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Christmas is over, New Year’s Eve has come and gone, and I am eagerly looking forward to a brand new year. But before I hurl myself toward the goals and plans I have for 2012, I want to take a quick peek back at a few personal highlights from 2011:

-Finally, I learned how to hula hoop at age 44.
-Resumed my college studies and got A’s in English 282 (Fiction Writing), Communication 101, and Biology 201.
-Took a blogging class in the spring and blogged consistently from April to August.
-Celebrated 26 years of marriage to the man who is truly my other half.
-Rode my bicycle as often as possible this summer using any excuse I could find: lunch downtown with a girlfriend, hitting the Saturday farmers market, the Boise Beer Festival, an autumn BSU football game, and of course the Tour De Fat bike parade.
-Laughed and chatted my way through my first mud run (with Susan at Bogus Basin).
-Settled into my third year of managing an elementary school kitchen.
-Wept tears of happy pride mixed with sadness as my youngest child moved out on his own.
-Spent our first Thanksgiving in CA with my family since moving to Idaho 19 years ago.
-Kindled a passion for singing Led Zeppelin karaoke.
Overall, it was a very good year. Here’s to a bright and bold 2012 — cheers!
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Our first Sunday Supper was fantastic! Nine families, 30 friends ranging in age from six to 70, and glorious early-summer weather. The pictures and menu tell it all.

Big thanks to our friend Robin, owner of B&B Photography, for taking the awesome pictures!

Farmer’s Market Sunday Supper Menu

Appetizers (clockwise from top): baskets of sliced bread, warm chevre, radishes, olives, warm chevre, frittata, tapenade

Wedge of Petite Basque cheese and red wine

Spring salad, leek and beet green frittata, and sliced beef roast with morel-sherry cream sauce

Cranberry-stuffed olives with orange zest

The hostesses serving dinner

Linguine with pesto

Take one of each: cupcakes of dark cocoa or lemon with candied lemon peel

Fragrant peonies

For our first Sunday Supper we served a combination of two sirloin and two tri tip beef roasts that were 2.5-3 pounds each.

Roast Beef

The day before you cook the roasts, rub them generously with a blend of dried herbs, salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Add 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper to ½ cup herbes de Provence (see recipe below). Taste the rub to make sure it has enough salt in it. Use about ½ cup rub per roast. Place the meat in a glass dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove roasts from refrigerator about an hour before you plan to cook them. Set roasts on roasting pan lined with foil. Place them in a 425 F oven for 30 minutes. Using an instant read thermometer, check the internal temperature of the roasts by placing the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. When the temperature reaches 125-130 F, remove meat from oven, cover loosely with a sheet of foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

After the meat has rested, slice each roast against the grain and on the diagonal into thin slices. Serve with morel-sherry cream sauce.

Herbes de Provence

From Emeril Lagasse at foodnetwork.com

Makes one cup

2 tablespoons dried savory

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons dried marjoram

2 tablespoons dried fennel seed

In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container.

We made three of these for our first Sunday Supper. We planned to make them with asparagus, which we bought at the farmer’s market the day before, but we lost it in Susan’s car. Thankfully the beets we used for the salad still had their beautiful, bushy greens attached, so we washed them up and used them instead.

Leek and Beet Green Frittata

12-14 large eggs

2/3 cup milk

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

2-3 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced

2 leeks, white parts only, washed and cut into ¼” slices

2 shallots, minced

1 TBL butter

1 large bunch beet tops, washed and coarsely chopped

1/3 pound feta cheese, cut into small cubes

3 TBL grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 F. Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Fill bowl with enough water to cover potatoes. Cook for 6 minutes on high, then 4 minutes at 50% power, or until potatoes are almost cooked through. Drain; set aside. While potatoes are cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat; sauté the leeks and shallots in a tablespoon of butter over medium heat until golden and fragrant, 5-8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Place beet green in the pan, return the pan to medium heat, and add ¼ cup water and cover. Let steam for 2-3 minutes, until greens begin to wilt. Remove lid, stir greens and continue cooking until greens are wilted but still have good color. Do not overcook. Transfer greens to a strainer set over the sink; let drain and cool. While beet greens cool, beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. When greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze the moisture from them; discard the water, and set greens aside.

To assemble the frittata: butter either an 11” round baking dish or an 8.5”x11” rectangle baker. Arrange potatoes evenly on the bottom of the baker. Do the same with leeks, beet greens, and feta. Pour beaten eggs over layered vegetables. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until almost set. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of frittata. Return to oven and cook another 5-10 minutes, or until frittata is fully cooked. Serve warm or chilled.

We made two of these for our first Sunday Supper. Susan found the lovely white ceramic bakers, which come with roasted red pepper seasoning packets, at Boise Co-op.

Roasted Red Pepper Baked Goat Cheese

From Gourmet Du Village’s Chevre Cheese Baker

Chevre Cheese Baker from Gourmet Du Village

5 oz. soft unripened goat’s milk cheese

½ pkg. Gourmet Du Village roasted red pepper seasoning

1 TBL red pepper flakes

1 TBL pine nuts

¼ cup coarsely chopped grape tomatoes

1 TBL chopped shallot

6 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

½ tsp olive oil

Blend the cheese and seasoning. Add the nuts, mix well. Gather into a ball, using a piece of plastic wrap, shape the mixture into a log of about 4” long. Pour the red pepper flakes onto a plate. Roll the cheese log into the red pepper flakes, coat well. In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, shallot and olive oil, then spread in the baker. Place the cheese log on top, cover and bake in a preheated oven 350 F for 10-15 minutes. Serve with sliced baguette, mini pita breads, or crackers and raw veggies. Enjoy!