**Giveaway winner announced at the end of this post!**
Let's add "taking it slow" to the list of things I've learned as of late. It's beyond freezing outside, making the roads not exactly easy to drive on. Which made me take the slightly slower, more safe (read: wider road, more salt) route home. Which, in turn, caused me to pass a different grocery store than I normally would.
See, I've had one thing on my mind ever since I saw Jenna's post last week. Twice baked potatoes. I had to stop for an essential to make twice-baked potatoes. That would be potatoes. So I stopped at this different grocery store with every intent to make a fattening, gooey, bacon-filled twice-baked potato as my dinner. And then I saw it: a "sale" sign by the beef tenderloin. Tenderloin never goes on sale. I took it as a sign and bought two pounds.
I bought fresh herbs, big potatoes, and lower-fat cheese and sour cream for the twice-baked potatoes. And I nixed the bacon (sorry Jessica!) in favor of a more balanced meal.
When I got home, rather than searing and quick-roasting the tenderloin, I took the time to do it right. I rubbed it with olive oil, crusted it in pepper, and pressed sprigs of fresh thyme into the top of it. I heated the oven to 250* and admired my handiwork.
Yeah. Even non-meat eaters can agree that's a beautiful picture. Into the oven it went along with the four large Russett potatoes purchased for the purpose of twice-baking. See, when you cook potatoes at a lower temperature for a while, and then at a higher temperature later, you get a creamy inside and crispy outside. Ideal for... yeah, twice-baking. So the roast went in and proceeded to make the house smell good for about 2 hours.
I hung out with this guy:
A mere 2 hours later, when the meat was nearly done, I removed the pan (cast iron all the way) from the oven and let the meat rest while I turned the oven up to 425*, and placed the lovely asparagus (drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic powder) in there as well.
I made horseradish "cream" to enjoy with the lovely tenderloin...
And finally, I made the darn twice-baked potatoes. The crispy outsides and soft insides made it easy to mash the potatoes with 1/2 c. fat free sour cream, 1/2 c. 2% cheddar cheese, 2 Tb. real butter, and 5 chopped chives. And they were baked again. And all was right in the world.
And I sliced the meat, and served it with my lovely roasted asparagus.
And now, since it's 12 degrees outside, I'm snuggling with the cats with the dog on the floor next to me... and I'm still getting goosebumps. But not from the weather! Every time I read one of your amazing surprises in the comments on yesterday's post, I got a huge smile on my face. They were all so wonderful! I also love when my real-life friends win my giveaways... so when random.org picked
I was giddy to see that it was my college friend Jamie's amazing surprise of her third baby! You have to read this!
Congratulations Jamie! Your chocolate will be on its way, and hopefully will arrive in time for Valentine's day... or soon thereafter!