Adiós 2021!

Another year, gone!

Happy New Year’s Eve! We’re finally here. We made it to the end of 2021. I’m ready to begin a new year.

2021 was another challenging year as we embraced the continuation of living in a global pandemic. However, I’m doing my best to adjust and re-adjust to new norms and continue living my life. Life keeps moving forward no matter what comes our way. Let’s not let COVID dictate our fate and get in the way of accomplishing our goals and living life.

2021 unveils…

This world keeps on giving, in positive ways. And that’s what I need to cling onto when the world gets dark. 2021 revealed a lot to me. Here are the 21 revelations:

  1. Keep pressing forward even if I don’t feel like it.
  2. Change up my routine. Keep life spicy!
  3. Believe!
  4. In all things, have faith.
  5. Reward self with something big or small every day.
  6. Self-care, all the time! Multiple times a day!
  7. Keep working towards pursuing dreams.
  8. YOLO!
  9. Not letting domestic and world news bring down my mood.
  10. Meditate more!
  11. Move my body to ease the physical pain.
  12. Don’t stop until I’m proud.
  13. Continue being patient.
  14. Always cultivate joy.
  15. Focus on the happy and the good.
  16. Escape and get away from the negativity of the world, through audiobooks, TV series/movies, or music.
  17. Express gratitude. In all ways. For everything, even the negative. A lesson is found in everything.
  18. Love, love, love.
  19. Forgiveness and compassion go hand-in-hand.
  20. Social media breaks are important for the sake of my mental and emotional well-being.
  21. Slow the heck down!

A dish to behold

Today’s featured dish is a beautiful dessert I’m sharing with my family tonight as we welcome 2022. A rosé sparkling wine gelatin fruit mold, garnished with edible flowers. Ooh la la!

Recipe

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 4 envelopes of unflavored powdered gelatin (about 1/4 cup total)
  • 1 cup St. Germain elderflower liqueur, divided in two parts
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle of sparkling wine (I chose Rosé)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Fuji apple, cubed
  • 1/2 cup yellow peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 cup oranges, cubed
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup wild blueberries
  • Edible flowers, for garnish

Production steps

  1. Coat a 10-cup Bundt pan or jello mold with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place the gelatin into a small bowl, add 1/2 cup of the elderflower liqueur, and whisk to combine.
  3. Set aside to bloom for 5 minutes.
  4. Warm the remaining 1/2 cup elderflower liqueur and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the bloomed gelatin and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Add sparkling wine and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  8. Set the bowl over an ice bath.
  9. Add the cooled gelatin mixture and stir gently to combine.
  10. Cool the sparkling gelatin over the ice bath until it is quite thick to ensure that the fruit doesn’t float when added.
  11. Add the fruits and some edible flowers, and gently fold in with a rubber spatula.
  12. Pour the sparkling jelly into the mold.
  13. Refrigerate overnight.
  14. To remove the gelatin from the mold, carefully invert the mold onto a serving plate and let the mold fall gently from the mold onto the plate. This may take up to a few minutes.
  15. If it does not come out, fill the sink or a large, wide pot (wider than your mold) with warm tap water.
  16. Dip the outside of the mold in the water for 10 seconds.
  17. Remove from the water, dry the outside of the mold, and flip out onto a serving plate.
  18. Garnish with more fresh fruit, mint, and edible flowers as desired and slice to serve.
Such a beautiful dish. I loved those edible flowers.

Safe celebrating

Have a Happy New Year’s celebration. Celebrate safely and responsibly.

See ya in the new year!

FS x

Bawk Bawk!

As the Olympics come to a close, it’s always a bittersweet feeling. What an incredible experience, every time! I love how the world comes together to compete in these terrific sports. It truly brings us together. I couldn’t believe how many sports there were this year. Astounding! Congrats to everyone who participated; those who took home medals and those who didn’t. Everyone’s a winner! They’re the best in the world, no matter what! I certainly admired the awesome sportsmanship throughout the games. It was so touching and beautiful to see. Those were the most memorable moments to me. It meant more to me than ever. 2020 gave us a lot to reflect upon and appreciate. Cherish one another; love each other, and be kind.

It was a busy weekend in the kitchen, cooking and roasting up a storm! This coming week is my aunt’s birthday. In celebration of her birthday and for my culinary assignment this week, I’ve roasted a young whole chicken and made gravy from scratch. Good ol’ comfort food. Yum!

I was so nervous because I’ve never roasted a whole piece of poultry before. I usually buy a whole chicken that’s already cooked. It’s so much easier to work with!

In my readings this past week, I learned that roasting and baking are one-in-the-same. Though, I’ve never heard someone say they’re going to roast a cake. I found it very interesting that both terms mean the same.

Before roasting the chicken, I had to truss it. Trussing entails tying the chicken legs and wings snugly together with butcher’s twine so that they are close with the body. Trussing is important for the chicken to cook evenly in the oven. It also prevents the legs and wings from burning. I lathered my chick with butter (olive oil is fine, too) and seasoned with good ol’ salt and pepper. I also seasoned the inside cavity as well. I cut onions, carrots, and celery to create a mirepoix bedding to lay the seasoned chicken on. The mirepoix, a French term, is cooked slowly with the liquid and fat from the chicken. This will be used to make the gravy afterwards. The end goal is for the chicken to be golden brown and for the skin to be crispy. It took nearly two hours for the chickie to cook. The thermometer finally read 165℉; she was cooked thoroughly. Hallelujah! The chicken was juicy, tender, and oh-so-flavorful. I was stoked!

Onto the gravy… I used the mirepoix and the juices from the chicken to first make a roux. I added flour to create a thickening agent. Then added chicken broth to create the gravy. I poured the contents into a mesh strainer, and voilà! Homemade gravy! It was pretty simple and oh-so-good!

For my aunt’s birthday I made a mocha jelly dessert dish. I initially saw a video on Emmymade’s Facebook page on chocolate jelly. I, of course, altered the recipe and made it my own. It turned out to be more of a pudding texture, but it tasted fabulous. It was very rich. Next time, I’ll add more gelatin.

Emmy loves to make unique dishes. This link has some pretty wacky stuff: https://www.emmymade.com/7-wacky-retro-recipes-for-you-to-try/. Not sure if I’m totally game to trying them. Some of them are quite strange. The 7-Up mayo jello salad and the rainbow sherbet snowball cake look interesting. She’s got some interesting stuff on her Facebook. It’s quite entertaining.

Have a marvelous new week! Cases are rising everywhere. Stay safe and healthy!

FS x