25 December 2009

Christmas Crackers

It has been far too long since I posted. Apparently since almost this time last year nothing has reminded me on London worthy-enough to be blogged. But today, being Christmas, my mother managed to procure a set of Christmas crackers for us to enjoy. I pulled on three of them, and won all three times. Undefeated! Christmas crackers are so much fun--complete with hats, jokes, and toys. I actually got some reasonable toys. I did share with those others in my family who managed to lose all their pulls, but I still ended up with a nice set of tangrams. It was pretty exciting.

Hopefully I will think to post a little more frequently during this next year. In fact, I have a post in mind, so stay tuned--I worked on a delightful project for my Victorian Literature class this past semester.

13 December 2009

Catching Up

Well, it has been a very long time since I have posted, so I will try to get myself caught up on all the cooking adventures that I have had in the last 3 months or so. First off, in October I tried my hand at making fortune cookies. They are surprisingly easy, and quite tasty. When I read the recipe it seemed weird that you can only cook 2 cookies at a time, but when I tried it myself, it is indeed a true statement. If you cook anymore than that there is no way that you'll get the cookies folded before they harden. It is so cool, when you first take the cookies out of the oven, they are soft and quite malleable, but they start to harden almost instantly; nevertheless, it is quite possible to fold them to actually look like fortune cookies.

Then, a little late in the month, I tried my hand at Portuguese Custard Tarts. They utilize two of my favorite ingredients: custard and puff pastry. And they cook in a muffin pan, so they are perfectly bite-sized. Finding the custard to fill the tarts with took a little doing, but eventually Macey's pulled through and helped me out. The tarts turned out so well, that I've made them once since my original attempt and took them to a party, where everyone loved them.

Then November came, This month I tried my hand at my first mousse, a White Chocolate Strawberry Mousse. It turned out quite nice. This time, I decided that instead of putting my dessert in the same old boring ramekins, that I would try putting it in a champagne flute so that you could get the nice effect of eating the mousse out of a nice dessert glass. Really, I suppose that I was envious of the pretty picture in the cookbook.

Finally, after thanksgiving, I decided to try my hand at cooking a pot roast. As you can probably tell, I mostly cook desserts, but man must not live by dessert alone, so I made my first pot roast. All my life my mother has made roasts sometimes for Sunday dinner, but she has always prepared hers in the crockpot while we were at church. I decided that I wanted to cook it in the oven, in preparation for a school project I was preparing for. The recipe that I was following didn't have much instruction regarding seasonings, so I just sort of made it up as I went. But if I do say so it turned out quite tasty. I also made some roasted potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding. My Yorkshire pudding even came out of the pan perfectly--nearly unheard of! My mother always served the juice that was left after the roast cooked as that--juice. But I decided that I would try and make a more proper gravy out of it, and it was to die for, I am so glad that I did. The gravy really made the roast, and with it poured over the potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, it was absolutely delightful! It is always fun to find out that you can cook regular food too, and not just desserts.