Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Tomorrow is the last day I'll be writing 2009 on my checks (I know, I'm old fashioned and still write checks sometimes) and the next day a new calendar will be tacked up. 2010 seems awkward somehow, but here it comes. We'll get used to it. Somehow we'll each decide to say either twenty ten or two thousand ten.

One of the things I've been noticing is that with the advent of 2010 people are doing lists of ten. I decided to list ten things that I'd like to post about.

The first five are things I've made before, enjoyed, and would love to add to my index, plus to share with y'all. The second five are things I've wanted to try making but never did. Perhaps by listing them at the beginning of the New Year it will give me a little push to actually cook or bake them and do a post.

Here is the list:
Black Forest Cake - I used to make this from scratch, including poaching the fresh cherries. It is a delicious combination of chocolate cake, whipped cream, cherries and kirsch, with some chocolate curls for decoration. A very fancy cake!

Fresh Coconut Cake - This is the favorite birthday cake of Next Sister Up. White cake layers are layered with 7 Minute Frosting and freshly grated coconut, with more coconut coating the sides of the frosted cake. It looks like a party and tastes wonderful as long as you love coconut.

Salmon en Croute - A fish shaped piece of pastry (usually puff pastry) is spread with layer os filling. I could have made this one as part of the Daring Cooks, but the timing was impossible for me. I've made it with a layer of duxelles (a fine mushroom concoction), then a fresh salmon fillet is laid over the mushroom mixture, a layer of rice combined with a sour cream and green onion mixture is spread over the fish (and sometines spinach is added tot he rice mixture) and then a larger fish shaped pastry is laid over it all and sealed. Sometimes I added pastry scales for a more fish like appearance, an egg wash is applied to the pastry then it is baked to a golden brown. This is an impressive dinner party dish and looks far more difficult than it really is.

Meat Loaf - Our recent return to tough economic times seems to have brought with it a bit of nostalgia for humble diner style food. Meat Loaf is a perfect example and was the set piece for countless Blue Plate Specials. My Mom made it with ground beef, but I like to make it with a combination of ground beef and ground turkey for a lighter taste. Don't forget the mashed potatoes!

The last dish that I've made many times but never put on the blog is just barely a recipe. Fish with Garlic Butter works well with fish fillets like red snapper or flounder. It's so easy that a microwave adept child can make it...and it has garlic!

Now we come to the items that I want to learn to make:
Princess Cake is one of my sister Natasha's favorites. I've been researching recipes and I think I know how to do it. Sponge cake, raspberry jam, whipped cream and...most important...marzipan combine to make a party perfect cake.

Another special occasion cake is one of Dorie Greenspan's. I thought that I had typed it up since I had to return the book it was in. I think it was Paris Sweets. Anyway I believe the cake is a spongecake soaked with orange juice and there is cinnamon involved, buttercream and maybe cranberries. It seems like a perfect Christmas cake, so I have almost a year to re-find the recipe.

Ever since I was a kid I've thought that it would be fun to make Baked Alaska. Ice cream, frozen hard, sits on top of cake and then meringue covers it all and you broil the meringue to brown it without melting the ice cream.

Another sweet to try making is a Pithivier, a puff pastry circle topped with rich almond cream, then topped with another puff pastry circle. Once the edges are sealed, you make a pattern with a knife over the whole circle, glaze it and bake it. A sweet glaze is sometimes baked on the top crust during the last part of the baking.

The last item is Shrimp Scampi. I've had good versions in restaurants but never tried it at home.

As you can see I lean toward the sweets in what I hope to make, but there are a few good savories, too.

As I make things from the list, I'll include this logo (at the top of this post) with the post. With luck, by this time next year they will all have been checked off.

What recipes have you been longing to make? If you share them with me I might just add them to my list...who says that I can only do ten?


  1. I'd like to make some preserves (but that has been on my to-do list for 2009 already, so there :) )and maybe prepare a whole fish.

  2. Andreas, preserves are actually not too difficult. Never prepared a whole fish, either, other than some smallish ones my Dad caught when I was young. He cleaned them and I pan-fried them with a cornmeal coating. I'd like to try whole fish the Chinese way with hot oil poured on at the end during serving.