Now some of Tonda's treasured favorites are available for you to try on your own!
Heart Shaped Beef Carpaccio with Arugula
This LOVEly presentation is a great way to celebrate any romantic setting. Be sure to use quality beef for best results. Take about a 4 oz piece of beef tenderloin, trim it, and slice it into 1/8 inch pieces. Lay half of the slices between 2 sheets of plastic to form a heart shape and gently pound with the flat side of a mallet. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining slices. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of dijon or whole grain mustard, 1 tsp of capers and 2 tbsp of olive oil or grape seed oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Combine 2 cups of Arugula and 1 oz of Parmesan shavings and toss with half of the dressing. Add a portion of the salad to each plate of beef and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the rest of the dressing around the plate for extra garnish along with a drizzle of white truffle oil and top with more Parmesan shavings.
Beer & Cheese Fondue
A perfect treat for the big game!! Rub a raw piece of garlic around your pot to season it, and then discard. Grab a beer from your fridge, any beer will do, (I like to use Yuengling lager) and add 3/4 cup to your pot and bring to a soft boil. Turn the heat down to simmer and add a tsp of dry mustard, worcestershire, and hot sauce. Next, take about a tbsp of flour and toss it with 8 oz of cheddar and 8 oz of swiss to add to the thickening of your fondue. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted and your consistency is ready for dipping. If its too thick, add more beer. If its to thin, add more cheese. AND ENJOY!
Rosemary Dijon Crusted Rack of Lamb
This rack of lamb is always a family favorite, encrusted in dijon mustard and rosemary and roasted on top of root vegetables. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub lamb generously with salt and pepper, brush it with 2 tablespoons of a dijon/ whole grain mustard blend and then pat it with fresh chopped rosemary. Scrub, peel and quarter 4 large potatoes and 4 carrots, place in baking pan and toss with olive oil and salt & pepper. Bake for 10 minutes to get the vegetables started. Set lamb upright int he same pan and roast for 25- 30 minutes for medium rare, internal temp should be 145 degrees. Remove, and allow time to rest before carving between each rib to make 8 or 9 small chops. Remove potatoes. Add 2 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp of apple cider to the carrots in the pan and toss. Serve all together and enjoy!
Mashed Potatoes with Sage Derby
Sage Derby is a mild cheddar from the United Kingdom that has been infused with fresh sage. It is creamy, aromatic, and a great addition whipped into your holiday mashed potatoes. Peel and cut 2 1/2 lbs of potatoes, cover with water and 2 tsp of salt, in a large pot and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Place hot potatoes in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of white pepper, 1/2 tsp of granulated garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of onion powder 1/4 cup of sour cream and 1/4 cup of room temperature butter. Whip for 30 seconds and add 1/2 cup of whipping cream and whip till smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups of shredded Sage Derby and mix.
Sweet Tomato Jam
A favorite for anytime of year, and a great companion to a toasted baguette with goat cheese. Combine 3 1/2 lbs of fresh chopped yellow and red tomatoes, I small diced onion, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/4 cup of cider vinegar, the juice of 1 lemon and 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 tbsp of whole cloves and 2 star anise. Throw it all in the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook down till it's a thickened jam-like consistency, about 3 hours. Transfer to sterilized glass jars and store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or use a hot water canning bath for longer storage. This jam is heavenly perfection.
Hot Buttered Rum
This is a great hot drink for those cold winter nights. Cuddle up in your favorite easy chair and wrap your chilled fingers around a hot mug of deliciousness. 1 1/2 oz of Dark rum, 1/2 oz of amaretto, 1/2 tsp of brown sugar, and fill with hot water to make this concoction. Topped with a slab of butter (aka LOVE), and garnished with a cinnamon stick, and fresh ground nutmeg. This is sure to become your next timeless holiday classic.
Hot Apple Cider
From the first falling of the leaves to the last chilly day in winter, this is the drink of the masses. Adults and children alike can enjoy a steaming cup of this holiday favorite! Combine 2 qts of apple cider, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp of allspice, 1 tsp of whole cloves, 1 orange thinly spiced and a pinch of nutmeg. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and simmer. Serve in a tea cup or coffee mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick or you could rim the glass with some caramel and crushed pretzels. For extra fun, add some Bourbon or Spiced Rum !
"Tondarita" aka Fresh Agave Margarita
Only three ingredients are required to make this year-round favorite. The key to any margarita is premium tequila, I use a Partida Reposado, or any good aged tequila, but I always say, " friends don't let friends drink Jose Cuervo." Splurge on the tequila. Trust me, you will thank me in the morning. Combine 2 oz of tequila. Then add the juice of 1 fresh squeezed lime and 1 oz of agave nectar, which can be found at any local grocer. If it's too strong, add a splash of water. If it's too sweet, add more lime. No margarita is complete without a salt and sugar rim, but be careful...it may spoil you!