Sunday, January 3, 2016

'Tis the Season!

Hello Friends!

I am more than terribly late in writing.  I am mortified that my last post was from very early October! Circumstances consumed my attention and my time, and I have to be honest, when I had a break, while I absolutely love my job, I was simply at home, like crawling into a warm bed on a very cold night, when I made Christmas dinner for my family.  I was proudly going to display my dishes, but I decided on focusing on a couple of the more fun dishes.  Most were your regular family dishes:  roasted vegetables, roasted garlic buttermilk smashed potatoes, marinated roasted tri-tip.  I wanted to share with you a couple of new additions to Christmas dinner:  Yorkshire Pudding and Caprese skewers.  I will be sharing a how-to Lumpia recipe early next week so please stay tuned for that!  I served pork lumpia rolls as snacks for Christmas dinner.

Before we get started, I just want to wish ALL of YOU a most HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  I wish you all love, happiness, good health and fun with food!  

First, Fudge.  This easy fudge is one cup sugar added to a medium sauce pan, 10-ounces of sweetened condensed milk, a 12-oumce bag of Nestle mini chocolate chips and a small bag (1.5 cups) of mini marshmallows.  Start by adding the sugar and the milk over medium heat and stir until the mixture begins to boil.  Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips and marshmallows and stir until completely combined. Add to a greased 8x8" pan (I lined it with foil and sprayed non-stick baking spray to the foil) and allow to cool several hours or overnight.  Bring to near room temperature to slice into bite-sized squared or rectangles. 

After cooling overnight, I sliced up the square of fudge into a lot of bite sized pieces, lined a holiday tin with parchment paper and filled it up.  

Next, a simple snack that takes only minutes to assemble and hours of flavorful happiness to enjoy!  My Caprese Skewers. 

Now, I Know you are looking at the photo and saying...."Uh, where's the basil?"   Confession:  I went to three grocery stores to find nice-looking basil and two had none, yes, none, I said, and one had one bundle that I would not use as mulch.  That was two days before Christmas.  I went Christmas Eve, both in the morning and then late afternoon.  NONE.  So, I went to plan b.  I have a beautiful rosemary growing in my kitchen window and I finely chopped it and sprinkled it atop the skewers. There! Green!  I simply, as you can see, staggered ripe cherry tomatoes and halved mini mozzarella balls and drizzled aged balsamic vinegar atop the skewers. 

Have another look!

Next, my mother's Yorkshire Pudding.  This was an all-new experience for me, and my mom supervised, and I apparently was quite entertaining in making my mess of things, as my mom laughed and laughed.  But, it all turned out wonderful. I made a simple honey butter to go with it, which my mom thought was crazy, as it is usually used for savory meat dish purposes, but she loved it, and said my Nana would have, too, so that made it all worth it. 

Odd but beautiful and flavorful!  Let's get started on my mother's Yorkshire Pudding. 

1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil or meat drippings*

In one  medium bowl, sift the cup of flour and salt together. 

In a large bowl, add the three eggs and, using a mixer, I use a KitchenAid hand mixer, beat the eggs until they are quite airy. Now, add some the milk and some of the flour and continue to beat the mixture until all of the  milk and flour have been added to the bowl. Make sure the mixture is airy!

Meanwhile, if you are making a roast, add 1/4 of  a cup of meat drippings* to an 8'x8' pan and oven heat. Swirl the oil around the pan to coat.  Add the mixture to the pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. 

I made honey butter to go with this.  I have done my research, and I have learned that you can add so many things to Yorkshire pudding to make it either sweet or quite savory.  I am going to experiment in the near future and perhaps write a short series about it.  Thanks Very Much to my friends, Alex Kenyon and Jack Knight, both of Britain, for their help in the creation of this very yummy holiday dish. 

Thank You, friends, for your readership and patience with me.  I hope you will see me at least once a week from now on!  Part of a New Year's Resolution; let's hope I can make it work!  Wish me luck!  
Again, HAPPY  NEW  YEAR!!!!!