Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2017:
* Use the Spiralizer at least once per week for healthy veggie-rich meals
* Continue to spin from the Wheel of Meals for recipe inspiration

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Seventh Day of Christmas

Anne's 12 Days of Christmas Recipes

 On the seventh day of Christmas, for my true love, I cooked...

~ Seven Swans a-Swimming ~


 Anne presents...

Seared Duck Breast Swimming in Orange Sauce
and
Swan Cream Puffs Swimming in Chocolate



Cooking an actual swan was out of the question, so I decided to substitute a duck dish for my main course.  Actually, I'm not that far off.  Swans are the largest member of the duck family.  I was going for elegance with this dish, and I think I somewhat achieved it.  Overall, the flavor was good.  I really liked the orange sauce.

When I was researching "swan recipes" on google, I saw the swan cream puffs, and I knew I HAD to make them!  I was really happy with how they turned out, both visually and taste-wise.  I can't believe I managed to get them to look as good as (or even better than!) the picture on the website I found.  I added my own twist and presented them "swimming" in a chocolate sauce which made them taste like eclairs.  Yummy! 

Anne's Fun Facts:

Cost of 7 Swans a-Swimming (2010 Christmas Price Index) = $5,600

Did you know?  The Trumpeter Swan is the largest native species of waterfowl in North America.

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Recipes

Duck a l'Orange
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1&1/2 orange juice
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1&1/2 cups chicken stock
2 oranges, sections cut from membranes
2 duck breast halves, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons orange zest

Directions:
Boil the sugar and water for several minutes until the syrup caramelizes and turns a golden brown color.  Add the vinegar, juice, shallots, and chicken stock and simmer until the sauce is reduced to a little less than a cup.  Add butter and 1 tablespoon of orange zest.  Stir in orange sections.

In a skillet, sear the duck breast over high heat.  Cook the duck for 7-10 minutes on each side.  Pour the prepared sauce over the duck breasts and garnish with the remaining orange zest.

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Swan Cream Puffs
Makes: ~24 swans

Ingredients:
1/2 c butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 c water
1 c flour
4 eggs
1 package instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
1 cup Cool Whip
confectioners' sugar (optional)
chocolate syrup (optional)

Directions:
Make pudding according to directions on box using 2 cups cold milk.  When completely set, mix in the Cool Whip until smooth.  Set aside in fridge.

Bring butter, salt, and water to a boil in a small pot.  Remove from heat and quickly add 1 cup flour, stirring vigorously, until it completely loosens from sides of pot. Beat in eggs, separately, with wooden spoon until smooth.

For the bodies:Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 450ºF for the first 10 min. Lower temp to 350ºF and bake another 20-25 minutes or so. Cool.

For the necks:
Fill a decorating bag with about ½ - 3/4 c of the batter and, using a writing tip, write out 30 or so (2 ½" tall) question marks on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (They will look way too thin, but they puff up to the right size.) Bake at 450ºF for about 5 minutes and then check and don’t leave the oven until they are just a light golden color, maybe another 3 minutes.

To assemble:
Slice cream puffs horizontally about ¾ of the way up (just the top) and set aside.  Fill bottoms with pudding mixture.  Insert the necks on one end.  For wings, cut tops in half and insert, cut side into filling, so that the wings stand up. Place on shiny silver tray or mirror for lake effect, or serve on chocolate syrup. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.  


Anne's Blooper Batch -- Oops! I forgot to check on them!



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Anne's 12 Days of Christmas Recipes  
(I will be posting one per day from Dec 26 thru Jan 6th, 2010)Feel free to comment!

1st Day: Partridge in Pear Tree             7th Day: Seven Swans a-Swimming
2nd Day: Two Turtledoves                    8th Day: Eight Maids a-Milking
3rd Day: Three French Hens                 9th Day: Nine Ladies Dancing
4th Day: Four Calling Birds                  10th Day: Ten Lords a-Leaping
5th Day: Five Gold Rings                     11th Day: Eleven Pipers Piping
6th Day: Six Geese a-Laying                12th Day: Twelve Drummers Drumming

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