Sunday, 9 January 2011

FOOD - What's Cooking in January

Home made vegetable pizzas

My friend and I decided to have an evening creating our own pizzas and we stocked up on some veg to get things started. I'd never tried Jerusalem artichokes before and they have a nutty flavour with a texture not dissimilar to parsnips. I'm going to try cooking them in a gratin or warm salad next. I'd also never tried baby aubergine and these were delish. Can think of loads of uses for them in Mediterranean or Indian dishes.

Home made vegetable pizzas

Topping 1 - Cheese, tomato, pesto, pine nuts and Jerusalem artichoke

Topping 2 - Cheese, tomato, baby aubergine, courgette

Home made vegetable pizzas

Topping 3 - Cheese, tomato, garlic, fresh basil, mushroom

Topping 4 - Cheese, tomato, garlic, yellow pepper, finger chilli

What is your favourite pizza topping?

I also decided to do a bit of baking last week. I'd had a stressful day at work and I didn't want to come in and start scaring at my computer or TV so I settled on making mini Victoria Sponge Cakes. They are one of my favourites, but I did cheat slightly and went for the M&S handy kit. I didn't actually want to eat them all myself so I took them into work and made sure my boyfriend got a few too. It was the first time I'd used silicone baking cases and they worked really well, the cakes just peeled straight out of them. Yum, yum!

Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes
Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes

Sunday, 2 January 2011

PHOTOS - Christmas Day

I love Christmas, while some people avoid spending too much time with the family, I enjoy every minute. This year I wangled a week off to head back to Hastings.

While mum prepped for dinner my sister and I took our dog Rufus out to stretch his legs at the nearby country park. I think he feeds off our excitement and gets far too excitable himself so before my grandparents arrived it was essential to wear him our slightly. It just so happened that Christmas morning was beautifully sunny but frosty, very pretty for photos.

Christmas Day walk
Christmas Day walk
Christmas Day walk
Christmas Day walk
Christmas Day walk
Christmas Day walk

The highlight of the day is of course the dinner and drinks. I was kindly given a bottle of champagne for my work with Motorola this year so we had that to start off with, with some orange juice. Then we moved on to some lovely Prosecco (one of my other favourite tipples). Dinner is always the same at Christmas, my nan prepares all the veg in advance and brings it round... the highlight was the crispy roast parsnips and sweet potato. I break the rules and have mint jelly with my turkey rather than cranberry sauce. My mum's roast potatoes are the best I've ever had, no restaurant or other person has come close to getting them so perfectly fluffy inside and crispy on the outside... delicious.

Christmas dinner 2010
Christmas dinner 2010

After dinner it's all about playing games. This year we had a go at Last Word - The Game which was good fun. We also played lots of Trivial Pursuit (a family favourite) and Stick Up and Shout by M&S which made us laugh non-stop. 

What was the best thing about your Christmas?

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