melt 1 tbsp of light butter on medium heat in a pan. Add your diced leeks and sauté for about 10 minutes until they are softened. Remove the leeks from the pan and blend them in the food processor along with about six basil leaves. Blend until the leeks are a smooth consistency. Take the blended mixture and put into a small pot on the stove to heat. Add 1 more tbsp of light butter along with the Parmesan cheese. Add a dash of salt and black pepper to season.

To roast the tomatoes, slice the grape tomatoes in half and put in a mixing bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil and salt. Put on a non-stick baking sheet in the 375 degree oven with the tenderloin for about 10 minutes.

After the tenderloin is cooked, you can plate by placing down the leek puree, then the sliced tenderloin and topping it with a spoonful of the roasted tomatoes.

Potato & Spinach Casserole

Serves 5-7.


  • 10 small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded 3-cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt/black pepper
Boil the potatoes in a large pot for about 15-20 minutes or until soft. While the potatoes are boiling, heat a large pan on medium heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the baby spinach to sautee until it’s wilted. Remove the spinach from the heat.
After the potatoes are cooked, drain the excess water and cut them into smaller pieces. Add the chopped potatoes into the food processor and blend until they have become a smoother consistency, but don’t blend too much, it’s best if there are still some small pieces of potato. After the potatoes have been blended, add them back into the pot and stir in the sour cream, mozzarella, 3-cheese blend, parmesan, sauteed spinach and a dash of garlic salt and black pepper. Put the mixture into a greased baking dish and top with a pinch of the 3-cheese blend and grated parmesan. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Carrots Rustica With Honey & Thyme

Serves 5.


  • 1 bag frozen carrots rustica (yellow & orange carrot mix from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • salt
Melt the light butter in a pan on medium heat and add the carrots. Sautee the carrots for about 10 minutes until they begin to brown a bit on the edges. Add in the honey, thyme (just a pinch), and salt.

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