Tuesday, November 30, 2010

happy holidaze

Early November is the start of the holiday season for us. M’s birthday is first on the list.


Thanksgiving at the beach with M’s family comes next.

My sister-in-law created a dish involving prosciutto and brussels sprouts. It’s the first time I enjoyed eating these little green balls.



A few people cooked tons of food.

Others lounged inside around the warm fire while it poured down rain outside.



I made pies.

Pumpkin pie

The last holiday celebration of November involved me cooking, cleaning, and cooking some more, and more cleaning. We had my family over on Thanksgiving day. I made turkey, stuffing, creamed onions, green beans, gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and these satsuma vodka-tinis.



Guests brought sweet potatoes, apple pie, rolls, and fruit salad.

Here’s the recipe for the cocktail. It may help get you through the holidays with your sanity intact.

Satsuma Vodka-Tini
(from Cooking Light magazine)

1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup sugar
4 whole satsumas, peeled
3/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Combine the first four ingredients in a food processor and process until pureed. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl or wide mouth pitcher, pressing to extract juice. Discard solids. Stir in 3/4 cup Grand Marnier and 1/4 cup fresh lime juice. Place 1 cup satsuma mixture in a martini shaker with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Shake. Strain mixture into 2 chilled martini glasses. Repeat procedure to make 10 cocktails. Enjoy in moderation if you have to drive this holiday season.


Sharon said...

Your food photos are always to die for; however, the first photo of M's birthday really takes the cake! (How about that--two cliches in one sentence!)

The birthday cake photo is wonderful in the way that the cake and candles stand out in brilliant luminosity from a pool of magical amber light. Simply gorgeous!

jazgal said...

Ah, that cake is so festive - how fun!! Michael certainly looks happy about it - Happy Belated Birthday to him!

And thank you sooo much for that gorgeous cran-tini recipe - I must try that one - how absolutely luscious it does look!


Cindy said...

Thanks Sharon! That's the beauty of shooting in available light. If you can get your subject to hold still, and you can steady yourself, it can be great.

Cindy said...

Hi Jazgal. A tip on making these drinks: make sure you strain the mixture through cheesecloth. I forgot to pick some up and ended up trying several straining tools, including a french coffee press. I don't recommend it! I now have cheesecloth at the ready for the next batch. These are great to have on hand for guests. Just leave it in a pitcher in the fridge. They go down too easy... be careful! Cheers!

jazgal said...

Cheesecloth - yes - and always good to have on hand. The french press was worth the try - here's to creative problem solving! And we can toast that with a crantini!
I can see that they would have to be poured with a watchful eye :)

Susan said...

May I invite myself over to your house for one of those delicious looking vodka-tinis? Nummy! That's a really cute cake...did you make it? I love how colorful it is.

Thanksgiving nearly killed me this year, and to top it off, my dishwasher died full of dirty dishes. I'm thinking restaurant buffet next year.

Cindy said...

Susan, I've got all the ingredients to make another batch... come on by! Sounds like you needed one of these on Thanksgiving. The ignitor on our oven decided to go out just days after Thanksgiving. It gave us a bit of warning though, our turkey was well done on top and undercooked on the bottom half. I cringe when it's my year to cook!