Let’s ring in the year with “Festive Satsuma Margaritas.” I love margaritas — it is one of my favorite cocktails. This version uses Louisiana satsumas in addition to limes. The beverage is easy to make at home — no special ingredients required — except for the satsumas. But you could substitute oranges, clementines or fresh mandarin oranges. This drink is very easy on the alcohol as the satsuma juice causes a diluting effect. So if you are looking for a fruity but very “light” alcoholic beverage to celebrate the new year; this one is for you.
Back in my hospital food service catering days, we prepared and served a dinner for the Board of Directors each month. I liked to change things up — partially for boredom’s sake and little for spite as it meant I had to work late that night. So one month I served carrot cake — trying to pack a little nutrition into the dessert. Much to my surprise, one Board member came to me after the meeting and said, “that very large piece of cake was the best dessert you’ve ever served — it was delicious.” And Carrot Cake is delicious. It should be moist, with just a little spice and nutty flavor. Topped with a cream cheese icing, it makes a great dessert for the holidays. And so I’m making my carrot cake again this year.
Every year my mother-in-law sends “gelt” (a.k.a. money) for Hanukkah rather than presents. I like to save the gelt for something really special; something I might not otherwise indulge in. This year an old-fashioned Bundt cake pan caught my attention. I love to bake and this seemed like a fitting use for her generosity. The first cake I made was “Pecan Rum Cake.” It is festive for the all the holidays — both Hannukah and Christmas. I liked it so much I also made a variation, “Satsuma Rum Cake.”
Cranberries add a festive and refreshing touch to holiday meals. The tart flavor of cranberry sauce helps tone down the rich flavors of a large holiday turkey meal. Doesn’t cut the calories of the meal you just ate, but it does cleanse the palate. Last weekend company was visiting — they helped with the cooking. My niece and I created wonderful fresh fruit compote with cranberries and foods on my kitchen counter. We served the dish at almost all meals and discovered it was a satisfying substitute for high-calorie desserts. Guess we found a way to save on calories, after all.
I’ve been sorting old family photographs and for whatever reason that brought back memories of the ice cream truck that drove through the neighborhood in the summer months. I always got Dream-sickle Push-Up’s with their creamy orange flavor.
What a great thing to make with my sack of satsumas. I tried making a custard ice cream and also a sherbet. Both turned out with success. Surprisingly like the one I remembered.