|Cranberry-Orange Trifle and Pimm's Cup|
We welcome you back to this months Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club where we continue our celebration of delicious food on the "lighter" side. We always appreciate you joining us for this event where we get together on the first Wednesday of every month to create a delicious meal from appetizers to dessert with a theme in mind. Ultimately our love of food, blogging and our commitment to a health conscious lifestyle is what has brought us all together.
Now in its 6th year this is a team effort where we continue to share a love for healthy eating and living. The faces may have changed since our groups birth in 2009 but we have always had a love for Cooking Light magazine with its emphasis on healthy eating and living. We look forward each month to strengthening our bonds, and enjoying each others company virtually.
This months theme "Let's Go to the Oscars" was chosen by our very own Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie. The Oscars have always brought a little bit of excitement to a usually uneventful February.
Lets' see what the rest of the group has brought to our own performance.
Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch channeled the Oscar winning movie "The Help " with an appetizing Open Faced Pimiento Cheese BLT.
Jerry of A Life, Lived reminds of the movie "Into the Woods" which was nominated for 3 Oscars with our soup course of North Woods Bean Soup.
Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie wow us with Pigonau Fermier aux Epices Douces based on the French cuisine of the movie "The One Hundred Foot Journey." I loved that book!!
Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe Cooking teases us with a side dish of Fontal Polenta with Sautéed Mushrooms. Another of my favourite books, "Eat, Pray, Love" the movie starred another of my favourites Julia Roberts.
For my recipes I chose the Oscar winning movie "The Queen" starring my favourite actor Helen Mirren whose performance won her an Oscar. After the death of Princess Diana, HM Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted. For the British factor I brought along a very well known show-stopping dessert Cranberry-Orange Trifle and a refreshing Pimm's Cup. Pimms is a gin-based potion made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, and spices. Served with lemonaid it becomes a Pimm’s Cup. It was created in the mid-18th century by English oyster bar owner James Pimm. The recipe is still a secret; supposedly, only six people know exactly how it is made. Its low alcohol content of only 25 percent has made Pimm’s a drink to have when you are having more than one. Ginger ale or lemon-lime soda are occasionally used to replace the lemonade and at other times, club soda is added to the original recipe.
As our Wild Card Susan of The Spice Garden chose the Oscar nominated movie "Chocolat" and features Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies. An Oscar winning ending to this months menu.
On to the recipes.
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (10.75-ounce) loaf pound cake (such as Sara Lee), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon orange rind
To prepare cranberries, combine 3/4 cup sugar, orange juice, and Grand Marnier in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cook 3 minutes until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Add cranberries to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes or until cranberries pop. Spoon mixture into a bowl; cover and chill.
To prepare pastry cream, combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk to pan, stirring with a whisk until blended; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to eggs, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and salt. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until custard cools to room temperature (about 25 minutes), stirring occasionally.
Arrange half of cake cubes in the bottom of a 2-quart trifle dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups cranberry mixture over cake; top with 1 1/2 cups pastry cream. Repeat layers. Garnish with rind. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and chill at least 4 hours.
3/4 cup Pimm's No. 1
2 cups ginger ale, chilled
1 1/3 cups sparkling water, chilled
4 lemon slices
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into 4 spears
Fill 4 tall (12-ounce) glasses with ice cubes.
Pour 3 tablespoons Pimm's into each glass. Pour 1/2 cup ginger ale and 1/3 cup sparkling water into each glass; stir to combine. Garnish each serving with 1 lemon slice and 1 cucumber spear. Serve immediately.