Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holiday Traditions: Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Marscapone

Happy 2010!

December came and went with wrapping, baking, cooking, celebrating, etc. It's always the same story each December, where did the year go? A time for resolutions, out with the old and in with the new. My kitchen resolution for 2010 is to try new things, whether that brings success or failure. Never one to shy away from cooking things I may have no idea how to cook, this past year I found failures and triumphs in the kitchen. I failed miserably at yakibuta ramen with pork belly, ruining my boyfriend's taste for pork for the foreseeable future...And I succeeded at my own homemade shrimp and butternut squash tamales. I am still working on getting the recipe posted, because it is quite complicated but thoroughly worth the time and effort. Another success was Ina Garten's Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Marscapone filling. Holiday guests really enjoyed the rich decadence and it was a stunner. I present a picture of my pumpkin roulade, with a link to Ina Garten's recipe. I can take no credit for the recipe, I went by the book on this one; and it was delish, so thank you Ina!

As far as cooking goals go for this year: I want give sushi-making a try, I'd like to perfect a rack of pork, a beef wellington is in my future, and perhaps try my hand at pork belly one more time.
I'll be sure to keep you updated on my journey.

Until next time...Happy Cooking and Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Naughty and Nice Virgin Martini

A little bit sweet, a little bit sour...this little martini can be served virgin and it tastes great, or add a little vodka and get naughty.

1/4 cup vanilla scented simple syrup (see recipe below)
1/4 cup lemon, lime, orange juice
2/3 cup tonic water
2 tbsp grenadine
1/2 cup ice

Vanilla-Orange Scented Simple Syrup

Boil the peel of 1 orange in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Remove peel from water, Bring to a simmer, add 1 and 1/2 cups sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Simmer for 15 minutes,stirring until sugar is dissolves. Set aside and refrigerate before use for serving.

While the simple syrup is boiling, juice 3 lemons, 2 oranges, and 3 limes. Strain completely for pulp and seeds and chill in fridge for later use.Slice 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange for garnishes and set aside for decorating the glass.Pour 1/4 cup sugar on a plate for rimming the glass. Get creative by using colored sugars.Take a lemon wedge and rub the edge of your martini glass lightly, dip martini rim insugar to rim the glass. Pour 2 tbsp grenadine in bottom of glass. In a martini shaker add vanilla simple syrup, lemon/lime/orange juice, and tonic water.Give it a few martini shakes, and serve it straight up in a decorated glass. Add a final touch of one lemon, one lime, and one orange slice to the glass **see picture in blog for idea**