Feast of Saint Nick

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas. Nicholas of Myra was born in the 4th century in the fishing village of Patara, now modern day Turkey. Nicholas was Greek, born into a Christian family of wealth and means.

An epidemic is said to have taken his parents while Nicholas was young. As an only child, Nicholas was free to used the whole of his inheritance to assist the needy, the sick and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God. Because of his dedication, Nicholas became the Bishop of Myra while still a young man. His deeds made him known throughout the land for his generosity, and his dedication to the protection of children.

Through the centuries stories and legends surrounded Saint Nicholas grew. These accounts emphasized his extraordinary character even in the face of personal suffering. Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Bishop Nicholas was exiled to prison for a time. Yet his faith and companion for others did not falter. This was especially true for children, the poor and the weak. It is no wonder that the modern fictional character of Santa Claus or Father Christmas draws much inspiration from the real life Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus remains the patron of gift giving and festivities surrounding Christmas throughout the world. Celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas with gifts, merrymaking and a beautiful meal shared with friends is a wonderful way to remember this good and giving man. The spirit of Saint Nicholas is within everyone.

Feast of Saint Nick
Roast Pork with Herb Vegetables
Mixed Green Salad
Warm Dinner Rolls

Mocha Yule Time Log

Roast Pork with Herb Vegetables
1-1/2 teaspoons Thyme Leaves
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon crushed Rosemary Leaves
1 teaspoon Salt
1-1/2 lb Red Potatoes
1 medium Red Onion
3 Carrots
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1-1/2 lb Pork Tenderloin
Fresh Rosemary for garnish

Heat oven to 425-degrees. Line a 15-inch by 10-inch rimmed cooking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix thyme, paprika, rosemary and sea salt in small bowl. Set aside.

Cut unpeeled potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Place in a medium size bowl. Peel onion, cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks, add to the potatoes. Peel carrots, trim ends, split in half lengthwise. Cut carrots into chunks. Add to the potato mixture. Add oil and 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture; toss to coat well. Place vegetables in single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Roast in the heated oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the vegetable roast, coat pork evenly with remaining seasoning mixture. Remove baking sheet from the oven, push vegetables to one side of pan. Place pork on other side of pan. Return to the oven and roast 25 minutes longer or until pork is desired doneness, stirring vegetables occasionally. Place pork in the center of a serving platter. Tent and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Scrape pan drippings with spatula and stir to incorporate into the vegetables. Lift foil edges to seal the vegetables in a pouch. Let stand 5 minutes to allow vegetables to absorb flavors.

Arrange vegetables around the pork. Garnish with fresh rosemary. Slice pork tableside and serve with vegetables.

Mixed Green Salad
1 head Romaine Lettuce
1 Cucumber
3 Plum Tomatoes
1 small Red Onion, sliced thin
Oil and Vinegar Dressing
Pinch Kosher Salt
Fresh Black Pepper

Tear the lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces, scatter into a large salad bowl. Peel and slice cucumbers, scatter over the lettuce. Core tomatoes, cut into small wedges. Scatter over the salad. Peel and thinly slice red onion. Break into rings, scatter over the salad. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Drizzle with Oil and Vinegar dressing. Season with salt and pepper, toss and serve.

Mocha Yule Time Log

5 large Eggs
1/2 cup Cake Flour
1/4 cup Bakers Unsweetened Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Divide egg yolks from whites. Place yolks in a large mixing bowl. Place whites in a small bowl; let whites stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 350-degrees. Grease the bottom of a 15-inch by 10-inch by 1-inch rimmed pan; line pan with parchment paper; grease paper.

Sift flour, cocoa and salt together in a large bowl. Once sifted together, sift a second time, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Fold in flour mixture. Set aside.

Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth of the whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake until top springs back when lightly touched, about 12 minutes (do not overbake). While the cake bakes, place a tea towel on a flat work surface. Dust towel with cocoa.

Cool baked cake in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert onto the prepared tea towel. Gently peel parchment paper from the cake. Starting at the short side of the cake, gently but firmly roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Mocha Cream Filling
1-1/2 teaspoons Instant Coffee Granules
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

In a mixing bowl, dissolve coffee granules in cream; beat until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form.

Unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2-inch of edges. Without the towel, Roll cake up again. Trim ends and transfer to a platter, seam side down. Refrigerate, covered, until cold.

Yule Log Frosting
1/3 cup Butter, softened
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/3 cup Bakers Unsweetened Cocoa
1 tablespoon Brewed Coffee, cooled
1-1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream or as needed

Let butter soften at room temperature. Sift powdered sugar with cocoa, set aside.

Cream butter with cold coffee and vanilla. Add cocoa sugar about 1/2 cup at a time until well incorporated in the butter, scraping down sides as needed. Add heavy cream a little at a time until frosting is thick yet spreadable.

Frost Yule Log top and sides with frosting. Using a fork, make lines in frosting to resemble tree bark. Refrigerate until serving.

Finishing Touches
Chocolate Bar
Powdered Sugar for dusting

With a vegetable peeler, create small chocolate curls. Scatter over the top of the Yule Log.

Dust with powdered sugar, slice with a serrated knife and serve.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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